I squealed as the bus drove north on Madison Avenue— one of my favorite TV shows, Mad Men, is based on the advertising firms along the way. I sat on the second deck of the MegaBus, oohing and ahhing at the sights of the city. The skyline faded, and I was New England bound!
Bruce and his partner Sean welcomed me with open arms at the bus station, and I was pooped after a full two days of traveling. We had dinner at Modern Apizza! in New Haven, Connecticut. I observed the locals and fell in love with their accent— being from the Midwest, I don’t necessarily have any distinguishable accent, other than a slight twang on certain words (ok, I say “y’all” now and then). We talked of dinner plans the next day: flying into Montauk, New York and having seafood. Inside I was shocked when Sean declined because he had worked all week. My thought was Oh my gosh, you’re giving up a chance to go to Long Island? But then I realized that this wasn’t a rare occurrence for them— oh, the life!
While Bruce worked, I caught up on some work of my own (since I was technically “working remotely” from New England), and roamed downtown Hartford. I picked him up from work at we were off to the airport. As we walked to the ramp, I asked him if his plane had a name. No, it doesn’t— but I think the plane looks like a “Tweety” with the yellow and black markings. With the preflight complete, I walked to the right side, expecting to take my seat. But Bruce said, “What are you doing? Sit on the other side.” Who am I to assume that I would sit left seat in someone else’s airplane, having not flown with him before— but all right, if you insist!
|Sunset over Long Island|
I always enjoy flying with an assortment of pilots, because there isn’t exactly one way to fly; we all have different methods we prefer, and as long as the task is completed thoroughly and safely, the means does not matter. Bruce is a very calm mannered and soft spoken man who would make an excellent flight instructor, and he more so guided me as I flew his plane, rather than directed. And since I was nearing the time for my instrument currency to expire, we planned on doing an approach into Montauk. Feeling rusty after not flying instruments for a year, he helped me set up the approach and bring us into Long Island.
|This is heaven in one’s mouth|
The restaurant, Inlet Seafood, was a short walk from the airport. We had to pass a club on the way to eat, and the airport attendant said that the Victoria’s Secret models were having a party there. A short wait, and we were in at the restaurant, having the best seafood and sushi I have ever had. I’m not so snobby that I won’t eat seafood inland anymore, but I have gained an appreciation for the freshness of food. I’m certain that the lobster had been caught minutes before it reached my mouth, because it was so succulent and divine. There were moments in the evening when we fell silent. Not because we had run out of things about which to chat, but because the sheer pleasure of the evening needed no words. Before we went back to the airport, we walked along the beach— I was going to take a dip, but it was rather chilly and the sun was setting. The club was pumping when we passed it on the way back, yuppies piling in out of cabs and luxury cars from the city to attend an exclusive event with the models. For a second, I thought of how much I would love that, but I don’t necessarily care for the models since I appreciate them in a “hey girl hey” way— oh, and I’m blasting home in a personal plane, y’all.
|Coast line of Block Island|
The following morning, Bruce and I headed to the airport again, this time our destination was Block Island, Rhode Island. Before going to the island, we had an aerial view of the tall ships coming into port. Upon landing, We walked through wooded trails to the beach, where we lay out and read for a couple of hours. And then it was time to head home— a party awaited us in Connecticut! Though we may have gotten lost a couple of times, we ran into some beautiful New England homes, and at one house two golden retrievers greeted us. Eventually, after checking the weather, which included light rain and clouds at 10,000 feet, we were on our way home (I didn’t *want* bad weather, but could the clouds have been just a bit lower, so I could have flown in actual IMC?!).
|Sky seats to a water show|
|Look at that fine man!|
After we plucked, fluffed, coiffed, and buffed, it was party time. And might I say, the Connecticut gays know how to party. The tone is different in the Northeast— no one gives a damn. A house burgeoning with gay men, and the straight neighbors came over. Everyone greets everyone with a hug and a kiss, a sense of inclusion and “Gosh dang, we’re glad you’re here.” The food was marvelous and the drinks were flowing from fountains. There were plenty of happy couples, some who have children, some who don’t— this gives me all sorts of hope in that one day Anderson and I can live happily ever after. Mostly, this event was a precursor to what we did the next day: Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Provincetown, or PTown for short, is essentially the gay vacation mecca on the east coast. And when I say that everyone is gay there, I mean that everyone is very gay there. The quaint shops and restaurants and bars welcomed masses of gays, some hand in hand, and some eyes wandering. We ate lunch at a cute little cafe, and I had the best lobster salad sandwich ever. Need I mention again that the seafood is fresh?
|Lobster salad sandwich. NOMZ.|
We strolled through the town and met up with some of Bruce and Sean’s friends at their house, which they rented for the weekend. As we sat and chatted with the boys, I pondered what it truly means to be a gay man. Does it mean to grow up and have kids and find the man of your dreams and settle down? Or is that too heteronormative (meaning following the likes of a heterosexual couple)? Does it mean to be outlandish and promiscuous and diva like? I don’t think there’s a set-in-stone answer, nor should there be. We are all human beings, capable of discovering who we are as individuals— and that should be celebrated often!
|Sarah and I are besties…|
The rest of the trip was fantastic. After seeing boys at the Tea Dance, a gathering of gays for drinks on a Sunday afternoon, we headed back to the plane. Departing near dusk, the air was calm and the sunset was gorgeous. I stopped to consider how much driving this would have been— at least six hours to Long Island, a ferry ride to Block Island, and dealing with traffic on the Cape. All in all, these were very short hops of 20 or 30 minutes. Having one’s own airplane is liberating! Also, I had many affirmations: I am in love with my career. I am in love with myself. I love those who support me in any endeavor. And most importantly, I can’t wait to return the favor.
When I rolled back into New York City to catch my plane, I had only a hot minute to get from 7th and 28th to LaGuardia. Torn, and broke, I decided to try for the train and bus. Like magic, I ended up at the airport right on time. Somehow, I made the flight, even when I was number 11 out of nine open seats— go figure. With nonrev travel, anything can happen.
I want to go back to the Northeast again to explore more of where my gram grew up, and also to see Bruce and Sean and all of their magnificent friends! (I realize this post is about a month late to follow up the second part— I have a history of doing this, specifically with my Seattle trip report. Sorry, Jackie!)