My mother convinced me that if I called fancy hotels at the last minute or merely showed up, I'd get some magical deal costing me mere pennies. Try as I might, The Ritz at Half Moon Bay was having none of it. Finally, I phoned up the Half Moon Bay Inn and after making friends with Jamie at the front desk, I got a room till Monday for, well, not mere pennies but pretty goddamn cheap.
A little nervous to wander off for a weekend by myself, I hopped in Rhonda the Honda, swinging by a convenience store for caffeine/nicotine. Lo and behold, the had Fresca. Fresca! I love Fresca. Back in the car, "Freedom 90" came on the radio.
"This is a good sign" I said aloud, wondering if tomorrow I might muster the courage to go whale watching by myself. Cruising down the coast, Devine called.
When I explained that Mel couldn't join me because she had to be back by Sunday night, he lamented that he would've driven down tomorrow, gone whale watching with us and taken Mel home.
Shit. But maybe they'd come down for the day. He planned to call the crew.
None the less, I was off. "If you guys want to come down, cool. No big deal. I'm a liver of life! I'm going with the flow!" I checked into my lovely hotel room, plopped my laptown down on the big fluffy comforter facing a flat screen and noticed that construction was loudly under way downstairs.
Hmmm, maybe this explained my cheap room.
But I'm not here to watch Braveheart in a hotel room, scented-candle cute as it might be. Pleased I thought to bring my canvas tote bag, I grabbed a $2.50 deli sandwich and an Honest Tea and headed to the beach, where it costs $7 to park. I parked myself in what I deemed to be a relatively isolated spot. Today's gorgeous so the beach was pretty full but I managed to find a clear spot past a bluff with a tent on it. I sat with my iPod and book, built a sand shrine (it can't be called a castle, I'm afraid) and sat on the beach for a good two hours. It occurred to me that collecting seagull feathers is a lot like collecting toe nails. When you think about it, it's pretty fucking gross.
That aside, I have to admit, I was pretty goddamned pleased. A year ago, I would not have wandered off for a weekend in Half Moon Bay by myself, and certainly not without the promise of holing myself up in a hotel room with a case of Skyy and some HBO. I watched the surfers and joggers and kites and thought, "Not bad, Spotswood."
Meanwhile, back in civilization, plans were afoot.
My phone buzzed and Devine's smiling face flashed on the screen.
"Alert the media!" He screamed. "We're picking Melissa up in an hour and coming down!"
"Oh my God! Awesome!"
"I know. We're so spontaneous! We can only stay for one night and we're bringing the pugs. See you around 4." Click.
See? Being a liver of life is sure working out. A German family was playing catch over my head, indicating my time at the beach had come to an end. I made sure my decolletage got some kind of sun and headed back to the car. "Okay, Spotswood, what next?"
I agree this referring to myself both in the third person and by my last name while talking to myself is embarrassingly lame. It's also the truth. I'm in a hotel in Half Moon Bay right now, asshole. Where are you?
You know what I wanted to do? I wanted to see what it'd be like to sit at a bar alone.
This is frowned upon, I would imagine, by most if not all of my rehab counselors and peers, but I did it anyway. I had a Shirley Temple and a Diet Coke (not at the same time, although that could be my new thing) at a "saloon" across the street from what was now "our" hotel.
It was no big deal and I'm glad I did it. Now I know I can. At least in the daytime and at a bar I don't really like with shitty service.
I made it back to the hotel, my sobriety enthusiastically intact and mere seconds later, I heard my best friend screaming down the hallway. Seriously, this is how she announces herself, by screaming, "Bethy?!?!" through the hallways of the Half Moon Bay Inn.
We wandered the 3 blocks of downtown Half Moon Bay with the Brians whose precious pugs remained in their room. Passing store of store of Red Hat Society merchandise and gift soaps, we finally stumbled upon my new favorite place on Earth: Half to Have It!
I think I may have come here with KG years ago, but I'd obviously forgotten the glory of Half to Have It. It's basically the storage unit Clarice Starling breaks into in Silence of the Lambs, only everything's for sale!
I bought a leopard print fez, a Chinese headdress and matching embroidered pillows for Mel and me which read, "Go Away."
Melissa considered a vintage old lady dressing gown and we plan to return tomorrow so she can sleep on it (heh). This store is marvelous and wonderful, with old random family photos and a beautiful and frightening bejeweled head for $500.
My grand total was $44 and it was well worth it. Wandering on as the last shops closed, we spotted a sign for a lost pigeon named Fuji and bought cheese and bread. The Brian's have a "sitting room" in their suite and brought "Bethpagne" which is apple cider served in champagne flutes. We sat a spell and now are getting ready for dinner at the Miramar Beach Restaurant. I can only hope this Miramar is as awesome as Top Gun but it probably is. You know why? Because they have "Live Jazz Meets Rock By The Sea" from 6-10pm.
So, just to recap, I've been here for 6 hours and I'm already having an awesome time. I'm totally remembering my spirit...