While I was doing a telephone interview this morning about Little Way, my daughter Nora slipped me the above note.

The answer, alas, is no, we are not going to the beach after all. We’ve had this week’s Gulf coast vacation in the works for weeks, and the kids have been ramped up with excitement for the past few days. But last night, the dirty rotten vicious stomach virus going around town struck our house in a pretty gruesome way. Julie was up all night throwing up, and is still in bed here just before noon. Given the reports from other families in town, this thing is likely to go through my entire family in the next 24 hours. The prospect of being cooped up in a beach condo with three upchucking children, plus my own fine self, was incredibly discouraging. So we pulled the plug. You can well imagine how popular Mom and Dad are around my house this morning. I suspect they will understand soon enough why this was necessary.

Thank heaven Julie bought trip insurance when she booked this trip. We would have taken a hard hit in the bank account if not. If it had been my doing, I wouldn’t have bought the insurance — whoever makes a claim on trip insurance? — and I would have been wailing and gnashing my teeth right now, mourning the lost $2,000. My advice to you: always buy trip insurance