“Yikes!” my husband called from his home office. Though his room was merely ten feet from mine, I seldom heard him shout. He didn’t mutter at his emails and yell at his printer like I occasionally did. He’s a civilized and self-contained model citizen of the computer world.

He shows neither his cards nor his feelings as I am prone to do in every arena of life.

I padded down the hall to see what was up. Gosh knows he could have gotten a paper cut which required my Florence Nightingale skills. “What’s up, honey?”

“The price of a room in the motel in Carmel, where we’ve stayed several times, has tripled.”

“Well, I’ve heard the businesses have been forced to increase prices to recoup income lost during the state’s long lockdown. Go ahead and book it, hon. We can afford it, so why not?”

I’d long since gotten used to my role in our mutually retired life. That is, to be the go for it person. My husband and I had a strong savings ethic, which had created a comfy cushion that assured that our ‘golden years’ were golden. But it was difficult to get my husband to turn the spigot on. He needed my spurs, my “these boots are made for walking” everywhere travel attitude.

He’d been prone to tight wad tendencies during the pandemic, but he didn’t need to be as pernicious as Scrooge.

“I have to book it because it’s the only motel room left in Monterey-Carmel. A multiple for five—for the number of days we intend to spend in the area—makes this a very spendy proposition, Babe.”

Now I cried “Yikes!”

Who knew that our commitment to attend his mentor’s ‘Celebration of Life’ service in a nearby small town 750 miles north of our home would be so costly? Sure, Carmel had a reputation of being elite as well as expensive, but three times the price seemed like highway robbery.

It mattered little because we were committed: the art, the white sand beach, memories of past visits, the famed Monterey Aquarium oceanside. Attendance at an event to honor a cherished person.

“Oh well, we’ve got to go, we’ll enjoy—and now I’ll make sure I enjoy it all the more, Hon. Further, on the good citizen upside, we’ll be helping the California tourism industry.”

P.S. The glorious bonus to the adventure obligation tempered by vacation was that it was Car Week in Carmel. My need for speed man got to thrill to the sight and sound of a bounty of Ferraris, Lamberghinis, Maseratis, and Porsches.