Subject: Travel Serendipity
Hi, Ziners,

With all the research and planning we all love to do before trips, sometimes we just get blown away by pure dumb luck.

I was just watching some Wimbledon coverage on TV and remembering our greatest incident of travel serendipity. I thought it might be a fun discussion to share our times of being in the right place at the right time.

On our first trip to Europe in 1987, we took our son and daughter (high school and college ages). The kids and I were really into tennis at that time and we knew we'd be in London during Wimbledon, but did not try to get tickets. We had planned the trip on our own (without the internet then) and had an ambitious plan of flying into Geneva, spending 4 days in Switzerland, taking the train along the Rhine to Amsterdam, ferry to England, train to Scotland for a week, ending up in London for the return home. Everything worked great. We met an American couple at a B& B in Inverness who had had tickets for a couple of days the first week at Wimbledon. (It was quite rainy and they never saw a ball hit.) But they told us it was possible to go and buy grounds tickets and walk around, have strawberries and cream, buy T-shirts, etc. We took a night train from Inverness to London and after checking into the hotel and taking a double-decker bus tour, the kids and I decided to go to Wimbledon-- on the basis of having seen a Wimbledon stop on the Underground map. My husband opted to go to steam train stores. So, we hopped on the Underground, found a shuttle bus to the All-England Club, and got in line for grounds tickets. After the person in front of us got his ticket, the phone rang and the ticket taker answered it, turned and said "I've just had 4 seats become available on CENTRE COURT; would you like them?" !!! The man behind us, who took the other ticket, was an American who said he'd been in London 7 years and never before managed to get a seat on any court any time. (Scalpers were selling tickets along the way for 70 pounds for some outer courts and we paid the standard 12 pounds for Center Court seats.) And they were perfect--mid court under the covered area out of the sun-- and play had only been started 10 minutes!! Princess Di was in the Royal Box; they announced it was her birthday. My son used the urinal next to Sugar Ray Leonard. AND IT WAS THE QUARTERFINALS! We saw Lendl and LeConte, Cash (it was the year he won) and Wilander, and Sabatini and Graf! We only left our seats long enough to figure out how to use the pay phone and leave a message at the hotel for my husband that we weren't coming back til it was all over and to get our strawberries and cream and t-shirts. My husband says there's no point in my buying a Lottery ticket; I used up all my luck that day. What a great memory!

On another trip to Scotland in 1991, we found two cars reserved when we got on the train in Inverness headed for Thurso and the ferry to the Orkney Islands. Turns out they were for the Scottish National Orchestra which was celebraing an anniversary year and had just been re-named the Royal Scottish Orchestra by the Queen. They were touring to places in Scotland they had never been. We stayed in Stromess and took a bus the next day to Kirkwall and found out the orchestra was playing there that night in an old movie theater. So we stayed on and got to hear the wonderful performance in a totally casual atmosphere.

Angie-in Kansas hoping to hear your travel serendity stories