Let's start with Halifax.
Halifax was amazing. Elinor is my new best friend. I arrived on Friday evening, having woken up REALLY late on Friday morning and then dawdled around Jason's house eating his pancakes, to find an adorable Elinor waiting for me. She took me shopping, fed me curry, and then suggested we dye our hair red and eat Heavenly Hash ice cream while watching the video from Tribally Yours. I wanted to snuggle her all weekend.
The workshop on Saturday was terrific; the class was large but not overfull, everyone picked stuff up at a great pace, and I got some wonderfully glowing reviews. I have to say, it is as much a pleasure for me to teach a class of people who are that amazing as it is for them to take a class with me, when I'm amazing. Everyone staggered out of the room afterwards, clutching their thighs and moaning, so I must have done something right. Or they all became zombies.
Jason arrived around 4 pm, bearing local Nova Scotia strawberries, which we consumed amid paroxysms of delight (they're red all the way through! they taste like strawberry! damn you, California genetic engineering!) and then blew out to go home and shower before running over to the casino to watch Marissa do her fire show on a revolving stage. She was utterly ignored by all the stupid people in the casino, who preferred pulling the handles on their slot machines to looking at a girl lighting herself on fire. They were doubly stupid because Marissa looks like this:
Then we went to Mezza and ate delicious Lebanese food until I exploded, and then exploded some more. Their bathrooms are a hobo's wet dream: aside from your standard toilet/sink provisions, there was also dental floss, mouthwash (with little cups), delicious ginger hand cream, and toilet seat sanitizer. I used everything but the sanitizer. Then I walked back an forth through their fringe curtains for about five minutes.
The next day we woke up LATE. All three of us wanted to go see the Titanic graves, so we did and snuck up on a tour group while we were there. We are bad ass and get our learning for FREE! Hollaback, y'all! We also found the marker for the Halifax Explosion; it is specifically for the unidentified dead, which gave me pause until I realized that a) probably the identified ones were buried with their families, and b) most of the dead were in pieces and therefore difficult to identify. Elinor had a private lesson so I kidnapped Jason downtown so I could go to a hooping class with Monique.
I don't know why there are so many tiny, talented women in Nova Scotia, but Monique is amazing. And she taught me some stuff I didn't know how to do before AND she gave me another hoop, which is difficult to fit in my car, but I don't care. We stopped at an all-candy, all-the-time store next door to the studio and gorged ourselves on things that come in the colors of Amazonian tree frogs.
After, Elinor took us to a secret swimming hole on a lake that is the color of tea from the peat bog underneath it; we stomped up on everyone already swimming and waved. "We don't have bathing suits!" Elinor announced cheerily, and then we all took off our clothes. Poor people in the water. They didn't have a choice about staring at our pasty white bodies. Then we went home and made yummy dinner and went to sleep.
I left Jason in Truro to catch his bus back to Antigonish and continued on my way towards Bangor. When I was a child, my mom and I used to drive from London, Ontario to PEI in the summers, dipping down through the States to visit my grandparents, and we always crossed the border back into Canada at Calais and we always stayed in Bangor first. So I insisted on crossing at Calais and staying in Bangor, which is where Alicia and the couchsurfing network came in. Alicia lives in a rambling old mansion-like house; she lives alone in a top floor apartment amidst stacks of old furniture and half-refinished rooms. There is a sign outside her building advertising Christian pregnancy advocacy. Apparently the building used to be offices, and then was bought by a millionaire who planned on refurbishing it, but never did. Now she allows Couchsurfers to stay there, which is fabulous; for one thing, wandering around her house was terribly amusing (I found a whole room full of nothing but painstakingly ordered Bud Light bottles), and for another, she's a genuinely sweet and caring human being.
I unfortunately developed a rather intense need for antibiotics while at her house, and she actually took care of me and brought me water and made a doctor's appointment for me. Now I want to marry her, boyfriend be damned. Anybody's boyfriend.
The next day I drove to Boston to see Emma, whom I met in Australia in 2004 when we were both studying abroad and bonded over how disgustingly terrible and obnoxious everyone else in our program was. They were all rugby players from Georgetown. Sorry, Georgetownies, but you guys suck. So I haven't seen Emma for four years, and it turns out she is now working on her PhD in chemical biology at Harvard. And also, she looks like this:
I am tired of meeting people who are cuter, funnier, and smarter than me.
I stayed with her and partied with her friends, and went to hot yoga with her in the morning, at which I felt like I was going to die. Then I drove to New York City. With me on the drive to New York City, I took a lovely couple from Manhattan, who kept me immensely entertained for the four hour drive and then surprised me by coming to my gig that evening at Je'Bon with Djinn and Kaeshi. They have a dog called The 'Tard.
Although this is rapidly becoming one of those blog posts I hate (namely, "First I went here and did this, and then I went here and did this"), I do have to mention that I have been doing so much fun stuff that it's hard to write about. I have many interesting thoughts on all this fun stuff, but it is difficult for me to access them since I am so fricken tired. I keep staying up late and then waking up bright and early at 9 am. You'd think the easy solution to this would be "Don't stay up late," but there are too many interesting people to hang out with. For example, I have not even mentioned how Brad and I are going to look for the superhero store in Brooklyn sometime before I leave New York, or that a male bellydancer from Madison, WI asked me out just as I was trying to figure out if he was gay ("Nope, not gay.").
I have also not mentioned the hugging guru in New York or the fresh peaches I bought from a corner stand on 81st and Lex or the box o' puppies that cost $599 each (actually, those were the cheapest ones; the ones that were actually in the box were puffy little Chow-type dogs, which cost about $1100...I told Justin it would be fun to buy one and ask the salesclerk, "What do you think, white or rose?"). I haven't mentioned the heat or the funny squealing noise my car is making, or the very sweet emails I have been receiving.
But I will. Only now I have to go get my laundry out of the dryer.