Lessons Learned. Conclusions Drawn.
I’m in Seattle today; I’ll be back home on Maui tomorrow. I’ve been away for more than a month and traveling solo most of that time. I’ve scribbled notes most of the way. Here are some:
This pandemic is a problem. It has taken a lot of the fun out of travel. I can’t begin to estimate the hours I spent on this trip trying—sometimes desperately—to comply with constantly changing regulations which would have to be in perfect order when I arrive wherever I was going the next day.
Trouble in Washington. I literally came within minutes of missing my flight to London. As I was standing at the airline counter, the UK government website kept rejecting the on-line form I had to fill out before the airline would let me board. Finally, a young airline employee figured it out: My identifying code consisted of twelve numerals and letters. He tried substituting the letter “O” for the numeral “0”. Bingo! I made my flight, but was the very last person seated.
Ordinary people will help. You just have to ask! I got lost in Seattle trying to find a lab to give me a Covid test. A clerk in a drug store, left the store, walked me to the right bus stop, then waited with me so he could tell the driver where to let me off.
Don’t stiff the housekeepers. These folks are under tremendous pressure to get the hotel rooms clean and ready for the next guest. Tough job; low pay. Tip them!
Hire your own guides. In places of special significance, hire your own personal guide. Email ahead of time and tell them what you’re interested in seeing. Linger at sites that are particularly interesting. Have lunch with your guide. Ask questions.
Don’t tamper with perfection. Eggs Benedict is the perfect breakfast dish in its original form: Two haves of a lightly toasted English muffin. Add slices of Canadian bacon topped by carefully cooked poached eggs, covered with a generous amount of Hollandaise sauce (never some “inspired” variation), all garnished with a tiny sprig of parsley. Deviations are not to be tolerated.