There are advantages and disadvantages to traveling alone. I can go wherever I want when I want, can stop as many times as I like, and can even stop for fast food. Unfortunately, I don’t do any of these things. The trip is precision planned with a departure time that is usually non-negotiable; once in the car, I just want to get to my destination so try to do it with the fewest number of stops (poor Sydney!); and I never eat fast food anyway, so why would I now? So much for advantages. Disadvantages? First and foremost, if the trip is difficult I am alone; I am less likely to eat well and stay well-hydrated because it’s just easier; and the most important — once I reach wherever I’m staying, there is the feeling of being a third wheel. Why is this? When traveling as a couple, it didn’t feel like taking advantage or imposing, so why does it feel like that when traveling alone? I have no answer and probably should do some research to find out what the deeply rooted psychological reasons are. Or, maybe not — maybe just go with it and eventually it won’t feel like that! I prefer that strategy.
One disadvantage of being retired (on your own or otherwise) and visiting friends, is that everyone’s working so all of my get-togethers revolve around food — I’m not sure I can see everyone if food is involved — I absolutely cannot eat three big meals a day! I’ll have to go to the fitness center for sure when I get back to PA. In spite of this, I had a great lunch at Dog Et Al with Robin and will meet Kim and Roxanne for dinner at Kool Beanz tonight, something I’m very much looking forward to. Each time I call someone, they say — are you free for . . . . Whatever happened to “stop by the office,” or “let’s meet for coffee.” Tallahassee is still NOT a coffee shop culture.
It was a wonderful stay in Weaverville and Asheville. I finally got to see Biltmore House which is truly an American icon and is so amazing that I could never do it justice in words. It is something that must be experienced. So happy to have been and Lynda and I are planning to do the “behind the scenes” tour next time I visit. An odd thing happened to us that I’d like to share: When we entered the building, got our audio equipment, we were stopped by two men, one a photographer. “How many in your party?” the first man asked. “Two,” we replied and he instructed us to stand on a rubber mat together while the other man took our photo. “It’s kind of like the prom,” he said, “a souvenir photo at the end of your visit.” I found this a bit odd because it wasn’t by choice. You had to have the photo taken or were not allowed to visit the house. Lynda and I discussed the possibility that they were getting images of people in case something was stolen, defaced, or worse, destroyed. We did not think about it again until we were in the car on the way home. I realized that we were never offered a souvenir photo and it was never mentioned again. This reinforced my theory that there never was any intention of letting us buy a photo. It was a bit disconcerting and I’m not sure I like the practice one bit.
I left Weaverville yesterday morning after snowfall the night before. Much like Lords Valley where I live, the snow can be very local. After stressing about it, not sleeping, and worrying a lot, I left and a few minutes after leaving Weaverville, I was in good weather with no signs of snow. A sunny Sunday drive and 8 hours later I was in Tallahassee. What an odd feeling it was to drive into town after 9 months away. My first impression was that I had to remind myself of the awful drivers in Tallahassee and my second impression was that there’s a lot of home building going on so things must be pretty good. I happily arrived at Robin’s and John’s house and have settled in nicely. A quick visit to Jill’s annual Superbowl party and then back to watch the second half. The best comment of the night was when Melissa said that she was surprised at the number of people buying snacks and finger foods for Downton Abbey!! Ha!
Happy to be among good friends, happy to be in the warmth of Tallahassee (take that however you want to!), not unhappy to be traveling alone!