(I feel a series coming on, possibly.)
It was admittedly lame, but I just couldn't come up with a plan for the last afternoon I had, several hours unspoken for, in Tampa. I walked along Channelside Drive to what was ostensibly a shopping area, despite a web review that had warned of its decline. Oh yes: I could feel its declension from the moment I spotted its anchor chain restaurant, a Hooters, from a block away.
Still, I walked around its offerings, and then walked back. There was nothing there for me. What would I do? I felt tired, and I didn't feel like navigating an unfamiliar city on my own. I went back to my hotel--although it was not exactly my hotel, not since I had checked out a few hours before. So I scammed off their free lobby wifi, graded a little, and read a little, and stewed a little, stewed myself into feeling (a) a little hungry and (b) like maybe I should go to the airport, even though it was early.
Here are the things I've done since I was at the Tampa International Airport:
1. waltzed through security because I have TSA Pre status, which never fails to make me feel special.
2. considered all of my airport dining options by cruising them several times each. I ultimately opted for an airport iteration of what is apparently a Tampa establishment, if its own PR is to be believed. I had some tapas--champiñones rellenos and coca de langosta--and both were pretty darn good. You know, for airport food.
3. graded two discussions.
4. shot this tiny Hyperlapse:
I think I feel more settled at the airport because I know what's what at an airport. I don't have to decide whether to learn how to deal with a trolley system and where it will take me and if I will be too far to make it back to grab my stuff to get to the airport on time. I don't--and this is key--have to talk to a person who will give me human-sized, and therefore unverifiable except through trial and error, advice about these matters.
I am not impressed with my own thinking here. On the other hand, I'm also recognizing that I've been at max effort for so much of the time this semester that I kind of needed a less than herculean effort this weekend. Hence the opt out, eat in philosophy which I have embraced so wholeheartedly. Hence the current acknowledgment of my inner hermit, and letting that hermit take the wheel, as it were. If I had a car. If I had had a car, maybe I would have mapped out an itinerary instead of making the airport, at the end of my conferencing adventure, my home away from home.