RSS
 

Archive for the ‘Road Trip 2010’ Category

Seattle – The REAL Story

28 May

For a little background on our visit to the Seattle area, I did sort of try to prepare for Shaun & Susie’s family vegan members. In Albuquerque, I said to Jim, “Oh…my purse is leather. That might offend KT. I’d better buy a cloth bag”. Okay, so I wasn’t thinking real clearly. I bought the bag, wondering the whole time I was paying for it “why does Jim have that silly smirk on his face?” as soon as I was out of the store, I found out. “What are you going to do about the car?” he asked. It took a few minutes for me to figure out what he was talking about and then the light bulb. THe entire interior of the car is leather. So much for having just a tiny bit of animal hide…I had a a whole cow. I gave up on convincing him I also needed non-leather shoes and apologized profusely to KT when we got to Seattle. I guess I also forgot when we met for dinner because I ordered a hamburger. I just wasn’t thinking.

So Suzie says I’m a geeky tourist, hmmm, I will agree that as far as people go, I am rather geeky. I very seldom want to see real tourist attractions because then I have to admit that I really am a tourist. I know that sounds silly but if I admit I’m a tourist, then I can’t say “d*mned tourists” when someone gets in my way when I’m trying to look at something. Not that I would say it out loud or anything, but Jim might. There’s never any telling about what he’d do. So, to Susie…pffft…I’m a geek, not a tourist. Your husband told me so and he never mentioned the tourist word.

Since I had no clue how long it would take to get to the gum wall or how long we would be at the folklife festival (because I was trying not to be too much like a tourist, I tried to hide the fact that I really enjoyed it…only the geeky parts like the percussion tent and the kettle corn…well the whole thing was pretty cool really) I started chewing my gum way early and made Jim chew some too. Contrary to popular belief, I did not make everyone chew gum, I simply asked Mimi for a piece of gum then asked her for one for Jim too. I didn’t know we would be chewing it for 4 hours either.

I also restrained myself from acting too much like a tourist at Pike Place Market, but I did try to sneak in a picture of them throwing fish. I just wasn’t fast enough and all I got was a blur. I would have sat on the pig too but I thought it would be rude to throw the little kids off of it so I pretended that it wasn’t so cool. Walking through the market was fun and trying all the different flavor pepper jellies was great. I never would have thought to make wine flavored pepper jelly. I think I prefer to drink my wine and eat the crackers with the garlic flavor jelly. Jim is getting tired of me trying to get him to eat the jelly so that he can have self defence garlic breath. I don’t think getting garlic breath is a tourist thing to do so I’m still just a geek.

So, here’s the gum wall…or at least the part that has my gum on it. It’s a terrible photo. I think my problem was trying to eat pepper jelly with the gum in my mouth. It may have been a good idea to take it out, but that seemed like cheating.

The arrow points to my gum.

The arrow points to my gum.

Someone else's creative gum endeavor

Someone else's creative gum endeavor

Now, about visiting Microsoft: Well I guess it could be deemed a touristy thing to do but posing as a ballerina was not my idea. I was really worried about it even. I mean my shirt could ride up and my belly button might show and that could really scare some people. As a matter of fact, me posing like a ballerina should scare people. I looked deranged. The thought even crossed my mind that I am a deranged geek but I quickly got out of that line of thinking and started thinking about balls. What? Wow you have a dirty mind…not that kind of balls!. I remembered looking at job postings at Google once when I was fed up with the family believing that since my office was at home, I really didn’t have a job. Of course, when I got to the Google job postings, I lost interest in actually getting an outside job where I couldn’t wear totally mismatched clothes and forget to brush my hair. But those balls and all the fun stuff they offer employees. MY office can’t even fit another computer, let alone free floating balls.

No visit to family would be complete without the parting family shot. This one had to be in front of the most important tour stop on my Seattle list. Susie’s infamous yellow wall. It’s the first one I mentioned to her and she didn’t even mention it in her blog post. So, here’s the family photo.

KT, Mimi, Shaun, Susie

KT, Mimi, Shaun, Susie

 
 

Finally The Ocean

27 May

Now we did stay a few days in Southern California and I did see the ocean there, but I never stuck my toes in the water. Now we hit Portland, Oregon and decided to take the coastal route as much as possible up to Seattle. We stopped at every publicly accessible beach. When I dipped my toes in, I was surprised that the water seemed much, much warmer than the water at the northern beaches on the east coast, but The most disturbing thing for me is that I actually felt all wrong. I was seriously discombobulated because I was physically facing the wrong way. I never would have thought that this could even be noticeable, unless, of course, I was watching the sunset and even that shouldn’t make much difference because we often watch the sunset on Lake Ontario which is really like a small ocean with no salt. Anyway, I felt really uncomfortable facing the wrong way to look at the ocean, but I am pretty strange.

An Oregon Beach

An Oregon Beach

It was kind of a damp (typically northwestern) day in Oregon but we walked the beaches anyway. We found a lot of broken sand dollars but not much in the line of whole shells and we didn’t spend a whole lot of time at any one beach. He left coast is much different than the right coast. The sand is more brown, the coast is rockier, and the water seems bluer to me.

At one town we talked to a local person who said that they definitely had sharks at their beach and that at certain times of the year you could watch migrating whales there. I would have liked to have been there for that but as usual our timing was off.

A Lighthouse In Oregon

A lighthouse in Oregon. This is where we were told there were sharks and whales

We met a woman who had a cockatoo leashed to her and on her shoulder. The bird repeated everything she asked it to. She said the bird had been abused and kept in a dark room and that it plucked at its own feathers so had to wear a small vest to allow her cheat to heal. The bird was really beautiful though even with its little red vest.

Sometimes it really amazes me how much hotel clerks enjoy posing with Jim's Duck. This is the guy in Portland

Sometimes it really amazes me how much hotel clerks enjoy posing with Jim's Duck. This is the guy in Portland

 
 

An Almost Totally Wasted Day

26 May

I guess every trip has at least one day where things just don’t go the way one plans them to go. When we left Watertown, stopped at the VA Medical Center to make sure that Jim had enough of all his medications. Some of them couldn’t be dispensed in large enough numbers to get us all the way through the trip so I specifically asked whether he could just stop at any VAMC to get refills along the way. I was assured that all we had to do was go to the pharmacy at any VA hospital and that they could pull up his records and see what needed to be refilled. We stayed in Medford, Oregon with the express intention to visit the Roseburg VA on the way up to the Portland, Oregon area.

Jim's Duck poses with the clerk at the Homewood Suites in Medford, Oregon

Jim's Duck poses with the clerk at the Homewood Suites in Medford, Oregon

It was not as easy as the VA in Syracuse said it would be. After going to the pharmacy, we were told that the VA system wasn’t even interconnected. We stopped to see a patient advocate that said Jim would have to be seen by the emergency room to get refills. The triage nurse lectured him about not getting enough meds to last the whole trip which, of course, started one of those long, drawn out, circular arguments. You have to get enough to cover your 6 week trip, but you can only have enough to cover 4 weeks. I took this with a whole lot more of a sense of humor than Jim did being that this is the kind of snafu the VA usually pulls. He got pretty irritated. In the end, they gave him his meds and another stern lecture, then sent him on his way. All in all we spent about 5 hours there…a pretty much wasted day since we still had to drive to Portland.