After Cape Town, I headed north and west – flying from Johannesburg to Washington Dulles. Non-stop it is 8,134 miles; one-stop (without getting off the plane) in Accra makes it a mere 59 miles further – but the trip takes a very long time.
The goal was Blacksburg, Virginia, home of friends and of Virginia Tech. It was also my plan to watch Hillary win, with a tacos, Skittles, and Tic Tacs party. I think the less we say about election night, the better – America, if not the entire world, is going to have a very rough four years ahead.
On the plus side, Blacksburg really impressed me. I don’t know what I expected in visiting it, but what I got was a city that reminded me – in positive ways – of Bloomington, Indiana: it seemed to be a charming, wooded, hilly, university town. The friends were fantastic, the weather perfect, and I had a great time.
From there I made a mad dash across the country to Seattle. It was my first time in Seattle and I think it is safe to say that I’ve not really been in Seattle, but I did go to dinner with an old (young) friend and then to a Pansy Division concert.
Pansy Division is a terrific gay punk rock band – and the only band I’ve ever seen three times. The first time was a Rhino’s in Bloomington – a crowd of perhaps 200 people of all ages. The second time was at some bar in Indianapolis: I’d managed to convince four of my Bloomington friends to go with me—and when the concert started, I was responsible for more than half of the audience.
The Pansy Division concert was terrific – although the band performing before them was pretty shitty – disguised by being VERY FUCKING LOUD. I’d wished that I had earplugs.
Four hours after going to bed I was awake again, heading to the Seattle airport and a short hop back to Denver. The next 7 days were spent visiting family and friends across the Front Range, including lunch with a guy who works for the University of Wyoming Foundation.
A week later, I was on a plane heading west to Honolulu – one of the worst places in the 50 United States. I was there for 14 hours, holed up in a US$230 a night hotel. The next morning I got the sweetest possible sight of Honolulu – the view as one leaves.
Next stop: many stops.