Greetings from Seat 6A and the Milwaukee-to-Toronto leg of my Grand European Birthday Adventure.
I consider it a good omen that my seat number is the same as mine & Debby’s favorite road in Cape Cod. It winds (to paraphrase a famous song about another road) from West Barnstable to Provincetown. On the West Barnstable end, there are grassy yards fronting cedar-shingled dwellings in sizes ranging from cottage to castle. On 6A, you’re not just traveling through time, you’re time traveling. Shops, restaurants, cemeteries and churches range in age from “just opened” to the 17thcentury. They’re thicker on the Lower Cape, where the land is wider and the population more dense.
Further out the road narrows to sea views on both sides and the distance between communities is greater. Summer isn’t the best time to travel that road. Do it in November or March, when the landscape is sere and the crowds nonexistent.
I meant to take pictures of last night’s final packing adventure, but it didn’t happen. The shoes Debby sent arrived in time for me to add them to my suitcase. Wouldn’t you know, one stupid pair of shoes just threw the whole thing off. I’d packed so well the night before, and the shoes weren’t really the problem. My spatial skills – or lack thereof, more accurately, were. I subtracted a three-shirt medley that didn’t fit my color scheme and subbed in a different one, so I have a total of four T-shirts, one tank top and a pair of gym shorts (for exercising if it turns out there’s a weight room where we’re staying), one dress, one sweater, two pair of pants and something modest to wear to bed. That last because I know Debby and I will be yakking late into the night, and I don’t want to traumatize my brother-in-law.
I did take pictures of my clothes and shoe options for Jasmin and Brandie, my library stylists. So I’m wearing a pair of black Superga high-tops. Superga’s tag line is “the People’s Shoes of Italy.” They’re probably made in China. But still, it’s sweet getting to feel all fuzzy about allowing a pair of Italian branded shoes the opportunity to tread the streets of their homeland.
But before they tread the streets of their homeland, they will be carrying me on an unexpected Bonus Adventure. My layover in Toronto is approximately nine hours. At first, I figured I’d just spend a peaceful day hanging out at the airport. (I’m pretty good at amusing myself, with reading, writing, knitting, listening to music and ukulele playing all possible and enticing options.) Then, I decided to take a leap, and emailed Amy Waldman, the one friend I have in Toronto. Even though I haven’t seen or talked with her in about four years, she wrote back right away.
Amy and I know each other because we have the same name. She is an incredibly talented bead artist – she makes glass beads – and said she could fetch me from the airport and we would have time for lunch and one thing before it was time to go back.
Of course, I chose the library.