So, I have graded, and turned grades in, and returned library books, and cleaned out various offices and workspaces, and made huge inroads into that stack of ILL books, and done various other end-of-year tidying things, and I have come to this grand conclusion:
I need to get the hell outta here.
It's this weird compulsion, this need to run away as soon as the quarter's over, and I have suffered from it since undergrad ---- a bad case of the stir-crazies, high-energy ADD-style jumpiness, and I just need to go. Usually, a week at my parents' in Ultimate Suburbia cures me of the travel-willies and makes me happy to be back here working and writing ---- as being bored out of one's mind while simultaneously being treated like a twelve-year-old tends to do. But this time I feel inspired; what if I actually went somewhere, besides my usual pilgrimage? Dissertation Buddy is going to Europe to give a conference paper and see her Long-Distance Love, which leaves me slightly envious (I am not touring Europe nor do I have a LDL, nor even an NDL. Sigh.) ---- and not only do I have to amuse myself while she's gone, but I've also been thinking about her travel philosophy vs. mine.
She will just travel places on her own, whereas I, for some reason, see travel ---- like eating out or going to the movies or special events ---- as something that must be justified by family or a significant other. But that means I sit around in my house being boring whenever I have no family or SO around. I should get out more and just do stuff; screw this waiting around for a special occasion or special person! (Note to self: hey idiot, if you left the house occasionally you might meet people and therefore find someone to travel with. Try it.)
So I think I want to go somewhere new and exciting, or at least new, before or after the parental visit. The question is: where?
I don't know, so I put it to my readers for a vote (no fair voting me off the island instead.). Can you think of someplace cool I could visit? For money and time reasons, let's say places within California, and not super expensive (sure I'd like a stay at the Westin Bonaventure a la Jameson, but that's not really in my price range, you know?). Any suggestions? Locations? Advice?
Oh, and I may be posting intermittently, or constantly, while I'm away. It depends on how bored I am and whether I can get to a computer without my mom going "What's that? What are you writing? How does that relate to your dissertation?" Sheesh thanks mom. Way to make me feel 12.
How about a trip up into the wine country? You could stay at one of the million gorgeous little B&Bs up there and just chill out and eat the good food. Or how about San Diego? Great Zoo and Sea World to say nothing of the beaches, etc. I know what you mean, though - I've never traveled alone unless I was doing research. But I do love to go see movies alone! You know who travels a lot on her own to super cool places is JB over at Academic Perfection!
If you like the idea of wine country, you might also try some of the less traveled ( and therefore somewhat less expensive) wine regions--Carmel, Santa Barbara, etc. Monterrey is a nice little place to visit for a short stint, too.
Sonoma and Napa are both nice, and as far as I can tell, restaurants there won't serve anything but a superb, California-style meal with fresh, local ingredients.
Santa Barbara is loads of fun. State Street is a scream between the world-class restaurants nestled among sex shops, surf shops and gift shops. The beach there is all open and public and Stearn's Wharf always amazes me that it can contain that many businesses over the Pacific Ocean. If you go there be sure to have the fish tacos at Don Pepe's and make a trip to La Super Rica Taqueria, which was Julia Child's favorite Mexican restaurant.
Just a little bit South, the Ventura/Camarillo is nice too not to mention less expensive. The Ventura harbor is really neat and you can have a "Works" burger at Duke's on the Beach.
At any rate, have fun in a big way.
I feel the same way when I visit the parents.
I really enjoyed San Fransisco, and there's plenty there to do by yourself.
So, wine and a beach seem to in a general way fulfill your varied suggestions. Excellent (tents fingers and whispers evilly).
Of course if I followed Eddie's advice I could do wine and some cliffs at that famous restaurant up in SF ---- the one where you can watch the sun set and the elephant seals sunning on the rocks. Hmmm.
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