Thursday, July 21, 2011

Catching Up

Listening to: Time is Running Out by Muse

So, there I was in an airport, minding my own business when security walks up and asks if I know who left the backpack at the end of the row of chairs unattended. For a solid five minutes there's the vibration of panic and possible chaos in the air as everyone wonders where the gentleman who owns the bag disappeared to. For those five minutes I thought I had just helped some sap get tasered and interrogated by TSA. Turns out he had been outside smoking, received a stern talking to and was left to meander with the other five of us travelers who dared brave the sky at oh-dark-thirty. 

That is pretty much how my trip started. The Twitter version is far more funny because I was high off a lack of sleep and caffeine. I arrived at the airport in Norfolk somewhere around 3:30 in the morning, before the security gates even lifted. It was eerily like the setting of an apocalypse survival flik. Totally worth it to beat the heat and the crowds, however. My planes were practically deserted. 

I arrived at Portland Jetport a bit early, and was greeted with a glomp and a new friend (Chelsie). Emily is just as awesome as I remembered, and has grown into quite the playful beauty. It was warm, which caught me off guard. And so green! Dear lord, so green and lake filled is that state! Maine is gloriously beautiful. I fell in love with it from the air and was not disappointed on the ground. We drove from Portland to Augusta through Freeport, which is a cozy city/town with lots of shopping and is all historical. Their McDonald's is in a two story house! It was so adorably quaint I didn't know what to do with myself.

Also, their L.L. Bean has a giant boot.

We came to Augusta through Hallowell and made it to Game On Cafe, which is my friend's parents' internet cafe/gaming paradise. It was quite something! They have twelve X-Boxes, a PS3, a computer, pool, foosball, a Wii with a projection screen aimed as a sizable chunk of wall and a downstairs area reserved for card games like Magic the Gathering and I believe DnD. We spent a good bit of time there. The food was epic, the atmosphere super comfy and friendly. Even I played some games and we all know how much I suck at them.

I met Garret, the chef at Game On, caught up with Ms. Sue (Emily's mom) and met Kim and Alex. Chelsie was playing Heavy Rain, which is the super devoted video game where you play as specific characters to get through tasks but you have to made all decisions for the characters and your choices could end up killing you. The point of the game is to rescue your son (as one of the characters) from drowning. At this point you've already lost one child to fate (you and your other son were hit by a car and he dies). A serial killer who only strikes when it rains kidnapped your son and is testing your devotion as a father.

It's pretty warped, pretty twisted and we all became engrossed with watching her navigate it. By the time she beat the game we were all ready for some people to die, some people to be saved and a happy ending.

Augusta is a small city and its very historical looking. I loved the way the houses were built and how the wilderness sort of swallowed the place whole from all sides. I could feel the life around us at all times. It was very nice. Where Game On is, you can walk down to the Kennebec River which is apparently home to fish so big they can't swim without scaring the beejezes out of me by jumping from the water. It's also apparently not a 'safe' place to swim as its polluted.

After a short bit, while we were trying to figure out what to do with our lives for the rest of the night, Jaime and David pulled up in her Jeep. They are both very friendly, happy people. It was hard to not be comfortable around them and I instantly was. Once they showed up, our group decided to hit up a local place called Roosters for pizza. Then we discussed maybe visiting and abandoned asylum, but that fell through due to us not wanting to get arrested. We all ended up going to a ghost trail and walking around midnight under a nearly full moon.

Now that was an experience. It was dark, the mud was thick in some places but we mostly managed to avoid it. Apparently, there's an initiation amongst the friends I was with that involved stripping, running through the woods and waiting to pounce on the group from some randomly chosen vantage point. I did not participate. Someone did, but because I didn't ask, I won't tell their name. But it was hilarious and unexpected. We just turned around and they were taking off like a bat out of hell. Good things happen in Maine.

We headed to Emily's after that and David played some Dead Space 2. Chelsie was telling me about the game, as I've never played, and how Isaac tends to die pretty frequently. The Theory of Isaac is that everytime he dies, he cures one of your sins. I fell asleep on a bean bag chair pretty quick, apparently, and woke up just to go upstairs. When we woke up the next morning David still hadn't gone to sleep and was almost done with Dead Space 1 and had beaten 2.

We ended up at Alex's house for her birthday barbeque and a dip in the lake. The food was great. David entertained us on the piano and even played Time is Running out for the girls to sing while I recorded it. He has quite the talent for musical arts, I was very impressed. The music he played was all his own and it was beautiful. I'm envious. And the way those girls sing! So much better than I could hope, haha. It was great. So we pushed Alex's face into her cake, went to the lake and had a swim. Then we went back to Emily's, changed and got ready to go to Applebees for Alex's birthday dinner before the Harry Potter premiere. WHICH WAS AMAZING.

The next day we ended up at Farmington, where Jaime and David stay. I played Left 4 Dead for the first time, and it was very fun. Fucking Tanks and Chargers though. Seriously? Why are they so damn attracted to Ellis? Does he give off a pheromone?

Anyhow, Farmington is a great place. Its small, has a college, and has wonderful shops where I bought a dress and four pairs of shoes for two dollars a piece. So awesome!

I also tried the hookah for the first time ever, and that was neat! The smoke was smoother than cigarettes and way more pleasant than cigars. We had strawberry and pina colada. So, that was cool. Then we all stayed up real late after eating tacos playing truth or dare. Ian, Hillary's boyfriend (she being cousins with Jaime and David), got me with a food dare. Ugh, I hate food dares. I had to eat this atrocity of a layer cake out of a shot glass. It was salsa, peppercinis, peanut butter, maple syrup, strawberry frosting, paprika and something else I think. But by God I didn't back down.

I have flashbacks to that moment. But that's okay. Someone else had to go streaking. There was a lot of body licking. It was a good time. I fell asleep somewhere around four in a chair, woke up at six to go to Dunkin Donuts with David and Preston, went back to bed immediately after. We had to get home decently early for Emily to go to work, I believe. I ended up spending most of the day with her brother Steven. He took me to Hallowell Day and bought me fried dough. We hit up the Wharf, a local bar joint, and had a drink. Later we also went to the Bridge Street Bar (I think its called that) and I had a Mike's Hard Lemonade for I am womanly.

My last full day there we hit up the coast. I guilted David into joining us instead of finishing Dead Space, with puppy dog eyes. Steve drove up and we visited some shops. I bought Sarah, mum, dad and Boy all presents. Then came the lobster. Dear god, the lobster. It was huge! I couldn't even finish my half, honestly. That boy had no issue tearing through his though, like he had something against it personally. It was fantastic! Emily and I stayed up that night talking and sleeping on the couch like old times.

Before I left the next day we went candlepin bowling and ate a lot of junky foods at the bowling alley. I sucked horribly. It was great fun though! And we hit up the little arcade where, for some reason, we all gave our tickets to Emily. A few goodbyes later and I was on my way home. It was an easy flight back.

It was a great trip, totally relaxing and comfortable the whole time. I really enjoyed myself. I'm still excited about it, actually, haha.

Ramen time before work! It's Janette's last Applebees Night, so we're going to party it up! Laters.

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