Saturday, May 3, 2014

Hitting the road: Clinging desperately to my last hours in the Eastern Time Zone

I’m not a man who likes to do things.
                Usually I’m at my happiest when I’m sitting around the house, doing as close to nothing as is biologically possible without crossing over into being dead.
                It’s not exciting, but considering half of the posts on this blog are about people’s bathroom habits that annoy me, I’d say the fact that I’m not an exciting person should’ve been abundantly clear to you by this point.
                If not, um, surprise?
                Despite my deeply-entrenched homebody tendencies, the company I work for insists on sending me on yearly business trips to far-flung, exotic locations.
                I try to make the best of these situations and find something to do while I’m gone. I mean, I might as well make the time away from my beloved couch go as quickly as possible.  
                That wasn’t the case at all during my first trip. That year, I flew to Pittsburgh.
                No, as far as I know, there’s no Pittsburgh, Hawaii. I went to Pittsburgh, PA.
                The fun thing about flying to Pittsburgh from my present location is that it’s about a 45 minute flight. I spent probably twice as much time lounging around the airport, waiting to board the plane, as I actually did in the air.
                And that was literally the only fun thing about Pittsburgh. At least in my experience. I’m sure it’s a great town, but I was totally out of my element that year. I’d never traveled anywhere alone before and I was not comfortable at all. I spent very nearly the entire trip locked in my hotel room.
                Also, you know, it was raining a lot and stuff, and that totally played a significant part in my descent into the hermit life.

                The year after that, I got to do some actual interstate state. And plenty of it. All the way to Anaheim. And as far as I know, there’s no Anaheim in New Jersey or Delaware, we’re talking Anaheim, California.
                That was a hell of a trip. I got drunk in Downtown, aka Adult-but-not-in-THAT-way Disney, watched at a bar while the nearly hometown Los Angeles Kings won a playoff game, saw a lady dressed up like Snow White and a statue of Woody and Buzz from “Toy Story” made entirely of Legos.
                Hell of a trip.
                Then last year, I went to Indianapolis.
                I wandered around, got drunk in a local watering hole, found a mall that existed in the crosswalk between two buildings. It wasn’t bad. It was no Anaheim though, which is sadly what I think Indianapolis has on its town seal.
                 This year, I’m on my way to a resort town in Texas, which I’m not looking forward to. I’ve got nothing against Texas, nothing beyond the fact that very nearly everyone with any sort of name recognition from that state seems to be completely f’n crazy.
                It’s really the resort town part that’s bumping me. It sounds way too much like me being stuck in a hotel room, watching the seconds tick away until I can come home.
Call me old-fashioned, but the only resort I’m really interested in is Disney World. Beyond that, if I’m going to go to a place, I’d prefer to experience that place, warts (homeless people and rowdy teens) and all, not some safe, plastic-y imitation of that place.
                A cursory Google-mapping of the area around where I’m staying informed that there’s not exactly a ton to do once you leave the resort grounds, unless you’ve got a car, which I won’t.
The closest restaurant to my location, other than the ones actually in the resort, would take about an hour or so to walk to. I like a good wander as much as the next guy, but even I draw the line somewhere.  
                But I will go and try to enjoy myself.
Maybe I’ll spend a little time sitting with cucumbers over my eyes, while a team of experts sharpen and shape my finger and toenails to perfection. I assume this is mandatory when you go to a place with the word resort in the name.
                I learned to like corn, maybe I’ll learn to like manicures and pedicures. The point is people change. Maybe by the time the trip is over, resort-living will be the only thing I accept as reality and I will fight, fight to stay in it’s safe and artificial embrace for as long as possible.
                Or maybe I’ll just be spending the better part of the next week bored in the Central time zone.
                As they say in the trailer for “Freddy vs. Jason,” but thankfully not anywhere in the actual movie, which is a shocking bit of restraint when you really think about it: “Place your bets.”

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