Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another country

After many hours of flying today, I checked in this evening to the Safety Harbor Resort and Spa. Safety Harbor is an old and chic village in Clearwater, FL. The high humidity, the high temperatures (90 when I arrived at 6), the palm trees, the flat landscape, the water, the old money...It's a lot like the Bahamas, which I visited once decades ago.

The flights were easier than I'd anticipated. I slept a little, worked a little, chatted with my seat mate, a former female detective from Anchorage who now is a psychologist for the VA, and we got to Houston. I spent an hour there, spilling egg salad all over one of my three outfits (the one I had on), cleaning that up (not too successfully), and then boarded another plane. The forecasted thunderstorms were not over Tampa so our flight was smooth. The shuttle bus from the resort was there almost immediately so I didn't have to gasp in the steambath-like atmosphere very long. It was amazingly hot and wet air going into my lungs, amazing, and such a shock from rainy, cool Portland this morning and then the cool mechanical environment of airports.

My room is deluxe. Big enough for a party, swanky linens, a little balcony, and a nice view of Tampa Bay and the lights. I feel like a princess.

I reconnected with my three favorite people from Minneapolis and met some new ones and begged off and had dinner alone and am now trying to decide how I can trick my body into believing it's bed time, when it's 6:45 there and 9:45 here and I need to be up at a reasonable time.

I survived several hurdles today: The seatbelt fit. When I flew last spring at my highest weight, I begged off sitting in the seat by the exit windows even with more leg room because I couldn't fit the seat belt. Fortunately the aisle seat was a little bigger. When I flew to Minneapolis, the seat belt fit and I was tempted to fly Delta again for that single reason. But then I took my chances on Continental and the seat belt fit.

I also had to do a lot of things that were unfamiliar to me. Strange airports, use my cell phone several times. I know how to use my cell phone, of course, but I don't do it often, and so it wasn't routine. And I had to navigate a lot of stuff with strangers, that too takes me out of my comfort zone.

There is a gorgeous pool here but it's not open in the evening, unfortunately, when I'd have time to use it. I'll see.

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