Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Riding the Waves....Washington

Fluid.....I keep saying my plans are fluid. Morphing and changing with ease, like the blobs in a lava lamp. Note, however, that I said my plans were fluid....not me. I have found myself frustrated, angry and sometimes in somewhat of a panic when my 'plans' don't go as....well, planned. Let's just say these situations have created some waves, and I have had some challenges in riding them gracefully.

After a series of frustrating mishaps on Saturday, I found myself holed up in a fleabag motel with an non-functioning phone. I supposed to have met Karen and Rhonda and been on my way to Whidby Island; I was supposed to have a phone that worked....I had just paid to have that done; I was supposed to riding Lopez Island tomorrow. But instead, here I was, in the Sunset Motor Inn, a down and out motel, where one is regularly serenaded by police sirens...and lucky to have a room. The entire inventory of hotel rooms north, south and in Seattle, were sold out due to concerts, fairs, soccer tournaments, an Ironman race and who knows whatelse. I only go this room because it was 6 pm and the reservation was released. Aahh--somewhere to sleep tonight. I had been worried that I might have to sleep in the car. I was grateful for the room, but still angry that all my plans...my 'fluid' plans.... had been cancelled.  I had to go back into Seattle tomorrow morning to get whatever was done to my IPhone reversed.  I needed a functioning phone, and it couldn't wait.  Once I leave Seattle, there may be no other opportunity for repair.

While trying to contact Rhonda and Karen, and while trying to locate someplace to sleep, I kept using my phone, only to have it reboot in the middle of a conversation. It was now rebooting itself every couple of minutes. The phone was useless, and I felt helpless as that lifeline to the world disintegrated. I had not realized how much I depended on it; it contained all my contact information. Who carries an address book anymore--it's all on our cellphones. I couldn't research and find hotels in the area, or call them to inquire about vacancies--the phone didn't work. Instead, I had to do it the old fashioned way--look for one and stop and ask. I was getting in quite a panic when one hotel after another said 'sorry' and told me I would have to travel as far as 50 miles north to find a vacancy somewhere. Nonetheless, luck prevailed...I had a roof over my head, even if the surroundings outside were questionable.

About 10 pm that night, I was reading, with my curtains drawn and door deadbolted; someone knocked on the door. I sat there frozen, not making a sound, pretending I wasn't there. The person went away. Twenty minutes later, the footsteps returned; another knock...again I played possum. It happened a third time....I was really getting nervous, and shouted 'Go away', and the mysterious visitor did after rattling the door knob.

As I sat there looking around the room for something to shove in front of the door, the room phone rang. Tentatively, I answered.

"Ms Hersman?"
"This is the front desk. The man in the room next to you is trying to get a hold of you."
"He gave up and came here. You left your room key hanging in the lock and he was worried about you. He took it out and brought down here. I'll bring it up to you."
"Okay. Thank you."

I felt about two inches tall..... I had made a decision based on my assumptions about the area.  Would I have made the same decision not to answer the door if I had been in a nice hotel in a nice suburb?  Probably....

But I still felt like an idiot.

Fields of lavender in Sequim, WA, the Lavender Capitol of the World
Space Needle
On an old building in Edison, WA
Giant maze by the Space Needle
20 foot tower made of guitars
Memorial to a fallen cyclist in downtown Seattle.  Bicycling is crazy and dangerous there,
even though there are bike lanes

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