Sunday, June 26, 2005

Great Falls, Montana

Holiday Inn Express, Great Falls

What a luxury! With my things strewn all around the room, I could now log in again and get connected!!! Sent out a "Greetings from Great Falls" e-mail at 5:14 a.m. and stayed up until around 6:00, the new day already begun.

Awakened around 11:00 by strange demented shouting in the next room. Was the person drunk? Mentally unstable? Quite a commotion, which I had, I think, tried to ignore as I slept. "Why doesn't housekeeping knock on the door?" It finally subsided, and I heard a man's voice say something like "let's go out and see the sights." I imagined a family with a mentally-impaired grown-up child.

I felt drugged after such a short rest. Exchanged e-mails with Jeff and finally gave him the room number so he could call. Discussed a general outline for our tour of the Maritimes and Eastern Seaboard. Showered. Put some laundry in to wash. Walked to a nearby Starbuck’s for coffee and a brownie.

Balanced my checkbook and accounted for credit card receipts for first time since late May. A tedious job that consumed much of the afternoon. Paid off my credit card balance by phone.

A very mild, overcast and muggy day in Great Falls. Considered going out for a look around, but figured I can do that AFTER checking out. I wanted to make use of the internet connection and "home office space" as long as possible.

Caught up on the news; violent weather reported in the northern plains. Exciting! I'm actually looking forward to some spectacular weather. The TV show “CNBC in Brazil,” caught my attention and I watched with interest. They showed some of the conditions I would be facing in the months ahead. Some, such as the muddy Amazon roads, the extreme poverty and crime, the congestion of Sao Paolo, these were admittedly a bit frightening.

8:00 p.m. Under lowering gray skies, and succumbing to a mindless, easy choice, walked over to "Tony Roma’s" for dinner. Walking across 500 yards of asphalt parking lots feels so strange. Our suburban shopping areas are not designed for pedestrians. “Only losers do this…” But to drive from the hotel would have been silly.

Ordered a New York Steak dinner. Someone told me their steaks were good, but this was disappointing. My "mushroom covered steak" came with three small shriveled black mushrooms, requiring an intricate operation to spread around. Expensive for what you get, and far inferior to "The Keg’s" dinner.

I was thinking about chain stores. They don’t inspire any curiosity, or thought process. At Tony Roma’s, I wasn’t drawn into conversation with the server about the menu, or the origins, or what brought people here.

No comments: