Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Travel Notes

I had a hard time getting out of the house on Friday. TBG had the cold from hell (Swine Flu? The sign at the airport listed all his symptoms.....) and decided not to risk his eardrums by flying. So, off I went, on my own, to visit the Big Cuter and San Francisco.

“Off I went” is a fairly sanguine (the same word two posts in 2 days.... uh oh.... am I in a verbiage rut?) description of my morning, however. Up at 6 to the sound of coughing, then a quick nap til 7 when the alarm reminded me that I had plants to water and bills to pay and patent medicines to arrange before I could say that I was on my way.

Late winter/early spring is my favorite time in the desert southwest. We've had lots of rain and seeing the wildflowers is on everyone's list of “what I'm doing this weekend.” Though I know that Marin will be beautiful and lush and green, I'm a little sad that I'm missing the California poppies which are blanketing Arizona's highways and byways. Knowing that they reseed and aren't particularly bothered by the heat reassures me that they will be there when I return next week, but there's a part of me which is anguishing. My freesia and hyacinth bulbs have shown half their blossoms and it is my vain but fervent hope that the rest last til I return on Thursday afternoon. The wildflowers I didn't spray with RoundUp are blue and healthy and covering the yard with smiles. Their un-sprayed companions are mucking up the view, but there was only so much time this morning, and murdering weeds didn't make the To Do List. I watered and dead-headed (pinching back the finished blooms to allow the plant to spend its energy growing new and healthy blossoms) and rescued the Adenium from its place in the too much sun and looked sorrowfully at the crepe myrtle which hasn't had its dried pods cut. This wasn't a priority since it hadn't started to leaf out by yesterday afternoon when I made my list. This morning, though, there are hundreds of green spots on the branches reminding me that growth spurts pay no attention to vacationing caretakers' schedules. Such is the lot of a gardener.

After tending to my babes, I brought in the papers and emptied the dishwasher and changed the bed linens so TBG could suffer in cleanliness. I tidied the bathrooms and replaced the towels and zipped my suitcase. Unzipped it several times as I found piles to be packed littering the living room and finally tossed it in the trunk. Returned to the house to grab my wallet and keys (how far did I think I'd get without them?) and made it as far as G'ma's pod castle before I realized I'd left my carry-on bag behind. U-turned and retrieved it. Got to the corner and went back to be sure the garage door had closed. Drove right past G'ma, forgetting to stop and kiss her goodbye. Debated making another U'ie but decided to take advantage of her lack of short term memory and kept on driving.

Passed the nail salon as I was examining my miserable manicure and decided to get to the airport 45 minutes early instead of 90 minutes early – a gesture toward maximizing my morning which I would come to rue upon arriving at Tucson International Airport. A note re: TIA: you can fly directly to Mexico, so I guess it deserves the fancy title even though it takes at least one change of plane to get to most major American cities from there these days. The line for those of us who'd used our own paper to print our boarding passes but needed to check our bags (for free – thank you Southwest for recognizing that people need to take stuff when they fly) stretched across the huge lobby from the counter to the doorway. There were two working kiosks and 3 working humans and I spent my time in line (on line? Where do you live and what do you say?) watching people walk to the front and try to use the machines. What did they think the rest of us were doing? Why did they think that they were so special that the front of the queue was their personal space? True, there were no signs or lane markers anywhere near the line to inform them, but somehow the rest of us had figured it out. People were anxious, but I had little sympathy for them. Arriving at the terminal 31 minutes before your flight is to take off (I saw her get out of the cab)is your issue, not mine.

Made it through security after following the government mandated sign about leaving Nellie the Netbook in her sleeve carrier, only to have the whole basket re-scanned because Nellie had nestled next to my boots and the TSA needed her to have her own little transportation basket through their machine. Of course, the government mandated sign had neglected to include that little tidbit of information, but who was I to argue with a 6'tall, 350 pound uniformed guard?

Got my boots back on, bought a delicious but over-priced tuna sandwich, and flew to Oakland in an aisle seat, close to the front of the plane. No more animal crackers as snacks on Southwest; of all the cutbacks this seems the cruelest. Somehow, I survived without them and, after collecting my suitcase and checking my directions with the lovely information lady, I took the AirBART bus to the train and arrived at the Big Cuter's apartment relatively unscathed.

He lives in The Tenderloin. Though that is a delicious cut of meat, it's not the most delicious part of town. Walking from my hotel to his apartment the next morning, I decided that being the only female not hawking her body on the sidewalk made me a fairly visible target. I retraced my steps, and found a more salubrious path to my son. We spent the day watching basketball and eating pizza and sharing laughs and hugs and rubs and smiles and deep thoughts about Plato and Law School and fantasy writers who take decades to complete a series. We did nothing and that was everything we needed to do.

I wore his gym shorts and a t-shirt when the sunshine turned his studio into a sauna and thought back to when I could shop for him by trying on the clothes myself. We were the same size then; now he's an adult and I'm still wearing his clothes. Certainly there must be a moral here..... I just can't find it.

Though I was far from my stuff and my sweetie back in Tucson, I had everything I needed right there in his apartment...... an internet connection, a comfy chair, sparkling water and the best boy in the world by my side. And the next day I got to do the same thing all over again.

Sometimes I am just the luckiest girl in the world.


  1. Remember M.L's comment about people who are OH SO important that they "cut in" whether it's the grocery regular line because they can't wait for their own "express line" or the last minute invaders at the highway entrance ramps?
    "Yup, just another example of FIGJAM" (!#&* I'm great just ask me).

  2. Oh, how true,--E. I am the woman in the car whose bumper is 1" from the car in front to prevent them from squeezing into my lane.... didn't they see the cones blocking their progress when I did????

    It's hard to be so perfect, isn't it?!?


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