Greetings my DA family, and well met!
I have returned from my journies with many and various tales that are herein recounted!
On the 12th of August, the day before my departure, near the end of my work shift, I twisted my knee. ;/ This is an old injury - I've done it to both knees, but not in MANY years. Quite a nasty surprise.
On the 13th of August I traveled by diesel coach [bus] to Boston, MA, and by miraculous airship [airplane] from Boston to Portland, OR. Probably not the best case for my afforementioned knee injury, but thanks to my dad who called ahead for a wheelchair service
, I made the trek! Arriving in Portland, I rendezvoused with my aunt and took posession of our rental car before driving to another aunt's home in Lost Park area. Ravenous, I rifled the kitchen for crackers and almond butter and cold water, while awaiting the return of Portland Aunt, who had stayed at the airport ot pick up her friend, and her daughter, my cousin.
Next day, we all took a walk [I hobbled] along the Wildwood Trail of Forest Park, before loading two cars and heading into downtown Portland for lunch at the food trucks. I had a very tasty yakisoba and black milk tea. Then we headed north, across the Columbia River and the border into Washington. Stopping at New Seasons grocery, I spent FAR too much money on ingredients for a fruit salad, more almond butter, tea, and various snacky things. Then, on to our rented cottage in Yacolt, WA, a very well appointed retreat, but hard to get to without great directions. The evening was spent settling and playing Boggle, a surprisingly loud game, which miraculously did not wake the friend who fell asleep on the couch.
Saturday 15 August began with delicious breakfast and laundry before tackling the fruit salad in watermelon bowl; this audacious project being my contribution to the pot-luck portion of the reception, following a cousin's wedding that afternoon. I didn't do anything super fancy about the bowl, but it took a rather long time to hollow it out. Into the fruit salad went: pears, peaches, cherries, plums, kiwi, and of course watermelon. About 15:00 it was time to head to the wedding site, in the next town over, La Center, WA. The location was a charming farm owned by a college friend of my cousin's and her husband, where they husband six children, a handful of chickens, several tortoises, a sheep, a llama, and a yak. The grounds are full of artwork, interesting artifacts, all manner of lush flowers and plants, even an earthwork labyrinth.
My cousin hand-painted a mess of glass mugs for the occasion, in the theme of sunflowers, and my aunt hand-made nearly 200 cloth napkins in various sunflower designs. 150 guests [not counting the dogs!] gathered for this joyous celebration, from tiny babies to grey grandmothers! The ceremony was casual, but no less heartfelt, and the party continued well after dark with the pot-luck buffet, pork roast, and delicious s'more cupcakes, followed by campfire and real
s'mores. We did not stay to the 'bitter' end, but by the time we left, after gimping around on my bad knee for hours, I was exhausted.
On Sunday, I rose early, gathered my gear, and absconded with the rental car for Seattle, WA, to meet for the very first time, a dear DA friend, CheshireSmile
! My 3.5 hour estimate expanded to almost 5 hours. ;o I had hoped to connect with CheshireSmile
about noon, but it ended up being almost 14:00! Still we had a fine tour of the Woodland Park Zoo
, and engaging conversation, followed by a trip to the Pike Place public market – chauffeured by a generous friend, Katie – where we lunched [supped?] and I admired the impressive collection of orginal art CheshireSmile
had brought along. Needless to say we spent not nearly enough time in each other's company before CheshireSmile
had to leave to catch the last ferry! I am sorry that my knee injury slowed us down so much! I'd love to visit again when we can spend more time. Katie graciously returned me to Woodland Park, where I had secured my rental car, and looked up directions for me on her 'smart' device to get down to 2nd Avenue and the Moore Hotel where I had booked a room for the night.
To anyone looking for an inexpensive room in Seattle I recommend the Moore
- accomodations were neat, clean, and comfortable.
The worst part of this experience was finding a place to park the car for the night. The Moore maintains an agreement with a local garage, but I was not able to determine which garage it was, nor did I have the address. ;/ So, I found an 'auto' lot on the block directly behind the hotel, and, against the advice of the old hobo, paid my $12 at the ticket machine and locked the car before limping up to the Moore. Ditching gear in my room, I returned streetside on a quest for Pepsi, and water. A terrible oredeal! The block where the Moore is located seems only to host nightclubs, Japanese restaurants, and tattoo parlors!
I had to go down several blocks to find a shop wherein to buy drinks, and even then, the prices were, I thought, rather steep. But I did accquire my beverages, and gimp my way back to the hotel. Next order of business: to find the ice dispenser, the existence of which was implied by the ice bucket provided in the room. I had not seen it on the floor, and not in the lobby, but returning to the lobby was informed the ice machine is on the second floor, and found it without trouble – right next to a Pepsi machine.
So, victorious but exhausted I returned to my room, iced my knee, and my Pepsi, and read until I'd finished my drink. To give you an idea how tired I was, I drank the whole 20oz bottle and then fell asleep with no trouble.
Arising very early next day, Monday, I again gathred my gear, returned to the car which, thankfully, had not been vandalized in the night. Driving south out of Seattle I was gifted with a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier in the glorious light of early morning. Successfully navigating down to the La Canter exit, I stopped at the convenience store there to use a restroom and double-check my directions, only to discover I had misplaced themd. ;/ So I called my aunts, and cousin, who looked up the route again, and then transcribed the road names [I do not have my own 'smart' device.] Despite this, I returned to Yacolt in good order and with an hour to spare before our checkout from the cottage.
Then the trek back to Portland! In the afternoon we conveyed my visiting cousin to her sister's/my newly-wed cousin's home across the city and visited a time before stopping by my Portland aunt's garden - one patch of a riotous comunity garden. Lunch was had at Mad Sons Pub
, a very fine cheeseburger for me, with the best tomatoes on a burger I've ever had – usually I pick them out, not these.
The afternoon and evening were whiled away at Portland aunt's home going through 100s of photos from the wedding and zoo, and collapsing into a crash nap.
Tuesday morning, last day in Portland, we visited the International Rose Test Garden near Forest Park, before dropping off Portland Aunt's friend at the Max train to PDX airport for her flight out. Brief tour of a local farmer's market where I snagged a couple of overpriced lemon cucumbers for lunch. Had another crash nap. Then carefully packed the suitcase for my return flight that night. My aunt and I drove to the airport early, returned our rental car, and made our way to the terminal. I wished her well and staked out a comfortable corner to wait until I could check my suitcase. After the bag was secured, I spent a good amount of time hunting a souvenier sweatshirt in one of the airport shops. I had left mine behind at home before the adventure even began. ;/
My return flight was uneventful, if uncomfortable, and thank goodness for the wheelchair service again or I would have missed my bus from Boston.
Since my return, I've been house-sitting for various neighbors, and slowly, slowly healing my knee.
Much better now, but still no running, and I hate stairs.
tl;dr I flew to Portland, drove to Seattle, and met CheshireSmile
IRL for the first time! My cousin got married!
Feature journal to follow!