Tuesday, August 5, 2008

on following the rising sun, for a change

Whenever someone asks me where I'm from, I never know what to say. Do I tell them where I grew up? Where I currently reside? Where I'd call home? It doesn't seem like a difficult question, but it is. I feel most at home when I have no physical address; when everything I own is in my car, and I'm on the road to who knows where. But if I had to pick a place to call home, it would be hard. Growing up in Tennessee, and having my family there gives me obvious strong ties, but I'd say in the year that I lived in Massachusetts, I built more intense and meaningful relationships with more amazing people than I have every before in my life. So, when I visit there, and everyone says, "it's great to have you home," I don't even think to correct them. If home is where the heart is, though, then I guess my home spans the world. Even so, it was great to have yet another visit to my other home.

I left on Friday afternoon, and unfortunately, the journey east is a long one. I arrived just past midnight, and was picked up by Nick and Beth. Since I'd spent all of my flights sleeping, I wasn't very tired, but it being nearly 3 a.m. eastern time by the time we were home, I had to go ahead and crash. It was both weird and comfortable sleeping in my old room.

Saturday I got to spend the entire day with my favorite preschooler (not that I had favorites, I mean come on, I was a professional...). He grows so fast, but is always super excited to see me. He keeps me busy too. We spent most of the day playing some sort of ball or frisbee and making up games that involved both the ball and the frisbee, or even intricate sidewalk chalk scoring. At one point I had a ga-zillion points! It was awesome. For lunch we all took a little trip into Vermont, to his dad's store, where they were grilling out. He also has the coolest dad ever, so it was great seeing all of them. Later that evening (after more ball, of course, and plenty of snuggles), everyone came over for pizza. We sat in the front yard, pulled the truck up to the fold out chairs to get some music, and looked completely like white trash. It was wicked fun.

Later that night, we got all dolled up and rolled in to Diva's. I always feel wicked comfortable going back there, and as always, it's amazing to get to dance with Juan again. We rocked the stage, and even got loads of video footage for a couple videos he's pulling together. We discovered this cool new move as well. I'll have to post pictures later because they're all on Beth's camera. Anyway, it was wicked fun until the end where some drama broke out. It always sucks to get hated on, but I suppose it's inevitable. All in all though, I enjoyed myself.

Sunday, Dusty came to pick me up and our plan was to spend all day on his lake sailing. Well, it wasn't exactly hot and sunny, so we watched a wicked pretty thunderstorm for a while.

Finally, it stopped storming enough to set sail, and the ducks I had been feeding on shore followed us all around the lake. I wonder if they liked the tortilla chips or the olives I'd been feeding them better?

Anyway, we spent a while sailing, and then we built a fire (yes, it was that cold) and chilled around the lakehouse. Later Dusty made like the best dinner ever, and I even ate stuffed clams.

Monday I got to spend with my beautiful James, whom I have missed SO much. Oh my gosh has he grown!! But he's still the same perfect James. His drawing skills have increased a thousandfold, and now he draws a million times better than I do. We spent the afternoon building a castle with blocks, and even setting up a treasure island. We also played pirates on his cool new playset outside, where we had to fight evil smooshed up wizards and find a way to defeat the sorry sisters so we could rescue our favorite knights from the saxon war. All said, we were very successful, and we found the treasure just in time for dinner! I got to eat dinner with James and his parents, and after reading him a bedtime story, catch up with his folks.
They set me up for the night, and so I got to spend the morning playing with James as well. He showed me his mad new swimming skills, and we went on many more adventures. Jane took us to lunch and then had to drop me off at my old preschool. James was so very upset he couldn't even say bye to me. It broke my heart. He was sobbing as they drove away, and so I did too. I miss him so much, but I'm so glad I got to see him.

I spent the afternoon catching up with my former preschoolers (or those that are left), and almost all of them are heading off to kindergarten at the end of this month. They grow so very fast, but I'm lucky because they still remember me, and love to see me. Needless to say I got some mad snuggles that afternoon.

Tuesday night was the Renaissance Faire at Haven, which I had been anxiously awaiting. Actually, I made my costume with the new sewing machine mom gave me. It looked incredible. If only the night had been equally as good... Besides the dj playing some pentaphobe and beats antique beats, the night was no good. At least I looked good, though. Ha!
Wednesday I spent some more time at the preschool, and then Emily and I went for a swim in the Connecticut River. At this point I was fully aware of why I live in Tucson. It was cold and cloudy. But still fun, of course. Later that night we all got together for a fire and some drinks, and I got to catch up with beautiful old friends.

Wednesday morning Beth, Nick, Emily, and I left for Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Laura (my friend from TN was getting married there). So we spent the day driving, and stopped at a couple of shops. By the time we got there, we had just enough time to do a little exploring and then get all dolled up. Emily was my date. Beth and Nick dropped us off, and we proceeded to enjoy ourselves greatly.I'm not a seafood fan, and I've only had lobster (in small bits) twice before in my life. This, however is what was served up at the wedding feast:
I'm very proud of myself because I managed to eat it. I tried mussels for the first time (and liked them), and with the help of a glass or two of wine, I was able to eat the lobster claws sans problem. It was super yummy. But come time for the tail, I tried to rip it off, and then I saw all the little legs, and I totally freaked out. Thank god they hadn't served it to me head facing forward. Emily saved me, and got the meat out for me so I didn't have to think about what I was eating. I ate it all, and it was delicious, regardless of the drama of eating something that still looks like it did when it was alive.

After dinner, I danced myself insane, and then caught a moment with the beautiful bride.

Not ready for the evening to end, several of the bridal party and Emily and I went out to the ONLY bar in Boothbay, and proceeded to rock out till the mornin' light. I had a super blast.

Friday, Em and I rode the free trolley all around town and realized that there is nothing to do if you have little money. Sounds like sailing, kayaking, and whale watching would have been fun, but otherwise this is not a place I'd ever come back to. We did end up a little out of the way at an Alpaca farm, for some fuzzy entertainment.
I had hoped to get to hang out with Laura and everyone from Tennessee sometime on Friday. Otherwise, I don't think I'd have stayed the extra day. Needless to say , I was super bummed and upset when it didn't happen. I hate that I was in such close proximity to someone I never get to see, and I still didn't get to see her. Anyway, we didn't do much of anything the rest of the day, except ogle the cloudy view. The boats were pretty though.... I like boats.
Saturday was 5 hours in the car back to Mass, a brief hello at Priya's birthday party, another hour or so to the airport, and then 8 hours of travel time back to Tucson. Can you say I was tired of sitting? My legs were cramping, but it was all worth it.

I got to see ALMOST everyone I wanted to out there, and I loved it. Did I mention that I have the most beautiful and amazing friends? It's true.

And I think that's it for my summer travels. Next up: who knows. But I intend to rock Tucson in the meantime. :)