Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

I took the train to Seattle. I arrived 5 hours late. I didn’t care– it let me nap, as I had a roomette. I thought I’d stay at a hostel, as we were arriving after 1am, but my friend had decided to take the next day off, and was there at the station to meet me. That felt really good.

<lj-cut text=”…then, I got a job, keeping kids from hanging out in front of the drugstore…”
I didn’t go out and see sights, like I planned. I just mellowed out, helping with some stuff at her house, and beating the heat every couple of hours by (literally!) chilling out in the basement den on a comfy couch with a book. It was great.

I missed my departing train, and got a little stressed about it, but found a nearby coffeeshop and ate lunch and read the local papers. My laptop wifi is broken; I need to put on a new hex crimp connector, or get an external one, so I stayed off the net. It was great. My friend finished her appointments and then rang me up on the cell, so I went back to the station and chatted with her a while, then changed my ticket from Portland to Eugene. I had been going to pick up a rental car in Portland and drive to Eugene, but I’d be getting in after they closed, so I figured I’d get to Eugene at least.

Car rentals in Eugene are pretty expensive, and while the airport ones are open until midnight, they have an extra fee and were also out of economy and compact cars. I’d also not been able to find my tent when packing, so camping at the Country Faire was going to be interesting. A girl with a bike was getting a van-cab at the Amtrak station as I was making phone calls about cars. She was staying at a local youth hostel, Whitaker, and gave me the number. I called and got their last bed for the night, and shared the cab ride, just a couple of dollars. I’m loving talking with folks here; planted some kabocha for them after getting a garden tour from the owner, who said he’d love some.

I’ve been walking around the corner to the bus that goes downtown, and took the free shuttle to the Faire from downtown Saturday and Sunday. At the bus stop, one of the folks had a lot of camping gear, and I asked where he was staying. He didn’t actually have a place yet, and was concerned about that, so I gifted him my reservation at Quiet Campground. He was really happy about that! I ran into him later in the Faire, and he’d found a nice tree and was a Happy Camper. 🙂

I had a great time, though my feet are sore! Met some great folks in the local permaculture and cohousing communities. Gave out lots of kabocha and indian corn seeds, and found out there are several women around the northwest independently promoting seed saving (and sharing!) as a form of eco-activism. I’m thrilled! I feel like I am discovering a community. And yeah, it’s a hippiechick kind of community of witchy fat ladies who garden and wear weird clothes and don’t care what folks think, but as much as I try to fit in elsewhere, it’s more like a me place than many others. Can take the gal out of the country and all.

The summer heat didn’t destroy me, I was actually pretty comfy and danced at Main Stage, drank lots and lots of water. I think summer destruction for me has been about incorrect thyroid and diabetes control– I handled Burning Man just fine this past year, and am comfy at home into the high 70’s and low 80’s as long as I’m in the shade and in shorts and tanktop. I was going to go out to Cougar today, but don’t feel like driving. Might still rent a car and do it tomorrow. I’ve been online for several hours now, and while I’m not caught up, I’m just done with it. Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain, and it might be cool to be in a hotspring under July rain. Mike is driving up Thursday afternoon, and we’re going to have a little vacationy thing, maybe looking at land.

Hugs and Love, folks, back to mellow quiet. Times are a-changing, and who knows how? Maybe not me.


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I’m cashing in some Amtrak miles and taking the Coast Starlight up to Seattle to visit friends there, arriving sometime Friday night late. Scheduled arrival is about 9pm, but this is the Coast Starlight we’re talking, and on-time is not it’s middle name.

I’ll be in Seattle most of the following week, heading down to Portland or Eugene on the Cascadian for the following week– the order depends on when my friends in Eugene are going to be in town vs travelling.

Good eats, live music, hot springs, hanging out, planting gardens, touring gardens, and general misbehaving. Drop me a note and suggest something!

My don’t miss list:

In Portland, of course Powell’s, Rimsky Korsakoffee’s, Cedar’s, the Rose Gardens, Saturday market, and Voodoo Donut.

In Seattle, of course Teahouse Kuan Yin, Pike’s Place, the Pink Door, the Ballard Locks, the International District, odd little bookstores on Yesler, the ‘Spot, and Toys in Babeland. Maybe a run out to Baker hot springs and some live music at the Tractor, if it’s still there.

Renting a car in Portland so I can go visit Cougar hot springs and look at land along the outskirts of the Willamette Valley. Maybe finally make it out to Mackenzie River springs as well.

I still have lots of miles after that. Hmm. 😀

Oh yeah, and I am going to try to do some book-signing while I’m up there, if the darn thing is finally shipping by then!

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I’ll be on vacation in Seattle this coming weekend and most of next week, then heading down to the Portland area and to Eugene. I’d love recommendations from readers in those areas for public gardens to tour, or specialty garden centers to visit (native plants, orchids, heirloom veggies, etc).

I’d really enjoy meeting some Northwest gardeners, too– how about coffee or tea meetups? Drop me an email or a comment if you’d like to get together while I’m in town!

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Got up, got coffee, started to get online; 8:45am, doorbell rings– it’s the pushy, but competent, contractor whose phone message I hadn’t returned yet, who is stopping by the neighbor’s and thought he’d come by.

Go through email, complete lunch plans begun the day before, head out to lunch. New place to me, Temptations Indian/Asian Fusion, in downtown View. Great food, though some of it haunted me slightly afterwards. Next time, not so much stuff. My friend is stressed out, life is accelerating its pace for no sane reason, and connections between people and sanity are spread thin. The kind of agonizing jitterbug malaise that one solves by calling in dead (“bad fugu… paralysis setting in… will come back to work in a couple of days, if I don’t wake up in Haiti…”) and spending the day on a nice lake somewhere in a boat, fishing with a friend, some homebrew, and no hooks on one’s fishing line. Hugs, dude. Hang in there.

Poked at the Verizon store, which doesn’t sell any decent GSM phones (“we may have some online”), picked up my subscription at the comics store, more kitty chow at the pet store. Was going to go over to Coffee Society but it’s been irritating me lately. Different vibe, much cruftier snacks, etc. Ended up getting off 85S at Fremont (oh, crap, it’s rush hour, 4:16pm!), going up that to Foothill, taking Foothill to Stevens Creek.

At which point I said to myself, naah, I don’t feel like it. I wonder what’s up at this end of Stevens Creek, anyway. I never go. So I went up SC around a big park, the Sunnyvale Gun Club (who knew?), a big quarry, another park where I stopped and took some pictures of wildflowers, oak bark texture shots (nice deep grooved bark, moss, really wonderful), oak canopy shots, some pix of (wild?)flowers struggling to grow on the steep reservoir banks.

Kept going, came to intersection of Stevens Canyon Rd (which Stevens *Creek* Rd had changed into at some point) and Mt Eden Rd. The former plunged downward into a dark gully, so I took the latter. Climbing a mountain, yes we are. Bowhunters Unlimited Archery Range. As lolcat would say, “O, RLY?!” Stopped by, got some info from their message board, watched someone stringing a bow. More accurately, watched someone constructing a bowstring out of two pieces of plastic-based pseudo-sinew, and learned (mostly) how to make a Flemish Noose. Got a couple of pix of that. Asked a guy shooting a compound recurve crossbow about Kingdom archery, as he was wearing a t-shirt with a big crown emblem surrounded by a laurel leaf wreath. Turns out it wasn’t an SCA emblem, some designer thing. He had no clue what I was asking about, doh.

Continued on, up, and down, passing by Cooper-Garrod’s (home of excellent wine must n stable sweepings compost), down the other side to Pierce Rd and thence to De Anza Rd, where I got on 85 to Stevens Creek to Whole Foods, got the other kind of catfood and some human food and a COFFEE (mmmm!), Back on 85 to Sunnyvale, dropped off library books (renewed a couple), paid $5.25 in fines. Went to dinner nearby with a local dinner group.

After dinner, spent a couple of hours talking with a friendly acquaintance there who is going through some very rough times. Battered wife for a dozen years, now long-escaped and with grown kids– who are dumping on her for ‘screwing us up’ because she honored the abusive dad’s visitation rights. The kid who just announced he’s not talking to her anymore is heading out soon for his 2nd round Iraq deployment. She’s not sleeping, and her (idiot, hmo) doc yanked her down really fast from her last levels of SSRI.— 150 to 50 to zero!

Came home, did a slug/snail search with flashlight in the garden (lots, ew). Read my new comics (Castle Waiting, Girl Genius, last Elementals), then played with and brushed the cats. Boo is silly sink creature! Can jump up on bathroom counter, likes to pay.  Letting Mike drop off to sleep before me. Whew. Falling asleep as I type this. Me so tired.

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Like to read, don’t like to comment (too many clicks, too much work). Spend most time on email now, or just plain live in person. Thinking about consoliblagdation into one oneline thang that mirvs to many. Someday, when I care again.

Two days behind on email, two weeks behind on gardening (fixing that), two months behind on garden blogging (eentsy fix today). Laptop busted for, oh, I dunno, almost a month now? Do I care?

So much of the past year has been a blur of deadlines, Republicans, and meat. (Thank you, Zippy!) Bleakness. Desolation. Plastic forks. Friday I think I actually Got Out From Under.

I think I kinda forgot who I am when I’m not shoving me out of the way to try to do stuff to not let other folks down. Most of the past 12 months I’ve been either physically ill or so overcommitted that it was making me mentally ill or (you guessed it!) both.

Oh yeah, and I knew I wrote this for a reason, I’m trying to get meds-free except for the stuff that I can’t get rid of (eg, thyroid, and probably blood sugar). Which is turning out to be, um, interesting, and causing my user interface to be, um, more varied? than usual? Or maybe I’m just noticing that, and I’m really that random all the time? Dunno. I don’t enjoy that part. I do enjoy not getting mystery gusher nosebleeds anymore since getting off the Allegra, though. Even if I sniffle through the summer instead of smelling the flowers as much as I’d like.

I’m thinking I really need to do some travelling this summer. Should I visit you? If so, remind me where you live and how long you like housepests^H^H guests to stay, and what you want us to do when I get there. Super grandiose missions possible, ranging from ‘helping me to finally organize the basement’ to ‘getting stoned/drunk/whatever a lot and hanging out’ to ‘walking part of the Appalachian Trail for a few weeks’ to ‘starting an organic goat dairy’. Teach me something. Have me teach you something. Whatever.

Yes, this is the summer of Make Me an Adventure I Can’t Refuse. Operators aren’t standing by. They don’t even answer the phone half the time. Ha ha! You have to leave a message and even then they might not answer it! Wooooooo!!!!

I could make this friends-only but so many of my friends either don’t have accounts and just read, or they are random too. Eh. I’ll go back and privatize it in a few days or so. I’m a couple weeks behind (at least) so I figure most of the peeps are too.

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