I’m returned from the wilds of Moncton quite simply played right out. Oh to sleep for a week! Yesterday I had the absolute worse hang-over I’ve had in years. It stayed with me all day. This makes me wonder how much I actually drank, because I am perfectly capable of drinking myself into oblivion and waking up completely refreshed the next day. Perhaps it was the mixture that was lethal. I’m not up for a play-by-play, but some highlights for anyone who cares —

Pinot Grigio generally tastes like beer, I don’t see why it’s so trendy right now, though it’s not bad in blends with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc . . . not my favourite . . .

After several tastings I think it’s safe to say I will never be a fan of white and zinfandel is downright yucky!

The Wolf Blass Gold Label was tres disappointing. However, the E&J Gallo Pinot Noir was tres surprising. For me, it’s hard to go wrong with a Shiraz.

Nothing blew my mind.

Anything really good was sold out on Friday (best to get in on the first tasting if you hope to buy).

Fondue may be making a comeback . . . and maybe it should.

Bought two fridge magnets to mark the occasion: “Up Shiraz!” and “Pinot Envy” (corny, I know, but funny too)

The three hours flew by and we didn’t get anywhere near seeing or tasting everything, but had a really good time.

Supped at Doc Dylan’s where I had chicken quesadillas and some big ass fries!

Missed the Catherine Bush workshop, but went to the reading, where I bought three of her books and got them signed.

Tried to get in the St. James Gate for coffee, but it was too packed. Went to Ivory’s Piano Bar instead, but they no longer do specialty coffees. Listened to a set.

Back to Doc’s where we could hear ourselves think . . . was I supposed to get coffee? Hmm. I think I forgot. In an unusual munchie attack I order wings and skins . . . and eat nearly all of them all by myself because Trish is still stuffed from supper (and rightfully so, it was just hours ago).

Ivory’s for last call, though I’m pretty sure I don’t need anymore . . . Trish has more sense.

Another fit of munchies back at the hotel. I want to order the chicken/oregano pizza from room service but even though I could’ve swore you could get pizza at all hours, I can’t find the info now. Oh well, I’m off to the vending machines for chocolate and chips, which I devour (despite Lee’s strong warning to not mix the two too heavily). Order the movie, Mr & Mrs Smith . . . to which I vaguely remember the opening credits, I’m unconscious in no time.

Awake at 8 with head throbbing, dryer than a wooden god, not sure where I am but surely I’ve been kidnapped and beaten within an inch of my life. Slowly it comes back, I go get my first glass of water. I think I’m going to puke.

I drink water until 11 when I make coffee. Even the coffee doesn’t bring me around. Oy! This is bad.

Checkout by Noon, store baggage in a locker at the bus terminal, breakfast at the Cafe Felix. Belgian Waffles with fruit and maple syrup. Scrum, I’ve had them before. Not as good this time, or I’m not as good. I can’t eat the whole thing. I get nowhere near the bottom of the plate. But I think I mightn’t puke now at least.

Try the St. James Gate again, but they don’t open until 4 p.m. No Gate specialty coffee for me this Moncton trip.

Head to the Pumphouse in hopes they’ll have something interesting. They do, but they’re outta whipped cream, still the coffee is good with amaretto and irish whiskey. I’m not coming around as well as I might have hoped. We sit in a barrel and decide to try the beer. Order the sample tray. About a dozen kinds. Two that normally don’t come with it, but she gives them to us because of the whipped cream thing. I just don’t like beer anymore. There’s no way around it, I can’t make myself like it. It’s super weird. The blueberry one was okay, but kind of upsetting with the berries floating around in it. The scotch ale would be my favourite, but not favourite as in I must have more, favourite as in should I ever need to drink a beer again it would be the lesser of all evils. The wine ones were absolutely terrible! And that’s it, I think I’m done with beer.

We spent the rest of the afternoon roaming around Highfield Square window shopping. There were actually a lot of things I would have bought for myself, for Xmas gifts, if we had a car to cart all these things around. It’s difficult to transport big heavy things on foot and bus.

Trish left around 5pm on the train back to Miramichi and I headed back toward the bus station way, nearly getting run over in the Via parking lot, getting locked into Highfield Square and wandering for a good long while before finding the only exit left open. I thought I would just sit at the bus station and read for a couple of hours until my bus left. Still sick I didn’t feel much like wandering around anymore, just wanted to get home and to bed.

I hate the Moncton bus station. I don’t know what it is about it, but it seems to have more than its fair share of scary psycho characters. The train station just across the street is fine, other bus stations even seem okay, but this one in Moncton . . . Of course, I always forget that it makes me nervous until I’m actually there for a half hour or so.

Last night there was a boy in a huge hooded winter jacket. He was at the station before I got there, listening to his gangsta rap and singing a little. He was all wrapped into this big coat pulling the hood in around his face, like he was hiding (tho more likely he was just getting out of the bright lights). He had a pillow and an odd shaped red drawstring bag. I was a little disturbed by this boy because I couldn’t see him, couldn’t see what he was doing under that big coat.

A mother at the end of her rope after a day of Christmas shopping with her toddler and two teenage girls caused a big ruckus when she arrived. They had way too many parcels, the kids were acting up, she was loud and in a foul mood growling at the kids saying things like they would drive anyone to drink. When they came in the boy turned around to watch them and then I liked him even less. He had a sort of wild dangerous look in his eyes. Intimidating. Once he was drawn out from his music and noticed other people around, he seemed to be staring at me. He moved closer to where I was sitting.

I couldn’t focus on my book, had such a bad feeling about this boy, and the closer he got to me the worse the feeling got. I tried to talk myself out of it, blame it on the hang-over making me jittery, but I’m big on trusting my instincts and every bit of me was screaming that this kid was dangerous. I went to the washroom. I went outside. I went to Reid’s for a sandwich and coffee. Everytime I’d come back to the bus station and sit down this kid would come sit right behind me. Coincidence? I don’t know. But I felt really uncomfortable and my wait for the bus was unpleasant.

The bus left late because another bus coming in was late arriving. By Crystal Palace the driver got a call and pulled over. About 15 minutes later a taxi pulled over and dropped off a girl. Very bizarre. I thought if you missed the bus, you missed the bus, but apparently not. We were pretty late getting in. I climbed straight into bed and had a hard time staying awake to watch Six Feet Under. Other than the creepiness of the bus station, it was a fantastic time and definitely a must do again event.

Mood: zonked
Drinking: coffee
Listening To: computer drone
Hair: longer than it was on Friday

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