Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Let's get this party started!

All I have left to do is finish one class, pack up my things and put them into storage, and get on the road. Since my last post a month ago, I have been up and down the east coast. Here is a recap...

On February 9 I left Columbia with my roommate, Shaun. We left with about three hours of sleep at 4:30am. I was able to catch the noon bus up to NYC. That night I went to Seth & Amy's for a dual bday party. I spent the next few days seeing friends from Colorado, DC, some biking buddies, and some old friends from Memphis. I got to eat at Carnegie, which has become a quasi tradition for Seth and I. We order the same thing, but I eat my whole sandwich and he eats about one-fourth of his.

After the weekend, I took off to Boston to see my sister and brother-in-law. I got to see their beautiful new home and hang out a bit. I had a bunch of homework to do, so one of the days was spent working on the computer. I also got to meet up with another biking buddy for a drink. The day before I left it snowed, sleeted, rained, and a combination of all three at some times. It was a messy day. Diane and I went out to ship some gifts to my nephew, for his first birthday, so they would arrive on time. Before we walked back, we stopped by an amazing bakery next door. I got to eat a Boston Crème in Boston. On the walk back to the house I managed to step off the curb and into 6+ inches of nasty water. I had no choice but to continue forward. My shoes were soaked and my feet were instantly freezing. Luckily we were only a block from the house.

While in Boston, I tried to go see “Old Ironsides”, aka The USS Constitution. This is the USA’s oldest ship still commission in the Navy. It is a sailing ship which leaves the dock once a year to venture out into the harbor, turn-around, and then return for another year. I have been to the ship a couple of times but it has always been closed for tours. This trip I was sure that I would get to see the ship, since I would be going on a Tuesday (the other times have been on a Monday….the day they are closed). It was a brisk 17 degrees when we arrived. Diane and I walked to the ship with our coats wrapped tight around us. We were not concerned by the lack of tourists because it was so cold. However, as we reached the ticket booth, I saw the familiar “Closed” sign. Once again my efforts to see the ship was thrown off-course. As long as my family and friends are in Boston, I will continue to visit. However, I will think twice before attempting to see “Old Ironsides”.

I returned to NYC for a couple of more nights. I got to see "Avenue Q" and some friends. then it was off to DC. I headed straight for my friend’s, Daniel’s, restaurant. It is called Lia’s and it opened just a few weeks after I left DC last year. I sat up at the bar where I was treated to several appetizers that Daniel prepared for me. They were outstanding! I have never had the opportunity to be treated with such exclusivity in a restaurant. It was like a wine tasting, but with food. I wonder if that is how the food critics are treated. Needless to say, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Over the next couple of days, I met up with some friends that I met while living in DC and an old friend from Memphis. Finally my last day of travel arrived. Before I caught my train back to Columbia, I visited the last place I worked in DC. It was nice to see the changes and overall expansion of the company. After coffee and a quick lunch with friends in Silver Spring, I was off to the station. I boarded the train and that is now where I am sitting.

This is the second time I have taken a train for traveling; the first being a short ride from Portland to Seattle. It will take me an additional three hours to arrive in Columbia, rather than driving. However, I am enjoying the peaceful scenery and comfortable/spacious seats. It is quite nice to be able to accomplish wok on my computer, read a book, watch a movie, get up and walk around, and just look out the window and not have to see cars. Instead I am seeing lakes, trees, fields waiting for the spring planting, and snow-covered ground. The US has some wonderful landscapes!

After returning to Columbia I did not stay long. My roommate and I went to Tampa and I got to meet his family and friends, spend a little time on the beach, and go for a nice run along the Bay. My last stop was to my folks house in AL, where I am storing most of my things this summer. I dropped off a car load of things and hung out for day. Then it was back home to finish the semester.

Going on trips like this always reminds me of how difficult it is living out of your suitcase, going from house to house, saying hello and then good-bye to friends. It is emotionally and physically tiring.

I love meeting up with my friends and family and finding out what they are up to and chatting about what all our mutual friends have been doing. It is amazing to hear the adventures which people’s lives have and are taking them on. But at the end, I wish I could have more time and not have to be so quickly on my way. Sometimes just when you are becoming comfortable and reacquainted, you have to say good-bye. Take care everyone and I hope to see you again soon.

Check out some pics from the trip.

I am off to Europe on Monday! I can't wait!!

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