Sherlock has Dr. Watson. Hunter Thompson has Dr. Gonzo. Somewhere in-between I have Dr. Jen. She’s the brains of this outfit. She has the social grace I lack. She can reach top shelves I can’t. She’s got style, she’s got flair, she’s always there, she’s Dr. Jen! And as of last Friday, she’s 40!
Actually that’s not true. My mom makes a great turkey. In fact she’s a terrific cook, except when it comes to pork chops. Growing up we ate them a lot and I would smother them in as much gravy as I could swipe. It wasn’t until I was an adult and someone gave me a delicious one that I realized they weren’t supposed to have the consistency of hockey pucks! But today wasn’t about pork. It was about turkey.
Mark Twain once said “Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.” Of course any vacation dependent on weather will not go according to plan. Our dogsledding experience was no exception. But amor fati! “Fate leads the willing and drags along the reluctant.” We went willingly through the changes and had an amazing weekend with the Mahoosuc Guide Service.
It is with a heavy heart that I share the death of a Yuppie Hobo follower. There are so very few but he was one of the best. I can’t convey the amount of respect I hold for this gentleman in a blog post but I’ll give it my best. He raised one of my favorite people, Dr. Jen, and that’s one hell of an achievement. In fact all of his kids are successful and just good humans. Being around his family is always comforting and warm.
“Roos” was a tall guy. Like super tall. And he had a deep kind of booming voice. As a scrawny 5’8 guy with a soft voice, he was a bit intimidating to me. Aren’t all guys intimidated by their girlfriend’s dad at first? He also worked as a union leader which I assumed meant he killed Hoffa. Turns out I was wrong. As his obit says “He was admired by all, looked up to by most, and feared by none.” The moment I knew he was a sweet guy was when I was leaving their house for the first time. Rather than say goodbye to Dr. J, he said “Au Revoir, Simone” and she responded “Au Revoir, Pee Wee.” I couldn’t believe that this giant with this rumbling voice said that to his daughter. He was officially okay in my book.
“Roos” had a much bigger internet following than I ever will. Like me, he enjoyed traveling for non-traditional/themed reasons. Every Friday him and the Mrs. would drive to a different pizza place. This has gone on for years and we’re talking hundreds of slices at hundreds of restaurants. Comments all over social media have been flooding in about how much people will miss his Pizza Friday posts. No one had an unkind thing to say about this man. We should all aspire to be as kindhearted as he was.
He loved music, trivia, his family, and pizza. I love all of those things too. I wish I had the chance to know him better. I’m looking forward to Pizza Friday with him in Heaven where the toppings are always fresh and the cheese goes all the way up to the crust.
In lieu of flowers and prayers, please have a pizza with your friends and family this and every Pizza Friday.
So we continue on my short little adventures, slowly making our way to 40. These started in August and I was staying right on course. About a quarter of the year down at the point I wrote this and, including big adventures, about a quarter the way through the goal. I started having concerns about keeping this up though. Adventures during the summer months are easy, what happens when it gets cold?
Herein lies the tale of my 40th year. What I mean to say is below are some of the additional 27 adventures I’ve taken to make it up to 40 adventures in a year! If you’ve been following each of my monthly large adventures, you might be disappointed with the size/excitement of these. If that’s the case, move to another blog that has more money and vacation time. That cattle drive tapped me out. These are the small adventures for which I still had some time and money left over.
This post will feature one minor accident, one large failure, and one mega-success. We made a long day out of driving from Portland to Seattle but it was a lot of fun and a great way to spend our last, full-day in the Pacific Northwest. Most importantly we ended our night with our second (and greatest) AirBnB experience. Please enjoy some pictures of donuts, Bigfoots (Bigfeet?), and free flour.
We had a lot of setbacks on our trip (and quite a few pleasant surprises). On day 2 we were supposed to take a turbo-clipper boat from Seattle to Victoria, BC to stay the day and night with one of the loves of my life, Emilia. Who knew that the boat would sell out? It’s an everyday ferry that we assumed would just have seats. A few days before we left the East Coast I decided to pay for the tickets online and found out there weren’t any left and driving to Victoria was not feasible. That’s okay, we rebounded and came up with new, last minute plans to visit Leavenworth, Washington.
In March my job sent me to a conference in Indianapolis. Not exactly a glamorous metropolis, but that’s not really my thing anyway. At these conferences I can rarely get far from the hotel/conference center but usually make a quick trip out to do something silly. In New Orleans I made it to Bourbon Street to drink my face off, in Orlando I took drunken co-workers for a midnight alligator spotting (stupid idea), and in Boston I managed to find a bakery that advertised amazing ricotta pies (which I glutinously ate like a hot dog walking down the street with no plate, fork, or napkin).
The weekend after Valentine’s Day 2019, one of my favorite museums had a fun and strange event. The American Visionary Art Museum has a rotating collection that displays “outsider art.” Basically it’s from artists who are self-taught and can include anything from prisoner sock art to William Burroughs’ shotgun paintings. I’m always hopeful I’ll see John Waters at one of my visits but continue to strike out. I digress, I decided attending the AVM event should turn into a weekend in Baltimore!