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.