Saturday, July 30, 2011


About 3 hours north of Portland lies the city of Seattle.  Let me make clear now that if you ever reside in Portland, you are to never compare it to Seattle.  Portland stresses that although Seattle is a Pacific Northwest city with equal amounts of rain, coffee and waterways, it is NOTHING like Portland.  It's kinda a little brother complex; however, the two cities are very different.  Seattle has a lot more water and ships and the city is much bigger.  It still has a fair amount of hipsters and many more grungers.  To give us the low-down on city culture, we took a "Duck Tour" on Saturday.

Andrea drove me and another friend, Zu, to Seattle.  We were staying with her friend who resides just outside the city and we all planned a tour to show us around.  It was very cheesy and loud, but very informative and we got to ride on land AND in the water.  We even got a glimpse at the Sleepless in Seattle house.  Remember that classic?  Then we took an elevator ride up the Space Needle, which was built in 1962 for the World's Fair.  I haven't been such a tourist in a long long time.  It's expensive and you stick out like a sore thumb, but how else are you going to see such a big city in 1 day? 

Sunday, we drove to Fremont, a cool little town just outside Seattle, with the goal of tasting a good cup of joe in the city that made coffee famous.  We happened upon a Farmer's Market that made me feel I had died and gone to heaven!  There was a variety of worldly foods and handcrafted materials.  Now THIS is the aspect I love about exploring cities: meeting the locals.  And we found a great little coffee place and discovered the Fremont Troll under the bridge (see photo).

It was a fast but excellent little weekend trip to Seattle, and now I have officially visited all the major west coast cities...check.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

South Carolina

I took an excursion to Charleston, SC to surprise my best friend, Erin, on the day of her wedding.  She is 7 months pregnant and planned on getting hitched to her long time boyfriend after the birth, but instead she threw together an impromptu beach wedding.  As it started to grow in family and friends who wanted to participate, her sister, Amy, called me and I bought a plane ticket.  I surprised Erin at 4:00am when she and her fiance, Aaron (yeah, I know, it gets confusing) pulled into the driveway.

It was wonderful to be there for Erin during her weekend of preparations for her Sunday wedding.  We had a Baby Shower in the morning, got Erin's big belly into her wedding dress, enjoyed a reception with 50 of her closest friends and relatives, then walked to the beach to bear witness to their union.  It was a beautiful, simple and meaningful wedding and I was so happy to be there for it.

Many of her friends left to return to work on Monday, but since I am unemployed (yeah?), I crashed at their family's rented beach house until Wednesday, and we all had a nice little beach vacation together.  I have known Erin's family for a long time and it was wonderful to be around them all.  I told myself I'd better get used to the humidity, as I've forgotten what it's like to live in it!  And Charleston was a very cool city to wander-lots of history.  We ate a lot of seafood, enjoyed the sun and beach, and celebrated in a wonderful union of two beautiful people!!!