24 days, 8 states, my favourite people, and a pile of stories. Pretty good work, I think.
Kansas: I never did tell you about the reception...one of the things that I have noticed is that if I promise you that something "will be coming soon" on the blog: I'm usually lying. Sorry! Here are some key words to attempt to make amends: photo booth, delicious food, bubbles, jazz pianist, snarky 9 year old, dancing so much I shredded the lining of my dress, group singing, group singing in parts, 5 little snowmen, mouth harp, muggy blanket of heat, peace pipe/cigar, bridesmaid's room for hiding in, A whole new world, 2am. (Missouri and Kansas = 2)
Chicago: So good to see Andy and Nancy! The general consensus is that I hadn't been there in 5 years, which is clearly far too long. I got to see Andy's band perform at CJ Arthur's and they are sounding good. It was fun to see/hear everyone again and also momentarily steal Sandy's rhythm bones. My friend Josh from Garfield was sweet enough to stop by the gig as well so there were more people in the audience! I wandered around a bunch in order to see how much I could still navigate just by memory- the answer? A fair bit. Andy and Nancy had a parade of people through their house while I was there, my favourite of whom was an artisanal garlic farmer. 'Artisinal' is probably the wrong word...but fancy and rare types of garlic in any case. Too brief a visit! (Illinois = 3)
Baltimore/DC: I stayed with my dear friend Daniel, briefly saw Liz, took a short walk with Zane, and spent the day at the National Air and Space museum with Sarah, Desh, Jim, and Guinness McDog. An excellent, excellent visit that reminded me that the "family size" package of food- while cost effective, sometimes means that you end up with a 9"x 11" casserole full of meatloaf... tasty and delicious turkey meatloaf, but still a bit overwhelming in size. Daniel and I went on a trek to find his old 3 storey tree house, but we failed to find an accurate alternate path that didn't have us fording a river. Next time, next time I will see this epic tree house. My final night Daniel and I went to Applebees where we made friends with our waitress who had been having a very tough night, but cheered up at our paper sculptures and mini footballs (we maybe weren't exhibiting the most appropriate restaurant behaviour...) (Maryland and Virginia = 5)
New York: I took the Bolt Bus to New York and was delighted with it. Free wi-fi! (that was where the epic and multi-linked Air and Space post came from) Lots of leg room! The guy sitting next to me was reading an article about John Cage written by Cornelius Cardew and I though to myself "there is no reason why anyone who was not a fairly extensively trained musician and/or composer would be reading this..." so I introduced myself. It turns out he's a composer- and being a composer, about my age, and traveling from Baltimore to New York we checked out Facebook to see who all we knew in common. Bizarrely the only common contact we had was an Irish opera singer that I had met in Norfolk. Small world, yes, but that's just weird.
In New York I stayed with my friends Kevin, Sean, and Zach over in Jersey City. We started at lunch with Indian food- which made my mouth burn. Kevin and I visited his office at Meet The Composer, walked through a rainstorm, sat under the highway during a rainstorm, and eventually ended up at a Vietnamese restaurant eating delicious bánh mì that made me so happy and then made my eyes start watering. (I used to be so good with spicy! Apparently no longer...) A trivia night followed that (our team got second place and $30 with absolutely no input from me. I'm not too up on 1970's pop culture) and so ended my first day in NY.
The next day started with cactus tacos (Mmmmm and not too spicy!) and then consisted of hipster watching in Williamsburg where I amused myself by doing a sociological sartorial study. I had drinks with an editor from Tor (we totally geeked out about graphic novels) and then spent the night in Astoria with my friends Ronni and Noah- you may remember them from the epic wedding posts of last year. They're doing very well and it was fabulous to see them again.
My last day in New York I actually spent in Connecticut visiting Meredith, her town, country club, and house she grew up in. It was great- a tour of Meredith's stories. We went kayaking and, thinking we were being clever, left our extra clothes on the shore. When we got back the tide had come in and Meredith had to fish them out of the water...oops. (New York and Connecticut = 7)
Boston: The Bolt Bus up to Boston hit rather a lot of traffic so the sun was setting as I arrived at the bus station. I had used the wi-fi on the bus to get a map of the area around Laine's apartment and directions for how to get there and was feeling quite confident about it all until I started to follow the map. The neighbourhood is beautiful; everyone has a garden, there are a couple of parks within walking distance (I got a little lost and happened upon both of them), and the houses are stunning. When I finally found the address that I had I called Laine up. There was no way that was her house and there was a light on and was she sure that I wasn't going to be knocking on some random family's door? Digging through their mailbox to find a key?
Basically what I'm saying here is that Laine has the most beautiful apartment ever. It is about the same size as the house we grew up in, has lovely bones and intricate detailing, stained glass windows, and enough storage space for an army. (Well, a small Spartan army.) And a pantry! And adorable little butler-pantry-nook-thingy.
More Boston and Laine in the next post.
(Massachusetts = 8 states visited! Making the rounds...)