After the fear and uncertainty of the tick bite, I am one blue pill away from finishing my two week course of just-in-case-preventative antibiotics. And while my doctor does not believe it was carrying Lyme, it did infect me with some sort of bacteria. I'm feeling better now, though I will be grateful to wake up on Saturday and not have to take another bright blue pill.
On September 20, my wonderful dad was waiting for me at the Seattle International Airport when I returned from my epic three month European Sojourn. He held in his hand a bouquet of flowers for me --rich purple dahlias and white flowers -- that he had picked up at the local farmers market.
It was a whirlwind five days after that, with me staying with my parents, getting ready for the road trip, and traveling back and forth to Seattle for appointments and seeing friends. Finally, last Monday, my mom and I started driving EAST, through Canada, for my final installment of : Erin is consciously unemployed and traveling and having new experiences before acquiring a job. It was really great to road trip again with my mom. The last time we had road tripped together was in the winter of 2008, and that wasn't any fun. It was scary (icy roads in Wyoming kind of scary). This time, we got to have a drink together at dinner and get coffee & donuts and enjoy the fall foliage turning in its glorious sunset of reds and oranges and yellows.
Our first stop was Nelson, B.C., a small town I had been pining after since my first visit there in 2006. This time was even more magical. My whole body, soul, essence vibrated with the town. It is a unique and charming place, full of character and creatives.
Next was Calgary which, with over 1 million inhabitants, is a big city. A kind of Vancouver meets Portland. Regina followed the next day, and I loved what I saw of Regina. Uneasiness pervaded both my mom and me in Winnipeg, and we found relief in a quaint pizza place the following evening in Thunder Bay. Moose signs dotted the landscape (but no moose were to be seen). From Sault Ste. Marie to Toronto, we spotted many a bald eagle and raven.
My mom flew back to Seattle the day after we arrived in Toronto. Without her being there in the morning, without us having to get on the road around dawn again, I felt slightly adrift. With whom would I navigate the city with? How would I get around? I felt thrown into it that morning when I decided a twenty minute car ride to the "nearest" coffee shop was doable from the hotel. I must have merged onto at least three highways to get there. A chipped tooth, a good coffee, and one yellow jacket flying in the car later, I was back at the hotel. Again, where was my mom?!
Nevertheless, I survived, and made my way to the other side of town where I was Air Bnb'ing. I spent the following two days in Toronto, a city that I had been anxious to visit because of its film industry and the fact that many shows I love and enjoy are/were filmed here. But Toronto wasn't a gem or a standout for me. It was just okay. The highlight came on my last night, when I ventured to the Bluffs, a short walk from my hosts' home.
Today I drove 5 hours to Montreal. I am staying at another Air Bnb, and one of my hosts is a filmmaker. He and his roommate have a collection of over 1,000 movies in their house. And my host has worked on and created a number of short films and been in festivals. Very cool stuff.
Today I also got a very edgy-for-me haircut. It wasn't quite what I had expected to get (nor this short, and I was kind of freaking out about it once I saw how much hair was off my head; hair that I had lovingly grown out, though admittedly, needed a trim or cut of some kind). I was thinking super short at first, then trim, and I think what's happened is a combination of short and long because it is asymmetrical and shaved underneath. But I'm going to enjoy it for as long as I have it, because in the end, it is hair after all, and why not play around with it? Why not try new things? I also love that I have this cut right now because I used to totally riff on the people who got funky asymmetrical haircuts... oh, Erin. Ye who are so quick to judge....