24 June 2010

Pre-vacation for one nerves

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: travel

OMG it’s time again for another “vacation for one!” Saturday morning I leave for San Francisco, where I will be visiting briefly before getting my first ever car solo rental car and driving up to Napa for several days.

I’m really excited but freaking out.

My mind is racing with crazy thoughts and ideas and concerns about things that could happen.

For example:

  • What if I get bored? I’m gone for a week!
  • What if I get lost in the car? The Garmin may fail me
  • What if American Airlines loses my luggage and I’m stuck with none of my stuff?
  • What if I can’t make it to all the wineries and restaurants and tourist spots I want to. Can I clone myself?
  • What if I don’t know what to do at these wineries and people think I’m crazy and a loser Midwest tourist?
  • What if Eclipse sucks?
  • What if I never want to leave?
  • How do I bring wine back with me? I love my juice!

As you can see, I have a very overactive imagination.

I think the biggest struggle I’ve had is narrowing down what I want to do. I’m so used to trips in big cities where there is a lot in one area (Nola, New York, LA, etc.) and now I have to drive everywhere, meaning it takes longer to get from place to place. How can I fit everything in?

And people have been SO amazing in sharing tips and recommendations that I want to do everything but know I can’t, and I feel weird about that.

Yeah I have control issues ;)

So despite these thoughts rattling in my brain, I’ve decided to turn them off and go in with a “here’s what I’d like to do” list and prioritize it so I know what’s the most important to me.

This will be a great exercise in trying to be spontaneous and NOT a huge planner.

Wish me luck!

PS – I will be blogging a bit while I’m gone so keep checking back for pictures!

What is everyone else up to this weekend?


  1. HarrisMisty says:

    When you’re in not good state and have no money to go out from that point, you would require to receive the business loans. Just because that would aid you definitely. I take credit loan every time I need and feel myself OK just because of that.

  2. nic says:

    Silly girl- you had me laughing with that first one! What if I get bored! Nooooo. I have a feeling you won’t be bored at all. :)

    Sounds like you’ve got a pretty good handle on approaching another solo trip- I typically do the same things actually. As far as the bit about Napa being more complicated than visiting a city- YUP. We’re looking at the guide books for August and it’s a completely different planning experience than I’m used to.

    Hope you’re having a really great time. Looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back! :)

  3. andhari says:

    That’s so cool to go somewhere by yourself/. No, not losery. Think of the freeeedooommmm! I always wanna go do something like that. Sadly, a lot of places in Indo are separated by seas :(

  4. LiLu says:

    I’ll be having the jealousies over your trip!!!


  5. Chelsa Bea says:

    Lady, please don’t worry San Fran is going to be great. It’s one of my favorite cities in the country. The food, the scenery, the shopping…pretty much everything is FABULOUS! Let me know if you need any ideas of places to eat/visit. Have a wonderful, wonderful time!

  6. Mayra says:

    Oooh yes, you have a overactive iamgination! :)))) I usually just read your blog and don´t comment. But today I had to write you something. Enjoy the experience!! And if you get lost, enjoy it too, it´s also funny! It´s great to be espontaneous sometimes or even often. That´s how we are here in Brazil. ;-)

  7. San Fran is on my list of places I wanna go! Have fun! I’ll be living vicariously through you.

  8. E.P. says:

    You’re going to be just fine, though I know I have the same fears whenever I am going somewhere by myself. No worries, though. Wine can definitely be shipped. I sent some to myself in the States before leaving Italia, and it was the best $100 I have ever spent.

    Have fun, lovely! I cannot wait to hear about California!

  9. Maybe you can ship wine?

    Have so much fun! California wine country is so beautiful.

  10. Daryl Callahan says:

    Relax and have a wonderful time. Make wonderful memories :)

  11. Elizabeth says:

    You won’t want to leave, and that will be okay. Our vacation philosophy is that it’s best to leave when you’re still a little in love–it makes coming back that much sweeter.

    Have the best time!!

  12. Cheryl says:

    I’m pretty sure Eclipse sucks, does that help? Kidding, I don’t judge I know you love it.

    I know people who bring wine back from Napa (never got the chance to do so myself)but I think you have to wrap it up in clothing (bottle in a bag) and put it inthe middle of your suitcase for more insulation.

  13. Erica says:

    HAHAHA – if only I could have you call my husband, he could confirm that I had a similar freak out just before we went. Does this help?

    * What if I get bored? I’m gone for a week! Not possible…you’ll be surrounded by fab food and wine and touristy stuff.
    * What if I get lost in the car? The Garmin may fail me. Nope…ours was perfect. Worst case, use google maps on your phone.
    * What if American Airlines loses my luggage and I’m stuck with none of my stuff? You’ll have to go shopping in SF. Poor you!
    * What if I can’t make it to all the wineries and restaurants and tourist spots I want to. Can I clone myself? Do what you can, and vow to go back to cover what you miss.
    * What if I don’t know what to do at these wineries and people think I’m crazy and a loser Midwest tourist? Pick up glass, swirl, smell, open mouth, drink. You’ll fit right in.
    * What if Eclipse sucks? I’m sure it won’t. If it does, there will be plenty of wine to drown your sorrows.
    * What if I never want to leave? You won’t want to leave…but you have to…so be sure to ship enough wine back (or join a wine club) so you have a solid supply of memories.
    * How do I bring wine back with me? I love my juice! If you buy enough at one place, they will ship for you, otherwise there are stores that have padded wine shipping boxes – ask the hotel.

  14. Lil' Woman says:

    Enjoy yourself sweetie!!

  15. Mindy says:

    Well, this sounds terribly more exciting than my weekend filled with work, and work, and more work, then maybe sitting by a pool. Woo. Ha. But I hope you have a great time, and try to be spontaneous. Sometimes that makes the trip way more fun. More stressful? Maybe, but indeed more exciting.

  16. Erin says:

    I’m so excited for you! Your trip sounds amazing. Have a great time, and drink lots of wine for me. :)

  17. Cass says:

    Just a few months ago I went to San Francisco & did the Russian River Valley wineries. The group I went with didn’t know the area either so we relied on the GPS and maps and had a great time. Don’t worry about not knowing what to do when you’re at the wineries, everyone is helpful and will answer your questions.

    Now for the wine you buy? SHIP IT HOME! I was so stressed about this and at the wineries I went to would easily send it home for me so I didn’t have to worry about finding the extra space to store it in my suitcase.

  18. Nora says:


    Always reminds of the line from Sex and the City “If you’re tired you take a nap-a, you don’t move to Nappa.”

    Anyway, I’m sure you’ll have a lovely time and once you’re there you’ll find that all your stress melts away! I can’t wait to read/hear about it.

    No one will think you’re crazy, either. Enjoy yourself!

  19. I’ve always wanted to go to Napa! Enjoy!

  20. Oh wow, have a great time! Your trip sounds like the perfect combination of planned outings + spontaneity!

  21. Enjoy your trip!!!

    I am moving this weekend!

  22. Michelle says:

    Have SO much fun and make sure to try some fine California Viogniers for me…mmmm!

  23. If you get bored, you’re doing it wrong. And as for getting lost… GET LOST. Take a detour, go exploring. Experience something that isn’t in a guidebook! :) You will have a wonderful, unique trip that is all yours and you will love yourself for it.

  24. You will be fine love & you will have a blast!! :) I am so jealous!!!

    I have nothing fun going on this weekend lol.

  25. You forgot to ask yourself one question: What if I meet someone in San Fran … do I invite him to join me in Napa???? And of course, the resounding answer is YES! =)

    Having a list of things to do is great, so you’re not at a loss once you’re out there. But, going with the flow is also great, so you can see where this trip takes you. I think you’ll find people at wineries are incredibly nice. PS – SHIP your wines back to Chicago – it’ll be much less hassle for you at the airport!

  26. Mel says:

    You will be fine. Besides, getting lost makes for a more interesting adventure. I love SF. I’ve never been to Napa but I will probably be there in the next 12 months.

  27. I hear ya, I stress about every little thing too. And your bit about feeling uncomfortable about not being able to do every single recommended thing made me laugh because I have so been there! Especially when it’s close friends and you know they’ll ask you about it when you get back! Have an amazing time though, I know you will :)

  28. M says:

    You will do great, and you’ll have a great time. I’ve taken solo trips myself, because like you, I don’t always have friends available to go and I’m not going to wait for someone special to come along to do. I think it’s awesome that you are going out and seeing places YOU want to see and doing things YOU want to do. Why wait? You’re living life the way it should be lived. It’s a inspiring and great for everything to hear about.

  29. mandy says:

    You are going to have a great time. And you will get used to driving places in no time. I promise. I laughed when I read that sentence because as someone who drives every where, I think public transportation takes forever.

    Ship the wine home to yourself. Don’t worry about getting lost, just think of it as an adventure should the Garmin point you in the wrong direction, as long as Jacob is shirtless in Eclipse you will love it, and if you never want to leave I’m going to come visit. =)

    Have a fabulous time and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

  30. Oh I think you’re going to have such a great time! Can’t wait to hear about it!

  31. Sarah says:

    I’m so excited for you!!

    …and a little jealous. I can’t wait to begin planning my vacation for one! Unfortunately, I had a $2000+ car repair that just popped up, so it has to be pushed back.

    Daytona before February though!!

  32. You do what you can in the time that allows. The one thing that I have learned over the years is that I am my best company – pretty hard to annoy yourself. Have a great time. You are my inspiration for a solo vacation someday!

  33. Stevie says:

    No matter what, you’re going to love Napa. It’s gorgeous any time of year, and you’ll be with great company! There is a ton of variety with the wineries – they all have different ambience, specialize in different wines, beautiful architecture, etc. You’ll love it.

    Oddly enough, my relatives from the Napa area just arrived in Seattle for our family reunion! They own a 60 acre ranch just East of Napa. It’s one of my favorite places in the whole world.

    Have a fabulous trip! So excited to hear about it and see pictures.

  34. Amanda says:

    You’ll be arriving just in time for a HOT weekend :) I’ve been grumbling about the forecast for like 2 days, haha!

  35. A Super Girl says:

    You can ship the wine. Or, just bring an extra suitcase and tube socks. I may or may not have gotten multiple bottles of red wine home from Italy wrapped in men’s tube socks.

    Have a great time! San Fran is just lovely, as is wine country.

  36. just remember that when planning longer trips like this, that not EVERYTHING is going to get accomplished but that’s ok because, no doubt, your time will be spent doing some amazing things.

    soak up the sun, sip tons of wine, enjoy great conversations over great meals with awesome blogger folks, and relax! you’re on vacation!!

    enjoy my dear!!!