Wow. What a trip! (Literally and figuratively). I think I can safely say that it was both a successful trip and a fun trip! The easiest thing to do would be to lay it out for you as I did in my journal (and this will feed into my recovery program). My sponsor called me while I was there the first night and marginally freaking out, so her timing was good. Here’s how it went, but let me FIRST state that I took a break from all calls, email, blogging from Tuesday through Friday (May 1 – May 4):
My Adventures in San Francisco
Flew Albuquerque to Phoenix and my BFF met me at the Sky Harbor airport since she lives there and I went outside with her and we chatted for thirty minutes. Great visit however brief and I ran to catch my connecting flight which was on final boarding. Her granddaughter who is a baby of ten months has cancer and the news there was not good, so…prayers please from those of you who do, otherwise positive thoughts!
Arrived Frisco airport and struggled to get luggage (remember I told you I thought I overpacked? I totally did) to rental car desk, then to car itself (chose a small Ford SUV thingy which had a lot of power!). Bought a phone charger for the car at the desk (these people are smart -smarter than this unprepared traveler was). The Mapquest lady pissed me off as she kept changing the route and the traffic was a nightmare!
Checked into the Marriott Marquis, a Russian woman checked me in –Godshot or message from my babe (who was Russian-American)? Trader Joe’s across the street and an empty refrigerator in my room (hey we all can’t afford room service at a place like that). Went shopping at the Ross next door (it was cold and windy and this idiot thought “California? Warm and sunny!”), so in searching for a light jacket or sweater I found a sweet, gold Michael Kors windbreaker/light raincoat for an excellent price. I figured that would be my one purchase treat for the trip, and boy did it come in handy! I wore it the whole time!!!
Best thing about that hotel was that the bed was amazingly comfortable and soft and I didn’t want to get out of it! I went to the Concierge desk to ask directions to the Mall that my late husband had taken me to on our honeymoon and ended up sharing the story with Judy. She later sent a 3-tiered box of chocolates, dried fruits and nuts to my room with the sweetest hand-written card of encouragement for me to get closure. The healing had already begun. (She must have told the others because EVERYONE THERE took GREAT CARE OF ME!). More later on how. I was feeling sad but didn’t want to be triggered so I found the nearest NA meeting and took a taxi to it and back (Uber would have been cheaper, but it was a last minute decision to make it there on time). I got to the meeting even ten minutes early and the chairperson was a wonderful transgender named Gail who asked me to be her guest speaker -and I accepted and led the meeting. I met amazing people in the rooms just like at home. Reminder that everyone has a different story but the same problem which unites us all. I chose “trust” as a topic.
Found my way back and located a Starbuck’s around the corner for the next morning’s coffee. Went to my Project Management class and the teacher was pretty phenomenal. She made the course interesting and fun, which is not always easy with that topic. Having been a teacher myself, I brought something special to it too I think. I think I drew the students out more. Hopefully I wasn’t too annoying as a participant. Thursday night I went to the mall and just window shopped at the Norstrom’s. The memory is that he (my spouse) took me there and bought me a new formal dress, sent me to get my hair done there and then took me by limousine to see Phantom of the Opera at a local theater. The music is something we loved together. I still have the dress (but it doesn’t fit sadly). Later after the show he had taken me out for a nice dinner but I couldn’t remember where –I think it was Chinatown, so I just decided to treat myself to a very nice dinner at a steakhouse called John’s. Excellent food -especially the grilled prawns, the hollandaise (which I can make myself) and the fresh-baked sourdough bread. I walked a lot after dinner and watched the people, the homeless (so many), the crazies (even more), and the street performers (one Michael Jackson impersonator was awesome!). It felt good to be alive and grateful for my many blessings.
Friday Judy got me a nice late checkout so after class I could take my luggage to the bell stand and leave it there until the class ended at 4:30. Instead though, I told the bell captain that I wanted to go to the Wharf and asked him to get my vehicle. He said not to that it was unsafe and for me to leave my luggage and vehicle with them (no additional charges!), and to take the cablecar for experience. I walked several blocks and bought my tickets and rode all the way down to the wharf and then just went exploring like a regular tourist –in a sea full of people –tourists, locals, performers. I found the restaurant that I think we went to back then. I decided to keep going and bought myself an overpriced long-sleeved shirt that says San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf on it. Then I saw a tie-dyed sweatshirt that I liked even better and bought that too, along with a little toy cablecar for my office. I treated myself to an even fancier dinner at a restaurant right on the bay, where I could sit by the windows and watch the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge. Afterwards, the wind picked up and it got really cold! I am glad I bought the shirt and the hoodie as I put them both on standing in line for the cablecar back and realizing how late it was and worrying about getting back, getting my stuff and car and getting across town to a hotel by the airport!
Oh and to make things even more exciting, my cell phone died just after I got to the Wharf. But I met some really cool people riding the cablecar. Anyway, when I got back, a new guy helped me charge my phone at the concierge desk until I had enough battery to go (28%). Made my way with relative ease and speed to the hotel airport. My BFF had bought me an extra night to allow me to run down to Monterey and get my final closure there. Unfortunately, I must have been exhausted because the next thing I know, someone is banging on the hotel room door saying it’s past checkout time and I guess I overslept. Rather than being disappointed, I took it as a sign that it was not meant to happen, took my time to get to the airport.
I flew back through Las Vegas. Decided I wanted to smoke, and went to the lounge for smoking which of course has slot machines. Now I was naughty. I put $20 in the machine while smoking and hit a jackpot for $151! I cashed it out, and decided to have one more. So I put in another $20. Hit another jackpot for $88! Decided not to press my luck, cashed out and went to wait for my flight. Did puzzles all the way home, drove home from the airport and got home late. Unpacked everything and decided to take a long, long, hot bubble bath. Went to bed at 2 in the morning. Only bad thing was I lost an item on the plane from Las Vegas to Albuquerque. Oh well.
The craziest part of this, was that I was looking for some kind of a sign that I had closure. I said I went to wait for my last flight. Something caught my stare. A young man who was definitely a doppleganger for my late husband only younger. I couldn’t stop staring and I certainly couldn’t breathe. I just sat there, exhaling loudly and staring at this young man. My mind was saying “no, really?” and my heart was saying – thank you my love and goodbye. I am crying now as I write this last part, but really –the WHOLE THING was a HEALING EXPERIENCE IN LETTING GO. He would have loved every part of this trip.
Peace, love and blessings….