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Entry date: 10-25-2022 - Trip Notes part 1 - Letters to My Friends


Dear Friends,

I kept a little journal from my recent travels and I want to share some of that with you. Here goes…

So, I'm driving across Iowa, and there's more corn than I've ever seen. I also got a ticket on the way out today (which was last Wednesday, Oct. 19). The officer was very nice. His name was Officer Peterson. I think he understood what I was doing and felt bad, even, for me because he only gave me a slight ticket of $135 for the registration being expired on Rhondi’s car. He didn’t give me a speeding ticket.

The week of Oct. 12 to 19th had started off well. I was getting everything ready and found out that I had been offered a position at a school to teach music. Unfortunately, the position I was offered was for about $5,000 less per year than what I make now and with everything going on in life it's really hard to take a $5,000 step backwards. I also got offered another music position at a school in the same charter network as I currently work, so I decided to stay with my current pay and the devil I know.

I got myself ready, though, and I was stressed out before leaving for ten days. I was nervous about our room and if Rhondi going to be happy when she saw the house. In addition, knowing that she loves Maine and that's where she would like to be and, to be quite honest, things are tough, right now. The world is a tough place at this moment. It was weighing on me that I had a big trip across the country to do what I needed to do.

I was excited to see Mark, though, and he would be in Boston when I got there.

On the flight out, the plane was packed. I did remember my neck pillow this time, so I had a little pillow for support. I didn't even bother putting in the ear plugs so I could hear a movie or anything and I fell asleep pretty quickly. This was probably thanks to the beers I had before I left the house and another I had at the airport while I was waiting for my flight. To be clear, I had a little buzz when I got on the plane, and it bought me about a three hour-ish nap. I sat next to two ladies that showed no interest in conversation whatsoever at the beginning of a flight, so I was happy to just say hello and not speak to them again.

Come to think of it, neither of them even got up during the flight to use the bathroom which was also nice. I did wake up with about probably an hour to go in the flight and I played some solitaire on the screen in front of me. That stupid solitaire game was evil. I'm pretty sure that it's programmed so that you cannot win. I like playing Vegas rules when I play video solitaire. My brain enjoys keeping track of the amount that you've invested in the deck. The stupid game was not accumulating any of it, though, and it was very frustrating to me. During that hour I played solitaire, I did not win a single game so that was also painful for me.

We got to New York, and I only had about an hour to kill. I managed to get my steps in that morning because they changed my departure gate a couple of times and they were on opposite end of Jet Blue’s terminal at JFK. I got to walk around a bit. I went in a duty-free shop just to see how ridiculous the prices were and they were incredibly ridiculous. So, I didn’t buy anything in New York.

Actually, that's not true. I did I did buy a beer at the airport. It was a Brooklyn Brewing Amber that was not good. It was the first and worst beer I had on the East Coast this trip. I know they're available at that burger place with the yummy milkshakes at Uptown Plaza, but I will not be having one of those again.

The flight from New York to Boston is super short and you're only in the air for about 45 minutes. You get up and then you start going down. I played Solitaire, of course, for pretty much that whole flight. I had a score to settle, and I did win a game or two. I also didn't have anybody sitting next to me, which was great. It didn’t track my money total, though, so I was bitter about that. Considering my body clock was at about 4am at this time, I think that may have played into my frustration.

Got to Boston and found Mark pretty quickly which was great. I just felt sort of instantly at ease to be around him and I found myself going almost directly into tour guide mode. I hope it wasn’t irritating. Why do we have to explain everything we know about a place to someone when they have never been there?

I was probably in tour guide mode until we got to Cleveland on Sunday, but Mark was a good sport about it. After I got a quick breakfast sandwich from the Dunk, we found where our bus was going to pick us up to take us to Portland (so Rhondi could pick us up a little closer to Rangeley) and we sat there for probably a good half an hour. It was great getting to relax and catch up.

It's two hours to Portland and Marcus got a little nap, which was good for him. I think I just kind of fiddled around with my phone and looked out the window. In between dozes, I talked a little bit with Marcus about what some of the things were seeing and there was a very cute little girl in the seat in front of him. At one point, she was singing a little bit and I was enjoying her singing a lot because it was full and loud and just full of joy. She must’ve been around three. I'm guessing there were people on the bus who were not enjoying it as much as I was, but fuck’em. She was just doing what little people should do and having a good old time as the wheels went round and round, round and round.

See you tomorrow.

The view from Portland's fine brewery, Austin Street. I'll mention it tomorrow.

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