Solo Vacations

This is the third year of them, and I’ve had incredible luck. When I was trying to fly out to get to Fort Lauderdale the plane was on a weather delay. It was 81 in Miami with light showers and 96 on the tarmac while we were trying to take off in the plane. They had to wait 75-minutes for the engine to cool substantially and be in the “green zone.” (Note those were the pilot’s words and not mine and I didn’t find them comforting.) I ate late night sushi when I finally got to South Beach. That whole trip was amazing. There is a great botanical gardens in North Beach which was quite the find.

Can you believe this area is where the city compost pile is? I’m not kidding.

I saw Vulture Island, air boated the Everglades on a tour, saw tons of alligators and learned about the impact of exotic pets. I’m glad to have been there before salinity ruins them and the small mammals are all eaten by animals which don’t belong there. I had ample beach time and really good food. The latter was surprising because I’ve spent many, many days in Florida and have eaten some terrible and greasy fare. Southern Florida seems to have better food from my experience anyway.

I had the same type of weather pattern the following year when I went to Mount Desert Island. I was getting texts from friends about 100-degree days and was soaking up the 70s on a rented bike going through Bar Harbor and using the carriage roads in Acadia. I would go back there and spend two-weeks in a heartbeat. I can’t describe the beauty.

I took off on my bike when the ferry that I took at the base of my bed and breakfast on Southwest Harbor was secured. We spent a couple hours on the larger Cranberry Island and I did a solo hike too. This is the view from one of the rock beaches there. There are all kinds of different boats on the Maine Coast.

We had over five-and-a-half inches of rain last month, and meteorologists are saying June will be “soggy.” Totally fine with me. I don’t have a working cooler in my house right now and the company wanted 10K, which I am not doing, obviously. I can use the attic fan in the morning and then shut up my house when the storms and rain abate. I’ll get a cooler when I sell the house. Rain is forecasted here at home until June 14th. It’s incredible. It’s in the upper 70s and 80s in Portland, and over 90 when I get there. I’m so lucky. Who knew going to Portland would be going into summer?

I had made a whole bunch of Udon in my wok on Friday, so I took some over to my neighbors with the last Korean Beef Rib, a piece of fried Turkey Spam, and an egg over easy. So they brought over the roasted and seeded red pepper dip which is milled into a paste, and a goat cheese dip that has a bit of black pepper in it (This dip is great and new to me.) and the huge pitas from the Lebanese bakery last night. This breakfast alongside black coffee is the best one!

This dip is made with cream cheese and feta. It’s apparently Greek and you put some yogurt in it as well to get the consistency correct. (I already ate the two triangles of baklava. I can pretend it’s a special occasion. I don’t do any sugar unless it’s a holiday or I am away from home.)

Maryland is taking me to the airport on Tuesday morning. I’m giving him $40, coffee and a burrito. I already made the latter. I think that I’ll get a private shuttle to get home. I know that’s really expensive, but our airport is notorious for having Lyft and Uber drivers just not show at night from the airport. I don’t want to be there until 5:00 am when the trains start running again. That would be an awful way to end my vacation in Oregon.


That’s my current step count. It’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll get 75,000 today, but I want to get as many as I am able. I’m drinking coffee and waiting to walk the pups and then am meeting a friend of mine for lunch. She has a private practice–she’s not a public servant like I am–and always texts and says, “I’m free on Thursday.” I don’t quite understand how after we’ve known each other for 14-years how she doesn’t understand my ample vacation schedule, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. I just know that she won’t encode mid-August through the first days of June is my schedule for grad students and clients. Her knee is toast right now and she plays semi-professional pickleball, so we won’t be walking. I have improved my step count for March as it’s much higher than it was in January and more than February. The latter is surprising because February I was at convention and also had to walk 4-miles in the middle of the night one night when the trains were not running consistently.

She’s on her third and final marriage. She was also, like me, married to a man as a young person. She has a thirty-year-old and a 20-year-old. I like her wife. We three span 30-years, which is really weird to think about. I’m 48, my friend is 58, and her wife is 68.

I remember when she was 44 that we were smoking pot on her couch and I was thinking about kissing her. She probably chalked it up to my being stoned. I floated dating her for a year probably and never made moves. We have a long-term friendship. She isn’t the most consistent person in the world and I wind up leaving her many VMs and then she finally will make plans with me, and again, texts things like “I’m off on Monday.” I think that I see her once or twice a year.

I went out with a couple of colleagues last night and we all sang. One of the women is really, really good. It’s funny, but when someone is that good, I don’t sound as good. I’ll have to go out with them again and get over myself. I need to do that and also learn to dance. I’m going to call another studio today. I think that if I could be less stiff, I would be happier. Learning new things is good for everyone and especially good for me.

It’s dry and scary windy. I have to water my trees shortly, so they don’t perish. After lunch today I have to go get groceries. My colleague who almost died is away on convention in FL and I am taking care of her daughter. I need to prepare four meals and she is a big eater, so I have to get lots of food. I am prowling with my doctoral group on Saturday night and will take her to work before that. Sunday I will just unwind. It was a pretty fun week off of work, and I’m ready for the 8-week push until summer vacation!

Try it again

I did not have to use those simulated ice tools again. They let me simply climb. They started me on a 5.9 and the start was brutal. By the time I was 10-feet up, I was shaking. I told the instructor that it was way past my ability level. I have climbed 7 times TOTAL before, so I’m not good with mini edge pieces like this one:

You slide your foot sideways on it and are barely flat on the wall. I felt really good when the instructor who has climbed all over the nation said that the start was gnarly, and also said that it was a 5.11+ climb after she couldn’t get up it all the way. Sport climbing is pretty difficult actually. I want to get back on rock. I ought to be able to do that mid-April because the climber is so nice. I needed my pinky though and because I had bowled 6 games on Thursday, and my middle finger was a little swollen and it got more swollen climbing. I need to take really good care of my hands and joints if I want to get better at climbing. The top broken pinky joint feels mostly healed, but the bottom joint still looks a little dislocated and is pretty swollen. I’ll have the OT at work look at it again next week. No more boxing or dodgeball.

I lifted on Friday and on Sunday. I want to take my dogs hiking Wednesday. I would like to get my total steps up to 300,000 by Friday. I never quite track 10,000 per day, but always get way more heart points than is recommended. I’m only up to 174,368 steps, so I need 31,000 or so everyday for the remainder of the week. It’s doable. I have a walking lunch with a friend of mine on Friday and tomorrow I am having lunch at a colleague’s parents’ house.

I am going to karaoke with my doctoral group on Saturday. I’m going to bring the nice guy from work if he remembers. I guess that you can have friends join. The cardiologist’s friend from snowshoeing saw his picture and asked me to bring him. It’s at least slightly a prowl for me. I really want to increase my pool.

My Boss turns 40 on Sunday and is having a bash. I asked the climber, but she was noncommittal. She wasn’t rude, but has been pretty adamant lately about wanting to climb soon, and hasn’t said yes to anything else; although she thanked me for calling and inviting her to the party. She’s climbing and ice climbing for a week. We’re good though. She didn’t go to work last Monday and texted back and forth with her initiation that day. After kissing in the car when we commuted home together a couple of weeks ago today, I knew that she and I were good.

It’s so nice to not be working right now. I got all my tax stuff submitted to the accountant and now am waiting for a giant bill. I made over 131K last year, so I will pay in badly. I’m going to clean some stuff around the house too. I’m getting things done that I don’t have the bandwidth to do when I go into the office everyday.

My ex-mother-in-law texted me. She has a memory of just us eating dinner in a restaurant in NM. I don’t think it ever happened. We had breakfast with her boyfriend only, but I didn’t go to dinner with just her. I didn’t argue and recommended The Shed. I hope that she and her boyfriend like it. Neither one of us made it a thing. It was a little unsettling. I would never want ill-will between us and legitimately miss her and my ex-wife’s two sisters.

I get 9-weeks of vacation this summer. I’m going to go to OR. I’ve never been. I’m going to stay in Portland two nights and then I’m actually driving–I never do that–a couple of hours to Crater Lake. I will still rent a bike so I can do the 33-mile rim ride, but will have a car. I usually use my feet or rented cycles on solo vacations. I’m going to call two companies tomorrow morning before I go to lunch. I want to have a bike with me for a couple of days when I’m physically at Crater Lake Lodge. I’m also going to boat on a booked trip to Wizard Island. I’m looking forward to spring and summer!