Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hotel Hazards

Here we are on the road and I woke up this morning and had a realization. I can't completely relax during this vacation.

Not until we get to our Sunday night destination and stop staying in overnight lodgings. You see, hotels and motels are a problem for the Van Winkles of the world.

I opened up my room door this morning and this is what I saw.

A USA Today at my feet. USA Todays up and down the hall way. A veritable USA Today news minefield.

I tiptoed around these visual temptations and made it safely to the elevator without glimpsing a headline.

Then the breakfast room assaulted me. Of course, there's an HD screen  blaring the morning news, weather, and road reports.

I was able to grab my much needed coffee and get out like a soldier who had wandered into no-man's land and somehow made it back to his trench without any bullets hitting him.

I did see the weather report numbers, which is all right since that's the kind of news that's personal and unavoidable. Also, because it didn't tell me anything I didn't know.

Straight 100+-degree F. days for the next five days. Absurd!

But the good news is that we're driving north today. We should start to see daily highs "only" in the mid-90s.

Is there a lesson or a moral in all this? Only that I haven't been on vacation in a while and a good feeling is starting to come back. It's one of shedding my known life and daily routine.

Now someone else is making the morning pot of coffee. Someone else is going to make our beds. Someone else is going to cook dinner every time we decide to eat out.

It's nice too that I don't have a bunch of clothing choices, only what's in my bag. No office to go to. Reading email? Let's just call that "optional."

And there's a different view outside each morning.

Sunrise over the hotel parking lot. Not Eden, but not the same old same old either...

The effect of being on vacation is that a little more of who I normally am falls off each hour as the wheels of the car keep rolling and my familiar world becomes just an accumulation of miles behind me.

Sometimes it's good not to be "me," even if for a while longer I can't get around the fact that I still have to be "Van Winkle." - V.W.


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