Wowzers...this has probably been the best May I've experienced in the history of my almost 39 years. Holy shitballs: (pardon the francais), I am almost 39! Where does the time go? I feel not a day older than 37. Planning my trip for the Camino trail in Spain for my 40th in the fall of 2013 if anyone has any suggestions on where to go.
I arrived in NYC after a bit of a stressful trip from Toronto; the afternoon before I was leaving I was checking in online with Porter, and saw that I had to enter my passport number into the computer. Oh dear. Passport. Sitting in my drawer in Midland. What was I thinking? I have travelled the world near and far and have never ever left my passport at home. Apparently, there is always a first. My roomie Evan was at home, and drove the passport to Barrie, where I met him at the Starbucks in the dreaded south end. I cruised back down the highway to drop my car at my aunt's home, and picked up my luggage. My aunt Lorraine dropped me at the Royal York subway, where I schlepped my suitcase and ukulele down the stairs to the train; the escalator was broken. After boarding the train, and waiting about 5 minutes, we heard an announcement that all trains from Kipling to Old Mill were cancelled and we'd have to take shuttle buses to Old Mill. There was a chaotic exodus from the trains; people shoving and pushing and snarling obcenties about the TTC. This is where my yoga was really put to the test. After watching several buses pass by on Bloor Street, I was finally at the beginning of the line for the next bus. When the bus pulled up, I was appalled that several people, shoved in front of me, as I struggled with my suitcase. I got on the bus and the driver ordered me off as there was not enough room. I looked at the people who budded and scolded them and tried to make them get off, "Really? You're really going to be that rude? I was here first and I have a train to catch!" A little white lie, yes, but I did have a dinner date that was important. No one moved. Incredulous I got off and waited for the next train, in awe of how humanity can be so base at times.
The next day, I woke up the morning I was to leave with (yet another) raging ear infection, and had to hustle and bustle my butt to get a prescription for ear drops all morning. Luckily, my pal Sandy in Midland could call something in for me, as my doctor wasn't open yet. I met my dear yogini friend Leigh down at the waterfront at Queen's Quay and she administered the ear drops as I lay on a park bench. Not exactly the beginnings of a great trip. Alas. Porter's tea, cappucino and snack centre made up for my morning of misery as I sampled herbal teas and munched on roasted almonds before boarding the plane. When we touched down in Newark, I had to wait a half hour for the next train to Penn Station. Luckily I met a lovely lad, or should I say, southern gentleman from the States, who was now living in Norway, and our conversations about yoga, travel and life in general helped to pass the time.
When I arrived, I went to my friend Fateh's office near the station to drop off my bags and walk to the East Village to meet Michelle (my sis) who was there on business. I stopped to buy a hat where the salesman told me that another Canadian woman from Montreal also shopped at his store, and like me, she was very nice, only prettier. I was tempted to return the hat as a reaction for being insulted, but it was such a good deal that I just rolled my eyes and left. En route, walking down Broadway, I stopped at the corner of 26th to see a jazz guitarist and singer performing in the window. Of course I sauntered in, sat down and listened as they sang a few jazz standards. After she finished, she got off the stage, and the guitarist held out the mic towards the audience, "Anyone want to do a tune?" I literally jumped from my seat, at the opportunity of being accompanied by someone else: this was a dream come true: live kareoke in New York City on Broadway! I sang "Autumn Leaves" and the owner happened to be there; he asked if I'd like to audition for regular performances there. I knew I had to meet Michelle, so told him, I could audition now, if I used the guitar that was there. After singing a few tunes, he asked if I could play a short 45 minute set for some cash and free drinks. Never being one to turn down a lovely Riesling, I agreed, and by 5:00 pm I'd already played my first New York gig and had a little afternoon wine buzz. Toshi, the owner booked me to come back the following week, where he'd have a piano for me to play.
I met Mishy in the Village and we sauntered around until we found a beautiful little French restaurant near St. Mark's Square where we dined on mussels and French wine. For dessert, she brought me to her favourite stomping grounds for beer...McSorley's Pub...an old establishment whereby women were banned for many years, except to serve as bar wenches. We had a few tasty dark ales, then hit an Indian restaurant for an amazing meal, accompanied by live music on sitar and tabla. The old players where thrilled when I greeted them with "Sat Siri Akal", the Sikh greeting phrase, and they seemed to serenade us for the rest of the night. The next day we spent wandering in Central Park, eating in the Park Plaza hotel, and browsing in SoHo. I met Fateh with his guitar and chanted some mantras at Union Square for "Occupy Yoga" before we met Michelle for dinner at her fave oyster place, "Fish", which is an amazing spot in the village where you can get a glass of wine and 6 oysters for 8 bucks. Not too shabby! We sang on the subway en route home and had a jam session at Fateh's before bed.
The next morning we left for the Catskills, after a quick power shop at Century 21, which is somewhat akin to Winners on steroids. We picked up a car in Newark and headed to Hurleyville where a friend owns a beautiful yoga retreat centre: Sat Nam Yoga Spa. I taught over the weekend, and then we headed back towards the city, stopping on Mother's Day at the Woodstock site in Bethel. What an amazing place and history, and to think: Dad was there (I think part of him is still there). That night we stayed at a friend's in Tarrytown and painted the town red for his birthday before Michelle flew out the next morning for Toronto. I took the train to the city, and played the gig on Broadway; so grateful that I brought the little black dress, and red shoes. You never know! The last few days consisted of visiting friends from university, new friends, and a couple of Broadway shows. A highlight was meeting Lois, at the discount Broadway ticket stand in Times Square. She was ahead of me in line, and ordered me not to get seats for Once if it was partial seating, and so I listened. She was waiting for me outside of the lineup eagerly, "So, did you take my advice? I hope you didn't get those tickets!" in her New York accent that was identical to Mike Myers' "Coffee talk" from SNL...aka: Cawfee Tawk. I decided I needed to hear more, so I invited her to get a coffee with me. That lead to having a lovely lunch together before we went our separate ways: she, to Evita, and I, to Memphis. She recounted sadly the fact that she and her 38 year old daughter don't really get on very well, so it was very a propos that she should find me, have  a lovely conversation and lunch. Alternatively, I was missing Mum over the Mother's Day weekend, so it was perfect that I should spend a lunch on Broadway with an opinionated amazing Jewish mother. I did see Once, a few days later, with FULL view.
After the matinee that day, I met my mother's cousin Michael at Grand Central Station, and took the train to his home just outside of the city in Mt. Kisco where we had a lovely dinner with his wife Susan, and we looked at family photos, telling stories. So special and so very important.

After arriving in Toronto, I headed up the 400 to attend a camp reunion at Kitchi, where I spent the vast majority of my summers from the time I was 8 until 21. My friend Beth came from BC and so many amazing people came from all over the province for a weekend that consisted of sunshine, swimming, kayaking, sailing, wine, cheese, hiking, more wine, vodka coolers, camp songs, camp fires, marshmellows, and poison ivy. Ah. Camp life. I called Dad from the top of the lighthouse to thank him for sending me to this beautiful place and so appreciate all the opportunities my parents presented me with: camp, skiing, music...the list goes on. I sit today outside on my deck on Georgian Bay reflecting on how lucky I am to have so many amazing people and opportunities in my life. So lucky to have this beautiful place in Midland to "squat" until it sell. Not sure what will come next in terms of where I'll live, but I'm sure that whatever door opens, it will be the right one.

Comments

Dr.Ranbir Singh Josan May 25, 2012 @05:28 am
Happy to c u again
Rebecca McParland May 25, 2012 @12:02 am
Hello Gorgeous!! Keep me posted on Camino talk! A trip for your 40th! Love hear about your stories, miss you heaps. Love bec
Kari Klassen May 24, 2012 @03:25 pm
I did the Camino in 2007 if you want to chat about it...
Joe May 24, 2012 @02:59 pm
Sarah; just reading your account is like going to a good movie. You are a true word meister. You kept me on the edge of my seat from your home to NY and back. No wonder you write such good lyrics. But, you skill makes me google every word for proper spelling and useage before I write anything, so I don't look like grammatical fool.
Leslie May 24, 2012 @02:33 pm
Sweet blog report Miss Sarah. You have a blessed life and I think the very worst has already happened to you. And how did you get to be 39 so fast anyway sugar sugar???? I don't get it.

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