I vacationed. Really. Seems strange to say in the context of a pandemic, but it's what I did.
I did my best to do it carefully. I dealt with very few people. I spent it almost entirely by myself.
Two weeks ago, I asked for and got permission to take off two days from work, Wednesday the 18th and Thursday the 19th. I had Paid Time Off, I wanted to use it, and things did not look then the way the look now. I didn't think I'd be coming back to a job furlough when I...
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, I worked. They were slower days with fewer customers; I spent some time Tuesday cleaning part of the parking garage. Aaaaaaaand...other stuff happened with co-workers in Tuesday, stuff that's not mine to talk about. Putting it most simply, the day was difficult...including when a higher-up person from the company came to the booth that afternoon and told us we were likely to get furloughed soon.
I finished my Tuesday work shift — I'd considered asking to leave early that day, but didn't — and took much-less-rider-filled MAX trains and a bus home. (Sign of the times: the currently closed neighborhood bar had posted on its reader board the messages SEE YOU POST-APOCALYPSE and BARTER TOWN RULES.) In the evening, I drove to my bank's nearest drive-up ATM and deposited a stash of accumulated tip money, so I could send it to my savings account. That's been my main use lately of my tip money from the job. Every little bit helps. Then some pre-trip chores. Then sleep.
Wednesday morning, I did a load of laundry, got take-out breakfast from the coffee shop I go to the most, and started driving southwest, stopping for basic supplies (and, yes, beer) at the Burlingame Fred Meyer. And for the first time since 2007, I drove to Lincoln City to go to a motel room.
Other than stopping at a McDonald's drive-thru to get lunch then checking in at the front desk of the Ester Lee Motel, I didn't interact in-person with anyone else until Friday. I kept my distance from people. Easier to do that in a nicely-appointed motel room with a great view of the ocean. Then I tried to relax.
My relaxing wasn't helped by getting a message on my phone Wednesday night that, yes, the furlough was happening and Friday the valet operation would close. But, yes, I did my best to relax.
Thursday morning, I let myself walk. Down to the beach, south past the Inn at Spanish Head, then taking stairs up the cliff to a residential street so I could return to the motel that way. I later added the photos to my Facebook page, if you'd like to look at those. In the room I read, with the miniseries of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens on in the background; I'd watched the first half of it on Wednesday night.
Friday morning, a little earlier than I'd planned, I packed up, turned in my motel room keys, and hit the road. Only stops I made were to text my parents that I was headed home, then later in Tualatin to get $5 worth of gas so I wouldn't flame out before day's end. Midday, I got back, let my housemates know via email, unpacked, then did the airport errand I'd known I'd need to do.
Thank you for sticking with this entry. Here's a photo of Wednesday's sunset.