Along these lines, yesterday while watching the US championship on ICC, I semi-randomly invited a friend of mine to go to Thailand with me in August (I have a free week in a resort there-- long story), and he agreed pretty much immediately, so five minutes later I'm booked on a vacation to Phuket! It's been years since I traveled (after a somewhat bad experience going to Egypt for a week by myself. They don't like the 'unchaperoned' women there at all-- I swear I was dressed super-modestly: long skirts, scarf on my head, etc. but in this world, 3/4 length shirt sleeves makes you a dirty whore. Someone actually threw stones, ok pebbles, at me one evening. I spent 4 days in Cairo--a disgusting ashtray of a city, but then took the train to Alexandria, which was breathtaking. A room with a sea view and balcony was $15 a night (ok, no private toilet, but large balcony and free breakfast). I went scuba-diving (first time!) in the harbor and saw the underwater remnants of the lighthouse that fell in the 14th century. But I wouldn't go back by myself, that's for sure. I hardly spoke to anyone all week and no one spoke to me (except for men in the street who would call out "gazelle, gazelle!" -- at first I was looking around, like "where's the gazelle, I want to see the gazelle too!" but hilariously, it's a common pick-up line there, as in "baby, you are as beautiful as a gazelle"). the whole thing turned me off traveling until now.)
Also, on Friday, I took the girls on my chess team to see Obsessed. Terrible movie, but they all loved it (big Beyonce fans!), and I pretended to. Ostensibly, the trip was a "reward" for winning Girls Nationals, but in fact it was the suggestion of my assistant principal, Galvin, who thinks I need relate to the children better on non-chess levels. I don't really want to watch bad movies with teenage girls, but I thought the evening was a success and will do it again at the beginning of next year, only because the girls seemed to really enjoy it and bond with each other. It's important that they bond.