Tucson in December has its surprises for an East Coast girl:
A loud, heavy hail storm has left quarter-inch balls of white ice on the hotel's lawns and sidewalks.
When an arm of a saguaro cactus is turned downward, it means the cactus is dying. But it can "change its mind," at which point the arm starts growing skyward again.
But about solo travel...today's observations. The people who arrived here alone are more open to mixing and mingling with everyone. The people who arrived here in pairs tend to stick by one another. And I tend not to engage them as much as the solo guests. They are a set. They are self-contained. They go to meals together, go back to their rooms together, look for one another wherever they go. They're a little closed off from the rest of us.
Tonight, one woman decided to relax in her room instead of coming out to dinner. "At first, I was a little annoyed," her friend said, because "B" didn't want to go to dinner. "Then I thought, 'Whatever. It's our vacation.' " She had to come to terms with her friend "abandoning" her.
This is one of the reasons I prefer to go solo. I don't want to annoy a friend for doing what I want to do. I don't want to stress about pleasing someone while I'm on vacation. I don't want to have to wait for a slow-pokey buddy to get ready before I can go to breakfast. And I don't want to have to worry that a friend is going to feel ignored when I'm talking with someone new and interesting.
I feel free being here on my own.
Photo: Ellen Perlman. Saguaro cacti in Tucson