Travelling, Light

[editor’s note: this was actually written nearly 6 days ago. I’ve been in France, and will wait until tomorrow — on my FOREVER flight schedule — to update on the sheer awesomeness that is France. No seriously: France is awesome. So awesome that I can’t be bothered to blog, tweet, check-in, etc. ]

This is actually a two-fer, because I find myself on a British Airways flight with no Wifi (this is acceptable. On a transatlantic flight I can appreciate the engineering feat that wireless internet would represent. On a 2-hour flight to San Francisco, there’s no excuse.)

I recently had the pleasure of going to Dallas. That’s right. I said “pleasure”, and I totally mean it. I went to Dallas in late June/early July, for work, and you’d think that this would be a Fate Worse Than Death, or at least a Fate Worse Than A Really Good Beating, but no, I actually enjoyed it.

I’ll wait until you retrieve your jaw from the floor.

Dallas was roughly 100 degrees and humid each day, but it was warm… and sunny… and the people were IMPOSSIBLY friendly. Example: the hotel I stayed at — to be reviewed — had complementary passes to Gold’s Gym. At Gold’s Gym I ran across a lady who was probably 3 years my senior and 30 pounds lighter, with flame-red hair down to her knees. It was gathered up in a braid but still, it was gorgeous. I couldn’t help but comment — I’m like that — and instead of the typical “Seattle Freeze” (e.g., “hey thanks!”, and then promptly go away) she chatted me up. Wanted to know where I was from, did I usually come in the morning because she didn’t remember seeing me. Dallas was like that all over — exceptionally friendly, down to the Subway guy who gave me the 2nd chocolate chip cookie because really, that’s how the meal is supposed to be. Or something.

This is not like when the Lesbian Lawyer from New York chatted me up. I was flattered, she had great shoes. That was a fun dinner.

At any rate, I stayed at the Hotel ZaZa.

If you are going to Dallas– and really, I don’t care why you are going — stay at the Hotel ZaZa. Oh! Where to begin.

Accommodations:

The room was only slightly smaller than half of my house. The bathroom had a separate tub and shower, and the tub would fit two strangers or three very well acquainted people. The toiletries were “racing fuel” — separate shampoo, conditioner, lotion, bath gel — in those cool wide-open mouth containers that some of us (Hi!) use (re-use) for gym toiletries. The bed was exceedingly comfortable, it’s a shame I only slept five hours a night. I never tried the TV or the room service (hey, that’s a first!) but the restaurant attached (Dragonfly) had wonderful food and a great wine list (Malbec, represent!). The hallways are littered with funky Vogue and W magazine photo ops, all framed and they help you find your way by day two. The butler’s pantry (on the way to the elevators) is stocked with all manner of breakfast beverage to kick start your day, complete with to-go cups. The hotel staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating — I parked in the wrong place and couldn’t figure out the internet at 2am — and they were there to help.

Am I going back to Dallas? Oh, I hope so. And when I do, I’m staying at ZaZa, even if I have to pay for it myself!

Fast forward one hectic, crazy week. I spent 4th of July at my mom’s… where I ate everything, naturally … and then home to 4 days of back-to-back meetings (excellent, productive meetings — normally I eschew them but these were actually *productive*), and then 1.5 days of errands, laundry, and family fun before here I am on a British Airways flight.

My first British Airways flight.

So far they’re a decent 2nd to Air France (sorry, mate). Granted, I’m only 36 minutes in, but damn! The service is good, the flight attendants are incredibly patient, and I am overstocked with 2 blankets, 2 headsets, and 1 pillow. I’m in a 3-stack to the starboard side with no one in the middle, which is excellent. My seatmate and I established rules of engagement — she’s an American lit student from England (wait, what??) wearing a UW Rosebowl 1993 sweatshirt. I asked her, “Oh, were you there?” and she said, “No, I was at UW, but I had to buy something, I was at the student store… did you go to UW?” to which I had to say “Yes… and I was there…”. Sigh, I have aged myself.

At any rate, I’m watching “Paul” with Simon Pegg, drinking red wine from a screw-cap bottle (tempranillo garnacha, so it’s good, actually!), and enjoying a very comfortable seat. The flight seems consisted of 75% expats going home (like my seatmate) and I’m relishing the variety of accents.

Before I got on the flight, I spent a harried 20 minutes downloading data and emails from my local machine — so alas now, I must actually use said data. I leave off, going back to watching “Paul”, and playing with numbers.

Some work perks defy easy naming, but are beyond words in other ways.

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