I'VE ALWAYS BEEN SOMETHING OF A SOCIAL-CONVENER. More often than not, I was the one planning and organizing our calendar, like any good midcentury wife. I'd tell Jeff, "Friday we hang with the Dotey-Dentons, Saturday lunch with Sofia, Sunday at 11 T.J. is coming over for brunch, and then Monday is Drag Race at Chris and John's." I'd gather host gifts or plan my own menu (ie. signature cocktails) and Jeff could stay completely out of it.
But the other thing: I can be a lonesome homebody even better than I can execute a dinner party. I need both to survive. And, while I like my quiet time, this trip has leaned a liiiiiitttle heavy on the anti-social end of things. While we always have Twitter and Facebook and emails and FaceTime, it's not the same as hunkering down with friends for 3 back-dated episodes of Rupaul. It's not the same as going for a walk or grabbing a coffee or patio-hopping on a beautiful summer day. Obviously Jeff and I have each other, but we miss our friends terribly.
Next week we start our UK/Ireland leg, and it's gonna be a doozy. After seven entire months away from home and our beloved social circle, I worry I've forgotten how to keep it all together. It seems this part of the world has more people per-capita to see/hang out with than in all the others combined. It's kind of overwhelming to think, on top of being tourists, we'll need to juggle a social calendar. I've gotten quite accustomed to having no friends.
And so London will be chock-a-block full of nights out with all the people we know there, and others who happen to be there, then Jeff's brother and sister-in-law are flying in and the four of us will travel to Bingley, the small town their parents eloped to. Then we'll drive to Edinburgh where we'll take in as much of their famed Fringe Festival as possible (most-notably, Toronto's hilarious Shawn Hitchins will perform his one-man show, Ginger Nation) before flying to Dublin where we'll start a road trip around Northern and Regular Ireland for 10 days. Then back to London for another week-or-so before we fly to Nice where we'll drive around the South of France and Italy for 24 days.
Then we've booked our journey home. We'll land state-side on October 14. (But I'll save all that for another post.)
MAP BY PAUL DOTEY, PART OF AN ONGOING SERIES.
LOCATION: Amsterdam, Holland, the Netherlands
DATE AND TIME: Saturday, August 3, 2013 12:00PM Central European Time/Saturday, August 3, 2013 6:00AM EST