|lailemof||TARİX: ÇƏRŞƏNBƏ, 2014-11-05, 9:12 PM | Message # 1|
N. Mariana Islands
|Tourist Trapped |
Because I am poor and only had 48 hours, I headed a mere hour away to a tropical oasis known as covering the Cougar Convention. With cheap, clean rooms, free wifi and my own sunny balcony over looking the pool, I decided to pack some books, some high end toiletries and take myself on vacation.
Within an hour of leaving work in downtown San Francisco, I was in sunglasses and a straw hat, sitting by the pool reading The Monster of Florence and sipping a Diet Coke.
In the evening, I ran a quick errand down to Whole Foods, picked on some snacks, kicked back on my huge bed, watched Hairspray the Musical and promptly fell asleep.
In the morning, with my complimentary in room coffee and Whole Foods fruit salad, I debated my options. The Winchester Mystery House was as close as it was ever gonna be, Stanford University is just down the road and, I can't believe I considered this, I'd seen an advertisement for the Computer Museum.
But at dinner with my folks a few nights ago, my mother had planted a seed. <a href=http://www.outlet-canada-goose.com>canada goose jackets</a> "The Stanford Shopping Center is lovely."
She pulled her purse onto the table, dug around in there and eventually pulled out an array of retail coupons, handing over 30% off here and 20% off there. My mother is the queen of forced museum trips and cathedral tours. And suddenly, she was giving me permission to go to the mall.
It felt a little 'Mall of America' to destination shop, but turns out that's one of the best parts of traveling alone. No one else gets to suggest their stupid ideas. Your stupid ideas always win!
After a leisurely morning by the pool where, much to my offense and delight, a bunch of teenage boys playing Marco Polo called me a MILF, I donned my best Real Housewife shopping ensemble and followed my nose down El Camino Real untilthe clouds parted. The angels sang. At the Stanford Shopping Center Store Directory, I looked from side to side and pinched myself. Could it be? Was I really at the most fabulous <a href=http://www.canadagoosejacketoutlet.ca>canada goose jackets canada</a> mall in the world?
It's not so much the stores, which are great by the way. Any mall with Neiman Marcus AND Bloomingdale's as anchors are the work of a power higher than our mortal minds can comprehend. But this open air shopping pavilion actually looks like heaven. Dahlias exploded in front of J. Crew, butterflies genuflected before Burberry, little girls stood in appropriate awe at the massive silver doors of Tiffany and Co. I won't <a href=http://www.saclouisvuittonparis.org>louis vuitton sac</a> bore you with my shopping details, but I was there for six (6) perfect hours.
Returning to the hotel, I took a long shower, slapped some mud on my face, painted my toes and wondered what to do for dinner. Dining alone has always terrified me. But solo travelers eat alone all the time. Facing my fear, I headed across the hotel parking lot to Trader Vic's, a polynesian themed restaurant and bar that was host to the Cougar Convention which brought be down here in the first place.
I took a deep breath and said, "Table for one, please."
"In the lounge or the dining room?"
Oh God, I don't know. I decided to go for it. "In the dining room."
"Good choice." She smiled and led me to a low lit booth set for four. With great noise and arm flailing, a team of people cleared away three of the unnecessary place settings.
I imagined the hostess clinking a knife to a glass. <a href=http://www.saclouisvuittonparis.org>louis vuitton paris</a> "Excuse me, everyone! Eyeryone? This woman has no one to eat with. Please <a href=http://www.tiffanyjewelryoutlet.co.uk>tiffany and co uk</a> try not to stare."
Instead, she leaned forward and said, "I think it shows a lot of confidence to dine alone."
My server was very cute and very young. He kept calling me "Miss" and made very intense eye contact, which I gave right back. I sat for a solid hour and enjoyed some Javanese lamb thing until my coffee came, and which point the server placed down the bill.
"Can I get you anything else?" His eyes bore into mine.
The moment seemed like one of those moments Don Draper would've wordlessly left his room number inside the bill folder. And for a second, I weighed just how embarrassing it would be if I wrote down, "Room 204 and became the laughing stock of the kitchen as opposed to my goal of Mrs. Robinson.
But I am neither as suave as Don Draper, as confident as Mrs. Robinson nor as slutty as I'd like (to get around town.) I just left a really big tip.
Taking my time on Sunday, I read, I watched the Runaway Jury on TNT, and I went to the hotel's fitness center. Arriving to an empty gym, I took charge of the remote control and changed the gym TV to Themla and Louise. I hopped on a treadmill and marched away until a little old man joined me. He had on a t shirt and khaki pants and struggled a bit to get on the stationary bicycle next to me.
We did the obligatory nod and smile, and I went back to my cardio and my chick flick. The little old man was watching too, and I got a little nervous he was going to change the channel to something dumb. But he was perfectly happy, cycling along and watching the movie until all of a sudden, during the scene where Thelma and Louise blow up the creepy truck driver's oil tank, the old man yells out, "What is this supposed to be? Erotic?"
This, of course, brought up a big negative of traveling alone. There was no one with whom to shoot the side eyes.
I had no response to the gentleman's question and went about my workout trying to figure out how Thelma and Louise could make the decision they made in the final scene so quickly. I mean, wait a second, Thelma. Let's think about this. Hold on, Louise. Keep that foot on the break.
That was another down side to traveling alone. It's not as fun getting to hang <a href=http://www.tiffanyoutletblackfriday.org>cyber monday tiffany</a> out and watch 90s movies all day if you can't discuss them. For example, my cousin and I once lost an entire afternoon in Manhattan to The Life of David Gale and it's ensuing discussion.
As far as I'm concerned, the pros of traveling alone outweigh the cons. Sure there's no one with whom to analyze the finer points of Deep Impact, but you can go wherever you want, waste all the time that you have and entertain fantasies planted by years of basic cable hour long dramas. I, for one, will be doing this more often.
As I drove the 30 miles back to civilization, I passed by the airport. Instantly I pictured myself flying somewhere alone and glamorous, in a crisp cotton travel suit with one of those old fashioned round suitcases and huge sunglasses. Where I'd be off to, I have no idea. But I'm taking suggestions.
Beth Spotswood has posted weekly on the Culture Blog for over 3 years and still struggles when folks ask her to define "a blog." None the less, she posts all day long over at her desk in the CBS5 newsroom, editing and writing Eye on Blogs. You can follow her on Twitter or run into her in the real world, where she also exists.
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