Buck, in my opinion Blick is the best place to get supplies. Periodically they do awesome canvas sales, and they have all kinds of different paints at discount prices. Start by buying their least expensive canvases. They will be stapled on the back rather than neatly finished. If you spend less you'll have less anxiety about what might happen once the paint starts flying.
Most of all, just have FUN!!
As far as taking a class, you do what you feel most comfortable with. We are in the process of setting up an e-classroom for Fusionart, so within a month we will begin classes online. So you will have the opportunity to learn from your home. How convenient is that? We'll post an announcement on the site, but I do know that the Painting with Spirit online class will begin the second week in November. I hope you'll join us!