“Excuse me,” a tall, voluptuous woman with bleached blonde dreadlocks beckoned the uniformed man over with her elaborately manicured finger.
Her voice was playful and husky and I noticed an Adam’s apple. She held up the slip of paper in her hand.
“It says my boarding group is ‘basic.’ I ain’t basic.”
“No no no,” the Delta employee laughed. “Don’t worry, ma’am. You’re not basic.”
They joked around for a few minutes while I thanked my lucky stars that I’d managed to score a window seat, where I planned to use my winter jacket as a pillow.
I knew I’d need to stockpile Zzz’s before five days of Duluth’s Homegrown Festival. A friend* I’d met during my Master’s degree residency had invited me to get out of Jersey and attend the festival, and I suspected she wasn’t on my same post-leaving-Corporate-America schedule.
In between seeing fantastic local musicians, we subjected her three-legged, one-eyed dog to all kinds of unbidden “fun”…
…saw the sights…
…ate so much plant-based foodie goodness…
…and of course, went on oodles of hikes.
The best part of the Duluth Homegrown Festival -a 20 year-strong, nonprofit tradition that features local musicians performing all over town for an entire week- was the close-knit community vibe. For eight straight days, like-minded music lovers united to support their fellow Duluthians, shouting, “Happy Homegrown!” and sharing smiles at every turn.
Besides the bargain booze, highlights included:
And now I’m back in New Jersey.
I may have just signed a year-long lease on an apartment in a city 3,000 miles away that I’ve never been to.