I'll be traveling again on business next week.
Four days this time. Far too long to be away from home. At least it's not too far this time.
And it's at the beach. But then, that doesn't matter. Because every waking minute of every single day--from 8AM until 10PM--I'll be in meetings. Meetings which I can't ditch.
As if it's not depressing enough, to have to spend almost an entire week away from home, they have to torture me by holding the meetings on a property with one of the most beautiful views in the whole nation. But I'LL be sitting inside, craning my neck, I'm sure, to try to see a wave or two break now and again, from the crowded conference room. And listening hard every time someone enters or leaves the room, trying to hear the surf and the seagulls and the wind blowing through the Cypress trees that line that part of the California coast.
To top it off, someone mentioned today that the property is "rustic." Rustic. I stayed in a rustic place once. A hotel at Disneyland, called the Grand Californian. Lovely place. I truly enjoyed it. But I had a sneaky suspicion that this rustic wasn't quite the same as that lovely, overpriced, Disney-Imagineered rustic. So I asked.
I was right.
In this case, rustic means: you're staying in a cabin (oh, by the way: it's double occupancy, so you'll be sharing a room with someone); the cabin has no outlets, no telephone, no Internet access and no television. On the other hand, they supply you with all the fish oil and polar bear skins that you need to keep the lamps lit all night and to keep warm.
OK; that part was a joke. They didn't say anything about fish oil and polar bear skins. I made that up.
They DID, though, reassure me--by pointing out that, although it's "rustic" the rooms DO have their own shower.
Let me ask you: is that really a selling pont? If you ask me, it's kind of a requirement. I'm wracking my brain here, but I can't think of a single place that I've stayed (and I've had to stay in some seedy places) that didn't have a shower in the room. Further, I can't think of a single one of those many places that were so short on positive attributes as selling points that they were reduced to saying, "In-Room Showers."
All-in-all, not entirely reassuring, particularly given that I DO NOT CAMP; I've NEVER roughed it, and I don't intend on starting.
So, no: this isn't "rustic", it's terrifying!
At least as I lie there, in my sleeping bag (late at night of course; my meeting didn't end until 10), shivering at being exposed to the frigid night air, and I realize that critters from the night have invaded our "rustic" lodge, and I call out (to no avail) to my silent roommate (who's been dragged away to a copse of Cypress trees by a Grizzly who sniffed him out because of a half-eaten Pop-Tart that he left on the ground), I can listen to the surf crash out somewhere in the dark.
I'm not prepared for this...