Sunday, October 28, 2012

Massachusetts 39 - Finale

Oct 27 - 28, 2012

Oct 27

When I looked out the window this morning, I thought it had snowed.  Fog blanketed the street and the effect was eerie.

Susan loves to cook and I love to eat.  We make a great team!  For breakfast she made banana walnut French toast with Micky's homemade blueberry jam as a melted sauce.  I had seconds.  OMG - that was so yummy!

Susan put a tiny witch's hat on Maggie, their 12-year-old Pomeranian.  She looked so adorable I had to take a picture.

Mel loves everything to do with flight.  He has his private pilot's license and flies remote control helicopters.  Here he is working on a mechanical problem, flashlight in mouth.

Halloween is a BIG holiday in Salem, Massachusetts, the Witch City.  There are dozens of stores and museums that cater to witches, death, zombies, etc.  During the entire month of October, hundreds of thousands of people flock to the city, many dressed in costume. 

Susan and I drove to my friend Holly's house in Salem.  Holly is the friend I made in Gulfport in September.  Holly drove the three of us to downtown Salem and parked in her friend's parking space right downtown in the middle of all the action.

We were not in costume, although Holly wore a black hat with a veil.  We walked down Essex Street, a pedestrian mall, and passed thousands of people.  I took a picture of what we thought were supposed to be three warlocks, whatever they are, and Holly snuck in the photo.  We visited briefly with my New Hampshire and Costa Rica friends, Fred and Elaine, who had their Tico Arts booth of wooden puzzle boxes made in Costa Rica.  Holly bought a wooden lobster puzzle box as a gift for her sister.

Susan and I were in sensory overload, and hungry, so we stopped at the first restaurant we came to, an Asian one.  We rested up, got fortified and hit the streets again.  We walked down to Pickering Wharf.  And then we saw the most wondrous thing:  seven rainbows in the sky.  It was incredible.  My camera couldn't capture them all.  People all around us were looking up.  We wondered if they had to do with the monster storm, nicknamed Frankenstorm, that is headed this way.

Susan always makes me what I want to eat, and this trip I told her I wanted a lot of vegetables.  When we got home, Susan made yet another delicious meal: shrimp with kale, asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes over angel hair pasta.  We all got in our jammies, ate in the sun room and watched The Avengers.  It was an excellent stay-at-home night.

Oct 28

Susan made another fantastic breakfast: an egg, cheese and spinach casserole.  And Mel made a Dunkin Donuts run for us. 

Today may mark the end of my three-month trip to the United States.  I was supposed to fly back to Costa Rica on Tuesday, Oct 30, but because of the monster storm that's coming, I changed the reservation to today.  I fly from Boston to Newark at 3pm, then leave Newark at 6pm for Costa Rica.  I don't know now if that Costa Rica flight is going to take off.  I may end up spending a couple of days at the Newark airport.  I hope that is not the case, and that I arrive home safely tonight.

I have had a wonderful time, made new friends, enjoyed time with old friends, ate great food and got to know new places.  I am grateful for every kindness that has been shown to me.  This trip was the right thing for me to do.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Massachusetts 38

Oct 25 - 26, 2012

Oct 25
After one last visit to George, I drove over to Karen's.  I waved goodbye to Gulfport as Karen drove me to Tampa International Airport.  I flew to Miami then to Boston.  My good friend Susan picked me up as she usually does, but didn't for my first two trips into Boston in August, and it was wonderful to see her.  I think of her home as my home away from home.  A nice hot meal was waiting for us.

Oct 26
Susan and I started our day of outlet shopping the way we usually do - filling up first at Dunkin Donuts.  I enjoyed my first and only chocolate glazed donut during this trip.

There are still colorful leaves on the trees.  I took a picture of my old church, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading.

There's a new outlet mall in Merrimack, New Hampshire, so we went up there instead of to the Wrentham Outlet Mall, which is further away.  I had already bought everything on my US shopping list, so I was looking for NOTHING.  Susan and I shop well together.  She bought some things, and apparently I had to buy just one more sleeveless blouse that will be fun to dance in.  After a Dairy Queen ice cream swirl, we drove home.  Susan had made one of my favorite meals:  eggplant parmagiana.  Oh geez, it was delicious.

Friday night is movie night.  We all got into our jammies, and ate dinner in the sun room.  Susan checked out early, so Mel and I watched Casino Royale.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

St Pete 37 - last in Florida

Oct 24, 2012

Today is my last full day in Florida.  I'm organizing my stuff and packing.  Tonight is my last swing dance at the Gulfport Casino. 

Karen gets in tonight.  Tomorrow morning I bring my leftover food and her car to her, and she will drive me to Tampa International Airport.  I'll fly up to Boston for the third time this trip, and stay with my good friend, Susan, and her husband, Mel, for five days.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

St Pete 36

Oct 23, 2012

Tuesday is Fresh Market day in Gulfport.  First I stopped at Karen's and brought in her mail, then I drove downtown.  This was my last Fresh Market day - actually my last daytime in Gulfport - and I wanted to say goodbye to some of the people I met, like Sandy, Daniel, Mike, Helen, Nancy and some others.  Helen Mullins was on the porch of BES, painting a scene from the street.  Here she and the painting are in the photo.

Then I stopped by a small apartment complex owned by Olga, a Russian woman whom I befriended several weeks ago.  Her property is next door to Daniel and Mike's place, where I stayed my first ten days in Florida, August 21 - 31.  That seems so long ago now.  Olga and I chatted a bit and said our goodbyes.

Back to the condo to do my final loads of laundry before I pack and head up to Boston on Thursday.  Tomorrow is my last day in Florida.

Monday, October 22, 2012

St Pete 35

Oct 22, 2012

I had an interesting astrology reading today by an esteemed member of the First Unity Church, Peggy Sandin.  She's been doing readings for over 40 years.  I used to be very close to an astrologer/therapist who was a great inspiration in my life.  I could tell that Peggy is very knowledgeable in giving readings, and in fact, she spent several hours preparing for my arrival.

I still need to process what she said, so without giving much away, Peggy was in agreement with the two psychic readings I had in Costa Rica before I came here.  You two know who you are.  I am on the right path; big changes are coming my way; I need to let things unfold and be grateful.

Then I stopped by The Booklovers' Cafe to say goodbye to Irene, the woman who did Access Technology on me a few weeks back, a process that lets go of old thoughts and behaviors.  Big changes are in store for her, too, and it will be interesting to see what paths our lives follow.

I know this sounds vague and maybe even woowoo, but I feel very good in the confirmations Peggy gave me and in believing that this trip has been the right thing to do.  Still, all will be revealed.

I thought the excitement of the day was over, but George called.  He was riding his bicycle along Clam Bayou and was a few minutes from my house.  It just so happened that I was cooking chicken stir fry and brown rice for two meals, so I invited him over.

After he left, I had a great Skype conversation with Debi, then another nice conversation with Jimmy, a guy I met at church who lives between St Pete and Escazu, Costa Rica.

And finally, Dancing with the Stars!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

St Pete 34

Oct 20 - 21, 2012

Oct 20
These days are lovely - sunny and bright, low 80s, but it's getting cooler at night.  George and Vivi rode their bicycles from Gulfport to St Pete Beach while I drove over and met them at Bongo's, a beach bar.  George kept my beach chair warm while Vivi and I walked the beach and got to know each other.  She's a lovely person and I am glad I have met the two of them.  We got a table at Bongo's for dinner and to watch the sun set.

They rode their bicycles back to Gulfport while I drove back there.  The town was hopping with music and dancing.  My first stop was at The Pen Inn, where a Motown group was playing.  I danced with Brady, the tall black guy from swing dance night, and talked a while with Winnie, whom I had met at Gecko Fest.

Then I crossed the street to the Tea and Me courtyard where the Urban Gypsies (band from Gecko Fest) was playing.  Vivi and George were already there and dancing up a storm.  We all danced for a while, and grooved on the versatile music.  I recognized a woman, Kathryn Marge, whom I had met at a shoe store in St Pete last December.  She's an avid dancer, too.

I was tempted to walk down to On The Rocks, where another band was playing, but I was told it was very smoky, so I headed home.  I had danced enough.

Oct 21
Today was my last day at First Unity Church.  What a wonderful church community I have found, with an outstanding minister, Temple Hayes.  During the service, three dogs that Temple and others rescued from the streets of Brazil, were introduced.  They had been flown from Brazil and already had adoptive families in St Pete.

After the service, Linda and Ron Miller and I went to Under the Moon for lunch.  This is a famous restaurant on Beach Blvd in St Pete, facing the water.  Linda and I met 9 or 10 years ago when we went to Temple's Spirit of Life Church in Sarasota.  They followed her up to First Unity in St Pete.  It has been great to reconnect with Linda and her husband.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

St Pete 33

Oct 19, 2012

This was another laid back day.  George came over in the afternoon and we hung out on the shaded veranda by the pool, overlooking Clam Bayou.  We watched mullets (fish) jumping in the air.  Someone said there were dolphins out there today, but we didn't see any. 

In the evening I drove over to Horan Park on St Pete Beach to listen to music.  I shlepped my red beach chair to the concert venue, only to find that it was all old people there.  I know, I know.  I am an old person, and I've got Social Security to prove it, but I just don't feel like I fit in with people who look older than me when I'm listening to music.  I wanna get up and dance, shake my booty, but no one was doing that.  So after five minutes, I got up and left, and bought a $3 cheeseburger (fundraiser for the fire department) on my way out.

I went home and watched Shark Tank, which I love.  I haven't slept for two nights, so I had a little red wine, which I never drink at night because it gives me hot flashes and keeps me from sleeping.  I figured that if I was going to be awake again, I might as well enjoy a little Pinot Noir.  Then I took a Tylenol PM, which I've been taking with no effect, and went to bed.  I guess the combination of a little red wine and the Benadryl in the pill worked, because I slept almost 11 hours.  Gracias a Dios!