I made a joke during one my Item Five interviews last year that wherever my wife and I go, destruction, be it mild or severe, seems to follow.

Witness in the last year: we traveled to Sanibel/Captiva Island, only to see it get nearly destroyed by Hurricane Charley, including South Seas Plantation, the great place we stayed at for some of the trip. South Seas still isn’t completely open for business – they’re still repairing and cleaning up. On that same trip, we stayed at another place called Buttonwood Cottages. Now, I’m happy to report that the hurricane only caused minor damage, but it was enough where they are no longer in business. The cottages were sold to another party, whose intent appears not to offer them anymore as rented cottages.

Strange? Maybe. But how about Kure Beach, NC? We were just there last week, and today, there sits Hurricane Ophelia, a mass of weather that just can’t decide if it wants to be a hurricane or “just” a tropical storm. On the heels of Katrina, yesterday officials of Kure Beach (and surrounding areas) are undergoing a voluntary evacuation. The storm remains lurking on the coast.

Want more? Okay. Back when we lived in Somerville, MA a few years ago, we frequented our favorite restaurant, aptly called “Eat.” It seemed every time we went there, the place was full (except once when we were there for an early meal) and the food was delicious. They are closed. When we moved to Maynard, we uncovered a little gem next to the movie theatre, called 107 Summer. We ate there twice, loved it, then it closed down and moved about a mile to another location and renamed itself. Unfortunately, the menu changed and so did the quality. Not for the better.

Then there’s the numerous times we’ve planned small one-day trips during the summer where the weather was just atrocious, so much so that at one point, Steph’s mother said something along the lines of “if you want rain, just invite Stephanie and Jeff over.”

I know there’s more, but I’m having a hard time recalling right now. Maybe Steph can chime in. Bottom line: don’t invite us anywhere. We’ll shut down your restaurants and after we leave, hurricanes will come. All that said, there are, of course, exceptions. Our trip to Kauai, Hawaii saw virtually no rain and Kauai still exists today! Intact!