Thursday, August 27, 2009

The long and winding road....

It's been a long trip home. Jess, Hol and I left San Diego at about 1PM in the afternoon on Tuesday and Jessica and I arrived in San Antonio at like 11AM on Wednesday. That's about a day of just driving. We took I-8 to I-10 the whole way. Somewhere in there we dropped Hol off, Casa Grande, AZ I think. I did the long driving. I drove from Tucson to San Antonio from about 8PM to 11AM (with an hour and a half break for sanity purposes). One of the reasons Jess and I did this was because everyone said we couldn't. So hear me now family: if you doubt us we will just work harder to prove you wrong. It's strange how much spite has motivated actions in my life.

When I was a kid, I had a GameBoy. I don't remember exactly which game it was, Zelda I think, but there was a game where when you looked at the map of your journey, it would be just a shaded block if you hadn't been there yet (or unlocked it). If you had been there it would be a more detailed map. My entire geographical life has felt like this map: I know there is a place under that shaded square but I can't really imagine what it unless I've actually been there and made sense of it on my own. This trip has filled in most of the Pacific Coast for me except I had already been to LA so that wasn't a new square.

Everyone keeps asking me the same things: Did you have fun? Yes of course. I had a blast. I wouldn't give it up for anything. I learned a lot about the world around me and about myself. This trip was exactly what I needed. I feel an overwhelming sense of clarity. Jessica and I are closer for it too. Are you glad I'm home? Yes. All good things must come to an end so that we can appreciate them. It is nice to sleep in my own bed again with my cat, Brodie. I get to go back to work on Friday and next week and I get to search for another job. Did you and Jessica fight? Well we had one outburst on the way to San Diego but I'm not a morning person and wasn't feeling well and feel bad about it. Everything worked out for the best though. Things were said that needed to be said. Were you glad that Hol came? I wouldn't change our trip. Having a third did liven things up and I did enjoy his company. Hol is family but that being said he and I know how to provoke each other. At times it got tense but I'm glad it all happened. What was my favorite place? I have to say that I think the Redwoods touched me the most. The beauty of it all consumed me. It was a place where pictures didn't do it justice. Not only was it visually beautiful but the sounds and smells are something I haven't found elsewhere. All of Northern California is amazing. Napa Valley was super beautiful and fun to visit. My favorite city might have been Seattle but mostly because I got to see and hang out with Michelle. I feel like I could easily live in Portland. I could see how San Diego is the happiest city in America (there was some survey somewhere that said San Diego, Austin, and I think some place random like Ashville are the cities where the people are the most content). So basically all of it was my favorite.

In my high school we were constantly told to Reflect. Our senior moto was even "reflect this!" After every big project or paper or test or trip, we were given the assignment of writing a reflection of how we felt about said project, paper, test or trip. As high schoolers we constantly rolled our eyes at this but I'm glad we did it. Those reflections are artifacts of how I felt about whatever in that specific time. That's how I feel about this blog. As I was writing it, I groaned and just wanted to get through it but now, I'm glad I have it to look at and remember. This trip helped remind me how loved I am and how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends. Thank you.

Thanks to all who read this and kept up with my journey. My brother, Andy, got a little annoyed with Jessica and I because he thought we were bragging on our blog. I hope no one thinks that is what we were doing because that is the furthest from it. We just wanted to connect with everyone and embrace the technology given to us. I stayed up late writing every night just so my friends and family got know what we were going through. I couldn't bring much back from my trip other than a smile and an empty wallet but I did manage to send out some postcards while I was traveling. To those of you who got a postcard or two or eight, please return the favor when you got out in the world. I have a wonderful collection of postcards and would like to continue it.

I feel like it's been such a long trip but in retrospect it has just been two weeks. Jessica and Dad leave tomorrow to head up the East Coast back to Boston. I'll be here reading her blog, traveling with her. I hope you do the same.

Thanks again all.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lions, Tigers, and TURTLES, Oh My!

Yesterday was our last full day on the west coast. Where did the time go. We arrived in San Diego in the early afternoon and headed straight to the San Diego Zoo. It was everything I heard it would be. The funny thing is, I've only really been to the San Antonio Zoo and of course now the San Diego Zoo so my zoo standards are probably pretty high since both are acclaimed. (I have been to the Austin "Zoo" which is actually an animal sanctuary so I'm not counting it) I think all zoos should be big like the San Antonio and San Diego zoos. It wasn't very crowed and the weather was perfect. We did spend a good 15-30 minutes watching the polar bear get her toy stuck under a rock and then try to get it out. Jessica has the moral was that if you keep trying at something you will eventually succeed. I'm not sure if that was an accurate moral to take from the situation since the bear kept using the same method and failing, but whatever. When I go to a zoo I want to see cats. The tigers were disappointing because they were sleeping but we got to watch the lions eat. We spent a lot of time with the monkeys. Hol now wants a monkey as a bet.

After the zoo we headed towards a beach. Since Dad had suggested that we go to La Jolla that is where we went. It was a beautiful beach. The water wasn't even that cold but we didn't suit up and go swim. We watched the surfer boys succeed and fail and then walked along the beach. Jessica finally got her pacific west coast sunset. We even ate our dinner at the Ale House which had a rooftop view of the ocean sunset. Our evening was still open. Our waitress suggested that we go to this bar, Miller's, that races turtles at night. This was a no brainer, we were going to go a bar and watch people race turtles. It was really cool but we had caught the last race of the night. It was kind of a fratty frat frat-kind of bar after the turtle race was over but Jess and Hol were pretty satisfied with the mason jars of beer they served.

Today we are headed home. We are dropping off Hol in Phoenix and then headed to Los Cruces. We have a lot of driving today, at least I've done it before and I know it's going to be super pretty. I'm a little sad it's almost all over but I might also be a little relieved too.

Monday, August 24, 2009

LA LA Land

Today we got into LA and did the LA thing, which mostly consists of not moving in traffic on the freeways. We drove in from Santa Barbara taking the 101 into town. I took Jessica and Hol to Sid Grauman's Chinese Theater and we looked at all the stars and such. A man dressed up as Elvis cursed me and said that something bad was going to happen to me because I accidentally took a picture of him and didn't pay him. We walked around the area but then headed to Studio City to meet up with my film friends, Garrett Rowe and Brett Roach. We mostly sat around Garrett's apartment discussing food before we finally left and went to Jerry's Deli, apparently it's pretty famous. I called up Chris and Mariel who just moved to LA to meet us for some food. The food was pretty good but slow moving. We then headed to the beach taking the scenic route there through the hills and Mulholland Drive. I love Garrett because he's super informative. It was like having our own person tour guide. I'd like to think that Garrett is the most west coast person I know, even though he's not the stereotype.

When we finally made it to Santa Monica (the drive seemed to never end) we ended up checking out the pier and walking along the water. It was a relaxing walk along the beach. The Pacific Ocean is beautiful and we were lucking enough to have had a nice day outside. As my blood sugar dropped I suggested soft serve. We all sat under the pier, looking at the bubbles, listening to the people and crashing waves, eating our soft serve. After much walking and debate we somehow thought it would be a good idea to watch the sunset from the Observatory at the top of Griffith park so we headed back across town to check that out. We didn't make it to the top to see the sunset but it was still one hell of a view. The park and the Observatory is a perfect place to bring a date. There was so much to do. I didn't give ourselves enough time to fully explore the facilities.

The whole day took longer than we had expected. Our lodging plans for the night consisted of staying in Anaheim with high school buddy, Lucas. Anaheim is about 30-45 minutes away from
where we were hanging out so we bolted towards Lucas, so not to keep him waiting too long. When we finally got there, we were starving. Lucas and his roommates, Jeff and Analiese took us to Downtown Disney in hopes of food and drinks. HOWEVER everything was closing which annoying on many levels. I really felt like I was walking in hell, which was Disneyland. I was just so weak and hungry. Jessica, Hol and I couldn't stop laughing and acting like idiots. The delirium of the malnutrition must have set in.We ended up at Denny's and then their local dive bar. A drunk man even gave me his jacket for no good reason.

All and all it was a good day, a good long day.

Tomorrow San Diego and the San Diego Zoo! One of Jessica's goals for this trip was to see a Pacific Coast beach sunset so tomorrow will be that day, weather permitting.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

On the road again

I've gotten to the point in the trip where I am losing my sense of reality. I wake up in the middle of the night not knowing where I am or where I'm going. That's probably normal when I actually am in a different place every night. Whenever I'm still I feel like I'm still moving. Whenever I'm moving I want nothing more than to be running around. I feel like may never get home and I might not care. I'm not even sure where home is anymore. It's funny how a place or city can mold someone's personality. Maybe I'm made for a life of no anchoring commitments. I do love to drive. Nothing is better than the open road and some good tunes.

We left Oakland today around noon (Hol had some things to do this morning) and headed down I-5 towards Los Angeles. Hol is traveling with Jess and I and getting dropped off in Phoenix on Tuesday. Since we had several options of where we were going to stay when we got into the LA area we didn't really know where to head, other than South. Good thing we had a long time to think about it. I drove the long stretch of the trip today. It was a clear day but it got cloudy about half way through. The scenery was interesting. It was super hilly, almost cartoony, and dry. After about 4 hours the car energy changed so I opted to chill the backseat instead of the driver's. We ended up making a decision to stay with Hol's and my friend, Nick Bailey, in Santa Barbara. We got to drive past the Pacific Ocean during sunset which was amazing. One thing I haven't mentioned in these posts is that the sky at night is wonderful. There are so many stars out here (I know I know there are the same amount of stars), it's quite wonderful.

Tomorrow we're spending the day in LA and sleeping at our friend, Lucas's, place in Anaheim. Monday we are going to San Diego - Tuesday Arizona - Wednesday Texas.

Friday, August 21, 2009

No internet in San Fran

Jessica and I got into the Bay Area yesterday after another day in the wine country. We met up with Hol in Oakland and he has been nice enough to take care of us. However, Hol doesn't have internet :( We went to this great pizza place. Oakland seems like the chill blue collar version of San Francisco.

Jess and I wandered the city today and we are currently in the Mission with Beto Juarez, an old high school friend. Thankfully Beto has internet :) We went to this place that apparently has "Best Burrito" in the country, El Metate. San Francisco is nice enough. I'm a little overwhelmed by the whole city. I felt at home in the Haight-Ashbury area but Jessica keeps making fun of me for feeling that way. If you don't know about the area then you won't get this. I never got to see the damn Golden Gate bridge but hopefully we can check it out on our way out of town.

Okay there are a bunch of people here and I'm being lame by writing in the blog.

Tomorrow - LA and Hol is coming with us!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rules of the Road

I've been making this mental list for the last week and I wanted to get it down.

Sarah's Do's and Don'ts of a Road Trip:

DO have a plan but DON'T freak out if it changes. DO your homework and know what you want to see but also be flexible.

DO go places you didn't plan to go. Take chances. It's especially fun when you see big signs for stupid attractions and then actually go check them out.

DO talk to locals just DON'T be a dumbass about it. DON'T tell people exactly where are you going or give every detail of your trip. It's important to talk to people and see what is going on in the area - where are the hot spots etc.

DO take every opportunity to learn about an area. Visitor centers help if you don't have a travel book.

DO pee every time you get a chance. Seriously it sucks having to have to pee and not have a good place to go. When you are driving through windy mountain roads, you can't always pull over.

DO eat local food. Check out farmers' markets. Try not to eat (or shop really) at places you could access in your home town.

DO drive quick and efficiently. Remind yourself that your car has nothing to prove. Yes truck drivers suck and people that drive BMWs are going to cut you off but just keep going.

DO plan ahead for lodging, be that calling friends ahead of time or making a reservation at a motel.

DO have fun. DON'T be lame.

anyone have any other suggestions or things to add?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

wine wine everywhere, let's all have a drink

Today Jess and I took the journey down to see all that California had to offer as far as wine. The drive was a little stressful on my part because Jessica is a nervous driver especially on small windy roads on mountains. I was the one clutching to the door for dear life today. But we made it to some vineyards/wineries alive.

Napa Valley is beautiful. It's better than I had imagined. We went to a couple of different wineries, tried a bunch of wine and had a lot of great food. I even ate a grape off a vine. The people were so nice. We had such a good time, we're going back in the morning and early afternoon to check out more vineyards and wineries.

After all the wine we drank today and the great food, I'm really sleepy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Trees of Mystery

Today I noticed that in the last three days, I've been in three different states and two different countries. It's pretty frickin' awesome. Jessica and I left Portland this morning and headed down I-5 to check out the California Redwoods. The weather was pleasant enough, blue skies and warm. Jessica drove the whole way down. I played with the radio and read my book, Cloud-Hidden Whereabouts Unknown by Alan Watts (by the way, the perfect book for this road trip) and then ended up dosing off for a bit. I woke up to beauty all around me. The landscape changed before our eyes; the beautiful lush Portland mountains and hills became a more open, dry plains and farms. The mountains felt like they came closer toward us and the trees grew taller the more south we went.

Hours of hours on the road we finally made it to Crescent City after taking the 199 to 101. The strange thing is, once we got there, there was this mysterious cold fog that appeared out of nowhere. We got some food at the local geriatric diner (Denny's) and then headed to check out the giant trees that California has to offer. It was my turn to drive so I came up with a system for Jessica to communicate her nervousness to me without annoying me. It's the def con countdown system, a 1-5 count, 1 being fine and 5 being pull over and let me drive. She only said 2 once. Everything we saw was gorgeous. It was crazy because we would go from thick fog to beautiful sunlight cutting through the trees. The times we could see the ocean were always covered with the fog. I felt like we pulled over every 100 feet so we could take pictures. There were a lot of cute little places within the park. One attraction was for the Trees of Mystery. When we were in the thick of the park we were in owe. Words and pictures won't be able to describe it and give it justice. I felt like I was in a fairy tale or a dream (especially with the sporadic fog). It was so amazing. Jess and I did some hiking and I got to pee in the forest. I wish we could have planned our time better and spend much more time in the Redwoods. Jessica calls our trip a Tapas bar of different flavors - only getting wonderful little samples of places.

So the plan was to drive into Eureka and get a place to stay but funny story: All the hotels in a 2 hour area are booked because it was move in week at the local university. We ended up traveling more south to Scotia and are staying at this awesome boutique hotel. It's really nice. Jess is taking a bath right now.

Tomorrow we are off to Napa Valley to drink some wine.

Portland's Burnside

I should probably be sleeping instead of writing on here but I thought I would at least check in. Jessica and I arrived in Portland, OR today. Portland is beautiful but the people, atmosphere and culture feels a lot like Austin. I felt pretty at home here. Mostly I began to miss my bike and wished I could be biking along side the locals.

We checked out the Washington Park, Rose Garden and smelled the roses. We spent the rest of our day in the Burnside-Pearl district of the downtown Portland area. It's a pretty hip area. We did our thing. We spend over an hour in Powell's Books. We ate some great Thai food atThai Orchid.

We did see some local live music, Steve James (blues/folk/country), Eilen Jewel (folk/country) and then The Octopus Project (electronic).

uhhh I'm getting tired. We have a 7 hour drive to The Redwoods - uhg. Sorry this is a waste of a post. *insert some insightful thought here*

Hopefully Jessica's blog can fill in my blanks

Sunday, August 16, 2009

On Par

Jessica and I headed to Canada today to check out Vancouver. It was a pretty easy drive from Seattle. This was the first actual "road" part of my part of the road trip. Jessica let me take us out of town all the way over the border. The scenery was amazing. There were actually purple mountains (majesty) off in the distance. I got to drive through mountains and big beautiful trees. Jessica was nervous with me and my loose mouth at the Canadian border. While we waited in the car line, she quizzed me on what to say. We made it through all right but I didn't get a stamp in my new passport. I even asked at the border but the lady didn't seem to care. Canada didn't seem to be such a different place.

When we got in Vancouver, we parked near the bay. The funniest thing happened: right as we parked next to a meter, a man came up to us and gave us money for the meter, knowing we were from America (I guess by the license plate). Isn't that amazing? He just gave us $2 in Canadian money. I don't think that would happen in America or if it did it would be super rare. I'm still in owe of the Canadian generosity we encountered. We walked along the water and then took a small ferry across the water to Granville Island. We were a little nervous because we still had American money in our pockets but we got on anyways. When we told the man about the American money "will you take it" he said something about "par". I was confused so I pulled the money back. Then the man next to me explained it, taking the money on par was not counting the exchange rate so they would take it dollar for dollar meaning we would lose on the deal. We didn't care so we gave him the money.

Granville Island is just a big market place tourist/date spot. It's similar to Pike Place in Seattle but not as cool. I dunno. Jess decided to get some Canadian money and we learned that there are coins in Canada called a Loonie (a one dollar coin) and a Toonie (a coin worth two dollars). This made so much more sense because the man that gave us money for parking something about Loonies and Toonies. We walked around and then went to get a bite at a restaurant called The SandBar. The thing about Canadian restaurants is that they don't have outside patio seating in front of the restaurant, but instead they have rooftop patio seating which is awesome. We had a beautiful view. We played little games with each other trying to pick out the "real" Canadians or make character traits for Canadians. The food was great but the portions were too big. We stuffed ourselves at lunch so spent the next couple hours walking it off in the market. We saw a street performer doing magic. We took the ferry back over and checked out the downtown area.

Overall Canada was nice and surprisingly clean. It wasn't On Par with America though but maybe. It just seemed to be too perfect like some sort of planed utopia and I like a little dirt in my urban city. I will say that the Canadians seemed a lot more culturally accepting for example, there was a French radio station and I think an Indian station. Seattle was more my speed. We left Canada but got stuck at border patrol for what seemed like hours. I have to say that the color of the skies here are different than Texas. Washington and British Colombian sunsets seem to have this pastel pink-purple-blue pallet while Texas has a lot more orange-red-yellows, and even blueish greens. It was interesting to watch a different kind of sunset.

Tomorrow we're off to Portland, OR. I'll be a little sad to leave Michelle and Ed but I'm excited to move on with the trip. I'm really appreciative of their hospitality. Even as I write this, Michelle is doing my laundry for me, well sort of. I need to probably go upstairs and do some reading about Portland. Jess and I are thinking about finding some live music tomorrow. Apparently there's a lot to do in Portland. I'm pretty stoked.

Don't forget to check Jessica's side of the trip

Recession be damned

Another beautiful day in Seattle, slightly warmer than the other days. Today Jessica, Michelle and I left Ed to do whatever and went into the city to check out more of the sites. I was really happy Michelle ended up coming because she knew how to get around town easily which would have taken Jess and I much longer to figure out. We ended up going to the famous market, Pike Place. Jessica, of course, had to see the first Starbucks and get coffee there (and so did hundreds of other lame tourists). The whole market was super crowded. We ended up combing the market for interesting souvenirs for friends and family but we all failed to actually purchase something for anyone other than ourselves. You can find anything there from flowers, food, hand-made crafts, jewelry and shirts. I can only hope that, all the colors of the market will be etched into my memory for a long time. The best part of the market was being able to taste test all the food: dried fruits, nuts, honey, exotic (olive or balsamic) oils, jerky, jam, and basically anything else you can think of. I was seriously about to drop like $25 on a medium-sized bottle of this Sun-Dried tomato olive oil for Julia but in the end we moved on and the moment passed. (Sorry Jules.) Jess bought some Mount Rainer cherries that we munched on the rest of the day. We ended up eating lunch down near the market at some Mediterranean place that Michelle's brother, Carlos, apparently loves. i think it was called Falafel King? I dunno. It was nice seeing people of all types selling and buying. Commerce at it's finest. While I was there, I forgot that we were in a Recession/Depression because of how happily people were dropping money all around, especially on something as simple as a huge boutique of flowers. In front of the famous flying fish market, a man proposed to his girlfriend in front of everyone. needless to say, it was fun to people watch while we were down there.

Michelle ended up dropping Jessica and I off in Belltown (I think) to check out the sculpture park. We then headed to the Seattle Center to see the Space Needle and to go to the Experience Music Project. We had seen signs that advertised that there was a Jim Heson's Muppets exhibit that we were both interested in seeing. I got us somewhat lost in the Seattle Center but we eventually found the EMS (which is connected to the Science Fiction Museum which is where we later found out the Jim Henson exhibit was being held). We did the museum thing for awhile and learned a bunch about the music of Seattle. We briefly wandered the nerd wonderland of the Sci-Fi museum only to take in all of Jim Henson's finest. I have to say Jim Henson was pretty inspiring to me. I have a huge urge to start drawing regularly again. He had such a wonderfully fufilling career.

Tomorrow we are off to Vancouver. I hope they stamp my passport because I haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Love is...

It was a beautiful day in Seattle, blue skies with some clouds and 60 something degrees. I slept in and got on the bus in the late morning. I headed into town to see Michelle and Ed at Guajillo's ( I didn't want to go in there for a lunch rush so I wandered around Pioneer Square for an hour or two with my ipod to keep me company. The area is full of a lot of history, color and great old buildings. I finally got to see Michelle and Ed in action at their restaurant and it was really a treat. The food was great and the place was still pretty busy even though the lunch rush was over. After I said my goodbyes I wandered around some more. There were some places that my travel book suggested to check out that didn't turn out to be much of anything. The best part of all the walking around was the people. I saw hippies that were kissing and probably having free love in the park after I left and I saw ultra political "Cause Heads" that were bad-mouthing Obama, happily supporting La Rouge. I saw a man peeing on a building and a woman watching. There was a construction working reading Camas. I even saw some Seattle rats. I met some really nice random people and musicians on the street. I let a man from Wisconsin take a picture of me (I then decided to take a picture of him). Later on I ended up taking the Tour of the Underground which was all right. I feel like I could teach about Seattle history between the tour and my dorky travel book I read on the plane. Did you know there is an underground city beneath the city you are familiar with? The whole area is interesting because there are a lot a speciality stores, like a store that only sells Mystery books or a store that only sells clogs and no other kind of shoe. I began to wonder if these were just fronts for their drug dealing. Seriously how many pairs of clogs can a person have? I don't think I'll ever actually need or want a pair.

I took the bus back to the house to meet up with Jessica (finally). My old friend, Amanda, stays with Michelle and Ed, met us at the door. We quickly caught up but went separate ways. Jess and I hung out, relaxed, and then headed back into town. We met back up with Michelle and Ed and ate at this really amazing Japanese restaurant, IMO, in Pioneer Square (that had real Japanese karaoke). The food, service and atmosphere were really great. When even got complimentary drinks. After the baseball, towards the end of our meal the restaurant back packed. We decided to grab a drink at this bar in Fremount that Ed liked. Now, Ed is a beer drinker. He teased me last night because I couldn't finish my beer. I think I got a little of his respect back when at IMO I downed a shot while Jess and Michelle spitted it BUT I think he wanted to see me actually finish a beer. I wasn't really sure what to order at the bar but I saw a New Belgium beer called Love. Love did not have a description yet, Love was not free. When we asked the waiter what Love was, he said, It's sort of sour. I thought, what the hell, and ordered it. Love is really hard to describe and hard to finish. We all tried Love but all made faces at it. In the end, I couldn't commit to Love enough to finish it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Manifest Destiny

Today I flew out west to Seattle. I have to first start off by saying that I am not much of a fan of flying. I hate all the waiting - bag check, security, loading the plane, take off etc. It also bugs me how tense everyone is. I'm not a terrorist people. The lady at security asked me why I looked so happy "I'm going on a road trip" I cheerfully informed her. Her reply "then why are you flying?" She made me walk through the metal detectors a couple extra times because she said there was a skip in my step. Sorry lady for being excited. bitch. I flew Alaska Air which wasn't bad. I chatted up the older man next to me because he was watching me take notes in my Pacific West Coast travel book. I told me some good places to go and check out.

When we landed I was surprised how cold I was. Brrr! It's in the 60's here (which is awesome!) I put on my hoodie and headed to the newly opened light rail that takes you from the airport into town. I thought the light rail would be more crowded but I basically road it by myself the whole way in. It was amazing. I felt like if I was in a movie, that train ride would have been a happy montage of me looking out the windows of the train in awe. Seattle is beautiful! There is art everywhere. People paint murals and mosaics on the side of buildings and have sculptures everywhere. I felt like I was riding a train in one of my dreams.

Michelle, a longtime friend from high school, lives in Seattle and opened her family's Tex Mex restaurant in downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square. She and Ed, her mate, have been generous enough to invite me (and tomorrow my sister) into their lives for a couple of days. I road the light rail all the way to their restaurant. Then we headed back the direction I had just come in to go to their house and get a bite to eat. They live in a cute area in South Seattle called Burien. It's sort of a suburb but their house is big and Ed built this enormous water slide in their back yard. If it gets warmer in the next couple of days, I will try it.

If I can remember correctly, Manifest Destiny is the idea the US was "destined" to expand to the west side of the country in the 1800's. For the jaded East Coasters and Middle-Americans, the "west" embodied all the hopes, dreams of success and happiness. It's day one of my west coast travels and so far so good. Seattle feels like it could be this magical place where anything can happen. I don't really believe in destiny but I'm glad this city was settled. Tomorrow I get to wonder around the city by myself and explore. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve. This will be the only day on the trip that I will exclusively be by myself. Jessica will be getting into Seattle around dinner time so we might get some people together and go out.

I'm not sure what else to say but I'm giddy. Hopefully I can get to sleep.

Monday, August 10, 2009

preparation and lists

things to make sure to pack:
*medication (allergy and BC)
*cameras (probably my Digital SLR and probably my analog SLR or my Holga, maybe my pinhole, I really can't decide)
*rechargeable batteries for camera(s)
*sun screen
*light jacket/hoodie/cardigan
*swim suit
*ipod and ipod charger
*travel books
*cell phone charger
*maybe a laptop

Things to do before I leave:
*charge battery for camera
*clear memory sticks
*get film for camera
*confirm lodging - calling and emailing friends
*get stamps (for postcards)
*get addresses of friends and family so that I may write them postcards
*add and edit playlists on ipod
*go snack shopping
*clean apartment
*transport plants to Hanna's house
*send Brodie off with Mom.
*print plane ticket

Personal things to do before I leave:
*get new seat, tire and tub for bike I'm trying to sell
*put ad out to sell said bike
*do some work at the Cage ie website work
*send some emails
*go out to drinks with friends (Nomads 10PM Wednesday August 12th)

am I forgetting anything?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

4 days in counting

I'm leaving on my west coast road-trip with my sister, Jessica, in four days. I was hesitant to blog about my thoughts, sightings, stories because I wanted to keep them to myself until I was back. Call me selfish. I might even blow this off two days in. Also I hate the word blog. However, I started to like the idea of having something that could share my experiences with - that my friends and family could read and feel like they were all there with me.

I'm saying this now: I'm not a writer. I always wanted to be a writer when I was young but the whole structure of it all bogged me down. So don't expect poetry and brilliance. These will just be my ordinary prose. If you want something wonderfully insightful, go read Jessica's blog at I'll probably just post a bunch of pictures on here because let's face it, I'm a little more interested in pictures than words.

I'm still a little overwhelmed with how to prepare for this endeavor. I haven't really even thought about what to pack. Jessica left today from Boston headed west. She's suppose to meet me in Seattle on Friday. I'm getting into Seattle on Thursday. I'm pretty stoked because we will be staying with one of my old friends, Michelle, who I haven't seen in years and who I love. I can't wait.

Oh right, you're probably curious if you don't already know...

Here is our working itinerary...(exact dates may change)

Thur 08/13/09 (day 1) – Seattle, WA
Fri 08/14/09 (day 2) - Seattle, WA
Sat 08/15/09 (day 3) - Vancouver, Victoria, Portland, OR
Sun 08/16/09 (day 4) - Portland, OR
Mon 08/17/09 (day 5) - Redding, CA, Crescent City, CA, Napa, CA
Tues 08/18/09 (day 6) – Napa Valley, CA
Wed 08/19/09 (day 7) - San Francisco, CA
Thurs 08/20/09 (day 8) – San Francisco, CA
Fri 08/21/09 (day 9) - Big Sur, Los Angeles, CA
Sat 08/22/09 (day 10) – Los Angeles, CA
Sun 08/23/09 (day 11) - San Diego, CA
Mon 08/24/09 (day 12) – Phoenix, AZ
Tues 08/25/09 (day 13) – Traveling (possibly back in TX)
Wed 08/26/09 (day 14) - Austin, San Antonio