On my wedding night in a beautiful mountain lodge that we had rented out for the occasion, my then 80-something Aunt Sophie called the front desk at midnight and asked if Frederic, the 26-year-old French chef who had just fed us a sublime meal and spent much of the evening dancing with her, could please come to her cabin to remove the spider she had just found.
When I was single and in my 20s, I loved traveling alone. Traveling with friends required compromises I resented having to make: They wanted to sleep til noon while I rose with the sun raring to go; they preferred booking tours to eliminate any uncertainties while I liked using public transportation for self-guided exploration.
The joy of a good night's sleep just can't be overstated. Somewhere around my 50th birthday, I lost the ability to get one. I went from being someone who could shut her eyes and not open them for eight hours to a person who now does a victory lap around the bed if I manage four hours in a single stretch.