Dear Folks at HTC/Google/Sprint,
You’ve built a fine product, gang. Normally, my insides shrivel up and my body convulses at the sound of the word “product”, I hate it so. But, I truly and honestly don’t know what to call the four inch by two and half inch black device sitting next to me right now. It’s a phone, sure. But it’s also been a roadmap, a restaurant review guide, a computer, an electronic diary, a camera, and a way to connect with friends as far away as the other side of the country. I would not have been able to do this trip without it. Well, I would have, but I’d probably be sitting in a corn field in the middle of Iowa right now, lost, crying my eyes out, hungry, lonely, and with no way to take a picture of myself with the caption: “Vacation: Day 1”.
Dear Rooster’s Restaurant in Medford,
You guys are awesome. When I asked for an outlet to plug my laptop into, you graciously unplugged your nearest ceramic rooster lamp and allowed me access. Then you served me a delicious omelet and your waitress made sure to refresh my coffee at the edge of the table instead of inches from my screen. That sort of courtesy, plus your love of all things roostery and hand painted stuffed into every corner of your wood paneled dining room, is a rare and wonderful thing. May you outlive all the Applebees and may your kitsch never need dusting.
Dear Palm Cottages,
You are so lovely. You are like a doting grandmother standing at the side of the road with a tray of fresh baked cookies calling me to come in and rest a while. Rest I did, Palm Inn. Your beds are wonderful cinnamon-roll folds of cozy blankets and pillows. Your front desk is wonderfully helpful, your gardens are relaxing, your little red doors are charming. You even offer the weary traveler far from home a pillow menu. A pillow menu! Which is a good thing, because….
Dear Madonna Inn,
Thanks for agreeing to mail me back my pillow. It’s a weird thing to wake up in a cold sweat five hundred miles from where you slept last night and realize that you’ve left a pretty important part of your sleeping set-up in another city. For god’s sake. I can’t remember a damned thing anymore. Which reminds me….
Dear San Clemente Inn,
Thanks for agreeing to mail me back my book. Who the hell goes on vacation with a self help book about healing trauma? I do. And who then leaves that book in a hotel room and drives off without it? That would be me too. The irony of packing a book about getting over anxiety and then waking up in a cold, sweaty panic attack after realizing I’d left said book somewhere along Route 1 is not lost on me.
Dear Future Traveling Self,
Next time you pack for a vacation, you are not allowed to bring anything but the following: underwear, toothbrush, cell phone. Forget changes of clothes, toiletries, laptops, etc. Clearly you cannot seem to manage keeping track of anything else. For God’s sake, you almost left your phone on a paper towel dispenser in a roadside bathroom miles from anything. You know what? Forget the underwear and the toothbrush. Just bring your phone and a tether.