Wednesday, March 23, 2016

3/18-21/16: A Yogi in New York

I spent last weekend in New York City.

That Thursday evening, I was struck with the express desire to visit NYC (for the first time). I tried to come up with a reason to justify such an excursion and its expense, and failed beyond "Just because"; however, I came up equally at a loss for a reason not to go. And so NYC it was. I was on a plane the next afternoon (on a free-ish ticket, "bought" with saved-up frequent-flyer miles).

Not much to say about my NYC caprice, really. Despite the relatively exotic locale (you would see Times Square just outside my hotel window, were the snapshot not so despairingly bad), my trip, and its attendant yoga (again performed hermetically in my high-rise room), was pretty routine. I ate food from a reasonably priced market. I walked miles over the crazed streets, and was not so much as harassed (though I had my mugger's wallet handy, not so much out of fear but just to use the darn thing for once). I took a sightseeing tour over Manhattan, and indulged in much people-watching. I left intact, and quite contented with my trip (as well as well-stretched, not having fallen behind on my yoga).

Uninteresting? Perhaps, to the outside observer. Worth blogging about? Well ... for me it is.

Monday, March 14, 2016

3/7-11/16: Hotel Tour

Last Sunday afternoon, I surprised myself with an odd road trip.

The surprise: that I was taking a trip at all, totally unplanned as of that morning. The oddity: that I had nowhere to go. Upon departing the beach, I literally just drove west, "go West, young man"-style. From there, things only got odder, when I was equally compelled to stay in an unfamiliar and unnotable town in the middle of the South Carolina swamp lands.

Enter hotel-yoga #1, a Traveler's Inn and Suites (my first TIaS, as it were):

And still this spontaneous trip grew odder, when I decided, on yet another uncharacteristic caprice, to drive a few hundred miles north, to NC, where I would pay a surprise visit to some family. I took my time, however, and so on the way there, I laid over in hotel #2, a Super 8 on the non-luxurious outskirts of Charlotte:

Here, I have something of a confession to make: my yoga at the Super 8 was ... minimal. That is, I had time only for a single (albeit important) asana, due to the unrelenting loom of the 11 o'clock checkout -- ironic, given the highly yoga-y lotus picture commanding the room. But, unquestionably, yoga did occur in this place, hence I am legally entitled to include the picture (just you try and stop me!).

Next up, I returned to my favorite "visiting family in NC hometown" layover spot: a wonderful (and curiously cheap) Sleep Inn, which the huge crowd of this blog's regular and rabid followers will recognize from past snapshots (all of the hotel's king suites are, apparently, identical):

Unlike my last two stops, I hung around the Sleep Inn for two nights; and, unlike the Super 8, I got to genuinely yoga there (and quite extensively, as if making up for my non-session).

And, last but not least, hotel #4 -- well, actually, this one was the least, being a mere motel, and of somewhat lesser quality than my prior lodgings. Nestled in a small, name-place SC town that just happened to appear along the freeway when I was ready to retire for the evening on my return trip south, this last layover was a sixties-era brick ranch-style affair, a rather different animal than the handsome, earth-toned structures I'd been staying in. The less-appreciated might've called it a "dive"; and, I must admit, when I entered the room and was smacked with the reek of spilled whiskey, and then found the shower stall pocked with cigarette burns, my optimism did fade somewhat. But, nonetheless, the room was functional enough, and bug-free, and the motel proved to be serenely quiet. In the end, I was even rescued from the whiskey smell, for I just happened to have with me an oil diffuser and a fresh bottle of orange-blend essential oil (thanks to a complicated and ironic series of suspicious coincidences that some might have attributed to exaggeration or divinity).

So, there, amidst the small-town silence and the friendly odor of orange, I yoga'd. After that, it was back to the beach. Amen.