Archive for November 30th, 2010

Back in Action for Three More Weeks

November 30th, 2010

Back from break. Over 800 miles of driving, two hostels, two cities, twelve traffic jams. It was a wonderful break!

It started on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. I brought my plants to day care in a friends’ dorm room and I was ready to leave. I drove to Buffalo together with a freshman girl who lives there, so I wasn’t too lonely and I got some good gas money. From Buffalo to Geneva, NY I was alone, but that ride isn’t too long. In Geneva I met Henk, my friend from home who studies there this semester. We prepared the last things for our trip and I booked my tickets for winter break: from Cleveland to Seattle to New York City to Kingston, Jamaica. About eight days at each location. It took me about three hours to book, but it feels great to have those tickets.

Wednesday we started driving. Henk and I both believe that it is not just about the destination, it is about the journey too. We had put some very good music on my ipod, so while singing and driving/dancing (we alternated the two) we were on our way. The drive was beautiful and we had good conversation in between our enjoyment of the music.

Traffic around our first destination, Montreal, was horrible. However, we coached each other through and after missing an exit and exploring all the highways around Montreal, we found Centre Ville.

Montreal was expensive, cold, slippery, fun, and beautiful: beer for 8.25 + tip per glass, windy 23-degree weather, freezing rain on all roads and sidewalks, a very nice club, and some really good looking old buildings.

After two nights in this French-speaking city, we were off to Toronto. Here it took even longer to find the hostel. We drove past the city at first. We noticed that there were no more signs pointing to Toronto. We inferred that we had passed the city without taking an exit. We turned around, but again, no signs towards downtown. We took the first exit and started driving through the outskirts in the direction of the CN Tower. When we found the center of the city, it still took us a long, long time. Our hostel was hidden, but fortunately, it was a hidden gem. The hostel didn’t look like a hostel at all. It felt like we stayed at someone’s house. We had a nice living room with a big tv and a big couch. Of course, we didn’t spend much time here, but it was great to have a hostel like this.

In Toronto, we went on the CN tower, we went partying, we had good food, and we walked around.

Every night of this break, we had good food with some wine as well. It was a great time, but it went oh so fast.

Now I am back to working hard, but this first day back was amazing too.  It started with a very nice tour that I gave on a sunny campus. I just felt good throughout the day, as the Dutch say: “I sat good in my skin.”

Alright, back to work. Three more weeks and it is break time again, I can’t believe this roller coaster ride that is life.

Bastiaan