I arrive in Arizona late and don't get to my hotel until 10 pm pacific time since Arizona doesn't observe daylight savings and today is the first day of that. So I sprang ahead and immediately flew to another time zone feeling very stressed out. Good plan.
Monday finds me sitting through long and boring sessions at the conference. I don't know a single attendee and because I am a "vendor", other participants avoid me. I assume this is because they don't want a sales pitch, which if they knew me, they would know they wouldn't get from me. I like to pretend it isn't that I am unapproachable though I have been told this before. A former boss told me that even my walk is intimidating. My husband recently compared me to a Sasquatch, in the most loving way possible of course. (His exact words were something like "She's going to squatch up on you and kick some ass". See, very loving.) Whatever the case, I am not making friends.
So I picked up some of those brochures next to the registration desk to find some way to spend my evening alone. This is a "resort" hotel (code for gigantic and expensive) and there are a lot of brochures. I sort through them in my room and select a couple for further inspection, including one for the Dolly Steamboat tour (www.dollysteamboat.com).
This one appealed to me for two reasons: 1) The nature tour, the only one that will happen on a schedule I can work with, promises beautiful views and animals like big horn sheep. This is one of the animals I have yet to see in Montana. 2) Who goes on a steamboat tour in Arizona? This isn't St. Louis or New Orleans. The oddity of it calls out to me. So I go online and purchase a ticket.
The GPS and one attendee who lives locally agree that it will take me an hour to get there. Being a person who cannot stand to be late, I give myself an hour and a half. The drive out is very scenic once you leave the main highway and I have to control the urge to pull over every few feet to take a picture. When the GPS says I have arrived, of course I haven't. I call because at this point I am a little concerned that I have missed it or that I won't be there in time.
The woman who answers says she isn't positive where I am but if I am where she thinks I am, I won't make it. I have 15 minutes until the boat leaves. I tell her I am trying but at some point this highway became a two lane twisty road with no place to pass. There are a lot of turnout areas but the car in front of me refuses to use them. There are also 2 single lane bridges that hold up progress but on the last one, after the original car in front of me finally pulled into a scenic overlook, I go when it isn't my turn. I can see the dock and the boat and I am determined to make it.
On the road to the parking lot the driver in front of me stops to let out the passengers in his car. I can't park because he is in the way. His family goes up to the ticket booth. He finally parks - in a handicap space right in front - and I skid around him, jerk into the first spot and rush to the ticket booth. He calls out, "Think you'll make it?" as I go by.
I power walk up to the counter and say to the woman who has just sent the man's family to the boat that I am the one that called. She smiles broadly. "I gave your ticket away." I laugh. I assume she is kidding with me since she is smiling so big. "The captain made me." She isn't joking.
There is Dolly, still parked at the dock while I stand near the ticket booth after finding out I will be denied passage. The man that prevented me from parking isn't on the boat yet.
I am in shock. I am not sure they understand the concept of the word RESERVATION. The point is that when you arrive you are guaranteed a spot. I wouldn't have been so upset if the boat had already left. But it hasn't. I am ONE person. I HAVE A RESERVATION. The man BEHIND me is getting on the boat! Also, the ticket lady knew I was coming because I called and I assured her I was going to try to make it. She never said they might sell my ticket.
AND I was not offered or given a refund. So, I paid for the ticket and so did someone else. Nothing like a little double-dipping to pad your profits. Now, in fairness to them, I was late. By 5 minutes. But the boat is still here, I called and I HAVE A RESERVATION THAT I HAVE ALREADY PAID FOR.
I am very upset but despite what people think about me squatching up, I would never be rude or ugly to the ticket agent. I step back from the booth and she begins to lock up for the night. I take a few more steps back and...
BURST INTO TEARS.
There are a few people standing around (this is also the marina for Canyon Lake) so I flee back to the rental car where I can cry in private. Once I get some control and can drive, I leave. Back up the twisty road to the scenic lookout for Canyon Lake where I can see her one more time.
There she is. Dolly. The boat I am not on.
Standing here, I start to calm down a bit. I have been working on trying not to force things in my life (don't listen to anything David says to dispute this, it is a work in progress). I try to take this as a sign I am not supposed to be on the boat. Maybe something bad will happen. Maybe I am supposed to be somewhere else. I try to be open to what is possible in light of the circumstances.
I turn the car back towards Phoenix but since I have nothing to do when I get there besides sit in my hotel room, I decide to take my time. I wanted to stop on the way out to take pictures and I couldn't.
Now, I can. And I do. A lot.
As I get near the town of Apache Junction, I see a sign for the Mining Camp Restaurant and think why not? I need to eat.
This full name of this restaurant is The Historic Mining Camp Restaurant & Trading Post & The Dutchman's Hideout (www.miningcamprestaurant.com). There is a large store and two rooms where you can eat, and in theory, the Dutchman's Hideout but I didn't see anything other than some other buildings that didn't appear to be open.
In the back room, where I eat because it seems quiet, it is pretty traditional and there is a bar. In the other room meals are served "family" style and there is a show. (I didn't know there was going to be a show until I am leaving but I doubt I would have waited anyway.)
There isn't much in my life that a good piece of salmon won't fix. And it is good. I am not crazy about the cactus sauce on top but it isn't terrible and most of it was easily removed.
I enjoy my food, read some posts at The Bloggess' blog for some laughs (www.thebloggess.com, very funny and frequently inappropriate, don't say I didn't warn you). I am much calmer now, the tears are gone and don't feel like they will come again so easily.
On my way out, I check out the gift shop for souvenirs for my granddaughters when I spot him. Like I said earlier, some things are meant to be if you are open to accepting whatever may present itself.
$2.98 for a therapy session whenever I need it and all I have to do is add water? Sign me up. I am not sure what they think people do with their therapist though that there needs to be a Do Not Swallow warning right on the front of the package.
Back in the car with my new Therapist (who needs a name, I am open to suggestions), I head back to Phoenix. The sun is going down now and I can't resist stopping for a few more pictures.
Sometimes missing the boat is just what the doctor (or therapist) ordered.
Dolly...this one's for you.