14.09.22 — Travel

Megan Moves

Before getting stuck in, I should highlight that the title of this post refers to Megan moving into her new place, as I mentioned in my first post after arriving in the US. She surely can move, being the salsa expert that she is, but I never did get chance to go to salsa evening – one for next time!

As I say, we pick up after our camping weekend and on the day of Megan’s big move. I had to work in the morning, so woke up bright and early and headed downstairs to join my team virtually. Megan was already up and packing the last of her boxes, after which she headed out to pick up the van she’d rented to move over her furniture and the bulky stuff.

Watching the scene unfold from the window, I just had to head outside and take a photo of everyone as they packed up the last bits into the back of the van. It was a warm day but Megan, her brother Scott, and her friend José were in high spirits whilst I was stuck inside finishing off my day of work.

I eventually finished work and disconnected, at which point I relaxed for a good while as I’d been tasked with house-sitting whilst everyone else was out leading a hand with the move. I did have to pack my suitcase, though, as I was joining Megan and her new housemate for the first night in the new place!

Ellie, the family dog, took a great liking to my socks.

Scott then came to pick me up and I thus became the last thing to be moved over. I met Petergaye upon arrival, who’d just moved into the other bedroom that very morning, and the three of us had a great chat whilst I unpacked my suitcase into my new home for the next week and a half.

As the evening wore on, the three of us wound up jumping in Megan’s car and heading into the centre of Burlington, where we grabbed some delicious pizza and cocktails to celebrate the end of a long day for all of us – even if I had been spared the heavy lifting!

After a good laugh after sharing many funny tales, we headed over to a local institution (Maureen’s words, not mine) for some ice cream. Al’s French Frys (that’s how they spell it) to me looked like the set of a 1970s movie, so I was sure to take plenty of photos along the way.

I grabbed myself a little tub of ice cream topped with warm chocolate sauce and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, one of my favourite American snacks. It did make for a delicious dessert, but I may just have over-faced myself after plenty of spicy chicken pizza.

The next day I was back at work in the morning, so joined Megan and Maureen in the afternoon as they finished unpacking some more boxes and giving some of the downstairs rooms a good scrub. Me and Megan shared some leftover sandwich and a nice warm cookie for lunch before resting most of the evening away: it’d been a demanding couple of days and the muggy weather was not letting up.

We eventually arose, showered, and headed out for the evening/late afternoon. We firstly picked up some tacos at Taco Gordo (literally “Fat Taco”), which was a cute little spot with some very tasty tacos and a fun drink that I grabbed as it was called an “Ariana Grande” and had a fun swirl in it. It was very similar to the margarita I’d had before I grabbed it, but it went down a treat, even if I wound up with brain freeze as I’d to down it when we realised we were late for our evening’s entertainment.

I enjoyed the eclectic mix of styles of the wooden houses along the streets of Burlington.

Taco Gordo was loud, colourful, and chaotic – a bit like home back in Spain!

We then drove over to a local University Centre that Megan used to take some classes in. There, we’d arranged to catch a touring piece of theatre called “Desperate Measures” that was showing in the centre’s theatre. The whole set up reminded me of my many years working at Burnley Youth Theatre, where we’d often have professional touring theatre companies stop by and I’d get a chance to catch some great theatre.

We took our seats inside and right in front of the stage, where the set indicated that we were about to watch a western. Maureen had also mentioned that it was a comedy, and so I was quite bemused that on my trip to the United States I’d wound up watching a western comedy live on stage.

The show was pretty funny, partly because I really got into it and partly because of the drinks we’d had beforehand. It had a very odd plot though. It told of how a man condemned to death could only be set free if his sister (a nun) agreed to sleep with the police chief, who then managed to fool him by switching herself out for a body double in the form of a prostitute who was in love with the condemned man and would do anything to save him.

Confused? We were too.

The head of police then falls for the “nun” and declares that they have to get married in order to secure the condemned man’s pardon, which involves some more people switching, this time under a wedding veil instead of the veil of darkness. Then everything goes to pot thanks to a contract that the sheriff coaxed the inspector into signing, during which time the nun and sheriff had somehow fallen for each other and got married too.

Got that? Me neither.

The next day saw me work until mid afternoon, so the day’s activities were left until a little later in the day. Me and Megan kicked things off with some cheep beers down at a place in Burlington which had a lovely beer garden, after which we grabbed some cheap pizza which we ate off paper plates as we sauntered back to the car.

The weather was good and the beer and pizza were cheap.

From there, we headed to a local playing field and to a softball game that had been arranged between Megan and friends and another local team. I’d no idea what baseball or softball was, but I soon learned that it’s basically just the same old rounders that we used to play at school, but with big gloves “in case the ball hurts our hands.”

As the game began, I tried some hard iced tea. This basically consisted of some grim, over-sweetened tea with alcohol mixed into it. It somehow managed to be simultaneously disgustingly sweet and unpleasantly bitter, and so me and Megan headed off to a nearby supermarket to pick up some alternative drinks.

The supermarket – like all American supermarkets – was way too big and had way too many options. This stressed me out, especially as all of the drinks were weird combinations and all I wanted was a plain old premixed gin and tonic. With time running out, I grabbed the lest horrific looking drink combination and we headed back to the pitch.

Our bench was quite a mess but we did, of course, clean everything up before leaving.

It turns out that I made a bad choice, the mojito-style creation that I’d picked up was equally as disgusting as the hard iced tea, but nevertheless I’d still to join everyone in “shotgunning” my can on the pitch. This involved making a hole in the bottom of the can with a key, then opening the top of it and downing the whole thing as it came rushing forth. It was not pleasant.

This little kick of sugar and alcohol got me in the mood for the rest of the game, during which Megan was drafted in to bat a couple of times and I made a keen observation that the other team were taking things much more seriously than ours. It was therefore a shock to absolutely nobody that they thrashed us.

I was even lent a team jersey despite my lack of sporting talent.

I’d had a great evening, despite our team’s loss and the horrible drinks on offer. I was pretty tipsy in the car ride back home, but sobered up as we arrived home and munched on cookies and reheated pasta from earlier in the day. It was great to join the team for the evening, even if the only time I stepped on to the pitch was to shotgun my drink!