Toronto, Washington D.C., New York!

Ahhh, can’t start this! So let’s just dive in.

My words left you back in Toronto and now I’m going to put some more blah blah around the photos I posted a few days ago whilst I was on the bus somewhere between Toronto and New York on my way to Washington D.C.

It was a hell of a long bus trip and you think at some point during those seventeen hours I would’ve collected my thoughts (I was going to say ‘gotten my shit together’ but it just sounded a little too crass) and written a blog.

Well, I tried. I wrote several blogs – but on that bus trip I covered a massive spectrum of emotion that ranged from tears because I was leaving close friends of mine, to tiredness, to delirium, to a zombie like state that saw me walking around Time Square and struggling to use the men’s bathroom in McDonald’s with a backpack strapped to my front and back and my hands and legs stuck out to keep the door shut, to anger at the crazy lady on the bus who wouldn’t stop making inane observational comments TO happiness and excited-ness at seeing my travel buddy, Taylor, once again.

So I’m going to try and fill in the dots a little.

On the 2nd of November Tay and I jumped on a bus and made our way to Toronto, Canada to visit Mags’ and Kyle. We found ourselves turfed out of the bus in the middle of the city at about 6.30 am, and being the slightly poor and money saving travellers we are, we decided to walk to their place without a clue of how to get there or which direction it was in. We asked a few strangers along the way and got some helpful advice and some not so helpful advice, such as the lady who told us in a thick European accent that Kensington market is ‘where I buy my meat’.

After about thirty minutes walking and a few guesses we found ourselves in front of Mags’ house and several seconds later I was hugging Mags’ and Kyle, our arms were akimbo, hugs kept happening and we all couldn’t really believe that we were in Toronto together.

That was the start of my nine day adventure in Toronto. I know that after the initial hugging and catching up we should have gotten out of the house and explored but the majority of my time in Canada was spent on the couch with Mags’, drinking tea and eating halvah and just catching up. I know there were at least one or two days where I only left the house to get food from around the corner, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

We had an amazing time in Toronto, went to several gigs, listened to a lot of records, made delicious pierogies, had a few crazy nights out, kicked back in a tattoo parlour for a few hours, celebrated Kyle’s birthday twice in various parts of town and to top it off a African-Canadian guy sang ‘Ebony & Ivory live together in perfect harmony’ to myself and Kyle’s brother when he mistook us for a couple…

I don’t want to wax lyrical too much about how sentimental I feel about that time, but it has been a highlight of this trip so far and staying with hanging out with an old friend and great new friends has really made me value great friendships even more.

 

Probably the most explorative thing we did whilst in Toronto was visit Kirk’s family home, which is a few hours out of Toronto by train and car. Kirk is one of Maggie’s housemates and after learning that his parents had built a castle in rural Toronto we quickly made plans to visit. After a pretty lazy morning we jumped on the train and made our way out of town toward Kirk’s family home. Kirk’s mum greeted us at the station and gave us a ride back to the castle in her Hummer. It felt pretty awesome rocking up to a castle in a Hummer and while we were there we also went four wheeling and spent a few hours in the games room, which was on the third floor and had a few beers from the bar that Kirk’s dad had made….we also spent a lot of time riding a sand dune out the back and watching Kyle attempt to give two kids a piggy back at once. Brave guy.

After Toronto I headed back down south to Washington D.C and met up with Tay who’d gone to Philadelphia a few days earlier. We traded stories, I told her about a few drunken nights we’d had without her and she told me about a guy on a bus who’d pulled a gun out of his pants and threatened to kill everyone on the bus and then turned to her and said, ‘even you, you white bitch’. Shit. It’s one of the craziest and most terrifying things I’ve ever heard and I hope it never happens to anyone I know again (or anyone in general). After he threatened to kill everyone the bus driver did what he wanted and stopped the bus so he could get off and kill a guy he had beef with who he’d spotted walking down the street.

After hugs and a lot of disbelief at the crazy thing that had happened to her we headed to a friends place in D.C., dropped our bags and headed out again. After Gary and Peggy called us to let us know they were home we headed back with a bottle of wine and spent the evening catching up and later cooking some pretty sad looking cookies, so sad that I didn’t even take a picture. Gary was visibly not impressed with our cooking efforts and I could see the disappointment on his face when we pulled our deformed cookies out of the oven. It became a bit of a joke and at some point I even threatened to bake more cookies.

It was lovely seeing Gary and Peggy and their son Tom, all of whom I haven’t seen for almost six years and I wish we could have spent more time in D.C. but unfortunately we had already booked a flight to New Orleans so we were off again two sleeps later.

That was a pretty quick run-down and I have plenty more to say. I’m in New Orleans right now tucked in bed after a Michelle Shocked gig that somehow saw Taylor and I up on stage banging tambourines and doing back-up harmonies…several times. And then afterward Michelle grabbed my hand and dragged me onto the dance floor for some synchronised step dancing.  But more on that later, and New Orleans in general!

Good night, x Lu

p.s – on a side note, after visiting New York for a second time I’m sad to say that the place seems to always smell like poop. I just felt like I needed to mention this…

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