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:
- being alone (not that I want to remain so forever, but if I do, I will survive)
- doing things by myself for myself
- 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…
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.
The Carriage House? Nope
The Main House, just not the right house
Drive into the nice and narrow drive where I was supposed to be…
The Carriage House
The Carriage House
The Main House
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….