The Drive East

Written By: Cynthia Flood

It was Friday, July 19th and I could not wait to get out of the office. As I fidgeted my fingers while at my computer at work downtown on Wall Street, I anxiously awaited a phone call at 4pm from my sisters, Jennifer and Heather. They were excited to tell me about this great event in the Hamptons this weekend, my sisters and I all planned to attend. Today, I would leave the office early to drive out to the Hamptons. Wow, was I excited to go. Processing merger and acquisition deals all day, was not exactly peaches and cream, especially since my glass cubicle was situated right against my fellow colleagues, which consisted of obnoxious and loud escrow bankers and my demanding boss. Everyone’s deal was important of course. So no matter what, lunch or no lunch, the deals would need to be executed on pronto. If I could sneak out the door a bit earlier then my usual 8pm exit from the 31st floor, I would scurry out to a fun networking event or charity event that would always brighten my evening. It has always been a great stress release for me, meeting new people, experience a different environment. I loved it. I have never been to the Hamptons but all I heard about were the fantastic events that occurred there. This event was a celebrity charity event for a great cause. The kind of event I felt I needed to be at. My sisters and I have a great non-profit organization called The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation of America in New York City, which arranges for kidney transplant matches nationwide. We help save lives. Going out to network is a very important thing for us to do, especially since we are not financially funded yet and we are still growing. Anytime I go to events in New York City, I meet people that love what we do and we really meet a variety of eclectic people that want to help in some special way. It is excellent. A friend of mine who works in the Hamptons told me that this summer, I needed to go out there and attend these great events. He told me the events in the New York City are nothing like the events in the Hamptons. I imagined all the swanky, sophisticated and charitable people I would meet and the potential funders I would come across in the Hamptons. I just felt like I had to go to this event. We quickly researched places on the Internet to stay in East Hampton, which was relatively close to the event. So we booked a great place, East Hampton Point in East Hampton by the water for the weekend. It looked beautiful from the web-site. The weather was great and off we drove in the rental car to this magical place called the Hamptons. The drive seemed pretty straightforward, although wall to wall traffic soon surrounded us toward the evening. We could care less though, for the moment, I began to enjoy the amazing views we passed along the way. We drove for quite some time and got lost a lot. It was moments like this, my stomach would rumble and informed me, we may not make it to the event and we were in for an interesting time. After hours of driving to what felt like forever, we were hungry. At the side of the road, a happy seafood cart welcomed us and we decided to eat lobster. The lobster with butter was amazing. It reminded me of our childhood and the trips to Cape Cod. We sat at the side of the road just enjoying the lobster and were so happy eating and enjoying our time together in the Hamptons. As the sun went down, we were well on our way to the event, we’ll so we thought. The drive was beautiful. We crossed amazing vineyards upon vineyards and farms that sold fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. It reminded us of Europe in a way. Our grandparents in Italy took great honor in their own business. In addition to their upholstery business, they sold pears. Of course we had to stop off to purchase some. The people were lovely and you could tell they took great pride in their work. I could not help but become even more aware of what is important in life. How amazing it is to have passion for life and what you do, be an entrepreneur and run your own show. It is the American Dream. It was then, flashbacks from my office came to me. Hmmm how great was it to be out of there. How wonderful it was to be here in the Hamptons surrounded by calm and beauty and to know, that such great opportunity lie ahead. Lights guided us at the entrance of a dirt road. We were so excited to get to this event and finally arrived. As we drove further ahead, the road seemed dark, feelings of uncertainty came across me. This seemed strange. There in the thicket of tall hovering trees, was what looked like a great little restaurant called Georgica. The lights were off and it did not look like anything was going on. Perhaps we showed up to early, that could not be. The event time was 8pm. We all got worried and started to feel uncomfortable. After, many conversations that were going nowhere in the car, I walked out of the car and knocked on the front door of the restaurant. I heard my knock echo throughout the place. Nobody answered. There was definitely no event happening here, at least not tonight. As I walked down the stairs, I quickly text my friends to ask them what was going on and at the same time I flipped through my blackberry calendar. The event date was wrong. Yes, we got the wrong event date. In that moment, instead of getting angry and upset, I remained calm and I laughed out loud. My frustrations instantly departed. I thought to myself, it is okay. I get it now. We were not meant to attend this event tonight. I was so fixated on attending this celebrity charity event and I was obsessed with the many details that came with it. What I almost lost sight of was the simple message here. The higher powers wanted me to get away and to truly experience being present in life, to spend time and relax with my sisters and to just enjoy the Hamptons. After driving off from the restaurant, my sisters and I decided to further enjoy the many great attractions in East Hampton that evening. We walked the beautiful beach and we walked into town to look at the fantastic art and great places to eat. We got a great table for three at Pierre’s and had incredible desserts and engaged in great conversation with people. It was one of our most favorite times together and we will never forget it. We will now return to the Hamptons every summer. This weekend, I realized that the event was not as important as I thought it was for me to attend. It was important for me, we even, as sisters to experience this in fact magical place called the Hamptons, for being what it is. What it offered us was more than we could ever imagine.