I've been wanting to go on a roadtrip for some time now. It's kind of funny, because I don't like driving that much as a general rule, except for when I have to do it for hours on end. When I quit (for personal reasons) the master's degree counseling programme in which I was enrolled in Denver, I drove all the way home across the country by myself. I thought it was going to be scary (potential blizzards and inevitable truck stops), but I had a great time. I listened to the Focus on the Family radio theatre CDs of the Chronicles of Narnia and laughed and cried my way out of the Rockies, across the Great Plains, and into the Northeast. (I'm going to disclaim here and say I don't generally find myself an avid fan of FotF, but these CDs are amazing).
Now I have neither the time nor the gas money to take a proper road trip. If I did, I would drive to the writer's conference which I plan to attend in the Chicago area in June. But I don't. I have frequent flyer miles, which work out to be a lot cheaper. So I have to get my roadtrip fix in other ways--and (except for once last summer because of a date at Tanglewood) I haven't done it, until today.
Today I went to Northampton. Northampton (a.k.a. Noho) is different enough from where I live to make me feel like I've gone somewhere, but close enough that I can get there and back in a day and still have a few good hours to do something there. I like Noho in the way I like Boulder, largely because they're the same sort of place; they're both large towns with artsy shops, hazy spirituality, and the intimations of marijuana. I do not and have never smoked marijuana, hazy spirituality makes me feel . . . hazy, and I can't afford the supercool stuff in the artsy shops, but I still like towns like this.
I probably would have gone there as a mini-roadtrip anyway, but it was also a good excuse to visit Former-Manager-Frank. He was going to be at his current Starbucks this afternoon, and I got to Noho at 11.30 a.m. I figured I'd wander around the artsy shops and then hang out at his Starbucks and get some writing done. And so it was.
But it was a little more involved than that. So I'll tell you the rest of the story in future installments.