Other than a weekend camping trip to Big Sur last fall, I hadn't traveled in a while. The itch was getting to me; I feel so restless at times, and traveling is one of the best ways to expand ones own mind.
When my great aunt Edie (pictured below) told me she was renting out a house in Maine for the month of August I asked her if I could come and stay for a week. Was that rude of me to invite myself? I don't know, but after a summer of working and showing visitors around San Diego I was 1. Ready to go somewhere new and 2. Really sick of the Zoo. Edie said yes and I spent a lot of my dollars on a plane ticket to Portland.
The first thing I did when I touched down was go to Dunkin Donuts. I have missed it so much! America doesn't run on Dunkin, only the east coast does, and I was happy to get my hands around the blue collar cup for the first time in almost a year.
Portland had all the Colonial charm of a ritzier New England town but with a sleepy fishing village laid backness to it and a desire to "keep it weird" that mirrored the northwest's Portland, Oregon. The food was fresh and locally grown, the wine was mostly Californian, and the people were a mix of stocky fisherman and skinny kids in all black with recreational piercings.
I got to be there at the summer's end, to see the last of the heirloom tomatoes at the farmer's market and the first of the crisp autumn apples. I sampled every cheese I could get my hands on and took time out for reading and writing in the rooftop garden of the house my aunt rented. I ate too much. I had lengthy talks with my great aunt and cousin, Rachel. We spoke about family and partnerships. Edie told us tales of her late husband, our uncle Richard. I hope I find a love like that and have the good sense to hold on to it. I hope I am as alive as Edie is when I'm a great aunt myself. I hope I'm as alive as she is today, at 29. I'm grateful to have spent time with my family, to see a new and lovely place, and for the breeze that kept me cool on the rooftop.