Friday, March 18, 2016

Seven Weeks and No Longer Counting

The best part of traveling is often the people encountered along the way –

The Scottish couple, owners of a somewhat run-down motel purchased five years ago now transforming the place into a modern inn as a years-long renovation project nears completion…
 
Far more cactus
than people
in Big Bend.
A colorful collection of characters populating the Big Bend wilderness – retirees escaping northern winters and living in RV campsites along the Rio Grande - artists launching galleries and restoring abandoned miner’s huts – folks leaving fast-paced 21st century life for a laid back existence in the middle of nowhere, working in coffee shops and restaurants, guiding hikers into the backcountry and amateur mariners down the Rio Grande…

Memphis barbecue is all pork.
The retiree at the Dallas Arboretum driving visitors around the gardens in a tram and emphatically declaring he has the best (volunteer) job in the world…

The chef, deli owner and transplanted New Yorker escorting hub, me and a young Aussie on a four-hour culinary tour of Memphis…

The two beautiful twenty-something Hispanic sisters who recently opened a boutique hair salon, spa and airbnb…

My Mom’s friend, 98-years-young and still going strong…

And travelling along with us in spirit our esteemed governor. Where are you from? A common question posed by people we met. Mention New Jersey, eyes widen followed by, “So what do you think of Christie?” 

Everyone knows Christie. Although conducting a short-lived Presidential campaign, he definitely captivated people. When Christie endorsed Trump, the speculation began – What does Christie want? After all, he will be out of a job January 23, 2018. Vice President? Attorney General (he is a lawyer)? My guess: Supreme Court justice.
What devious rascals were the FBI haunting?
Every dog walker and
casual pedestrian
a suspect...
A challenge when settling into temporary digs became finding and signing on to the house Wifi. Our Nashville apartment offered a long list of nearby Wi-Fi’s. Two immediately caught my attention; one a password-protected site labeled FBI Surveillance Van, and the second a non-encrypted FBI Surveillance Van Guest site. Tempted to log onto the guest site, caution prevented me. I did not want the FBI knocking on the door. But I did stare out the window looking for vans, wondering which one belonged to the FBI and what they were doing. Monitoring a high-level drug dealer? Mob boss? Illegal immigrant or slave trade hideaway? Unlawful criminal activity?...The area seemed such a nice, quiet, unassuming residential neighborhood, but everyone passing by walking a dog or carrying a bag from the convenience store at the end of the block became suspect.
 
Which remote turns the TV on...which one
controls volume...channels...DVD...sound system...
An obstacle when settling into temporary accommodations revealed a lack of technological expertise and, if completely honest, suggests membership in a mature generation - figuring out how to turn on the TV, find programs and change channels.

An uncomplicated cable system operates our home TV. It costs too much and Comcast is renown for poor customer service, a fact verified by personal experience, but my mantra is if it ain’t broke to the point of uselessness, don’t make it worse…

Most airbnb apartments offered ROKU, Netflix, Dish, Apple TV and on and on it went;  “just hook up your computer to the TV” one young host advised. One place offered, in lieu of TV, a library of DVDs.

Learning the nuances of various appliances, finding basic kitchen utensils, opening cabinets and drawers in a frantic effort to locate toilet paper – these and other challenges added to the fun and occasional frustration of our travels.

Seven weeks after leaving home we returned. We now sit in our comfortable, familiar chairs, have no problem using the TV, washer and dryer, know where kitchen tools are located, and sleep restfully in our own bed. 

We are content to be home.

Until we hit the road again… 

3 comments:

  1. What a fine adventure you have had. I'm glad I got to tag along through your blog, and I also feel the same when I come home after a trip: glad I went and glad I'm home. :-)

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  2. It's fun to be on the road! It's also fun to be home. You know, it's not that uncommon for people to name their wireless fake FBI names, I've seen it and it always makes me laugh. We can rest assured that the real FBI would never have a name that identified them! Or would they....

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  3. You've put your finger on it: the best part of traveling is the people, the worst part, figuring out the electronics.

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