What Next?

Hey, everyone.  I was hoping this was going to be a post on a couple more fragrances – that was the plan! – but it didn’t pan out.  I’m going to have to figure out some higher-grade tree pollen defense before this time next year … allergy shots or something similar.  I’ve always had allergies, but not quite like this spring.  Anyway it’s meant I’m now wearing my N95 outside along with other mitigation strategies.

I went to our local shop Things Finer twice to do some sniffage, but (blaming my allergies) everything smelled laughably wrong – sort of like if you went to a thrift shop and you sniffed an old bottle of perfume sitting there, and it’s clearly a fragrance – only it’s all muddled and flat and off?  That generic “this is some old, random EDT that’s lost its top notes” smell.  Pretty sure the new scents I sniffed don’t all smell like that in real life!  I do love that store, though – here’s a bonus pic above of their display window, it’s like one of those find-these-hidden-objects images.  How long do you think it took to put that together?

I feel … stuck.  As I’ve mentioned I use my long walks as simple, immediately accessible therapy, and being allergic to Ye Greate Outdoors right now is … the source of an illogical amount of resentment.  I’ve vaguely thought about a couple of trips, especially after Cinnamon’s jaunt to London.  If I were still in DC, I’d probably be hopping on a NYC/DC tripper bus (love those!) for a quick jaunt to New York, stay in some hotel, meet up with friends… I dig out the map and think about flying or driving somewhere from here, but then my brain knots up at the idea of going anywhere and all that entails.

Somehow, post-COVID, the idea of travel feels so … daunting, in a way that confuses me.  When I first moved here in 1990, we used to just hop in the car and go exploring.  I clearly remember flying/driving places with four young kids and the travel part of it was just a … necessary blip, not the focus of my concerns or memories.  I have certainly done my share of domestic and international travel over the years. Now I can’t get past “oh my g-d how would I ever” which frustrates me and my logical brain.  I don’t know if going somewhere is even the solution. I was jumping through crazy hoops this time last year to wind up here, and I’m not second-guessing that, and I’ve been content to stick around the city.  Should I be looking harder locally for things to do? Nag some friends into a day trip? Get over myself? Are you doing (or planning) any travel, whether it’s a drive up the road or another continent? Thoughts and advice welcome!

  • Dina C. says:

    April and May of every year are allergy torment for me despite pills, nose sprays, and 8 years of weekly injections back in my 20s. It all helps, but my sensitivity is huge. My advice as a bookworm is travel via books. Get lost in some really great books. Read a series, or watch a series if that sounds like too much work. And finally, adopt the mantra: This Too Shall Pass. Sending you a Hug, March!

    • March says:

      Hehe that is one of my favorite features in books, especially mystery series — to be immersed in the culture/details of another country (like UK or Scandinavian mysteries.) I love love love all those details that I suspect some folks find tedious or beside the point! Thanks for the hug, back at you! The wind is HOWLING here right now, I don’t even want to go outside, I can hear the giant trash cans blowing around! Never a good sign…

  • Alityke says:

    Spring allergies? I hear you! Discussed the jabs with my immunologist, I’m not a candidate cos of other health problems. Stuck with just the antihistamines & looking shiny from the Vaseline on strategic bits of my face to try to catch the pollen (it helps but I look a d*ck)

    We did go to The Canaries in early January & the flight was very quiet, though one group of chaps seated near us did drink a bottle of wine each on the journey!
    Could you do a train journey? I’ve always wanted to go on a train journey on a sleeper train. All Orient Express style. The UK doesn’t offer much in the way of those & our rail services are laughable! I envied Portia & Jin their recent trip

    • cinnamon says:

      As someone who spent around half their life in US and has since lived in England I would say the US rail system makes this one look stellar, warts and all.

      • March says:

        SO, SO much — and I’ve not done any train travel here except as a kid. I think some folks do it on a lark here, and some (like Musette) have this great quasi-local option: to/from Chicago, DC to NYC etc. But there are always problems, and if it’s not something you do regularly it’s pretty non-intuitive. I could have taken the DC/NYC train for instance, but the bus was so much easier and cheaper! The two times I took the train there were significant delays.

    • March says:

      I … think … I am working on a (hypothetically easy and inexpensive) train trip from here, as my maiden train adventure voyage this summer. It’s a pretty straight shot and seems relatively problem-free.

  • Musette says:

    Well.. you know I’m of little help since both my locale and my job entails driving EVERYWHERE. Getting to a petrochemical plant 500 miles away is just …Tuesday.. for me.
    That being said, I’m plumping for your Getting Over Yourself right now. I think most of us are experiencing ennui that is beyond our expectations. Pre-Covid, travel was still stressful, especially air travel but Covid threw that into a cocked hat and the dish ran away with the spoon.
    And you hate driving. So … just stop worrying about why you feel stuck. We (mostly) all do. It’ll pass. Get your allergies under control – any day trip you would take right now would entail the same miseries.

    I advocate driving to Double Take, Wal-Mart (the one with the insane chile section)…. walk around INSIDE places.


    • March says:

      And thank you, this is EXTREMELY sensible advice. My travel stress over the holidays was so intense, I don’t want to find myself feeling that way again! It’s not like I’ve seen everything here (and nearby) either. Maybe travel isn’t the solution right now, and I need to be okay with that too — doesn’t mean it won’t be the solution in the future! Xo

  • Portia says:

    SHIT! March, I watch friends, and Jin , suffer allergies and it’s bloody torture for them. With nearly zero relief. I can only commiserate.
    Yeah, I hear you on fear of C19 travel.
    We are doing it though. Just did our across Australia train trip. Later this month I’m popping down to Melbourne, June we are going with our GFs to Bali and Jin’s Dad has been unwell so we are hoping to be able to visit the folks in July. There is more booked and organised but later.
    There’s too much living that needs doing. We are triple vaxxed, Jin has had C19 and I’ve been really fortunate so far.
    Having said all that. We aren’t you. You do what is comfortable. At least on a road trip you get to be in your car, alone or with the travel companion of your choice.
    I agree that visiting Tom is the best idea ever. He’s the LA navigator par excellence and has so many stories, vistas, history and scandalous gossip. LA came alive under his direction and he’s a bloody good friend and companion.
    Portia xx

    • March says:

      Your train trip was like … this fantasy trip for me, I’ve never done anything like it, and I got to do it vicariously through your posts! I think (?) part of what’s vexing me is in the past, I had SOME idea or longing — I want to go to the beach! I want to visit Vienna! There was … a germ of a longing that I made into reality. I keep trying things on in my mind and nothing’s leapt out at me… so now I’m wondering should I just go somewhere (anywhere!) or wait for a more specific yen….

      • Portia says:

        Is there a US State Capital City you are yet to explore March? A couple of days will give you enough time to see the major landmarks and art gallery. It won’t be hella expensive (unless you want it to be) and at least you’ll get out of your own four walls for a little bit.
        Portia x

  • cinnamon says:

    Beautiful window display. I vote for taking Tom up on visiting LA and maybe adding another Calif city as well. And def visiting allergist. We’re off to a village near a surfing beach in June and even the dog is coming.

    • March says:

      Oh, your June trip sounds great! I feel like I should get my feet wet (metaphorically) with some road trip, I have a friend here who’d probably be up for it, I’m going to ask her! And yeah, LA with Tom sounds pretty tempting!

  • Christina says:

    I survive allergies with air purifiers at home. During evening walks, I will wear a mask while tres pollinate. If you’re waking up with allergies, the culprit is likely in the home. They made such a tremendous change in my life that I have several purifiers and also travel with one. Hope this helps.

    • March says:

      Thanks, Christina! It’s (thankfully) not IN my home, I’m always vacuuming with a HEPA filter, low-shed dog, heat-wash my bed linens etc., and so inside I’m fine, it’s outside that’s trying to do me in right now! I’ve mostly just managed it in the past w antihistamines but this spring has forced me to consider whether I finally need to get on the allergy-shot bandwagon.

  • Tom says:

    It’s weird but the idea of a road trip doesn’t bother me at all (maybe since I like to drive) but the idea of flying gives me the fantods: fighting the way to the airport, stripping all my clothes off and spreading ’em to prove I’m not wearing a napalm butt-plug filled with heroine (don’t want to alert the bots with the real spelling!) only to be placed in a “seat” that would torture a Yogi next to a screaming baby Karen with an emotional support howler monkey who smokes (by prescription) and causes a scene because they don’t have lemon Diet Dr Pepper and gets into a fistfight that grounds us in Louisville.

    Or on Southwest.

    I say do what you can handle and what makes you happy. Don’t stress the rest. Of course if you WANT to come to LA, I can’t stop you… 🙂

    • Christina Goebel says:

      Priceless. Lots of laughs.

    • March says:

      This was HILARIOUS. Pre-COVID (and post 9/11) air travel has slowly gotten worse … now add in COVID stressors and it’s just awful. My cross-country flight over winter break was just a circle-of-hell experience. It’s not making me want to get back on a plane. HOWEVER that’s a cross-country flight, presumably I could get to Phoenix (or LA!) pretty quick with less hassle … wish I liked road trips more, I have friends like you who live in Boulder (north of here) who routinely road trip all over CO, and south to NM and TX where her family is. They just get in the car and GO!

      • Tom says:

        I’m lucky in that we have road trip destinations that can be pretty easily done without stopovers. Santa Barbara, Ojai, Palm Springs, even San Diego can be done in a day. There’s all those little Huell Howser places around too. Trick is to stay off the Freeways as much as possible or use them off peak hours. I remember once going to San Diego in stop and go traffic in a car with a stick and wanting to kill everyone by the time I hit Orange County. I’ve curtailed my trips since gas is about the same price as good scotch, but hey, prices are falling, right? I’m getting booster #2, so who knows?

  • Tara C says:

    We’re going on a cross-country road trip by car in June for a month. I’m trying to think of it as an adventure and not sweat any of the details. We are bringing a tent and sleeping bags in case we end up sleeping in a field. 😉

    If I had any money, I’d book myself a trip to Tahiti and explore.

  • filomena813 says:

    I am supposed to go to Sicily in late June or early July.

  • Sarah B Patton says:

    I have the solution! I will come to visit you! Might wait till a better time of year though…

  • Rina says:

    Oooohhh! I’m heading to London/Paris/Rome via rail in July (from Calif)! I’m hoping the shopping kills me before the heat but I can’t wait! We did an all-inclusive package deal, so I don’t have to plan anything but where I want to go on our free time. That might be your best bet. Let someone else figure it out and you just go and enjoy. Hope the allergies get better, they are the worst!!

    • AnnJune says:

      How wonderful… that sounds like my dream. Enjoy!

    • March says:

      Oh, that sounds AMAZING!!! I did a couple Rick Steves trips (UK and Italy) where they take you all over the place and give you lots of free time, but they handle all the details and they’re there when stuff goes wrong, and it was fabulous! I bet you will have a fantastic time! Eh, the heat … I’ve taken some of my favorite trips in the “off season,” you’ll be too busy having fun and seeing things to let it stop you!