Going Home

I’m sitting looking at the ocean.  Not the wrong ocean, just the “other” one, the one I’m not used to.  We’re on the last day of our sojourn in North and South Carolina.  It’s been rainy and overcast most of the time we’ve been here on the shore of the Atlantic.  And muggy.  Very muggy.

By the time you read this, we’ll be back home in Seattle.  After traveling for the better part of two months, this morning I’m thinking about some of my favorite and least favorite things about traveling.

First, I’m grateful to the guy who invented those curved curtain rods most hotels use for their showers these days.  (If you end up in a room with a straight shower curtain rod, you can pretty well count on the fact that you’ve landed in one of what Gordon Ramsey calls ‘Hotel Hell,’ one that hasn’t been updated since the hotel was built in the late forties.)

In that case it’s probably a good idea to check the cords on your bedside lamps, just to make sure they aren’t positioned behind the headboard and worn through to bare wire.  Fires in the  middle of the night are no fun.  Don’t ask me how I know this.  Well, go ahead and ask.  That was in 1986 in an “off-the-freeway” hotel in Redding, California, the only place that still had the vacancy sign lit when we pulled into town.  No, we weren’t doing anything bad when the fire started.  Bill simply tried to turn on his bedside lamp, and a plasma of flame shot out of the wall socket and into the mattress–immediately setting it on fire.  No one was hurt.  We moved to a different room where we checked the wiring FIRST before getting into bed and not getting much sleep.  I’m also happy to report that particular hotel is no longer in business.

But back to the shower curtain issue.  I hate rubbing my elbows on a cold wet shower curtain, and I’m sure the guy who invented the curved curtain rods felt the same way.  I’d like to thank him in person for fixing the problem, but so far I haven’t been able to figure out who he is.  Maybe one of my readers knows.  At any rate, I’ve really appreciated that the hotels on our travels have all featured curved shower rods.

Another problem I have with hotel showers has to do with height.  I’m over six feet.  Not as far over as some people.  One of the folks on our European adventure, was six nine.  But still, shower heads that come out of the wall at chin level make it tough for washing hair.  So do dropped ceilings in bathrooms that are so low that you scrape your knuckles when you’re shampooing or drying your hair.

And speaking of bathrooms, what’s this with putting a line of lights just over the mirror.  Lights shining down are NOT helpful when it comes time to put on makeup.  Not at all.

And then there are cross country flights.  I’m tall, and much of my tallness is in my legs.  My thighs are several inches longer than most people’s. Most of the time, having long thighs is good–especially when it comes to using laptops.  However, long thigh bones are not a good thing when it comes to commercial airlines. On our last cross country flight, we were seated in first class.  The four-foot ten lady in front of me immediately put her seat back all the way and kept it there for the duration.  Let’s just say I understand some of the folks who suffer from plane rage these days.  I feel their pain.

So now it’s time to pack up and head out.  I’ve missed Bella, our coffee machine, and our mattress in that order.

It’ll be good to get home.