Guest Author - Christine Wilcox
Solo travel doesn't have to be complicated or even require much in the way of travel. Sometimes, all you need is one perfect day. In my case, it was one perfect day in my own city, but it could have just as easily been in Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, or any other favorite big city that you love.
I travel so much that I become a notorious homebody when I have the opportunity. I love sinking into my couch, putting my feet up on the table, throwing a log in the fireplace and sipping my morning coffee on a lazy weekend day when I have nowhere else to be. But this weekend was different. I wanted some people-watching time, to learn something new, and to explore a few niches in my hometown's downtown.
What do you need to do to plan a perfect day? Even in your hometown, do research, and talk to your friends about their recommendations for favorite things to do. I had three goals - great food, learning something new (and confronting some ghosts of the past), and a little relaxation to cap it all off.
I got downtown 30 minutes prior to the restaurant I wanted to have breakfast at opened. I got perfect parking, in part because I arrived so early, and also had a chance to see downtown wake up. A few joggers were on the streets, and a handful of people who looked like they were headed out to the north end yard sales that have just started showing up, now that we're past the real chill of winter. And I had half an hour to go for a brisk walk, rejuvenate, and see what was new in the nooks and crannies of Boise.
Brunch opened at my favorite downtown restaurant (Berryhill & Co - check it out if you have the chance!) and I was so ready for the delish dishes! Cheap mimosas, a fabulous buffet, and great coffee kick started my day. Two families were having a celebration breakfast for their kids who had just gotten engaged, which was fun to be a fly on the wall for. A baby shower kicked in a bit later, and slowly the restaurant filled with the eclectic and fabulous of Boise. Another walk to shake off the carbs from the fabulous brunch, and I went to the historic Old Idaho Penitentiary, just a couple miles down the road.
Often called one of the most haunted places in Idaho, the Old Idaho Pen was in use up until 1973. A working prison for 101 years, it definitely has the vibe of a haunt. Open gardens and roofless buildings which were gutted by fire lean to the east, while sturdy cell blocks with peeling paint and individual cells looking as if they were left just exactly as they were in 1973 when prisoners were moved stand in the center of the campus and to the west. A definite experience that I truly enjoyed - can't wait to see the photos - maybe I'll see an old resident in them.
The day ended quietly with pampering - in my own little makeshift spa. Cucumber slices on my eyes and a moisturizing mask soaking into my skin after a great home facial, my feet soaking in a great peppermint foot bath - it was truly one perfect Solo Day.
Don't let being home interrupt a great solo travel day! Find what's in your own backyard.