Well - I'm officially gone from DC now, as shocking and weird as that is for me to write! I arrived in South Carolina at my dad's house last night at 7pm and my boxes and such are due to arrive later this week.
The last few days in DC were a blur -
Wednesday - I carried 100 lbs of books to the postoffice to ship to Amsterdam. A final humiliating submission to the US government bureaucracy as I had to shuffle through the USPS line filling out and re-filling out forms and apologizing for having heavy boxes to the haughty ladies of the Florida Street Station.
Thursday- the international shipping company sent an old man who appeared to have a heart condition to my fourth floor walkup to get my boxes to ship to the Netherlands so I ended up helping him carry them all down the stairs.
Friday- after being informed that the moving company would not be able to pick up my boxes in the AM as I had organized, they then changed their mind and arrived 12 hours early - interupting my goodbye drinks with my former boss at the Tabard Inn. Two hyperactively strong Mexican men proceeded to tear through the apartment taping up and hauling away everything while the Iranian truck driver smoked cigarettes on the sidewalk checking out the Friday night happy hour crowd on their way to Adams Morgan. God only knows what will arrive in South Carolina. I tipped the Mexicans with that bottle of tequila that I had been eyeballing as a solution ot the anxieties of moving all week.
Saturday - Spent the day throwing things away, freecycling, having lunch with Bernice at our 'usual' and then drinks with Cat, Rick, and the kids. And then! the goodbye party- during the worst Nor'easter that the east coast has seen in ages. Amazingly, people actually showed up for the party. We all met at Perry's where they cordoned off part of the bar for us. What fun! I'm so happy and thrilled that so many of you made it out on the wet, stormy, cold evening to wish me off in style. Sean and Alec outdid themselves with Dutch names for all the guests and tulips galore. I hope someone was able to gather the tulips since I got hammered on farewell shot after farewell shot and the end of the night is a blur. Thanks to William who put up with my insanity and managed to dump me back into Diana and Marco's house that night! From what I recall, I left Angles (where the after party raged on until 3am) and then demanded that he go get the car while I went into Rumba Cafe and danced for a while.
Sunday morning, I awoke to find that the world's biggest hangover had settled on my head. Somehow, through that fog, I managed to get back over to my apartment and give away things through freecycle some more. If it weren't for Kevin and Brian coming to meet me and Alec for brunch, I don't know what would have happened. I would probably still be there lying in a ball on the floor in my empty apartment. Big thanks to the gentlemen from New York who assisted my friend Megan by carrying her television down to her car. After a hilarious brunch discussing "pirate novels" (It was called skye o'malley - Kev!) among other things, Kevin and Brian dropped Alec and I off at the car rental shop where I got a lovely white minivan to haul the rest of my belongings away.
Sunday evening, we had bookclub which was a lovely way to spend the last night in DC. Talking about Black Swan Green, eating ziti, laughing about the good ole days when I was a dirty hippie. Some final photos. Absolutely lovely. A few short trips up and down that damn fourth floor walkup with Gus, Neil, and Alec and the van was packed, the trash was hauled (mostly), and I was out of there. Goodbye little purple apartment with a view of the Washington Monument and a great roof deck. Goodbye Jolt and Bolt and fabulous lox bagels and mango smoothies.
And then Monday rolled around - Alec and I jumped in the minivan and after a last minute goodbye to Simon, my Siamese cat that April is kindly looking after until I get settled, we hit the road. The weather got progressively warmer, sunnier, and lovelier the further South we got. We stopped off at the Ava Gardner museum where I have decided to become the "Ava Gardner of the humanitarian world." Ava moved to Spain and England after growing weary of Hollywood where she had love affairs with bull fighters, arguments with her neighbor - the deposed president of Argentina - Juan Peron, and a 'normal life' of sightseeing and entertaining her gentlemen callers in London.
Sadly, my reverie was rudely interupted by a certain North Carolina State Trooper C Bell who pulled me over for speeding 83 in a 65 on I 95 right outside of Fayetteville. I hadn't been pulled over for speeding in YEARS! In fact, I think the last time was right in that spot where the cop looked at me in disgust and told me to "get out of his state". I will have to skip the court proceedings of fighting the ticket, I guess and just pay it (or not) - $140 of Heinekens and gouda cheese down the drain.
Luckily, Alec and I arrived in South Carolina with no further incidents and enjoyed an evening of twenties music and spaghetti with my father. Now, I have ten days of rest and a short trip to Charleston for some sightseeing before I leave for Amsterdam and my new life and new beginnings in Europe. More to come as it occurs.