Sunday, December 21, 2014

Life in America!

Adventures in the states again!

So as this year is coming to an end, I want to talk a little bit about the adventures that did ensue, and those that did not.  This is about my trip back to the United States.  I had my intentions with the artwork, and did not get nearly as much done as I had intended, however I am still content with the progress in my life.  For my bicycle trip, I went up to Maine with my bike.  Took it on a bus up to New York and my good friend was nice enough to drive it up to Maine with me. 

Before headed to Maine, I spent a few days in New York city, and decided it would be a great place to start with the mission.  I bicycled around Queens to a few different shops that friends had recommended... coffee shops and frame shops -- they all had similar responces along the lines of: "The owner isn't in now"  or "We can't hang pieces permanently to show preference on an artist"  I was about to say that my first day of the mission wasn't coming through as easily as I'd hoped it might, when I looked down the street and saw a place called "John's Pizzeria."  It didn't have the standard vibes of a place that would hang art, but it certainly had the feel of a locally owned business, and I decided there'd be no  harm in at least asking. 
I walked in and very awkwardly asked if the owner of the shop was in -- to whom I just happened to be talking to!  I told him my story, and he said he'd take a look, and chose a painting!  First painting hung in New York city, before most of the bicycling had begun.  Go check out John's Pizzeria ( http://johnspizzaqueens.com/)  to see the first piece hung!
The next day, we went up to Maine, and hung out with friends and went to a convention.  Life was good, and I was happy to see friends.  I decided to stick aroud a bit longer in Maine, and hang out with some friends there.

After about a week or so in Maine,  my friends introduced me to a lovely little apothecary in Portland Maine, where I explained my story, and they decided to hang a piece of the work!  The second in the American Ongaeshi series is hanging at HOMEGROWN ( http://homegrownherbandtea.com/ ), feel free to go check it out if you are in the area!

I decided it was about time to head on my way, and suddenly I was off on my bicycle!  I made a goal for how far I wanted to go, and managed to accomplish it.  50 miles from Biddeford Maine down to Epping, New Hampshire ( http://www.yelp.co.jp/biz/brothers-meathouse-and-marketplace-epping) !  First state line crossed on a bicycle! 

I set up tent and stealth camped in a small park, and woke up early in the morning, only to find that moving was such a difficult thing.  When doing a long bicycle trek, it is good to build up your muscles before starting long days.  I was certainly doing at least 10-20 mile days back in Baltimore, but it was not enough to jump to a 50 mile day. 

On my second day bicycling, I went through the small town of Ebbing, Nw Hampshire where I ran into Brothers Meat Market, and stopped to get breakfast.  What an ironic place for a vegetarian. I actually greatly enjoyed the feel in there, and the owner was very nice, as I was quite tired, and he checked to see if I was alright,  I decided to tell them my story, and there you have it, a third piece hung at Brothers Meat Market, definitely worth checking out!

I managed to bicycle another 50 miles on that second day, into Haverhall, Massechuessetts.  My second state line crossed, and first time completely crossing one state from one side to another on a bicycle!  I was very tired.

Some pictures from the journey:

 John's Pizzeria, stop one!
 Another tea shop in Maine.
Lovely shot around Portland, Maine.

 My bicycle for the trip.
 Crossing the line out of Maine.. this was the side of the road I was on, haha.

Brother's Meat Market.

It was June 30th when I had managed to accomplish this, just a day or two before my mom's birthday.  There are so many reasons I could say for why I decided not to conitnue on my journey -- I certaily let that one be the deciding factor for where I wanted to be, when.  Aside from that, as amazing as it is to be on a bicycle and have such a mission,  my past heart surgery just often made me wonder how well I would really be able to stand up to it.  I felt pretty happy about my new accomplishments, and decided to call my progress good enough.  I hopped on a train to Boston, and then the buses back home just in time for my mum's birthday. 

  I went back to Baltimore, and decided that my accomplishments were good enough.  The ride was fun, but I don't think it's for me to do such a long bicycle ride.  Perhaps the journey will take another shape some day.  I decided I wanted to spend some time with friends and family back home. 

  It was a weird transition to imagine that I was basically just hanging out in the United States for a while, to imagine that that was where I wanted to be for the time.  After about 6 months there, I look back, and I don't regret being there at all.  I was so glad to see everyone again, and I gained so many new experiences.  I ended up working at the Renaissance festival, and doing library research on the history of Baltimore.  I met a super awesome Japanese study group, and got to meet the Japanese folk that come to the states!  I still went on many adventures, a few cons, made new friends and saw old ones.  Spending quality time with my mum and grandmum and other folk about.  It was something special that continues to shape me as I figure out what to do from here on out.

I wanted to say something big and profound here in this post, but I suppose all there is to say is that I am so grateful for everyone in my life, everyone that helped make such a  wonderful adventure while I was back in the United States - I thank you dearly. There are no words that can truly express how it feels in my heart, please keep living the good life.

A few more pictures from life back in Baltimore and around:

 Took up kayaking, and managed to get this lovely shot one day.
 Dear traveling companion Annie was in the area for a brief visit and we had a lovely meeting in the rainy woods.
 Good friends Monika and Tyler got married.
 Made friends with a goat.

Graffiti alley.
  DOUBLE RAINBOW!
This train rides once a month for free in Leakin' Park, second Sunday of the month.
Amazing little Beetle Wasp, completely harmless and hung out with me for about an hour.
Sunset over Canton.
Kayaking is grand.
Took my dear friend Cheshi sky diving for her birthday, here she is sky diving, something I have decided I will not do in this life time, haha.
Met some professional traveling falconers that live on the road educating people about falcons and owls.
The secret in the woods.
Dear friends Matt and Alex hanging at the PA Renaissance Festival.

So much more happened, but alas this is just a glimpse.  Up next: Adventures in Peru Part one!

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