Spent three days up in Maine with Lady Grace, to:
1) Visit her host/adoptive parents on beautiful Orrs Island, near the quaint little quintessentially New England town of Brunswick. She hadn't been home since Easter --unacceptable, given that her parents rock! Had a dram (okay, several drams of Oban) with her dad, the one who got 8% as an Independent in the ’06 race for Congress. Nothing better than drinking whisky and talking politics into the wee hours of the morning. He’s also a Northeastern alum and so was curious to hear how my first few weeks in grad school have been. Of course, I raved about the recent poli sci prof we had lead a class discussion just this past Thursday, which led to more discussions about the current political and social climate. (I did keep returning, perhaps randomly and alarmingly, back to how excellent our speaker was – I feel that can’t get enough recognition, since I’m now the biggest worshipping fan….) Her parents are also huge peace activists and were telling us of all the events they’re planning, their latest arrests, their conversations with people, etc. Plus they just got back from a trip to Paris and had a lot of other great stories.
2) Go shopping in Freeport and Kittery. I have a new niece to buy cute stuff for, after all. Got quite a bit of my Christmas shopping already done! Woot woot.
3) Attend select Homecoming events on Mayflower Hill. We skipped the football game and stopped by the houses of some faculty and staff we've kept in touch with, who all decided to vent to us about all the latest shenanigans of the administration and spoiled students. Then we grabbed one drink at the pub. And damn, the place has changed! There are like four new buildings, everything else has been renovated, and the Student Union has been completely rearranged. The pub has been moved, so has the old concession-like area, and both have been uber-sterilized. We ordered cheese fries, and instead of using real cheese like they did six years ago, they used gross Cheez Whiz. It was odd walking around, and I felt like a ghost haunting a past life. I didn’t jettison any baggage into the pond or burn any incense on the quad to excorcize the bad chi, but I think overall the brief visit was good for the karma.
4) Get some allergic love from three cats. I had the foresight to bring both my pills and my inhaler, and both saved my life.
5) Re-catch the cold I just got over. Yay frigid northern temperatures.
The stars up north were phenomenally amazing, the shopping was good, and it was great to catch up with folks. But it was great to see city lights once we hit 95 South!