Friday, March 22, 2013

Spring Break Day 6: Portland, Animated


           Today was our full day in Portland, and I spent the large majority of it on my lonesome. Pat had a visit of his own to attend to, and I assumed that he took the key. So when housekeeping came in and presented me with an unacceptably awkward situation, I hightailed it out of the room with only my shoes, wallet, and cell phone. Three hours I spent walking around Portland, and I saw a couple of things that changed my perception of it.
            For one thing, that area I thought was downtown Portland was actually the outskirts of the downtown. As in, the crappy part. The actual downtown is really, super nice, and abundant in food trucks. Even better, I have a list of things that happened to me, without much commentary. So, in order to fill space and use a backlog of reaction .GIFs, here’s my day and how I felt about it.
            1. I decided to try my hand at local coffee. Walking into the shop, I realized that there was no menu from which to panic select from. 
            I promptly left.
    

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Break Day 5: My Baby Takes the Morning Train


            I left Seattle this morning at 7:15, bound for Portland. It was amazingly romantic to see the clouds go from night black to slightly lighter back, then a fully day-bright medium grey. Then we were out in the Washington countryside, which looks exactly like the Iowa countryside, but damper. Not as many fields, I suppose, but the exact same number of surfacing killer whales in Puget Sound DESPITE WHAT I WAS PROMISED BY TOURISM FOOTAGE. Although, about halfway into our three hour train ride, we did see a killer rainbow, which Pat promptly slept through.
Took the window seat too, the bastard.
            For all those of you who haven’t traveled by train, let me just say- Keep it up. Trains are like planes (automobiles) but without the awesome take off and landing thing. Or the speed. Or the flying part. So really, they’re nothing like planes save uncomfortable seats and jerks surrounding you. I know that my entries have been much less exciting ever since I blew my load with poetic descriptions of unknown cities beneath me, but to be fair, I said that was only because planes put me in that mood. Trains do the opposite. They inspire boredom and uncreativity in me and practically shank any sort of muse I have.
            The only thing poetic I could think of to talk about on that train ride was the large wooden docks that had long since broken down, with only the piers remaining. Whether they were signs of a better time, their support towers the last remaining piece of history after a flood, or just the Pacific Northwest’s equivalent of a dilapidated barn, I couldn’t quite figure out. Instead, I put my foot on my knee and hoped I wouldn’t lose all circulation.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring Break Day 4: See Ya, Seattle


            Hey, guys, it’s my last night in Seattle before headed to Portland. How did I spend the day? Doin’ nothing. It was everything I, and Peter from Office Space, thought it could be. For the morning I went for that run up the hill. Somehow, I recovered from that heart attack and continued to the market and back. It was only around 45 minutes, but occasionally during the run I would break out in a huge smile. I was in Seattle. I was running. I was running in Seattle like it was nobody’s business. The most downtown area of my new favorite city during business hours, and here I am sweating and giggling like a mad man.
            After the run, Pat was out doing his business, so I was home alone. Instead, I tried my hand at Thai food. Guys. Delicious. Then it was to a cafĂ© for an hour to write a bit, and further back to the fountain from yesterday, on full blast. I laid on my back in the strangely sunny Seattle weather for half an hour. This is my vacation. I couldn’t be happier about it.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Break Day 3: Queen Anne of Green Gables


            Sorry about not getting this out last night (that’s what he said). I was just too tired and didn’t quite feel like putting in the effort (that’s what she said). No, but seriously folks, I got back to our room after a night walk and got into bed, which was a mistake. The beds at this hotel are the third best thing about it, after the amazing sheet set and the fact that I can see the Space Needle less than 500 yards away out of my window. When the hotel was subtitled “By the Space Needle,” they weren’t lying.
            In my post from Sunday, I talk about going to Pike Place market, which was awesome and amazing and incredibly expensive. Not on an item to item basis, but an “Oh look this jam jar has my name on it and I’m going to buy it because of that,” kinda way. On top of that, using several $2.25 busses to get to the University District Sunday night for St. Patrick’s Day racks up the dollars. Add to that the numerous townie bars we found (I recommend 5 Points in Denny’s Triangle immensely, if only for the sticker they had saying “I F**K NUNS”) and you’ve got yourself a pretty pricey day.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Break Day 2: Transit, the Opiate of the Masses

           If you haven’t read about the first part of my trip here, I highly suggest you do so. It’s quite literally the first part of this… well… trip. So, that’s important.
            Moving on. I woke up around 9:00 o’clock Iowa time which translates to a handy 7:00 Seattle time. That, if you don’t know, conflicts heavily with the 1:00 AM posting time of the previous entry. I laid in bed for a bit, denying that I had woken up, but eventually I had to conclude that what was done, was done. I got up and opened my computer to find that Seattle had a St. Patrick’s Day parade, beginning at 9:30 AM. I waited patiently for Pat to wake up.
            Then I continued waiting.
            Eventually, I was tired of waiting, and went to go get doughnuts at the local gas station, because that’s real Seattle cuisine. Unfortunately, by the time I got back, some sort of 5k was done and the festivities had ceased to my knowledge. Pat was awake, and we made plans for the day. By “we made plans” I mean we casually walked in a certain direction, hoping to find one thing or another to catch our fancy.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spring Break Day 1: The Begininning

            I left for Seattle today for Spring Break. Beantown, they call it, on account of all the coffee they grind here. They also have a Big Apple sculpture in the middle of downtown, which gives Seattle its other nickname, The Windy City. Note: I’m writing this part of the post on the plane and have never been here before, so any factual errors are beyond my control.
            Basically what I’m thinking for this week is a mini-travelogue. My reasoning is that 1. I can’t think of anything else to write and 2. I’ve never done one before and they seem easy. It has to be one of those things that’s harder than it sounds, right? Or else everyone’d be doing it. Show up, do things, write about it, profit. Of course, there’s one major problem- doing things. This is the first vacation I’ve ever been on that wasn’t pretty meticulously planned out, so I’m starting to get a bit terrified that I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow. It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so we’ll probably head to the UW campus and see if we can’t find ourselves some “Irish” friends.
            But that’s for tomorrow’s entry, if I get around to doing it. Today’s is about the journey, man. Suffice it to say, planes rule, and cars drool. I had to get to Chicago from my hometown, which is about a four and a half hour trip. Luckily, I had my main man and hetero life partner Pat to keep me company. Unluckily, the big man fell asleep about halfway there, as soon as I took over the driving. It is probably more for his benefit though, as Illinois drivers are pretty nonchalant about the whole speed limit thing. I think they believe for every lane in the road, you get to 2.5 mph faster than the speed limit. Two lane? I’ma go five over. Four? Ten over. Luckily, the way into Chicago is eight lanes after you hit Aurora, so we made great time at 20 over. Don’t look at me that way, person-who-is-probably-not-my-mom! Studies show conforming to traffic peer pressure is actually safer. It’s like I’m back in traffic high school!
"Illinois drivers... I HATE Illinois Drivers."
            We got to Chicago a good four hours before our flight was set to board, so we dicked around at my brother’s place for the time. Here’s a fun fact: Little kids are great, especially the ones I’m related to, but holy cow are they bad at telling stories. But look who’s talking, eh? Shut up, peanut gallery.