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Going places: November edition

I’m writing this installment of Going places from home on a Sunday evening. That’s a bit unusual.

My typical Sunday evening is spent with my wife and my parents, who have us over for dinner regularly. Today, however, my wife is in Chicago, and my parents are in Key West. It seems like everyone is traveling but me. Hmm. I had an early dinner of leftovers from yesterday’s breakfast, I have laundry in the machine, and I suspect one or more beers will be incorporated into my evening plans, probably before I finish this missive. Life is good.

Before moving on to where I’m going, let’s have a brief review of where I’ve been.

October: A week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. This trip is in the books, and if you follow this blog regularly, you’ve already read several posts about Puerto Vallarta, with perhaps a few more forthcoming.

If I could sum up the trip in one word, the word would have to be muggy. We had a great time, much more relaxed than our typical travels. When you live in Phoenix, it doesn’t make much sense to describe another place as hot, but the weather in Puerto Vallarta was quite humid. I began sweating the moment we left the airport in Mexico and stopped when I was back in Arizona.

I’m not complaining. We knew what we were getting into. We wanted to travel that week because it was our wedding anniversary, but we knew it was the tail end of the rainy season there.

Then there was Hurricane Jova. It had the potential to ruin our trip. However, the rain, winds, and cloud cover generated by the hurricane had the effect of making the weather somewhat more tolerable. Considering how steamy it was when the sun was out, we were grateful for four days of a threatening tropical storm.

Our resort was interesting. Other than the inescapable timeshare salesmen, who gave up on us after a couple days, it was quite nice. We ended up with the room as a gift from a friend’s parents who bought a timeshare thirteen years ago and have never, ever used it. They were grateful to have someone use it, and we were grateful to have a free room for a week. The resort had several restaurants. The two we tried were not worth writing home about. The room was an efficiency, so we bought groceries and made many of our own meals. The rest of our meals were eaten elsewhere.

The resort offered an all-inclusive option to its guests. It was $75 per day per guest, and you could only take the option for three days or more. I’m pretty sure if you added up all the food and beer we ate and drank the whole week, it wouldn’t come to $450. Despite what I thought was an awfully high price tag, we were nearly the only ones at the resort who were not on the all-inclusive option. Kathryn and I are used to traveling places where we are among the chubbiest people in sight. At this resort, we were among the healthiest. There was a group of four obese guys who spent every hour of every day in the pool, having food and beer brought to the edge of the pool for them, nonstop. It was disturbing. I have a feeling Homer Simpson knows what Hell would be like for these guys.

All in all, though, we would go back to Mexico and to Puerto Vallarta. With all the choices of places to go, that itself is the highest endorsement one could give.

Now, then, let’s move on to what’s coming up.

November: Four days in Virginia. It’s hard to believe this trip is already almost here. We’re arriving in Richmond next Saturday and will spend three nights there. We’re going to do a day trip to Charlottesville on Sunday and to Williamsburg on Monday. Or the other way around. We’re going to check out some of the Civil War history in Richmond. I’m going to reminisce over some of the food I used to enjoy while living there. And, yes, I will probably enjoy one or more Legend Brown Ales during my stay. It’s only fair.

The airfare to Virginia was quite reasonable, so Kathryn talked me into a splurge on the hotel. We’ll be staying at the swanky Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. I’ve only been there once for a fancy-pants corporate Christmas party. Maybe we’ll get to see a debutante ball while we’re there. Or are those in the spring? Anyway, they may decide to give us our money back after they see how we dress, so we may end up at the Motel 6 by the airport.

I’m looking forward to the visit. I haven’t been to Virginia since I left with my head hung low in 2004. It’ll be like a trip to Massachusetts where I grew up, in the sense that I loved living there, but it’s not home anymore. For Kathryn, it’ll be a chance to see some of the places I’ve talked about for so many years, places that were a part of my life before I was a part of hers.

December: The weekend before Christmas in Las Vegas. This trip is on. I’ve booked two nights at The Orleans, which is all I really need to do, since we’re going to drive there. Our room rate is so low that our two nights with tax and resort fees doesn’t quite break into triple digits. I just need to figure out how much I’m going to lose at the craps table. The casino will figure out how quickly.

Next year: Plans are still on hold. We have a lot on our plate right now, so we’ll cross that bridge later.

Like last month, I’d like to ask anyone who might be in or near our path on our travels to please let us know. Also, if you haven’t signed up for the blog’s mailing list, please sign up right now! Seriously. Or at least like the Pilgrimito page on Facebook. Either will make me smile.

Thanks for reading!