[15 states, 15 days, 15 beds]

trip out
east coast
trip back

[ the sidebar image ]

day seven ... amherst, ma ... padding on floor
host: matthew and michelle -- friends from college

We decided to stay in Amherst instead of going all the way to my Mom's in one day. This was a good call because we decided to take smaller roads in MA in order to avoid the Mass Pike and wound up on some twisty moutain pass that still had snow on it. We called Matthew every hour or so saying "well, I know the GPS said we would be there at five, and then we said six, but we're still in the Berkshires so it's looking like seven" the GPS orients itself and makes calculations based on what direction you are heading in relation to where your destination is. So, every time we would round a bend, our eta would go from one hour to fifty hours and back again. It was depressing.

Once we got to Matthew and Michelle's, all travel woes were forgotten. Michelle has a spinning wheel and has been spinning her own wool and my sister is a weaver, so they talked sheep and warp and weft while Matthew and I dished about Left Bank and caught up.

Michelle actually went up to Canada for FTAA stuff. She told us about being stopped at the border, thoroughly searched and then allowed to go through. Apparently, for them, the border guards were mostly concerned with whether or not they were going to be violent. When the guards realized that this was not their intent, they let them go with good wishes. Michelle described the FTAA action as somewhat disorganized. At one point, the protesters had gotten down part of the giant wall surrounding the city. Then no one knew what to do. Too bad.

day eight ... boxboro, ma ... bed in sister's old room
host: mom

My Mother's house has seemed to be in a constant state of construction and chaos over the past few years, so coming back there is always a bit of an adventure. I never know where I'm going to sleep or whether I'll be treated like a houseguest or a minor annoyance. This visit was good.

I dropped my sister off at the subway station and headed home. I got to see P/Zesto and deal with the sticky issue of her future plans. As much as I love her, I took her in as a rescue cat when I thought I'd be living in one place for the forseeable future. Then I moved. Then I moved again. She's not a particularly happy cat on an airplane. I don't know if any cats are happy to be stuffed under a seat for eight hours, good drugs or no. She's been staying with my mom's housemate Pat since November and seems to be flourishing there. Pat's been sick on and off so it's been nice for her to have a non-judgmental companion and something to look after. P/Zesto gets to hang out in one place and be adored 24/7. Pat and I had a talk and both decided that P/Z is happier staying in one place so she'll be living in MA for the time being. This brings up all sorts of issues for me in terms of being a good pet parent, but honestly she's happy and I'm happy and Pat's happy so I think it will be a good thing.

I decided not to head up to Vermont, mainly because I knew there would be a zillion things I would need to deal with once I got there and I didn't want to just drop in, get freaked out and have to leave.

day nine ... jamaica plain, ma ... tv room couch
host: dave & tex -- friends from college

Dave and Tex have been living in the same place for years and it's a joy to visit them. I took the subway in, so this wasn't really part of the road trip. Every time I'm there, I clean out the fridge, or at least think about it. I think I move enough so that fridge cleaning is not much of an issue in my households. This time we had a contest. I offered all of my pocket change [$0.81 or so] to the person who came closest to guessing how many jars of mustard were in the fridge. The winner? Dave with a guess of ten jars of mustard!

day ten ... somerville ma ... living room couch
host: kate -- sister

A return to my sister's house where I hung out with her and some friends of hers from the chopper gang. My sister and I grew up in a two-family farmhouse. Now my sister has a two-family house and I have an old barn. We make city mouse/country mouse jokes a lot.

Nick arrived at the train station from New York right on time and the scepter of Jessamyn's Travelling Companion was passed. Nick is a friend from my former work and an all around good guy. He also has blue hair which means he attracts more attention than I do [unless he wears his stealth hat] which makes him a welcome addition to the touring crew. He also brought a lot of good electronic music CDs which was good because I was tired of all the music I had brought with me.

We went to my Mom's the next day, unloaded the stuff from the truck into my Mom's basement and headed off. First planned stop, Summit, NJ.

[click here for more]