Every vacation destination that my three girlfriends and I have visited in the past seven years has suffered a natural or manmade disaster just before or just after our visit.

In 2004, we planned a vacation in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Hurricane Ivan arrived a month before we did. We went anyway and toured the aftermath before heading west to explore New Orleans.

In 2005, we watched the destruction New Orleans by Katrina from our hotel in Cancun. We left the Yucatan and Hurricane Wilma took our place and stayed and stayed and stayed. Our beach side hotel was so severely damaged, it was never rebuilt.

In 2006 they went back to Mexico and I stayed home. So did the Atlantic Hurricane Season, never mustering more than a light rain from an off-shore tropical storm.

In 2007 it was a long weekend in Gulf Shores, followed by a short visit by Hurricane Umberto.

In 2008, we went west and stayed in San Francisco. The 4.0 magnitude earthquake that struck just after 9 PM, on September 6 barely caused a ripple on the surface of our evening glass of wine. When we left, the Golden Gate Bridge was still standing.

In 2009 we went back to New Orleans, but it has changed. The place has lost thirty percent of its population and ninety percent of its charm. Bourbon Street may be the birthplace of Jazz, but it is current occupants consist of a vast array of tawdry strip clubs and bikini bars. We drove west, along the southern coast line to visit Avery Island and tour Mobile Bay. Along the way we dined in strange and wonderful local seafood restaurants including Bo Jangle’s Sushi Bar.Now that region is fighting for its life against a manmade disaster in the form of the Deep Horizon Oil spill.

This year, we’re heading to Key West, Florida. Our trip is planned for September, so there’s still time for you to enjoy the place, before our visit results in its total annihilation.

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