There's no place like
I can't say that I'm 'home', because I haven't been home yet, to the place that I live. Late last night my lover picked me up from the airport, we went to her house and I came to work from there. Lingering kisses as my East Coast host puts me on the plane, lingering kisses as my West Coast lover meets me off it. Hours and hours in the middle of awful airline sterility, a quick meal eaten in Phoenix airport dashing from one side of the terminal to the other. I bought an Anne Rice book before my flight, relegating her from my once-upon-an-adolescent-time hero to the airport trash fiction I guess she really is (I finished it this morning on the train).
My thighs are lined with marks from a cane, some of them a day old, some of them nearly a week. Fat purple and yellow bruises from feet and fists. My shins and knees skinned raw from exertion on hard tiled floors. Bite marks and scratches across my throat and shoulders. And that big, satisfied smile of the extremely satisfied traveler. What an amazing week.
Sometimes things are just perfect, and despite some technical difficulties (the airline lost my luggage- never fear, it has been returned) it just worked. My host and I got on fabulously, her friends were as excited about me as I was about them, I saw SEVEN different states of the union, the sun shone, the birds sang, and it was all just wonderful.
There are sculptures of crabs, variously decorated, all over Baltimore (our base city for the week, and the home of my host). Here is a rainbow (gay?) crab, about to devour the George Washington Monument:
Here is Baltimore, basking in the sun and humidity, on the one day I wandered by myself and touristed:
For the Fourth of July we went to Washington D.C and stood on top of an apartment building that I later found out was actually in Virginia, and watched fireworks over 'The Mall'. Being from Sydney, it's pretty difficult to impress me with fireworks ("But where's the Roman Candles off the bridge?"), but it was a lovely night and the explosions were pretty.
Mid-week, we went to New York. There really isn't much to say about that city that hasn't already been said. I was bug-eyed and excited the whole time, enthusiastic and drunk on it. We stayed in an apartment on the Upper West Side, and criss-crossed the city being chauffered by a native Manhattan driver, which apparently means death-defying feats behind the wheel. There simply isn't anywhere to look, ever, that isn't filled with something fascinating. I have to go back just so I can look some more. Here is Strawberry Swirl, as wide-eyed as can be:
Here is me, on a very fast boat that circled Manhattan. I am smiling smugly, unaware that I am about to be absolutely drenched in the Hudson river.
After the boat, and changing, and a pretzel (ginormous! And salty! Why so salty? I could not understand!), and SoHo, we went to Time Square. Where there is a Toys-R-Us, and within the Toys-R-Us, there is a Ferris Wheel. And on that Ferris Wheel there is a carriage that features a My Little Pony setting, full of frolicking fun. Sadly I did not get to ride that carriage (did not have the money on me to bribe the ride attendants), but knowing it existed made me happy. I did ride the Ferris Wheel, and it was awesome. Here is a photo of Time Square in the rain:
Then, there was a straight fetish club, and a caning, and the Museum of Modern Art, and Coney Island. Myhost won a Hello Kitty doll for me, we made out on another Ferris Wheel, we went on the Cyclone, and we watched the Freak Show! Which, these days, is a great place to perve on gorgeous tattooed and pierced girls doing entertaining stunts for an eager crowd. I flirted hard. Here is Hello Kitty cradling a Coney Island post card in front an (apparently) incredibly famous hot dog stand:
We went to "Wild and Wonderful West Virginia", to a work party where I gardened and had sex in the hot tub and watched beautiful lightning bugs twinkle in the trees. We bought (and drank far too much of) The Best Chocolate Milk Ever and went to a hot mineral spring bath.
And of course the world churned on without me, and now I am back and must catch up. Major disasters on all fronts, and some new optimism. So, hi. I'm back.