I am sitting at a bar in what I call a Santa Fe hotel, but what Santa Fe people refer to as a “lodge.”  If by lodge they mean a place to sleep with three year old coffee packets in the room, an Atari game station with PONG, and one guy who doubles as bell hop, waiter and shuttle driver then yes, this is a lodge.  

There was a day when the thought of sitting in a bar alone was on par with the thought of say, attending the neighborhood pool party in a bathing suit instead of long denim shorts and a billowy coverup or drinking decaf coffee.  NEVER GONNA HAPPEN.  But desperate times call for desperate measures and I have been snowed in here for two days.  Not only am I sitting at the bar, I have my lap top out and am on my second Bloody Mary.  “Salted rim?” the bartender/breakfast waiter/concierge asks me.  “What do you think?” I answer.

Behind me a chipper wedding planner/hotel maid,  is trying to talk a young couple into having their wedding here.  Over the strands of “O Tannenbaum” I hear her telling them that they can only use biodegradeable flowers under the gazebo.  No rice.  She tells them that this is an all green facility, which explains that weird growth of foliage around my bathtub drain.  They are having an outside wedding in the Spring.  It must be beautiful here in the Spring, I bet a wedding here in the Spring would be amazing.  I am just tipsy enough to walk over there and wrangle an invite.  Then I hear the bride say they will be having a cash bar.  

Never mind.  I’m out.

For those of you who don’t know, and that would be anyone other than my immediate family and five facebook friends (My daughter was like, “You’re where? I had no idea!” and she lives a block away,) I have been in Santa Fe for a writing conference.  One of my favorite authors was putting on a writers intensive and I decided it was time to branch out and be with other wildly creative and talented writers. Luckily, I had just enough room on the credit card I had recently acquired for facial fillers to cover my travel and the seminar fee.  And so, here I am.

I have to say, there is something very freeing about traveling alone.  You can be whomever you want to be.  I totally got into it.  I found myself actually starting conversations with people on the plane just so they would finally ask “So what do you do?” and instead of saying “Nothing,” like I usually do, I would answer, “Oh, I’m a writer.”

“What do you write?” they would then ask.
Nosy fuckers.  

In any case I was really enjoying the journey...until I landed in the Santa Fe airport, which is about the size of my kitchen.  Also, I thought that New Mexico was warm.  WTF?  I got off the plane to 34 degrees and a blinding wind.  After collecting my bag from the runway, I exited the the airport, still feeling glamorous in my boots and tunic, though slightly chilly in my Florida cotton sleeveless wrap.

I threw open the doors and searched for the cab line.  Ten minutes later with numb extremities and a wad of frozen snot under my nose, I asked a woman next to me where are the cabs?  She said, “Oh, cabs don’t wait here, you have to CALL a cab. You can sign up for the shuttle inside.”

Which I did along with ten other people all going to different places.  First stop was actually the home of a gentleman and his cat.  Twiggy had done great on the plane ride but was getting a little antsy in the shuttle, which was why they were stop one.  From there we dropped people off at one gorgeous lodge after another.  I became more excited with each stop.  I couldn’t wait to get to MY lodge and have a nice glass of red in front of the fireplace.

Before long, I was the only one left.  The driver looked back at me and said, “Where did you say you were staying?”  I told him and he muttered, “Ugh.”

15 minutes later we pulled up in front of my lodge which though far from town, looked warm and cozy.  I began to lug my bag in but a young man suddenly appeared and took it from me.  He walked me in and then took his place behind the counter.  He gave me my room assignment which from what I could tell in the dark was about a mile walk away in what was now a blinding snow storm.  He then informed me that the restaurant and lounge had closed at 8 but there were complimentary chips and salsa in the room.

So, as this is getting long, and we all have very short attention spans, I will stop here and pick it up in WRITE THIS WAY 2.  Stay with me.


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