2 Broads Abroad: Moms Fly the Coop

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2 Broads Abroad: Moms Fly the Coop
by Deborah Serra and Nancy Serra Greene

When sisters, Deborah & Nancy, discovered that motherhood was a temp job they decided to run away from home. After packing up that last kid for college, and facing the sad stillness of their suddenly quiet homes, they decided to leave the country. 2 BROADS ABROAD: MOMS FLY THE COOP is a funny, irreverent, occasionally poignant travel tale of their impulsive road trip around Ireland.

In this witty warm-hearted adventure, they experienced some of Ireland’s quirkier history while sharing universally relatable stories of maniacal school coaches, neurotic neighbors, and tiger moms. Having kicked that empty nest into their rearview mirror, the sisters took off careening down the wrong side of the road, making questionable choices, getting trapped in a medieval tower, sneaking Chinese take-out into a famous cooking school, drinking way too much, and gaining a changed perspective on their lives ahead.


As Nancy and I attended to the final decisions of our trip we bumped into Nancy’s neighbor Susan again.  Evidently, Vicki had had enough since Susan was out trolling unsuspecting neighbors on her own.   

“You realize that they have no Americans With Disabilities Act in the UK,” Susan said as she leaned in toward me.  

Susan stood too close and never blinked.  Have you ever tried to have a reasonable conversation with someone who doesn’t blink?  You look at one eye, then become uncomfortable and look at the other eye, then you think, “Maybe I’ll look down.”  I spent more time strategizing about where to put my gaze than listening to her babble.  Susan was nosy and toxic, not that I’m judging or anything.  I exchanged a look with Nancy who raised her eyebrows at me as a warning.  I knew she was concerned about what I might say because she thinks that sometimes I’m blunt or impatient, which is absolutely untrue, or at least only modestly true. Gossipy negative women are a flash point for me. (Nancy claims I have several flash points, but…naw…what do little sisters know anyway?)

Trying very hard to keep the scorn out of my tone I explained, “The UK stands for United Kingdom and not United States, so the laws are actually different, Susie,” I said.

“It’s Susan,” she replied with a little edge.  

Go ahead, I thought, get edgy – I’ll meet you there.

“I mean to say,” she continued, “that the European airports have tons of stairs and don’t you think it will be so difficult physically for you both to lug suitcases up and down all those stairs?”

“I do usually like to bring my husband, who doubles as a personal Sherpa, but since we are only taking one rolling bag and one personal item it’s not going to be an issue.”

“We are?” asked Nancy wide-eyed.

“And, Susie…”


“Sure.  The rolling bag we’re taking is by REI and it can turn into a backpack should we encounter a long staircase so we actually have it all figured out.  But thank you for helping us to identify yet another possible negative.”

“Oh,” she said with a fake grin and squinty eyes.  “Certainly.”

As we walked away, I saw Nancy looked a little pale.

“Hey, I’m sorry.  There is just something almost hyena-like about that that woman.  You know, sitting in the weeds, hoping for a kill she can live off of?”

“Deborah, that’s a little dramatic.”

“The only analogy that came to me.”

“But about the carry-on thing, you’re just annoying her, right?  You don’t really think we can go away for a couple of weeks with one small suitcase?”

So maybe I have a reputation as a woman who is still wearing the jeans she bought in 1975, but that’s not true. Those jeans fell apart last year.  I cremated them and they sit in an urn on the mantle — sometimes I light a candle.

“Nancy, I am serious.  We need practical and comfortable.  It’s only the two of us. I’m thinking two pair of jeans, a pair of stretch sweats, several shirts, raincoat, done.”

“I’m thinking I am traveling to a foreign country and I want clean clothing and options.  I want to be prepared.”

“For what?”

“For whatever?”

“Won’t it be awesome to travel light and not worry about those things?”

“Won’t it be awesome to have something clean and appropriate to wear no matter what we encounter?”

“But if we check luggage, you know the airlines will probably lose our luggage, and we’ll be moving around so much it might be hard to catch up with us.  We won’t be tied down by anything this way.  And there will be extra baggage fees.  Let’s do this like we expect to plan a lot of future trips.  I really want to travel light.  We need to be flexible, not fashionable.”

“What if we need something nice?”

“For what?  It’s only you and me.  We’ve watched each other give birth, really, we’ve already seen the worst.”

About the Authors
Deborah Serra has been a sought-after screenwriter for twenty-five years having written for NBC, CBS, Sony, Lifetime, Fox, and others. She was a recipient of the 2012 Hawthornden Literary Fellowship. Her first novel was a semi-finalist for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Award given by the Faulkner Society in New Orleans, LA.

Nancy is a graduate of San Diego State University. She worked in medical sales before stepping away to raise her two children, at which point she became: Team Mom, Snack Mom, PTA member, Assistance League Volunteer, and the list is never-ending. Nancy was the editor and publisher of the Buffalo Hills Echo newsletter with a circulation of 1400. She also designed and managed her community website.

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