I ended my five year tenancy in Ottawa with a hurricane of activity facilitated by incredible friends who helped me move, stored my stuff and cleaned my apartment with gusto because I, once again, ran out of time. From there, had the longest rideshare of my life with a blazing conservative (not a problem) who got all is information from talk radio (a problem) and used expressions like "yippy skippy" (huh?), bragged about his IQ, and peppered his stories (and oh, there were many) with sound effects.
Arriving in my lil' hometown of Toronto, I got a big fat hug (both figuratively and literally) from family and friends before heading to the airport. Nervous about the border crossing (do I look like a terrorist? Should I avoid making bomb jokes?), I got all my documents in order and instead of having a grilling by the customs guy, instead got great tourist tips and a ringing endorsement that I should visit Seattle while I'm out west. Had great service from Air Canada (whoa) and arrived early in San Francisco.
I checked into my motel in the Tenderloin, a depressed area of town which, while relatively safe, is pretty heartbreaking to see. But the people in this neighbourhood, while not always in the best state, usually are pretty friendly, so I had lots of great chats on my way to get an awesome veggie vietnamese sandwich (and oh, the food here! This will be a reemerging theme in the blog).
I found out a place to live I had thought was pretty lined up had been taken, and this was my first indication that finding a roof over my head might be more difficult than I had originally thought (this will also be a reoccuring theme).
Two nights later, I checked into the hostel where I remain, sleeping in a room with three others. My studio in Ottawa is positively spacious compared to this.