Sometimes, the day we
Think we will have is further
Than we can believe.

I guess this is the last blog post for this summer... that's sad (again).
It's going to be a long one, though, so get your snacks ready.

Stories are first: since the last time that I wrote a post on here, I've been
traveling still. I found myself spending a last weekend in Berlin (a nice
bookend to my trip, I think, considering I spent my first one there) with
Alex. We went to a cocktail party of a friend of his and generally felt
fancy. I also had the chance to meet the guys he's been living with in Halle
this summer; we had a cookout and general good times.

What followed that was an arduously long train ride to FRA, the airport in
Frankfurt. It was about 7 hours on trains, plus a few hours waiting for a
connection in Mannheim. I'm afraid that I didn't even meet anyone interesting
on these trips; I was much too close to unconscious.

I had my final beer and pretzel breakfast when I arrived the next morning, and
I fell asleep again waiting for my flight. Julius was kind enough to come
meet me at the airport to say goodbye... but I must say I wasn't expecting
that he would actually show up (it had been a part of an offhand comment in
text messages fluttering around the previous day), so I had regrettably
already passed security.

Hours (and movies) later, I found myself in YYZ, which is almost assuredly the airport I've
found myself in second most (next to IND, of course). I was in a strange
travel-coma, as might be expected. Evan met me.

It was a rather odd sort of meeting (as he and I are apt to have, I suppose): he'd come to the airport in time for my flight to land, but I had the immense good fortune of receiving the last bag off the baggage carousel, and so he was sleeping against a post
when I finally emerged from the secret customs area in Pearson. He had been
to a rave the previous night, and was immediately recognizable amid the other
passersby thanks to feathers in his hair, electrical tape on his glasses
(broken again, and this time not by me!), raver candy gleaming on both wrists,
and a brightly coloured shirt. And we spent the afternoon at
his parents' house in Oakville, whereupon I passed out at 6pm and slept for a
good, long time.

The next day was a chance to explore around Waterloo, and by that I mean
"bother Jeff." We didn't have any sort of plan, and Jeff had spent a lot of
time recently playing Braid, so we decided to have a backwards day. We began
by having after-dinner drinks and playing cards, then progressed to going out
to the movies (District 9 - a very strange, but good, sci fi movie), eating dinner, playing on Jeff's Ripstik (which are tremendous
fun, by the way, and apparently the transportation of choice at Facebook,
where both Jeff and Evan will be working just one short week from noW),
getting gelato, and winding up by watching "Cannibal Apocalypse" (where I
slept again) and eating breakfast: Capitain Cronche in French.

A sort-of early start the next day sent Evan and me towards Pat in Montreal,
Canada's other village. It's around 6 hours from Toronto, but we dinked
around in Kingston (lunch at a place called the something-or-other Goat, which meant, naturally, that we had to go there) for a while and got to Pat's around 9.

The next day was spent eating our way through Montreal, which I guess is known for various cuisines. Poutine (yes, Mathieu, this was real poutine),
Montreal-style bagels, and smoked meat make for a very filling day. A quick tour of the "glorified hill" that is the Mont Real promised by the city's name and delicious dinner cooked by Pat's parents rounded out the day. Well, they rounded it out, and it was then capped off by a couple hours in the Fairbank family hot tub. :D

Biking 20km to the city was gorgeous the next day: we explored the old town and surrounding area. Biking 20km back in rain on a bike with no brakes was a little more trying, but it was okay after Evan, Pat, and I sat down to watch a little "Look Around You." I've now seen all 8 of the core episodes, and it was worth every moment.

There don't actually exist any photos of me and Pat from our trip... sort of tragic, but I promise I was there.

Then, back to Waterloo to harass Jeff again. We went to another movie: "Inglourious Basterds," the new and brilliant Tarantino flick. I got tremendous enjoyment from watching it, and though I was certainly the one laughing loudest I do believe everyone else did, too.

At 3:30 yesterday morning, Evan and I peeled ourselves out of bed and got in the car to collect Jeff and one of his friends, Jim, for an epically long and exciting road trip to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH. The path we wound up taking was a complete circuit around Lake Erie--we went down through Buffalo on the way in and up through Detroit on the way out.

Cedar Point was everything that I remembered it to be. Huge coasters stacked up on a tiny peninsula, huge crowds making huge noise, and huge prices for tiny food. :) But, really, it was awesome. We hit all the big coasters there, despite a minor setback due to rain. At the end of the day, we were all starving, energy reserves depleted from screaming our way all the way through the day. We did have some great souvenir photo shots (one ride, the Raptor, now offers souvenir videos, which we were sorely tempted to purchase after filling them the entire ride with obscene gestures), among which I particularly liked the one showing Evan's mouth oddly contorted by one of the park's wooden coasters and he, Jeff, and I giving the rock \m/

Since we were starving, we headed back down the peninsula into tiny Sandusky to scavenge for food. We found a promising candidate: The Thirsty Pony, a bar/restaurant with pizza at good prices. We sat down and immediately ordered two large pizzas, cheese fries, and a round of beers. But on the way to the table, what was that? Television screens showing horses?

The Google Trio went to investigate. Horse races! None among us had ever bet on the ponies before, so why not try it out? It couldn't hurt, right? So we each threw $5 into the pot and attempted to discover how it's done. This post is getting pretty long already, so suffice to say that there are a lot of different ways to bet on horse races, and it's amusing to see the breakdown of how much money is sunk into safe vs. risky bets (it's displayed at the end of each race). We wound up turning our $15 into $16.80, and Evan and I nearly landed on roughly $3000 apiece in our last bet, but choosing the right horses isn't the same as choosing the right horses in the right order.

A drive sprint brought us to Detroit, where we were woefully lost for half an hour in tangles of one-way streets and seven-way intersections. During the drive, those of us who were not occupied with things like steering cracked open 5 tubes of glowsticks, left over from Evan's rave, and decorated the car with them. I believe we described that it looked like our car had become the nest to a glowing spider; bright ring chains twined through the oh-shit handles, up to the rearview mirror, through the driver- and passenger headrests, and onto all our wrists. We hung larger glowing rings over the sideview mirrors. And the Canadian border officer didn't say anything about them at all.

We finally collapsed into bed at around 5:40 this morning, then arose at the crack of one to get me ready to ship out back home. We had a delicious and nutritious breakfast of leftover pizza (which was deliciously garlicy, by the way), then an actually nutritious lunch-picnic alongside a lake on the way to YYZ.

Okay, now I guess that's all the basic information. In the interest of keeping this blog post to a not-entirely-unreasonable size, I think I'm going to cut it off here. It'll be tough to get back into "real life," whatever that is. Already I've been bombarded with requests from professors to please UI for their classes and set up their talent shows and lead their groups and be their treasurer. I guess that if I can't travel all the time (although I know already that I'm going to Pennsylvania, Arizona, Oregon, Quebec, and probably California this term), I have to keep myself busy somehow. And with a suicide schedule like I've got planned, I don't think that it will be hard. I guess I'll see what Evan's last semester was all about, but this is the FINAL SPRINT TO THE END: Graduation in December!

p.s. Anyone who is reading this (whichever states or countries you may be in) is most cordially invited to my as-yet-unplanned grad party. ;)



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