Since I am now living on the other side of the world to my family and most of my friends this blog is about things I enjoy, things I notice, people I meet, people I miss, history, planning for the future, love and life in general! I guess it's about whatever pops into my head which I want to share with my friends and family... and who knows? I might make some more friends along the way!

04 May, 2008

Asheville to DC...

I have met a lot of folk here on the internet! I cannot tell you how richly blessed my life has been through some of these friends, but this time in Asheville was rather special to me. I mean in Georgia I got to spend some seriously quality time with Jimi, who had been there for me through some really tough times, and at Dragon*Con I got to spend lots of time with many, many friends whom I thought I might never get to meet! But here in Asheville I spent quality time with someone who had touched me deeply, whom I had admired a great deal from the moment I came across her in my online forays... actually someone who inspired me to start blogging! My friend Erin!

Erin has a lovely little flat on the ground floor of a building in Asheville and it had the prettiest garden! There are lots of really impressive houses around the area, as it's one of the wealthier suburbs in the area, and there were squirrels running across the road and up and down trees and playing people's gardens. The whole area was so pretty and spending time just talking with Erin and sharing her corner of the world for a few days was such a treat!

I will admit that it was really hard to say goodbye to Jimi! He has been such a wonderful rock of a friend to me for months, and I had counted down the days until we met, then had such a special time with him and his family that saying goodbye was emotional for me... there were tears! I can never thank him enough for all he did for me! I hope he knows what he means to me and how much I treasure the memories of all the things we got to do while I was staying with him!
Back to Erin, and her lovely town of Asheville! Two things impressed me about this time with my precious friend! The diversity and wealth of creativity in Asheville (which lead me to believe I could actually live here quite easily!) and the down time which I needed so badly after the heat and busy-ness of Dragon*Con and life with two young kids in Georgia! One of the things I learned to love due to Erin's passion for it, was Battle Star Galactica! Erin got me watching the mini-series one night and I loved it! Then she carefully spent the next few days showing me another episode at a time until I had seen most of the first season... I was more and more intrigued with each episode, and I loved these well fleshed-out characters, the 'nods' to Firefly and the quality of the performances! I am now a fracking BSG fan!!

Erin, like me, tends to get up late and stay up late, so the evenings to late night were the perfect time to watch TV together... all the rest of the world was asleep, except for us! I slept really well in her quiet little flat too!

While I was here I had a crisis with my medication. To make a long story short, I ran out of my antidepressants, which I had thought I had a plentiful supply of! I had to go through a long and expensive process just to get a new prescription and then pay through the nose for the medication itself! I couldn't have got through those few days of 'cold turkey' withdrawral without Erin's help and support! She was wonderful and got me in to see someone who could write me a prescription, helped me print out the letter from my Melbourne doctor, drove me to the clinic and went in with me to explain the situation and get me the best rate of consultation possible, then phoned around all the chemists... sorry 'drug stores', in Asheville to find the best price for them - and believe me the prices quoted varied considerably! In the end I spent almost US$80 for 60 tablets that would normally have cost me AU$30! I will always be more careful with my medication from here on in!!!
One day we drove through a large parkland on the outskirts of Asheville, and there were these huge things hanging in the trees... I couldn't work out what they were as they looked like huge egg sacks like spiders lay - only 100s of times larger! Erin explained to me that they were the communal coocoon sacks of these caterpillars which are found in this area at this time of the year and late they hatch... I was glad not to meet the critters that entered or left these 'sacks'... but they were really fascinating none-the-less!
Erin also took me to a couple of wonderful restaurants while we were here, and she took me to a pretty part of Asheville, where I bought a skirt which I'd fallen in love with at first sight! I decided that nothing should stand in the way of my true love for that skirt... I adore it! I also took a fun photo while I was here! I noticed that different states paint their firehydrants different colours - whereas in Australia they are all silver and red! I had noticed the fire hydrants in Alabama were orange and yellow and thought they were crying out to have a 'Jayne hat' put on them... well they were also that colour scheme in North Carolina! So the inevitable happened... The only thing wrong with this time was that it was way too short! I could have stayed for a fortnight, eating, sleeping, watching BSG and going for drives and walks and wanders around the pretty town of Asheville, Nth Carolina! It was over way too soon!! If it weren't for the fact that I was heading to Washington DC and another friend, Maura,whom I was looking forward to meeting, it would have been almost impossible to drag me away!

Late on the last day Erin drove me the 3 hours East to Gastonia, where we found the railway station... well, more of a platform really. The train was supposed to arrive a little after midnight, but when we got there we discovered it was almost 2 hours late. Erin stayed a little while but with a long drive ahead of her to get home I didn't want her getting too tired, so she left after a while and I had a fun night of laughter and silliness with a lovely lady I met and the character of a Station Master! By the time we got on the train and bought our tickets we had a reputation and the rail guards were joking and flirting with us all the way to DC... it was a long and sleepless night, but I will never forget it!

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