Okay, for those of you following along at home, this is actually Day 11 of this round the country magical mystery tour. Do not adjust your set. Just know that I am way behind on posting my thoughts and reviews for your viewing pleasure. I will attempt to rectify that this morning. I am sitting in Ristretto Roasters in downtown Portland, Oregon, in the shadow of the iconic bridge, just out of view of Mt. Hood. I’m savoring a fig scone and drinking an excellent Americano, Costa Rican specifically, and feeling more than just a little awesome.
Now, how can I describe Day 8?
First of all, the day started with a visit to my now favorite little sister, Elizabeth, in Seattle. We had known each other for about a year and change online, and we had talked on the phone a few times, but we had never met in person before this trip to Seattle. This was super. It is so much fun to walk up to the house, knock on the door, and suddenly be friends, “real” friends, with someone you feel like you’ve known for years, not months.
Elizabeth then proceeded, in true little sister fashion, to kick my butt. She took me on her usual walk route, with a few more hills thrown in I think, just for kicks, and showed me Lincoln Park, the ferry docks,
the islands in the distance (she told me they were there, like the mountains, but I’m still not sure because there was so much freakin’ FOG in Seattle, you know?) and assured me that Mt. Ranier did indeed exist. (Yep, FOG, clouds, grayness) This was a good walk unspoiled, a nice, damp, green, lush, talk-about-the-problems-of-the-world walk. A get-to-know-who-you-really-are-and-now-I’m-sure-I-like-you walk. A boy-am-I-glad-I-finally-got-to-meet-you-in-person-and-you’re-awesome walk.
My very first coffee shop visit in Seattle was at Bird on a Wire, Elizabeth’s neighborhood shop, and it was of course wonderful.
I met the barista, and later on (at another visit) was even privy to the Christmas Tree story. I cannot relate it here, for fear that at my next visit she might intentionally overcaffeinate me, but it was awesome too.
Before I go on, I’ll tell you that I like to shoot for six thousand steps a day at home, unless I’m working a sixteen hour day and just can’t get that much exercise in. On Friday, Elizabeth, my new sister, tried to kill me. We walked 19,088 steps, 318% of my usual goal.
You know how much I love coffee and coffee shops and the whole culture that involves, so this part of the country is a little piece of heaven.
There was shopping at the Pike Place Market, a wonderful place that hosts the very first Starbucks coffee location, wonderful flower vendors and of course fresh fruit and vegetable stands and fish markets. We bought four Dungeness crabs for the Seafood Fest that night with friends, and these were processed and cleaned on the spot for us. Cool!
There was shopping for the grand kiddies at a wonderful toy store, shopping and looking at other stores all around town. The day is not complete without being a little wild and crazy at Magic Mouse Toys.
Of course, one of the highlights of the young visit to Seattle was the Seafood Extravaganza at Elizabeth, John and Zoey’s house on Friday night. This was a mini-reunion for me, Vickie Vanlandingham Stoddard, and Steve Stallings, along with his wife Darlene. I had not seen these guys in almost four decades! Elizabeth went way over the top in the good hostess category, cooking and baking and helping Vickie and me celebrate our upcoming birthdays this month. It is always fun to be with friends, but there’s something very special about seeing old friends and making new ones all at the same time, and just enjoying each other’s company. It was a special night. As I know you’re reading this, Sis, I have to thank you publicly again for making that dinner party so very special and fun for us all. Thanks to Zoey for singing for us too. What a treat!
Yes, Day 8 of this cross-country trip was a special one. New friends, old friends, walking, shopping, eating, coffee, singing, celebrating. It makes me very humble and grateful to think how much friends and experiences with them make up the fabric of our lives, and how much we need them to be happy.
Thank you guys, for making this leg of my October journey so much fun.