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Day 35, On the road again

[Sunday, 19 June.] So here I sit in the airport in Newark, NJ. The flight in from Cleveland (where it was raining), turned lovely mid-flight, and though I am no fan of the Big Apple, when we were flying into Newark from the north, the setting sun hit the Manhattan skyline just perfectly and the place actually looked beautiful (… not inhabitable, but pretty).

I was starved when I got off the plane, so I got myself a cheap chicken Caesar salad at someplace called “Smashburger.” There were other restaurants I might have chosen. Le Grand Comptoir was a lovely establishment, with much more ambiance, and I would have preferred to eat there, but I didn’t care to pay $22 for a 6 oz. piece of meat and $12 for a splash of some Pinot Grigio I never heard of before, even if it were on Lilly Foundation’s nickel. Likewise, the Juan Valdez Café, which held promise of fine coffee and/or decent Mexican food, instead offered a mound of French croissants, granola-spiked yogurt, and other fru-fru fare; no estan muy authentico; Juan Valdez should weep. Besides, I’ve never slept on a plane before in my life, and a cup of coffee is the last thing I need before I board a trans-Atlantic flight.

Of course, all the tables in the big dining area were taken up by middle-aged men, such as myself, sitting all alone, taking up a table meant for four, absorbed in their expensive little black electronic things. (What? No, not me. My expensive little electronic thing is blue, thank you very much.) Being brazen, tired and hungry, I approached one of these globe-trotters and asked if I could have the opposite corner of the table if I promised to keep my mouth shut and leave him alone. He was agreeable, but I broke my promise, and my table-companion proved voluble, and I learned many things about Scandinavian women I didn’t need to know. I shall have to reconsider my policy on promises to shut up.

I am ambivalent about being on the road again. Having been at Acton for most of the last week, I feel disconnected from my family, and I would have preferred to have had more than one night in my own bed before I headed out again. Jeremy was home, too, for the weekend, and it was good to have the whole family together again, if only for a day.

There is also the promise of real adventure in this trip, which makes it a little scary. I am, after all, going to talk with Fr Zachariah about the good of my soul, and he is one who really knows about that sort of thing. (I should have planned a side trip to the Emerald City to ask the Wizard for some courage first. Yowzers, the things I get myself into…). And then the potential for the same sort of raw self-exposure on Mount Athos, of all places. So those possibilities are scary enough. But add in the political unrest in Greece and the threat of strikes in England, and life just gets so much more interesting.

I shall have to post this entry to my blog tomorrow, I suppose. The “free public WiFi” in the airport seems to have seized up, and I can’t bring myself to pay for Boingo internet access (at least, not until I’m absolutely forced to).

I might actually fall asleep on this flight. Here’s hoping. My mamma gave me an inflatable neck pillow to bring, which I’m looking forward to trying out. But also, my good family did me honor for Father’s Day on Saturday night, by taking me out to Cozumel for Mexican food. And drinks. Lots of drinks. I was awake part of the night dealing with some of the consequences of my immoderation. Consequently, I’m already running on fumes. We shall see.


Sabbatical destinations

For those not familiar with Google maps: click and hold your mouse button to move the map around in its frame.

Use the plus (+) and minus (-) buttons on the left to zoom in and out. Or just double-click on the map itself, near the spot you want to zoom in on, and you’ll zoom in there. You can zoom in really, really close and see some interesting details.

Double click on the blue place markers for a brief description of the location.

If you click on the “View larger map” link that’s directly underneath the map, it will take you to the Google map page, where you’ll get a really big map to play around with, and use some really cool features. E.g., switching between satellite and map views (and Google Earth views, if you have Google Earth installed), and clicking on the “photos” option in the upper right corner, which will call up any pictures people have taken at that location; click on them to get a ground-level picture taken at that spot (the pictures taken at St Panteleimon’s Monastery on Mt Athos are really spectacular; check ’em out!)