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Why Not Woodstock?

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, Live the life you’ve always imagined.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Without going into any woe-is-me sob story (which is not my style, anyway), many of you know there have been challenges sent my way over the years.  I don’t think these events changed the way I already thought and acted or reacted, but maybe they just magnified the who that I am.  I can tell you that they gave me the power to not be afraid of:

  1. being alone (not that I want to remain so forever, but if I do, I will survive)
  2. doing things by myself for myself
  3. putting myself out there, either by writing or travelling or whatever opportunity presents itself.

Why have I gone on with this preamble of sorts?  Because I must explain how the hell I ended up in Woodstock, baby!  I cannot honestly say it was ever a destination on my “bucket list” (if I were to have one, that is).  Yes, I adore the music of that time and love the idea that 400,000+ people could gather in the conditions that they were and not turn to violence… you know like rioters do now when their team friggen WINS

Anyway.

Last February, I “met” a blogger on another blogger’s blog (say that ten times quickly 😉 ).  We exchanged miles of comments until it was suggested by moi to chat elsewhere.  Good thing because I am quasi-positive there is some sort of blog etiquette on hogging another’s comments section.

Our exchanges – via text, voice, video chat – occurred almost daily.  We discovered that we had so many things in common and felt we could share pretty much any and everything.  A true friendship was born.  We started joking that it would be great to meet in person.  Little snag was we lived about eight hours apart by car.  Still.  What about meeting half-way?  Great.  We did talk about New York City which would have had a coolness all its own though is not quite an even half-way point but I was willing to do the extra.  Problem was, who in the name of all that is holy wants to go sweat in NYC in July?  Besides, there was nothing available hotel-wise.  So that was that.

Looking at maps, one place than another was suggested until he said:  Why not Woodstock?  A true half-way point for both of us, easy access, lots of places to stay plus the potential of visiting THE musical site of musical sites of all times…

It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.
~ Carl Jung

And so, in May, Woodstock was booked.  Now we had to wait until July 16th.

So. Far. Away.

Till it was here.

We had discussed the official meet-up, who would bring what – I was gonna introduce this Yank to Clamato… welcome him to the Canadian Bloody Caesar (rare are the Canucks who do Bloody Marys).  Not only that, I was making my special “Garden mix” vodka. I warned him I would probably ruin him for future Bloody Marys… He was bringing beer and stuff that comes to mind when one thinks of Woodstock – and what we would do.  We had checked out the surrounding areas and found there were various places to hike so that was definitely on our agenda.  Plus, of course, visiting the venue.

We aimed to meet at the Airbnb for 1 pm on Monday.  Excellent.  We would then go for lunch to break the ice and then do some grocery shopping for some of our meals, eat in on Monday night and then go with the flow and the weather.

Yesterday’s just a memory, tomorrow is never what it’s supposed to be.
~ Bob Dylan

The morning was perfect.  My bags had all been packed, the booze, the crepe mix, my clothes.  According to Google Maps, if i Ieft by 8:15, I would arrive at my destination for 1.  I left at 7:55.  Got to the border at 8:50 – record time as there was zero traffic, stopped off at Duty Free for a coffee, some water bottles and made my way to the border itself.  One car ahead of me.  The border guy asked where I was going, of course, and wished me a fun time.

Set my cruise control to 118 kph (73 mph) because I am a lead-foot and need to be restrained and off I went.  My first pleasant surprise was when I filled my gas tank.  Down to 1/4 tank, I don’t mess around and stopped as soon as I could.  I forgot that trick of using the three digits in my postal code and adding two zeros because the stupid gas tanks ask for a zip code… so I had to pay inside.  The cashier asks me how much, so I say “fifty bucks”.  She says not to worry, whatever amount I use is all I’ll be charged for…  Cool. Press the lever and it pops at $23.38.  What?  Press again and a few cents’ worth is added.  Holy moly!  Or rather… FUCK!  We pay way too much for gas in Quebec!!  3/4 of a tank would have cost me at least $45…

Continue on and arrive in Woodstock.  GPS tells me to turn into the driveway and I can’t see the address but trust it. It is 12:55 and no one is there.  Not even the owners.  Hmmm…  So I sit on the porch.  It feels like it’s 100 degrees.   I walk around and feel that maybe this isn’t right.  Hmmm… I can’t remember there being a pool in the pics.  I do remember 3 doors on the carriage house but don’t remember the colour.  That should have been my first “Hello? may be at the wrong place?”  Just as I am about to jump into my car and drive a bit further, I get a text.  “I’m here.”  I respond, “Me, too”.  “Huh?”

Dumbass.  I was at the house next door.  Way to make a great first impression, Rogerson.

Drive into the nice and narrow drive where I was supposed to be…

A smile and a nice long hug and a glad we made it, we left my stuff in my car because the house wasn’t ready for us.  Using his car we made our way into town for lunch. Our chatter picked up exactly where it had left off the night before.  We knew it.  The comfort level was exactly what we had expected/hoped it would be.

We chose the Oriole 9 which had a fabulous selection of salads and sandwiches and beers… we were good!  Enjoyed our lunch (I was starving), found a grocery store, picked up some items and back to the carriage house.

The sweet owners, Emy and James, were the perfect hosts, made sure we were well-connected to their smart TV and that we lacked for nothing – then we never saw them again!   We connected to YouTube and focused on everything Woodstock.  How neither one of us thought to do any research before hand is beyond us both.  This turned out to be a good thing.  We were able to absorb everything together.  Cooking supper, enjoying each other’s company, watching videos.  We were good.

And seriously, how ironic was it that we were there from July 16-19 and 49 years earlier, the famous concert of concerts was held August 15-18?

The spell had just begun….

 

89 thoughts on “Why Not Woodstock?

  1. I am waiting on Chapter 2! 🙂

    PS a person very dear to me, who for the last three something years is no longer on this Earthly plane, but who I have a sneaking suspicion might’ve snuck a read of this blog post … or would … had been to Woodstock for THE Woodstock when she was a youngling. She spoke of it wistfully and with a gleam in her eye that let me know there were some things she remembered well beyond the stories. She’d lived in different places in her adult life, including many years in NYC, but she returned, with her hubby, to live not far away from Woodstock for what ended up being the last fifteen or so years of her life. Her hubby lives in the area still. She loved it there and I love it that she got to live where dreams were made and her memories sang. Thank you for the ‘soul-visit’ this felt like to me. 🙂 Na’ama

    • I promise you, it will come, Na’ama!
      Oh wow… that is sweet. I sure do hope she did. It must have been something insanely amazing to have experienced this event first-hand… Lucky for you to have known this person and to have seen said gleam…
      Thank you for your kind words and for that nudge to ensure I continue this series… It was truly a wonderful experience!

      • Sorry, this was meant to be a thumb-up to Na’ama (what a great name too)…. but couldn’t do it differently.
        N: Your comment is just the ‘stuff’ I so like about people’s feelings in those blog-stories.
        Dale; I’ll get to you in a minute. Hang on a bit longer pleeeease 🙂

        • Love it, Kiki! You are such a nut. And Na’ama is the coolest name, for sure! And yes, such a great comment, too.
          I shall be patient. I leave at 10 for work, so… ya got 45 minutes 😉

          • Dale; you still there? Had to get my 3rd espresso, it’s so darn hot my brain cells are allover the place…. 😉

          • I am… But now running to get ready! It is sooo effing hot here too… AND it’s been raining without relieving the heat whatsoever!

        • Yay! 🙂 (can’t take much credit for my name–though I do think it is a pretty cool name and makes for a lotta’ spelling and apostrophe explaining … ;)) — Also, I agree about blog-stories being fab. Dale’s not so bad, either … 😉 (ducking)

          • Yep, same semantic root, which carries the Semitic-languages meaning of “pleasant” (“Na’eem” literally means “the pleasant one” or “he who is pleasant”, or just: “pleasant”, Na’ama is one of the derivations of the same, though for females. Some female variations are “Na’eema”, though Na’ama is a close cousin of that). Not much to live up to … 😉

  2. Q,

    You had such a great time in spite of the fact this noob didn’t know the correct usage of the letter “u”, his choice in beer is C plus (according to beerologists) and he runs in thunder storms? That’s worth it right there! And then all the rest.
    Gas prices in Canada . . . sacre bleu! And the first carriage house looks beautiful! As do the shots, all the shots you took, of the trip. And the passion and poise with which you pen this post, that’s pretty beautiful too.

    Here’s to peace, love, music, old movies, hikes, road trips, Clamato and all the many other favourite (see what I did there?) memories made inside three days . . . .

    • B,

      The noob in question need not use the letter “u” because the rest of his writing does not in any way, shape or form, suffer from the lack. As to his choice in beer, I would actually up his grade to a B plus, at least. Running in thunderstorms… may prove he has lost a little of his mind… but he was so exhilarated after, that well. What to say? Don’t even get me started on the gas prices. I am totally freaking out that it cost me a mere, what $55 bucks there and back? Sacré bleu should be upgraded to a Tabarnak.
      That first house was amazing. Maye why it took me so long to leave it 😉
      Only too happy to have been able to take such shots and share them and well, jeez, coming from you, I’ll take that writing compliment with a huge smile.

      Peace, love, music, old movies, hikes, discoveries, road trips, Clamato, friendship and yeah… all the rest…

      • Running in thunder storms is exhilarating indeed. Favorite way to go, tell ya what. Snowstorms are pretty cool, when it’s just snowing and not doing all that other winter nonsense.
        The beer ain’t Coors Light, so there is that.
        Great shots, great wit, great verve, great spirit and exceptional story telling. Coming from me? Pfft! Anyone with a soul who crushes on the written word is gonna love this.

        Peace and no more bloody mary’s . . .

        • Well if you are going to go with a bang, this would be quite the one. Problem with snowstorms is they also come with ice and that, my friend is NOT fun and can just end you up with a twisted part of your body…
          Coors Light and beer should not even be said in the same sentence. So there’s THAT.
          Them there’s a lot of greats in there… Don’t you Pffft! me! That’s my line.
          Alrighty then. We will agree that we are both fab.

          Peace and Bloody Caesars with Dale’s special vodka… 😉

  3. One of my paramedic partners was There and had some interesting stories. He was older than me and died in 1996.

    I have met with several bloggers over the 8.5 years I’ve been doing this. Always a good time and positive. I feel closer to some of them than I do to people I see every day. Welcome to that club.

    • Thank you, Ray. Honoured to be part of that club!
      I have been blogging for 6 or so years and I feel the same way. I think part of it may be because we share more of ourselves in our blogs than we can or want to in person. So by the time we do meet one, we know them more!

  4. Dear Dale,

    I could feel the anticipation and excitement at meeting a blog friend. There’s something special about meeting someone you’ve only spoken to through a screen. I had that experience with a good friend I’d spoken to every day and sometimes multiple times a day on Skype for two years when he came to KC. We held hands a lot and made a point of making eye contact every chance we got.
    I’m so glad you finally met your friend in person and shared the experience.

    Love and shalom, my friend,

    Rochelle

  5. What a brilliant blog, Dale, and I was actually really sorry when you gently and politely lead me out of The Carriage House so you could share supper in private. How wonderful that your conversations with him across the miles turned into a meeting that is as comfortable. I am looking forward to the next episode so I hope there is one 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Jilly! How happy I am that you are enjoying my story. And I can’t be telling everything now, can I?
      I truly do feel blessed that it was a mutual desire to meet outside of the blogosphere!
      There definitely is more to come!

  6. How wonderful, Dale. I love this story–the friendship that developed from a blog, the planning to meet in person–you arriving at the wrong house . . . 🙂 I can’t wait to read more about it. The place looks charming, too.

  7. All I can do while reading this was smile.. what an adorable place!
    You know, you’re officially my idol..it takes courage to take on these adventures and you’ve inspired me now 🙂

    • Thank you, Ina. After months of chatting, I would have been terribly surprised if he ended up not being exactly who I thought he was (and vice-versa for him).
      Yes, more to come!

  8. Now this is a post I’d gladly ‘like’ a hundred times. For the story, for the beauty, for the storytelling, for the joie de vivre and the limited risk-taking, for the being honest and more.
    First, the getting into taking up contact with a virtual friend . Cannot comment on making friends on a blog as I have none, but could imagine getting to know all of the few sites I follow. BUT, I have made WONDERFUL friends via my (then very active and inspiring) photo website http://www.flickr.com/photos/vol-au-vent/ and found all of the following:
    Gr8 contacts galore. Great comments, exchanges from Brazil over Australia to wahayyyyy up North. Losing friends over their illnesses, old age, and even being in contact with their family who informed me personally and kept in contact!
    REAL friends thanks to getting to know them such as you did. I have met and stayed in contact (even up to today) with 4 people in Switzerland, one a Scottish living in CH, one in Germany, a whole US-family who visited me when they came to Paris, living in Oregon. They arrived with a bottle of fantastic wine of their (not own) vineyards in their suitcase!!! There is one particular friend I love so much and to whom we are each telling so much that, should we meet in person one day(*), (unlikely, as they are from California and have family in nearly every state to vist…. – and me in being in no mood whatsoever to EVER visit the US again after what has become of it since 2016), I am in almost daily written contact with, we send each other notes, cards, letters, mails, jokes, we could literally be one family. One other contact-friend and I are sending each other WhatsApp msg daily, little videos, greetings…. New personal friendships have been created and lead to new enlarged friendships with other friends of either side of ‘our’ friendship. Never have I been disappointed and you were right when you said that you knew that man better than you would have believed possible. The thing is we share without a care vital information about ourselves, we trust them and should we meet in person, we know so much about each other that it becomes just a natural extension of ourselves.
    Could add SO MUCH MORE but won’t do my usual monopolizing of your blog. Wish you every happiness, you deserve it. And if it’s meant to be, it will – fear not and nothing. Although I personally wouldn’t have booked a shared room or if so, with a twin bed…. 😉 So, you ARE more courageous than me….

    • Oh my! I am ever so glad you enjoyed reading my write. Friendships found over the blogosphere are not to be relegated to the “useless” pile, that is for sure. You are right. We do share way more with these peeps then we do with those we come face to face to.
      The wonderful thing here is that our friendship simply deepened. There was no doubt whatsoever that we would connect.
      And who says there were not two rooms in the Airbnb? There was definitely a couch! And I’ll leave it at that 😉
      Thanks for this lovely comment!

  9. Whooooooo ha! Good things happen in Woodstock. I was born in a Woodstock.

    Life is better with a splash of risk. Good shtufffs!

    • Were you, now? NB?
      And yes, good things indeed… part 2 coming tomorrow or Friday 😉

      Life is definitely better with a splash of risk…

      • NB, good god no.

        And personally, I wouldn’t meet any blogger with out packing protection -and by that I mean bear spray.

  10. What fun! Why not, indeed! I have yet to meet anyone I met in blogland in person, but boy, I would be so excited to do so. The closest will be that I’m meeting someone at Worldcon who I’ve only known through online critique group and emailing. But now I want to meet *EVERYONE*!

    • There are so many I would love to meet. And frankly, if I believe them all, I have a place to stay all over the world… I guess we’ll just have to go one at a time, eh?

      • This is another thing I really miss about having a house — with a guest room — being able to offer people a place to come visit! Doesn’t work so well in my little apartment, sad to say. But then, I don’t have to share my apartment with the same you-know-what as I had to share my house, so, trade offs. 😉

  11. Pingback: Woodstock – Woods and other Stock | A Dalectable Life

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