It was pretty much a grab-any-space sort of sleeping arrangement. I had a sleeping bag with me, and opted for the kitchen floor.
For some reason or another, I woke up super freaking early. 7:00 AM maybe? I went upstairs to use the bathroom, and found Linda talking with a few other folks (Mollie and Joel maybe), everyone just sitting around on the stairs. They had all woken up to go to the bathroom and just fell to talking.
I ended up going outside and moving my car (filled up the gastank). Came in and couldn’t get back to sleep. Grabbed a few poetry books off of the bookshelves and drank water and read for a while, until everyone else started to wake up.
On waking up, Alex threw on this record: “Double Time,” by Leon Redbone. Incredible stuff, and I had a blast just listening to it. Perked me right up. I gotta get a copy of this album.
Folks waking up and having water/coffee in the breakfast nook.
After some phone calls and some organization, we all headed out for some grub. Alex and Linda had plans with family, and we all decided to split off and do our own thing.
And that thing was Perkins.
Dave had never played one of these claw games before, and so of course we had to help him take one small step forward.
He went for the blue bear (whereas I ended up going for the yellow dinosaur). Hey… 50 cents a play, and all I had was a dollar. No way he gets BOTH turns.
After breakfast, we all said goodbye and Justin and I headed back to the house. Everyone else was Chicago-bound, but we were going to hang out a bit longer with the newlyweds.
I felt bad, because I got to hang out with Hilary and Tori over breakfast, but wasn’t feeling all that hot. I was really quiet, and food only made me feel crappier. Sucks – since I wanted to be more outgoing and talk with them more, but wasn’t able to.
Back at Alex and Linda’s. I’m feeling a bit better, and I pulled a photography book (entitled “Documentary Photography”) and was sifting through it. Justin dug around for “The Americans,” and told me to check this one out.
I dug through my little black notebook, and found a note I had made to myself about this, some months and months back.
Alex and Linda return, and we all hang out in their living room a bit. They open a few presents, and we chit-chat for a little while.
This is a gift that one of the kids (not sure if it’s children from Linda’s side or Alex’s) made for them. It’s a drawing of Alex and Linda’s house, complete with a rainbow. BEST_GIFT_EVAR.
Outside, taking a smoke break.
Justin, a bit pensive.
Alex, newly married man that he is. On being asked how he felt, now that he was married… he said that he felt “powerful.”
Before we were to take off for Chicago, we offered to help Alex and Linda unpack a U-haul full of stuff. They had taken a lot of things (chairs, silverware, plates) from Linda’s restaurant (Kavarna). So, we headed over there to help unload and tidy up.
This is the artwork along the outside wall.
The front of the store, with two seats facing the windows. As comfy as these chairs looked, I have a hunch I’d gravitate to one of the smaller tables instead. For me, coffee shops imply reading or writing, and I just need to have a solid surface to lay some paper down.
Messageboard and teas. All along the walls are art pieces made by Alex’s aunt. Some really cool stuff – self portraits, photographs mixed into paintings, metal etchings.
Now these are some coffee-house tables. Close, wooden, and stury. Perfect space if you’re working alone. And a very intimate space if you’re sitting across from a friend.
Main serving area. Linda cites Alex as the reason the color red has entered more into her life. This photo doesn’t do justice to the layout (and all the cool coffee pots lining the top).
At the end of the unloading process, there was a slight spill in the kitchen. The mop was brought out, and it was all hands on deck. On top of that, we had a TON of dishes and glasses and silverware to clean. In short order, we got into work mode and started washing/sorting all manner of plates and glasses.
Thankfully, there’s an industrial dishwasher in the kitchen. Only one load at a time, but brutally efficient. The whole time I was helping out, I had these flashbacks to working in my parents’ restaurant. I was the dishwasher there for a good while, and the smells of wet food, the blast of the sprayer, the steam from the dishwasher, the scalding hot plates and the way your fingertips keep burning after you let go of the plates… it all came back.
It felt really good, truth be told. I felt productive, and energetic. We blew through a TON of stuff, and it really felt more like play than work.
I’m guessing this is Linda’s. :)
It’s cool that they have a ton of board games available (as well as books). This sign, however, is even cooler.
Be ashamed. LOL.
and Justin, relaxing with a post-work smoke.
Ah, me. Ah, love.
And after washing a ton of dishes… the reward! My very own capuccino.
Actually, the reward was Baskin Robbins. Alex and Linda took Justin and me out for ice cream, their treat.
Again, the two of them smooching. This is a shot of them going in for a quick peck.
Chicago-bound. Snapped this shot of the clouds, but it doesn’t capture what I saw. This entire stretch looked like the clouds had been smeared by a brush. And as the sun set (and we got farther south), the red took over more and more. Simply beautiful.