Arrived in Grand Rapids about 3:20pm, finishing the first (and, well, shortest) stretch of my trip.
The other place.
I’ve been looking forward to seeing and catching up with some of my friends for a while before I leave for Anchorage on Thursday afternoon. As I wait for them to get home, I settled in and am bloggged for a while from a neat little cafe right down the street. (Hey, look, they’re on WordPress, too!)
I was the only other person there.
I felt extremely hip.
I bet it’s because nobody else has even heard about this place. It’s, like, my favorite.
Spoke with the Story Cafe’s owner, Billy Angel, for a little bit, and we eventually chatted with another customer who appeared named Clay Lewis about their weekly poetry night performances (he was very enthusiastic about his performance poetry about the Book of Revelation). I also learned that they have several different events throughout the week, including Saturday “Playback Improv”, a unique brand of improv that might be interesting for a couple of people I know in Grand Rapids to explore.
Time to catch up on some reading!
Two and a half-mile morning jog made me miss Grand Rapids more than I already did.
Went past that one place where I dodged a bullet.
Shuddered a little.
I guess it’s actually pretty conducive to a teacher’s schedule, too, or at least adjusting to the one I’ll need to have in a few days.
Though I’ve known (at least a little) what I’m getting myself into, I’ve felt strange for about the past week.
“I feel pretty spaced-out,” I said, despite having gone to sleep at 9:00pm.
Things are becoming real.
Last meal at my favorite spot in Grand Rapids, and my last drink (hefeweis beer, of course) before Kaktovik!
“It’s the first day of the rest of your life,” Lizzy quipped in response. I had actually realized that, myself, and the reality of that corny notion was a little bit dizzying.
I jogged almost an entire mile longer this morning. Slower overall, but I ran a mile without stopping, so…it’s a step?
The next part of my journey is a short flight that puts me all of one hour behind the Eastern time zone. All right, so it’s not enough time to adjust, or anything, and if it was, it would probably just mess with my internal clock even more than I’m about to have it messed with when I arrive in Kaktovik tomorrow morning.
I packed all of my things back up. I nervously tidied up some things that weren’t mine. I read a little. I paced around the house checking (repeatedly) for anything I left behind, and thinking anxiously about what I will be leaving behind: Lizzy and Ashley and Pete (though I didn’t actually see him…or Pacific Rim…) and Andrew and everybody who’ve been amazing, even if busy.
Thanks so much, guys (erm, I guess it’s mostly ladies?) for being so accommodating, helpful, and generally rad.
To prove this radness, Lizzy presented me an amazing little gift that my family and friends had collaborated on (behind my back!) for the past few weeks, and my heart jumped as I opened it:
(I’m not sure if Andrew knows that one thing about penguins or not…)
I honestly shed a tear or two as I looked through it. Thank you, everybody – GR pals, TC Karaoke Krew, friends from The Grand – for showing your love and support. I’ll miss you all (and Traverse City, and Grand Rapids); hopefully we’ll touch base again when I fly back to Michigan this December.
Hasta la vista!
Leaving alone, but with the satisfied feeling of having friends-in-spirit, I attempted to work on my “friend-making skills” by re-adopting the desperate and awkward method I’d once applied during my summer 2007 Eurotrip; I chatted up basically everyone I encountered. As I seated myself in the far back “window” (there was no window) seat on flight 1067, my first victim was my neighbor in 39C: Ben, a young man who works for the city of St. Paul. He brushed aside my attempts to converse in favor of boasting at flirting at a flight attendant who scarcely acknowledged him in return. (Humorously, when he finally turned his back to me and continued speaking at her, she turned her attention to the curly-haired toddler who was practically climbing over the seats in front of us.)
NEEDS MOAR SANDWICHES
After an otherwise-uneventful flight, I arrived safely (if hungrily) in Minneapolis, and await the next leg of my trip – to Anchorage, Alaska!
Oh, and: follow me on this Tripline map I set up to see where I’m going and where I’ve been!