01 January 2009

Thankfulness x1000 miles

I love to travel. It delights me to wake up somewhere else, no matter where it is. I especially love hotels. I know half the world is freaked out about the germs on hotel bedspreads and remote controls, but I'm not. As long as the room looks clean, I can settle in and relax in a way that I can nowhere else on earth.

A hotel room is a blank slate, a place where I can kick back and enjoy goofing off with no responsibilities and no demands.

It has always been that way. When I was a little kid, I saved and saved my money. When my birthday rolled around and I got a few checks from aunts and grandparents, I could finally tell my mom what I wanted to spend the money on: a night in a hotel in the nearest tourist town with my best friend Marcy.

I think I was nine, and I remember how shocked I was when my mom said "no." I had already planned how much fun we were going to have bouncing on the double beds and going to the swimming pool by our 9-year-old selves. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with the idea of two unaccompanied children spending the night on their own in a motel.

For the week between Christmas and the New Year, I took a thousand-mile road trip. I first went to my old town, San Luis Obispo, then saw my nephew in Santa Rosa, went to Sacramento to see both blogging friends and old IRL friends, travelled back south to spend a really quiet New Year's Eve with my brother in Coalinga, then back home today.

I have never been filled with so much gratitude for my many blessings. I have a job that gives me paid vacation and allows me to afford to travel a bit. I have a car that could make the trip. I live in a gorgeous state that is lush and green with winter growth. I am healthy enough to travel. I have parents who love to take care of my dog. I have friends and family who want to see me. All of those things added up to a journey that reminded me, mile by mile, of how fortunate I am.

I saw: my sister Paula and her family; my college roommate Stacy and my old friend and ex-boss and supergenius Brian Lawler; pals Curt and Gael and their Airedale Gracie; nephew Lyal and his dear 4-year-old daughter Bethany; Suzanne and Husband and Count Mockula and Zadie (with a special guest appearance by Monkeygirl); my former love and longtime friend Joe; and my sweet brother Al. I talked my mouth off.

There are many, many details (photos, mostly of things not people, are over at Flickr but I am tired and just glad to be home and in my jammies. I had a great time, and I wish you a wonderful, fun 2009.


Count Mockula said...

I can't tell you how delighted I am that you took some of your vacation time to spend with us.

Glennis said...

What a nice way to affirm your thankfulness. It sounds like a wonderful trip, wonderful get-togethers. Full of joy.

I, too love hotels - and I'm very discerning about them. I used to travel for a living and stayed in hotels 3-5 days at a time for 6 months or so. I really love someof the older, renovated hotels back east, like the Biltmore in Providence, or the Bellevue in Philly.

Anonymous said...

This year I vow to meet more people and do it unafraid. You are my shirpa/mentor here. Don't fail me.

mar said...

if you ever want to come to iowa, you are plenty welcome.
(i also love hotels, but try not to think about ickiness-like the night i spent in a hotel by myself chilling out to the history channel & found a couple hard-shelled weevil bugs stuck to the comforter-bleh!)

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Sounds like a wonderful way to start the new year!!

Thankfulness is wonderful!! Your friends and family are blessed to have you too!!


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great time. I love to travel, too. I just don't do enough of it.

Happy New Year, Suebob!

Kaylia Metcalfe said...

I am so with you... traveling is one of the best things ever. It helps to be going somewhere nifty, but The Man and I take day trips or one night stay overs all over CA and they just rock.

Yay for traveling... and yay for IRL friends and families!

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

Ditto about staying in a hotel. One of my favorite things evah.

I love road trips too, and I especially love road trips in California. When my husband gets an assignment to go anywhere in California, I call it a "California Wonderland" job. This state is just incredible.

And how lovely to spend this time of the year with family and friends. I'm off to Flickr to see more!

Swistle said...

Okay, so I thought you were basically gone, not that I called or brought chicken noodle soup or ANYTHING so some friend I am. But then suddenly in my Reader, TWELVE new posts from you. So you were NOT gone, my Reader was just on CRACK.

SUEB0B said...

Swistle - wasn't you, it was my feed was broken. LeahPeah's darling husband Joe helped me to fix it.

Project Christopher said...

I travel a lot for work and while I wouldn't want to travel so much that I fall into the "living out of a suitcase", I do enjoy staying in hotels too. I get to spend time in a "home" that's more nicely decorated than mine; there's good TV to fall asleep to and usually a tub and/or shower that's big enough for me not to feel cramped.
One aspect that friends (and often the hotel staff) can't understand is that I don't want maid service every day. I'm kindof a private person in my own space and having it cleaned every day seems a bit much for me. If I'm in a hotel for 4 days, I'm going to use one towel the entire time. I sleep on one side of the bed and don't toss/turn enough to warrant perfectly remaking the bed. It's a home away from home and since I don't have a maid at home at all, there's no need to have daily service somewhere else.

I can feel your pleasure!

Suzanne said...

I second Count Mockula's point, and raise it: thanks for showing us around your hometown and treating us to the best tacos and guacamole we had the whole trip.

Suzanne said...

Oh, and I love hotels, too. They just seem so decadent.

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