WestOn20 continues

(This is part two of a two-parter. Here is part one. I should probably mention before I go on that Jim is fine, got a good diagnosis and is back in shape)

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 16.14.19

Day Six – Gary IN to Chicago

We were headed to a meetup in Chicago that wasn’t until 4 pm so Kate and I headed to Miller Beach which was walking distance from our place while Jim slept some more. It was so nice, and just a few minutes from our door. Lots of people and dogs, it reminded me of being in Massachusetts only it was a giant lake and not the ocean. We grabbed Jim and headed out just as the neighborhood was starting to FILL UP with people. Apparently there was an air show happening that afternoon and we scooted out just in time. On our way out we hit the Farmer’s Market which was small and great and we got some exceptional tacos and street corn and other knicknacks including the saltiest string cheese in the world (sorry beardo cheesemonger, you were nice but your cheese was awful)

Continue reading

home dreaming of dates and palms

tile palms

So, it’s early Monday morning. My apologies to those people who are Flickr friends of mine who now have to suffer through all the second-string photos that I am now uploading in fits and starts. Now that Flickr works reliably and I have an always-on connection, I have been filling in the gaps of the trip narrative. I’m a bit cheerier than in the last post. The facts haven’t changed, but my outlook on them has. I’ve had good conversations with friends and family and am looking at the back end of a long plane ride, not an impending 24 hour trek. The plane ride is funny. The sun set in Dubai around 6 pm. My flight was at 2 am. I was on the plane for 14 hours — not great, but not that bad either, I don’t mind planes terribly and Emirates is a decent airline with good food and movies — chasing the dark around the world. So, Thursday night was 20+ hours long. I got to NY, had a five hour layover, amused customs with my luggage full of candy, and got home just as the snow was starting to fall in Vermont.

As of this morning it looks like it’s pretty much stopped and there’s a foot or so of new powder on the ground. Nothing like a lot of shovelling and hollering hello to neighbors over the sounds of the snowblower to get you back to your home-based reality. You’d think getting up at four or five am would mean I’m more productive somehow, but it only means I stay in bed reading longer.

I’m sure I’ll have more updates and reflections on the trip when I’ve settled in more. I’m still getting used to the cold toes and uneven icy ground and the women, there are women everywhere here!


.flickr-photo { border: solid 1px #666; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; }

Got back last night. The wedding was great. The train ride back from New York City was relaxing and lovely, watching the sun set over the Hudson River Valley. My train car was full of (I think) teenaged musicians going to some sort of summer music thing at Killington so all the luggage space was full of cellos and guitars and other large instruments. I got to spend the time captioning my photos from the trip and staring out the window, letting my voice recover. I managed to lose my voice sometime on Friday before all the festivities thanks to some sort of a summer cold, so while I had a great time hanging out with some of my favorite people — both at the wedding and also in Park Slope at my friends’ place — I did a lot of croaking and heard a lot of “you sound like Kathleen Turner” and “that must hurt.” Actually, my throat felt fine, it just functioned poorly, so having some time to rest it was great.

My photos of the weekend are here. The one above was the last one I took before I got home.

The longer I stay in Vermont, the more I’m a gawking slack-jawed tourist when I’m in the city. Look at these PEOPLE. Look how TALL that BUILDING is. I got to do a lot of late night subway riding. Look how LATE these people are AWAKE. I had tacos out in Redhook while watching a soccer game. OMG how TASTY is this food?! I paid equal amounts for a taxi ride and a fancy cocktail. Twelve DOLLARS. I got to hang out with ten friends at once and it wasn’t even a holiday. It sure was fun.

Then I got in my (unlocked all weekend – you know how this part goes) car to drive home from the train station. When I was just a few miles from home, driving along a road (yes it’s called notown, I know I know) that is bordered on one side by a river and one side by a pretty steep hill. I saw what I thougth was a horse in the road and slammed on the brakes, skidded a little and came to a stop next to a moose. We regarded each other for a while in the light of my headlights on the totally-abandoned-at-10-pm route 107 and then he trundled off. I’ve never been that close to a moose in my life.

I got home and my house smelled funny. After ruling out the usual suspects (trash, compost, dead animal in wall, mold, tray under fridge, leaving cereal bowl wiht milk out) I went down to the basement where I found out one of the windows was out of its frame. The basement was damper than usual, so damp that the dead spiders in their webs in the ceiling were growing a thin coating of moldy fuzz. Gross! I turned on the dehumidifier and headed off to bed only to be awakened by a different smell a few hours later that could only be the result of a skunk fight. I talked to my neighbor this morning and we discussed whether or not to call the trapper. I finally put the screens in the last windows that didn’t have them and I am airing the hell out of this place. I hope it helps.

I haven’t done the city/country back and forth thing in about four years now. Seattle is really seeming far to me (though I’ll be there next month for, you guessed it, a wedding!) but I could really deal with some regular city time like this. I’ll have to see what I can scheme up.