Last year I spent New Years in Beacon, New York visiting my friend, Atticus, who I hadn’t seen in years. I’m talking… kids had been born that I’d never met. The visit was long past due but because of my somewhat annoying work schedule the only time I could fit in a visit was over the holiday. So another friend, Daniel, and I piled into the car and off we went to Dutchess County (which I call such because I find it to be a rather glorious county name). I posted about it here. But, one of the things I took away from this trip, and it’s detailed more fully in that post I just linked, is how completely amazing the Hudson River really is. So immense and historic and I get lovely thoughts of old Dutch settlers finding new places to settle.
In February of last year my mother went to a wedding at the Ritz Carlton and decided to get a room. I had a Burlesque event in Akron on the same night but afterwards I got to sleep in style. That was the sort of hotel room that makes sad I’m poor most of the time. The best part was probably the view which looked out onto the Flats, and bridges, and our beautiful little winding Cuyahoga.
Ah, St. Patrick’s Day. I seems like the sort of holiday where I’d just start indiscriminately snapping photos. And guess what? It is. I had the day off this year and went with K and J downtown to view the parade, then beat the crowds on East 4th who were heading to Flannery’s (we headed for Erie Island Coffee Company), and then finally went on to our old standby the Charles Stuart Parnell in good old Cleveland Heights. It’s always amusing how they have a bouncer one night a year and the cups suddenly turn from glass to plastic. It’s always a good time, even on non-Irish theme holidays. And could there possibly be a more drunk looking photo?
Roller derby starts in March, but it goes into full swing in April. Every year K, J, and I get season tickets and have a blast watching two of my favorite things; girls kicking a little ass, and people body checking each other. This year I finally came out with my roller derby name, though I have no intention of every using it (that DOES NOT give any readers out there free game); Maid of the Fist.
Niagara Falls is only of my favorite places on Earth. Which is convenient since it’s only about four hours away. I love the juxtaposition of natural beauty to one of the cheesiest places one can possibly imagine. Where else, except Clifton Hill, can one find a Burger King adorned with Frankenstein or King Kong hanging over a fallen Empire State Building? The Clifton Hill area of Niagara Falls, Ontario is nothing short of fantastic with about eighty themed wax museums and permenant haunted houses. Cheap souvenirs, watered down drinks, and a beer garden karaoke bar; along with a few gigantic waterfalls. It’s a tourists dream.
Every year K and I head off, once a week, to Mentor Headlands, our favorite Lake Erie Beach. We usually go on Thursdays which is perfect. I get off work at three, she gets off work at four and there’s plenty of time to spend relaxing on the uncrowded beach before Scooter’s Dog House for a hamburger afterwards. It’s one summer tradition I most definitely could not do without. June of this past year was a bit rainy, but our first official Beach Day was firmly in the middle of the month. Oh, why can’t it be June right now?
It had been awhile since I’d done anything for the Fourth of July. The year before I was suffering from a kidney stone and entirely doped up on Percocets for any festivities so this year I really wanted to live it up. I convinced K and J to go to the Family Fun Fest this year in Settler’s Park by the river. They had Euclid Beach Park paraphernalia, salt water taffy (with free water) for a dollar, and Sousa band to entertain us while it got dark. It was pretty much everything I wanted it to be.
Oh Sebastian, I made you up in August. For those of you who aren’t my friends on Facebook I feel as though I should explain. In fact he might be getting his own page to elaborate on this a little bit. Sebastian is my fake twin brother. He was originally going to be two years older than me, but an old (Shakespeare) teacher said every girl should have a twin brother named Sebastian. Neither Viola nor I could agree more. Now he is, obviously, a bit of a joke, but at this point he’s so intricately designed that no one can quite believe (or wants to accept) that he is, in fact, not real. Particularly me.
In September K, J, and I headed to Pittsburgh. I love Pittsburgh. People seem to think this is weird, but usually it comes from people who have never been to Pittsburgh. It’s a small city, to be sure, but I can’t help but be impressed with its relatively bustling downtown and culture. Plus, well they have, not one, but two funiculars. That’s a plus. And I love the yellow bridges. I love all the bridges, since they have a ton of them. On this trip we went to the Toonseum and farmers market. I bought some plums that I then left at Lake Winnipesaukee (much to my chagrin). I also love the hills.
In 2004 I went to Europe by myself. I wanted to go and knew no one who was able to go with me so I did the only thing I could do and went by myself. I had a blast, obviously (who wouldn’t?), but I haven’t done much solo traveling since then. I couldn’t figure out why not. So this year, after a camp reunion in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire and the aforementioned sojourn to Lake Winnipesaukee I headed to New York. It had been about four or five years since I’d been there and I find that after about that amount of time I start to miss my trips there. I stayed in a hovel in Morningside Heights (okay, it wasn’t so bad) and went to the American Museum of Natural History. And other stuff, clearly. Actually, though, I found myself walking outrageous distances and never once used public transportation which… was a bad idea the next day when I had blisters and was sore in muscles I didn’t know I had. But I did exactly what I wanted to do, which was mostly book research, and was very happy.
In November I turned 30 and celebrated the end of my twenties with the twenties at my Gatsby Party. I think it was one of the first successful parties of I’ve thrown. Everyone got very into the costumes and a lot of people actually showed up (always a plus). We drank copious amounts of champagne, Pimm’s Cup, and St. Germain. I’m pretty sure everyone was drunk by the end of the night, which is just how Fitzgerald would have liked it.
December is the holidays, pure and simple. Always has been and probably always will be. There’s so much that goes into getting ready for the season; gift buying, tree purchasing and decorating, pulling boxes from the attic and putting them back… pulling out my Charlie Brown tree… Okay this was the first year I had an official Charlie Brown tree. I had another in Columbus that just sort of looked like the tree in the infamous Christmas special but I got rid of that pitiful thing when I moved. Now I’ve gone official and I love it. Obviously, I love Peanuts and like K said when she finally watched the special “I found out you’re a female Charlie Brown”. It’s true. But I don’t always think that’s a bad thing.