tommy tant surf classic

synopsis:
the longest i’ve been away from home since the surgery
had the time of my life… surf, sun, friends,
and the first stab at a progressive conspiracy event
…and then how my first kidney stones made me want to
punch myself in the face and nearly cut the trip short
…but then patrick and jessica nursed me back into good spirits
and i just adore them :)

thursday oct 8

so i was supposed to show up on thursday night in time for the big kickoff party, but for the first time in my life i showed up at the airport at the wrong time. i had three planes to take – chicago to detroit to florida – but somehow i got it in my head that my detroit departure time was my chicago departure time. idiot move. i chalk it up to no sleep. amanda was my princess in shining armor and rescued me from the clutches of o’hare – who would not normally be the villain in a story where i’m an idiot but they made rebooking an absolute nightmare, trying to sell me a $900 replacement ticket when i was exhausted and crying like a kid who dropped their ice cream. seriously, as the mistake i made dawned on me, the guy at the ticket counter was all smug about it and like, oh we can still get you there by 8pm tonight! and a closer airport! and i was like REALLY? DO IT! and he was like, okay… that will be $900 please.

and i looked this man in the eye… wiped away a couple stray tears… and said “and where do you think i am hiding that kind of money?”

he realized what i meant. it was a minor victory that he realized i was telling him to shove it.

ANYWAY. friday oct 9

found a different flight on another airline. just ate the cost of the original flight. this trip is off to a mixed start. on one hand i’m tired and disappointed in how it was all my fault that things got off on the wrong foot – on the other hand, i got a day to finish a work project and make sure i had everything i needed. my original packing was rushed to say the least, and now i got to take my time a little.

got into flagler in the early evening… so ecstatic off the bat to see my friends from all over the country :) we headed to our hotel and got cleaned up – me from the plane, the girls from the beach. apparently it had been a scorcher – i couldn’t wait. i love that moment when you step off a plane from chicago into florida and that first wave of humidity washes over you…
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everyone was totally scattered around flagler so we picked up some dinner on the way to the town square. the burrito works is a locally owned and operated joint where the line is perpetually out the door and the menu is in shorthand :) i tried to rock the burrito but it got the better of me – i could only eat 2/3 of it but it was delicious and worth the fight
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getting into town square was a gauntlet of excited friends and greetings – i had the same feeling when we were at the Dispatch: Zimbabwe shows in new york, the surrealism of running into your dear friends every ten feet as though you all live there and do this all the time

we caught the beginning of the night’s concert, opening with josh garrels
josh garrels

(i’ve linked to him before – he’s amazing, and just as good live)

josh played, and jesse hines, and braddigan – at the end of the night everyone got back up on stage
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it was really beautiful to see the tants all together – this whole event is in the memory of tommy, will’s older brother. i can’t say i know the tants well, but they are the type of people who treat everyone like family.
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it was a quick, intense night… a couple people had to leave and go back to the airport from the concert! i’m bummed i only get a couple hours with deise and tiago, but i got to meet their puppy marley for the first time…

i don’t remember what time we got home, but man we packed it in those few hours
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saturday oct 10

got up and went straight to the beach, naturally
where the art and surfing and people are
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austin and patrick were already hard at work on the skateboard deck mural
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austin’s very much in the zone with his headphones, while patrick’s more of a social bird, focused but also excited to draw you into his party
austin

patrick’s dad had also painted a bunch of hats for the occasion… if i looked at all legit in head gear i would have gone for one – this is an extremely talented family
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the finished mural was just breathtaking
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and will and matt interviewed the guys for a segment on fuel tv
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i ended up wandering back and forth a few times between the mural and the beach
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watching amelie make a sand sea serpent and mermaid
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watching my friends cheer on each other
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watching the victories of the day get celebrated
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i got to grab lunch at a rooftop deck bar with the corrigans, who are amazing parents and people
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it was just burgers and beers, but it was in the shade and the breeze was perfect. we spent a lot of time talking about how easy it was to see why people retire to florida :) an easy topic to romanticize when they live in denver and i live in chicago
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after lunch we strolled back to the beach
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i got to catch jesse hines’ set, which was a treat
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and caught an adorable armi & elisa moment
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and at the end of the day was the awards show, which was SO much fun – there were so many awards to hand out! and scholarships! and more awards!

the tants started by giving a recap of the event, how much money was raised, that kind of thing. and they remembered tommy and told us about his life and passion
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then all the awards!!!
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our guys played vanna white and handed out the awards as they were called
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the last thing to go down was the mural
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i picked up three
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but brad was the big winner, nabbing a series of SIX
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the beach got broken down and cleaned up, and we all kind of split up for a while to shower and regroup back at the tant’s house where we had pizza and little groups of conversations camped out around the house
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and the oddest thing happened that night – we were up on the second floor balcony, which was open to the ocean, and there was a blue glow out on the water… i had never seen this before, but apparently sometimes little tiny microscopic worms (?!) give off this glow – the guys rushed down to the water, and the chicas followed a little later after we saw how much fun they were having, but eventually everyone there stripped down to their undies and ran into the ocean to play in the sparkling water. it was one of those holy moments that you can’t really document, but can only sit back and let it unfold around you, a time to develop that loose grip on reality and just enjoy the company of amazing people as you kick and splash, just to bask in the glory of creation and enjoy the magic in the water and the stars in the sky. if there had been sleeping bags available, i would have just slept on the sand. it was the universe in a nutshell.

sunday oct 11

sunday was our first-ever progressive conspiracy event…

amalie helped me set up a room that was generously given to us free for the day by patrick’s dad, who is a local school principal… they gave us a room, post-its, pens, and bottled water!
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we got off to a late start – to be expected, of course – but spirits were high as we went around the room and took turns telling each other what we wanted out of 2010, our expectations and fears and where we were in our work
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we broke for a late lunch at a place across the street
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those murals naturally lead to impressions and stories and mayhem
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i just want to call attention to one of many typos achieved by some newfangled technology that scanned our drivers licenses in order to make our security badges. ladies and gentlemen, may i introduce to you our dear friend Bradify. and here i’ve been calling him just brad for all these years.
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after lunch we were ready for more
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our second session took a really interesting turn – instead of working with the structure we’d set out to work with, we took turns again, but this time encouraging each other in our strengths and friendships. there were fourteen of us, and for four hours we had a lovefest! it was really fascinating, i for one am awful about getting compliments – i mean, thirteen people putting their full attention on me, my person, my heart and i wanted to melt through the floor. but like in so many other situations, you just have to think about how fun it is to give that to someone else and if you can just remember that, it is a little easier to receive :) it was really, really cool. i won’t go into detail, but some people there heard things that they have really needed to hear for a long time. good things about the ways we care for them and see how they care for the rest of us.
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at the end of the night – group photo!!!!! points to katso for setting up the shot.
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and an outtake entitled “make a face like you just found a warm spot in the ocean” aka the square foot where someone recently peed :)
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monday oct 12

late late late sunday night after the festivities wound down i stayed in our hotel room while the girls hung out in the lobby for a while… i was shivering and assumed it was from the changes in temperature, that the room was freezing after being in a closed off room all day. and i hadn’t had enough water. or enough sleep. etc etc etc… i totally had a fever and didn’t put it together at all :(

monday six of us headed to kyrie and gareth’s condo for what would have been round two of progressive conspiracy – but since we’d gone so far off course in the second half of sunday, it was really a funny day of recapping and not much planning at all… and as the day wore on my fever got a little worse. i had woken up feeling fine, gotten through most of the day feeling fine, but then all of a sudden i was faint and red-faced and kyrie and i made a walgreens run for fever reducers and gatorade. and airborne for everyone else, since we didn’t know yet the fun that was in store for me – i just wanted to not be contagious.

and then once we got home i took a picture of an extremely adorable kyrie camped out on the floor. tried to sleep off the fever. didn’t feel like i had a cold, so i was confused, but slept just fine.

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tuesday oct 13

patrick and i set off to drive down to ft lauderdale from st augstine. we took a few minutes to swing by and say goodbye to his dad – who i adore – and we got on the road. after a while i started to feel a cramp in my side, in my right hip, and it got progressively worse until i felt like a pole was going through my joint and we had to stop so i could be sick from the pain… this went on for about six hours while we drove south, got to his home, and i could call the doctors in california to check in and ask if i should head to the ER.

they said of course. so we went. hung out in the waiting room. i was dazed, speechless, and nauseous from the pain but patrick was a total champ about EVERYTHING. he waited with me, and eventually after i had been in the back for a while he was able to hang out in my hospital room and we watched soccer and cooking shows, making up lines for the people on screen.

turns out i had my first bout of kidney stones. turns out lots of people who had a duodenal switch get them. turns out i thought i was fine not taking calcium supplements and WAS WRONG. minor FML.

anyway. simple enough fix, i now have to drink a gallon of water a day and get on the calcium… i just felt awful for hijacking a road trip we’d both been really looking forward to. and felt bad for scaring patrick. and was of course mortified that this all happened in the first place… but i couldn’t have been in better hands for recovery.

wednesday oct 14

first order of business: patrick and i went to the library for movies since i had to pee in a jar for a few days and the pain meds they gave me knocked me out. so we knew it would be a very mellow visit and largely based in the maxcy’s living room :)
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patrick took me to an irish pub for lunch that was gorgeous
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and we coaxed out his alter ego Patricio
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check out those siiiiiiiick burgers
LOVING THE HIGH PROTEIN DIET RIGHT NOW

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patrick showed me a nature preserve that he frequents, it was really cool – lots of little spots to hang around and explore
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this, to me, is quintessential florida, these branches hanging over the roads
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you can’t tell from this photo, but the iguanas here are FREAKING HUGE
like cat sized
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and then there was this. after naps and movies at patrick’s, and on the way to a short tour of  boca raton. cause that’s how they roll here (no pun intended)
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i’ve never been to boca before, and it was sweet – you can’t really tell here but there’s a short white wall, and that bright blue stripe is LED lights. this goes on for miles along the coast!
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and then there was this.
florida sunset

and this. i love florida.
florida sunset

i got to hang with patrick in his studio while we waited for jess to get home from med school… patrick’s a sick painter, i commissioned a painting from him when he dug my tattoo and it’s something i cherish – click here to see it
the studio

thursday october 15

my last day of wandering in florida :( so patrick and i made the most of it
fort lauderdale

he took me to this great little shopping center – not to shop but because there’s a museum there and some other fun, like this candy shop that is straight out of willy wonka’s daydreams
candy shop! in fort lauderdale

we got some ice cream that we ate in this perfect little courtyard
fort lauderdale

and afterwards went back to the homestead to watch movies and take a nap… which went on longer than intended, unfortunately. but we still had enough time to pick up some smoothies and check out the most intense comic book store i’ve ever been in – which also happened to house a piece of patrick’s art in the gallery!
comic book store in fort lauderdale

this place is huge, and has everyone i can think of – the classic heroes, everything matt groening, stuff i’ve never seen before, art books and tchotchkes
comic book store in fort lauderdale

and upstairs, past the dan mccarthy (another obscure favorite – a printmaker in jamaica plain MA who i’ve bought posters from), there hangs a patrick maxcy. so freaking cool to see his work up there!
comic book store in fort lauderdale

friday oct 16

another short road trip for me and patrick… this time to the airport…
to be honest, totally looking forward to the comforts of home, my doctors and my bed, but i love knowing that even when things go this wrong when i’m away from home there are such great people to catch me as i fall! LOVE THEM. this trip had a little bit of everything, and i can’t wait to come back…
patrick driving around south FL

LOVE :)

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