Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Reflections from the end of 2010

2010 has come and gone, at least in the here and now. In my mind, I haven't totally grasped the concept. The last few months of 2010 were a whirlwind, followed by a huge lull, exhaustion and finds me struggling somewhat successfully with a lack of motivation. I think my theme is forever tied to a Dicken's line (it was the best of times, it was the worst of times) as that is usually how it feels to me. To be honest, I have been beyond blest.

Back in November, I pondered the idea of making a trip to Virginia to see Mae's last U.S. show. I have had an online friend for sometime, who is also a big fan of Mae's, and she was driving from Ohio to the show. We had bantered back and forth on a few occasions about meeting at the Norva to see Mae play a home show, but always it was "someday". Someday came and I was forced to choose - to give up the idea entirely, and let it go, or head out to Virginia. I started looking up airline flights and was discouraged by the cost. I didn't really think I'd be going, but kept checking. I set up a test - if I could find a ticket for $250, I'd go. After a week or two, I found a ticket for $270 and tried to decide. I went back and forth for more than an hour. My memory suggests that I bought the ticket in the wee hours, but it must have been later in the a.m. or afternoon as I was called back to work shortly after I booked the flight. The cost of the tickets came up at $250, although by the time taxes and fees were added the total cost came to $312. I didn't even have a ticket to the show yet. I didn't have a place to stay. I could write an entire blog on how nothing about this trip was planned out in advance (as I normally would plan trips like this out and never book a room or flight without a ticket in hand) and how everything did in fact work out. One wrinkle in the plan was that I had to leave on Thanksgiving Day in order to get the great flight price. So I did plan Thanksgiving a Day early. My family was pretty understanding, or if they weren't, they didn't let on.

I was pretty much flying by the seat of my pants, so to speak, and I must say, just a little nervous about it. At the same time, I was really excited to meet Stephanie. I also contacted friends who live about an hour from Norfolk (where the venue is) and hoped to be able to visit with them. I was rather excited about that as well. :)

Between working, planning to attend several concerts, and work the concert on the
18th, and watching my granddaughter, most of November is a blur. November went by slowly and far too quickly all at once.

Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, my daughter, and her boyfriend, my granddaughter, and my husband and I had a nice turkey dinner with lots of trimmings. It was really odd to log into facebook with everyone talking about what they would be doing for Thanksgiving the next day after everyone had gone home, since truly seemed like Wednesday was the holiday and Thanksgiving had concluded.

But everything did work out from Thanksgiving dinner, cleaning up after, packing, transportation arrangements, and places to stay, sometimes last minute, but it all worked out perfectly.
My itinerary to Norfolk had one stopover, and both the flight from Salt Lake to Atlanta, and the flight from Atlanta to Norfolk left late, but arrived 10 minutes ahead of schedule. I was quite concerned about any delays since the flights were timed pretty close together. An although, it was a bit of a hike from one terminal to the other, I made it in time to use the restroom and grab a sandwich.

I was able to stay at a hotel very near the concert venue on Thanksgiving, and there was even a place across the street open where I could have a grilled chicken sandwich. The service wasn't too good, but at least I had dinner. There Tazewell was also near a huge 3 story mall and within walking distance was a nautical museum and the USS Wisconsin, so there was a lot to do for the 3 days I was to be in Norfolk. I still had no idea where I was staying for certain since I hadn't heard back with confirmation from my friends yet.

So I made it to Norfolk in one piece without a hitch, with a room ready and waiting. The transportation I arranged in advance was simple and everything went smoothly getting to the hotel. The hotel staff was amazing and very accomodating.
I asked about an internet cafe, and it turned out they had a business center which was basically a small room with a computer. The computer was not terribly speedy and I had to laugh because it actually had a floppy drive. I still have floppy disks, but I haven't seen a floppy drive in a while. The hotel definitely was older, but also very nice. My room was on the 4th floor, and the elevater doors were mirrors, so you had to look twice to see it was the elevator. It was also quite tiny.

It was Thursday, I would be alone until late Friday night. IT was eerily quiet, but I was completely exhausted since I had almost no sleep before my journey. I took photos of the room, from the room, and self portraits in the mirror, had dinner across the street, worked a few crosswords, turned on the television; and went to sleep really early. The bed was very comfortable.

End, pt. 1

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