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April 28, Edinburgh

My second day was a Friday and I had decided that I wanted to walk to Calton Hill to make sure I knew how to get there before the big Beltane festival. I had looked up the directions and I headed to the right from the flat, thinking it was the right way. In short, I was wrong. That morning was a little rough– I was wearing too many layers because it was actually warm, my backpack was needlessly heavy, and it was trash day so the streets smelled like garbage. I walked past the public library and thought of stopping but I was sweaty and developing a headache, with no water to speak of, so I turned down a neighborhood path instead, hoping to escape the smell. It worked and I got to see some beautiful gardens along the path. Eventually I decided to check my GPS– the wifi didn’t work, but it did show where I was. I saw that I had gone the wrong way and that I’d been making a giant circle back toward the flat, so I decided to go back for a while. I went up the four flights of stairs and peeled off my layers and laid on the bed.

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It took a while for me to feel cool again and for my headache to go away, so several hours later I ventured out again–this time in the right direction. I still managed to get lost since I wasn’t using GPS as I walked; I’d rather look at the architecture and people than have my nose in my phone, unless I can’t afford to get lost. I walked by the Royal Mile and discovered the art gallery where I only got to see half of the downstairs exhibit before they closed.

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After that I used the GPS to follow the path to Calton Hill. Even when I reached it I turned the wrong way down a street with a sign that said “Calton Hill.” I went up some stairs, thinking that was the way up, but it just led to some homes so I turned around and continued. The entrance was only another 200 feet ahead and the climb was steep. I was tired–the walk was supposed to be 44 minutes, but I’d been walking much longer than that since I detoured so many times. Upon reaching the top I took some photos and went to sit near a viewing point where I wrote in my journal until my hands were too numb from the wind and I put it away to take some photos.

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I was wandering the city when I stumbled upon the Elephant Cafe, where I’d been told to visit because J.K. Rowling used to write there. It was way too crowded so I moved on and I found the graveyard behind Greyfriar’s. Not only did it inspire J.K. Rowling, but I’d heard that there was a statue of a dog over a grave in there because after the dog’s owner had died and been buried his dog had laid on his grave every day for over another ten years. I searched the entire graveyard for the statue of a dog but I never found it and later I learned that the statue of the dog was actually on a fountain outside of the graveyard. There’s a long story about the dog and his owner posted on the wall outside of Greyfriar’s Pub. It was touching and I really enjoyed the story.
It was freezing and I decided to return to the flat. I was starting to get an idea of the layout, at least Princes Street and the Meadows and I could find my way home without an issue. I loved watching all the people out playing fetch with their dogs; in fact, I think I enjoyed dog watching more than people watching. I stopped to pet a friendly cat along the trail but it was distracted by a bird and ran off, so I moved on.

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I saw a red cafe with the name Victor Hugo. I was really excited and I stored it in my memory so I could visit again, but later I learned that it wasn’t actually named for the author, but that the two men who founded it were named Victor and Hugo. I lost interest and never made it there to take pictures.
I had read about a live Celtic music performance happening that night. I mapped the theater hall from Starbucks by the Meadows where I could get free wifi and I found my way there, where I paced a few times and debated whether or not I should spend 11 pounds to go listen to a musical group I wasn’t familiar with or that interested in. Eventually I decided that I’d rather wait because going alone might just make me feel lonely in the big city.

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As I was walking someone came up to me from behind and asked me about how I kept my hair so long. She was friendly and asked if I had any secrets. My initial response was that I didn’t have any and I think she was going to continue walking (I was slower than almost all the locals), but then I remembered that I do have a few rituals so I told her that I always end my showers with cold water on my hair because it can keep it from breaking when you brush it right afterwards. She complimented my rose quartz necklace and we were amicably walking next to each other. She had started to pull out headphones and then she turned to me and told me that she was planning to listen to music but that since we were walking at the same pace it would be more fun to talk. She told me that she was from France and had been living there since September. When she told me she was French, I said “Tres bien!” and she was impressed by my pronunciation so I told her that I learned a lot from Notre Dame de Paris and that I loved Victor Hugo. She was the one who told me about the cafe and how she learned it wasn’t actually named after the author– we were both disappointed by that revelation. We were getting on really well so we decided to go have a drink together at Montpelier’s, the bar that was across from my flat. Over drinks we learned that we had a lot in common, even that we both wanted to be mermaids. ^_^ It was a meeting of kindred spirits. She was running late for an engagement that she’d been walking to when we met, so we exchanged contact information and I learned that her name was Laura. We agreed to meet again and I went back to my flat, feeling drunk on life, though only tipsy from the hard cider I’d ordered.

I stopped by the grocery store on the way to the flat, since it was next door to the bar, and when I got upstairs I found two of my flatmates hosting what looked like a fancy dinner party. I was introduced and I said hello to the three visitors from South Africa, where the two flatmates were from, but I excused myself to my room where I ate my sandwich and whatever else it was that I had bought. It felt a little like what Harry must have felt like in Chamber of Secrets when he was supposed to be in his room, making no noise and pretending not to exist. I’m sure that they wouldn’t have cared if I had made noise, but I felt like I was intruding. They aren’t the ones renting out the room and I hadn’t even met the flatmate who was, so I had no concept of their relationship or how they felt about Airbnb guests. I think I’m going to ask in the future about whether or not there are flatmates since I didn’t even know there were any until right before my arrival when my host told me that he would be out of town. I’m developing my preferences and that’s a good thing. 🙂 All I ended up doing that night was researching more things to do in Edinburgh and looking at potential places to stay after I left. Also, that might have been the night that the person I’d arranged to leave a bag with while I hiked Hadrian’s Wall told me to find somewhere else to store it and I didn’t feel like doing anything after looking into other options and feeling overwhelmed by the suddenness of the request. Eventually he told me that he could work from home that day; the issue had been that he didn’t want me to “waste my day” waiting until he was home to drop it off and the other option was to arrive before 11 am, which would have meant getting a train before 9 am and I was not prepared to get up that early. Anyway, that’s neither here nor there since I’m writing this blog post from THE FUTURE! I make myself laugh, so I hope that you’re at least mildly entertained. 😉 That’s it for April 28th!

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April 27, Edinburgh

Hello again! It’s been a whirlwind of a trip so far and I’ve meant to blog many times, but when I get on the computer I find that looking for a place to stay is more pressing. I suppose that once I finalize the rest of my trip I’ll blog more frequently, but as of now I just have tonight (May 6) and the weekend (May 11 & 12) booked until May 19, so this trip is definitely an intuitive one. I’ll talk more about that later. 😉
This post is to tell you about my time in Edinburgh! As I told you in my last blog post, I arrived in the afternoon and after a wait that wasn’t too long I made it into the flat where I promptly showered, ate some cookies, and fell asleep for 14 hours. The next day no one seemed to be home when I got up (it was hard to tell sometimes because 2 of the flatmates had a large room with a couch as well so they mostly stayed in there unless they were in the kitchen) and it was my first day of not having anything to do in weeks, perhaps longer, so I was leisurely in my approach. I ate the other pack of cookies for breakfast and had some tea before venturing out in search of a grocery store. Little did I know that there was a grocery store right across the street if I’d gone to the right, but on the taxi ride to the place we’d come from the left and I had seen the beautiful green space so I went that way.

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I was breaking in my new boots for hiking Hadrian’s Wall– well, they weren’t exactly new. I bought them on clearance for $8 at Khol’s and had worn them on a short 2 mile walk and gotten awful blisters from where it was too tight on my heel. The night before my flight to the UK my boyfriend put some shoe stretchers in them at the tight spot and that seemed to have helped, otherwise I might have donated them to a secondhand shop by now.
Anyway, the shoes weren’t too bad and I walked about twenty minutes through the green space and then back to the main road of Bruntsfield, the Southern section of Edinburgh. It was much colder than anticipated, even though my sister (who lived in Manchester for 6 weeks during the summer) had warned me. I finally spotted a proper grocery store and I was excited to see all the strange brands and foods.

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I bought what I thought would last a few days and headed straight back to the flat where I started researching things to do in Edinburgh. I’d already done some research, but I didn’t know anyone and I was hoping that there might be a group of people also there for Beltane having a get together beforehand. There was no such luck, but I did discover a local board game meetup group so I joined the group and by then it was almost 6 pm and the group was starting so I mapped the walk on my phone and took screenshots so I could see it even without wifi and made my way.
I arrived at a small shop and the meetup group had said it was in the basement so I walked past the man buying something and started to head downstairs when the woman at the counter called me back. I hadn’t seen that there was a fee for the board game meetup, but it was only 2 pounds 50. I paid and followed the man who had been at the counter before me downstairs– it turns out he was also there for the board game night.
Everyone had already started by the time we got down there so I watched what people were playing and admired their massive game collection which was the width of three bookshelves, piled to the ceiling. I recognized a lot of them and then I went to the other part of the room and there were three more bookshelves back to back with the ones in the main area, also stacked to the ceiling with games. It was a wonderful place. I did interrupt a game when I walked around the bookshelves– the only other girls and a guy were playing a board game of something that’s traditionally a card game, but I can’t remember what. They all stopped what they were doing and stared at me until I told them I was just looking at the games. I suppose since they didn’t recognize me I was startling.
Anyway, once I walked around the bookshelves again the main table game had ended and they were dividing to play with those who had arrived late as I had. I joined a group of friendly looking guys and the most talkative one, who introduced himself as Goose, told me about the game we were going to play. “Not to perpetuate gaming stereotypes, but we’re playing a game about trading in the ancient world,” he told me. It was about pleasing the ancient Roman gods and I didn’t fully understand, even though he gave thorough instructions. I understood how to play, but not how to win, that is. It was fun and I got to joking with the four guys, only a few of whom I remember the names of. Callum, Goose, Ishmael, and I think Ian. Ian (if that was his name) was quiet.

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After that game we joined with some others and became a group of 9 to play Resistance. I was blue (a good guy) and we ended up winning, though we shouldn’t have because there was a spy on the final mission who threw a success just because he didn’t like the game. Anyway, that was the end of the meetup, but not the end of the night.
I think it was Ishmael who told me that some of them went to a pub nearby afterwards to play more and he invited me along, so I went with Ishmael, Goose, Collin, and either Aiden or Ian (not the same Ian). The pub wasn’t too far away and they all got the same beer except for Ishmael and I waited until the end to order. I told the bartender that I wasn’t much of a beer drinker but I didn’t want to get a mixed drink and she gave me two samples, one of each of the two beers my newfound friends had gotten. I ended up going with the majority and getting Giles beer, or whatever it was, and I joined the guys at a table where they taught me a game with coasters. It was a betting game, but with no money involved. We each had 3 coasters and we had to lay one down at our turn, then whoever wanted to could place a bet after everyone had laid down one. They would bet how many coasters they could pick up without getting the “skull” card, which was just a coaster with a different picture than the other main coasters. If you could pick them all up without getting a skull you won that round, and if you did get a skull then you had to either randomly loose a coaster or select it if you lost based on your own pile.

After that we played Incan Gold, which I liked much more. It was a risk game as well, but the risk was from exploring ancient ruins for treasure. There were five rounds and each card turned over was treasure, which was divided equally with the remainder left on the card, or an artifact (worth 10 gold) or something that would kill you if two of the same card were drawn. It was fun, especially the last round when I was ahead and I kept voting to stay in the ruin to explore more because I was pressuring them all to stay as well. We died by fire, but I won anyway. I recommend that game– it was quick, easy, and fun. I left when they did and we parted ways without exchanging information, but it was a great experience for my first day.

Getting to Edinburgh

Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

This was the date that I was supposed to catch a 2 hour direct flight to New York and have an 8 hour layover before flying to England overnight to catch my connection to Glasgow. I was a little wary of things going awry since I knew that Mercury would be in retrograde during the end of April, but I was optimistic that things would work out. It turns out that I was right on both counts.

As I was checking my bags at 10:30 AM, a woman approached the woman helping me and told her that my flight had been canceled. There was a long period of awkward silence as I stood there trying to smile and she worked on the computer, trying to fix things for me. After about ten minutes she told me that she had been able to check my bags all the way through to Glasgow and that she was redirecting me to Atlanta where I’d catch a later flight to New York. I’d be getting to JFK around 5 PM instead of 2 PM, but that was okay because I’d still have plenty of time.

At the terminal I met two others who had been redirected to Atlanta–we were all waiting together for the woman at the desk to print our new boarding passes. I was charging my phone in the wall next to one of the men who was redirected as well and after some chit chat I told him that I was going to Glasgow and it turns out that he grew up there. Of all the possible outcomes of a canceled flight, I met a native Scotsman and then we ended up being seatmates (probably because of the cancelation). He showed me pictures from a trip he’d taken to Scotland the year before to show his son where he grew up and he made some recommendations for me. He was in his 70’s and he told me that he had a cousin in Glasgow that I could potentially stay with so I gave Bob my information, but I don’t have his so I’m not sure I’ll hear from him, but I’m optimistic. 🙂

Once we got to Atlanta we found that our flights were both in the same terminal so we went to Terminal A together and I told him I was going to get Chick Fil A since I wouldn’t be eating it for 2 months. He decided to eat there, too, and once I got to the register he followed me and told me that he wanted to buy my food. I thanks him and accepted and once we sat to eat I found out that it was his first time eating Chick Fil A–and had I known that when he was ordering I might have advised him not to try the spicy chicken sandwich as his first meal there. We talked more while we ate and then he looked at his watch and saw that he needed to go, so I told him to go ahead and that I’d take care of the trash. I had wanted to get a picture with him, but he was running late so I didn’t get the chance.

After lunch I went to my gate and saw that the flight had been delayed by an hour so I went to Terminal C where Starbucks was. I had a free drink expiring and it had been a long day, but I had time so I walked and there was a ceiling full of fake foliage and a video screen with birds flying across it. The line at Starbucks took about half an hour to get through and the employees started asking everyone behind the person causing the hold up what we wanted. The woman in front of my was deaf so she showed the person a picture on her phone and then when she got to the counter she pointed to a bakery item. The employee thought she was pointing to pound cake because of the angle between them so I intervened and asked if the item she wanted was the cherry something-or-other that I can’t remember. She nodded and thanked me with a gesture. I smiled and tried to look up how to say “have a good day” in sign language on my phone but I didn’t manage before she left. It did make me aware of my inability to communicate, so now my desire to learn more than just a few animals and some random words in sign language has increased. I might practice a little while I travel if I have internet.

Anyway, after getting my drink I only had about 30 minutes so I took the train back to my terminal and sat next to the man I’d met earlier. I didn’t notice until he pointed it out that our flight had been delayed another hour and wouldn’t be leaving until 5:30. He kept joking about it being delayed again, which made me a little uncomfortable, but he was pleasant to talk to. After a while I learned that his name was Dave and that he was going back to NY for his birthday to see family. We both liked musicals and had a great discussion about literature, and even though his least favorite book is Wuthering Heights (I love that book) we could both agree that it was better than Jane Eyre.

The flight wasn’t delayed further and we were seated away from each other by several rows. I was in a middle seat and I didn’t really talk to anyone near me, but I did watch Moana on the screen diagonally in front of me since the little girl sitting there was watching it. I didn’t feel like digging through my bag for headphones so I just daydreamed and watched Moana off and on for the duration of the trip.

Once we arrived at JFK and finally got off the plane I discovered that I’d have to go through security again. I hadn’t been able to print my boarding pass yet so I tried at the kiosk but it wouldn’t let me so after a short, nervous wait in line I was able to get my boarding pass printed. Security wasn’t too long and I made it to my gate with about 20 minutes to spare. I considered buying food or a drink but I knew there would be food on the plane so I just waited. We boarded late and I was in a row with one other person and no one between us; we both had aisle seats since we were in the middle. Luckily there was no one between us, though there were rows with just one person each in the back that I considered moving to since I had trouble sleeping. They served dinner around 11:30 Eastern time and the pasta was pretty good–the other option was curry and I didn’t think that was the best idea for plane food, but whatever. 🙂 There were mini wine bottles served with dinner and I decided to have  a mini white wine to help me sleep. It worked, but it was one of those wines that tasted worse the more you drank. I did manage to sleep a little and I woke up about 2 hours before landing to the drink cart coming through the aisle. I had an apple in my bag that I ate with my orange juice and water cup.

After landing at Gatwick I followed the crowd through the empty arrival section and I was shocked by the length of the line for passport clearance. I tried to speak to a lady working there but she was busy trying to expand the roped off line area, so I kept checking the time and looking at my ticket. It was 10:45 and my flight closed the gate at 11:30. I finally made it to a woman working there and showed her my ticket and told her that my flight had been late, which it had by about 15 minutes. She ushered me to the front where I was interrogated about my trip. After passing through I was told to find security to go through again and I had to ask a few people for directions but I eventually made it. I got through security and there was no clock readily available and there was a huge shopping area before any terminals so I only stopped long enough to put my shoes on, carrying my backpack in hand and my laptop and ticket in the other as  I powerwalked through the airport looking for signs to find out where my terminal was. I managed to make it with twelve minutes left before I’d have missed boarding, so I put my things back in my bag and waited in line with the others. Once I got to the scanner they asked to see my luggage receipt and I managed to find it after some sleep deprived attempts since I’d forgotten that I put it with my travel papers.

I had another middle seat, but when I got to my row there was someone in my seat with a young boy in the aisle seat so I settled into the window seat until a man came and told me I was in his seat. I got up and asked the man with his son if that was his seat and he told me that he’s just been sitting there so his son could have his own seat until leaving. His son kept playing with the tray. He was smart and he figured out that he had to turn the knob to release it, but his dad was holding it shut lower on the tray and he was confused because sometimes it worked and sometimes not. Once we started to leave and had to put the tray table up the man showed his son some funky animated show and he fell asleep with his head and leg falling into the center seat where I was so I just avoided waking him and tried to sleep with my forehead against the seat in front of me. I think I did sleep for part of it, but there was another baby behind me and a small toddler across the aisle so between all the cooing of the mother and crying of the babies I didn’t sleep much. The mother behind me had a young girl as well as her baby and she was talking to her with a Scottish accent that I enjoyed listening to, so that was relaxing, and the guy in the window seat fell asleep, too. Near the end of the flight I was a little refreshed and I talked to the man with his son. His name was Gary and I can’t remember his son’s name, but it started with an M. He was visiting family in Glasgow so they could spend time with his son and he was really friendly. After the flight I watched him entertaining his son and it really warmed my heart to see a father and son interacting with so much affection. 🙂 He got his luggage first thing and then they were gone and I sat to wait for my luggage. I’m really glad that I didn’t expand my suitcase before leaving since I needed to fit my carry on backpack into it so I could wear my hiking backpack. For reference, here’s a picture of my luggage:

After I got everything together I went through the doors that led to the outside world where I’d have to find a train and get to Edinburgh. To my surprise there was a Starbucks directly in front of me. I only had £5 on me–the same £5 note that I kept behind my driver’s license in my wallet because I firmly believed that I’d need it again, and here I am! Anyway, I asked if they could redeem my stars for a free item and I was told that their franchise wouldn’t do that. I had some money on my app so I ordered a drink and it translated my money from dollars to pounds, so now I know that I can at least get Starbucks. Too bad I saved up free drinks for the trip only to have them irredeemable. 😉

Anyway, I asked a woman at the travel desk how to get to a train station but she recommended that I take the bus all the way to Edinburgh for only £14 instead of the train so I agreed to do that. I had a transfer at the bus station and I was relieved to be one step closer to a bed and a shower.

The green coffee sleeve was advertising their recycling agenda to make their cups fully recyclable and they encouraged reusable cups to decrease waste. It’s really nice to see that so widespread. Oh, and this is a venti here– it’s definitely smaller than in the USA and the cream was differnet. I think the cream is more natural and it’s not as white as whipped cream at my local Starbucks. Anyway, I was really happy to have something caffeinated. Check out how crazy my hair is in the picture of me with my drink. I re-braided the actual braids on the plane to Glasgow, but I was a mess. ^_^

Anyway, they don’t announce the stops on the bus so I got up and asked if it was my stop too early and sat at the front near the luggage until our final stop, which happened to be the bus station where I was switching to a different line. They come every 15 minutes but I happened to show up right before boarding so I put my luggage in the bottom compartment and found a window seat by myself. I nodded off a few times but as we got closer to Edinburgh I started trying to see where we were. There was a man dressed in traditional Scottish garb across the aisle and was friendly. He asked where I was going and tried to tell me that I should stay on until the last stop so I could see the center, but I told him that I’d be here a week and that I planned to see it. The woman in front of him told me that the stop I’d chosen was right based on where I was staying and then he started asking me about Trump and politics. It was a little hard to understand exactly what he was saying through his accent, but he seemed pretty jovial. He’d just been playing pipes at some formal event and they chatted with each other and me for a while until the woman told me that we were about to be at my stop and that I had to press a button. I didn’t realize that I would have to do that so she pressed it for me and I thanked her before going to the front.

There were several of us getting off at Haymarket, but I was first to the front and I said to the new bus driver (they had switched at a bus station), “Sir, this is my stop but I have bags underneath. May I get them?” He laughed and told me not to call him sir because he was too young, then he opened the compartment. Another lady got her bag from there and I asked her if she knew where to get a taxi. She was also getting a taxi so she led me to where there was a line of cabs parked on the side of the street and we parted ways. I took a cab for only £7 to right in front of my building and then I went to the door and rang the buzzer but no one answered or came to let me in. I tried the keybox, but it was empty after I finally got it open. My phone had been weird and I hadn’t been able to tell my Airbnb host, who told me less than a week ago that he’d be out of town when I arrived, that I would be earlier than I originally told him. I tried to connect to wifi but the room is on the top floor so I couldn’t. I resigned myself to sitting there with my luggage and eventually a guy came out and let me in. I told him I was waiting for someone and he told me that it wasn’t him. I hauled my bags up to the fourth floor and managed to connect to wifi so the first thing I did was contact my Airbnb host. Almost right after that two people came up the stairs and they asked if I was Courtney. I told them yes and they introduced themselves as Kayla and Daniel. Apparently the fourth floor is actually the fifth floor since I had counted the entrance as the first floor, so we moved my bags to the top floor and they changed the bed over for me while I had tea. Here’s a picture of me and my bags finally in my room!

They were kind and friendly and I chatted with them briefly, but I needed to bathe and sleep. I washed my hair, took melatonin, ate a packet of cookies from my room, and slept for roughly 14 hours.

And that’s all for now! I’ve been writing for a while and I’d like to go explore more, so ciao for now!



Tri-Cities: 11/7/15

This was my last morning in Nashville and I packed up my things, dressed, said good bye to Danny and Michelle and headed toward Franklin to have lunch with Allison at a place called Duke’s. I had a little bit of trouble with my GPS so I was a few minutes late but Allison and I had one of those beautiful reunions in the parking lot where we kind of jog toward each other and hug. lol, it wasn’t as dramatic as that, but it was still great to see her after so long. We shared with each other the details of our lives and stayed there for 2 hours before finally deciding it was time to go. I only ate my fries and half of my burger, but it was good food. There was a little boy playing giant jenga next to us so every few minutes we would hear a loud crash, but apparently the restaurant is family friendly during the day and 21+ at night so there are dart boards and all sorts of cool adult things. 🙂


After we parted ways I drove four hours East to get to Brittany’s house for her birthday. She’s in a new place and it’s really nice; she gave me a tour and we just chilled before bed. One of Brittany’s gifts was a big cat tree so we put that together and hung some fairy lights (which I LOVE). I moved into another time zone so it was an hour later and we stayed up talking pretty late before going to sleep. It was a pretty full day, though it was mostly full of conversation and driving. 🙂

Nashville: 11/6/15

This was my only full day in Nashville. Danny and Michelle both had to work in the morning so they left me a key and I stayed on the couch for a while after they’d left. They offered me oatmeal but I forgot by the time it was approaching 11 because I spent the morning going through my Irish and Pagan playlists so I could burn some CDs for Michelle.Oh, and I played with Levi (the kitten) and got some pretty cute pictures of him. He kept biting the zipper on my bunny pajamas and trying to pull it down, which was adorable, but I wouldn’t let him for long.

Day 20

I contacted my friend Allison to see if she wanted to meet for lunch and went to a nearby Target to buy some blank CDs so I actually could burn CDs for Michelle, but along the way I discovered the discount Halloween section and definitely bought a Jack O’Lantern cake pan and some fake nails for Brittany to add to her birthday gifts (I got her a bamboo steamer as well). I also got Song of the Sea and The Tale of Princess Kaguya and some bottles of water for the rest of my trip. By the time I checked out I had heard from Allison that she worked that day so we agreed to have lunch the next day instead. As I was leaving the store I saw that there was a Starbucks in the front and I’d been planning to maybe go there anyway to use wifi and get some caffeine to try to normalize my sleep schedule since I’ve been through all the time zones in the US over the past few weeks, so I put my stuff in my car and brought in my laptop and a granola bar in case they didn’t have sandwich options or anything. There was nothing already prepared and I didn’t feel like ordering food so I just got yet ANOTHER Butterbeer and had that and a pumpkin granola bar for lunch. Then I finally updated my blog for my last two days in Seattle and burned the CDs for Michelle and wrote as much as I could for this blog. It was pretty chill.

Day 20 a

Side note: Twisted is an amazing musical by Starkid and it’s a parody musical of basically all of Disney and Wicked. Aladdin has been my favorite Disney movie for a long time so I was really excited about it and I personally think that it was their best musical, even though the Very Potter Musical series was amazing for the most part. It’s been my background when I first log in for a long time now. 🙂

Anyway, I left Target a little earlier than I’d been planning because I heard someone talking about rush hour around 4:30 and I’d been planning to leave at 5. Michelle said she’d be home around 6 but I figured I could get there earlier and just do some crafts or some more writing but I ended up calling Eric and we were in the middle of a big conversation when she got home so I put that on the back-burner for the time being. Michelle and I ended up doing a little magic–we exchanged Tarot card readings and, like usual, I went through almost the whole deck. I would have gone through all the cards but I saw the bottom card and since I knew what it was I wouldn’t have been able to ask a question without being biased. I asked all sorts of things–about what I should do when I get home, how I should continue in certain areas of my life, etc. It was fun and satisfying, as always.

After our Tarot exchange we put on the Irish CD I had made for Michelle and we did our own things–she was reading and I was trying to put together some jewelry but I couldn’t focus so I ended up doing something else. Danny got home later and we decided to go out and get pizza from Walmart. The Walmart near their house was one of the nicer ones and we wandered around for a while before leaving with our pizzas. I gave Danny a Tarot reading while we waited for the pizza to cook and we ate around their table in the living room like we were at a kotatsu. I managed to take one picture of them before leaving the next day and it was during our pizza dinner.

Day 20 d

After our yummy pizza and juice we parted ways and it was a good night.

Nashville, TN: 11/5/15

So this was another long day of driving, but at least the end was in sight. I woke up earlier than I expected and tried to sleep a little longer so I ended up getting up around 8:30 and making a waffle downstairs then bringing it up to eat alone in my room with HGTV on in the background while I prepared for the day. I finally left around 9:20 and the GPS said it would be about 12 hours to get to Michelle’s house in Nashville–nothing extraordinary happened on my travels. I did finally drink the gross coffee from the night before and I think it made my tummy hurt but that’s probably because I’m not used to coffee. Anyway, I just stopped a few times and ate out of my car again before I finally arrived a little after 10 pm or something like that. We just sat and talked for a while (whilst playing with her new 12 week old kitten that she and Danny saved from under her car) before Danny got home from work and we went to a cute little place where we all had late night burgers for dinner. I don’t think I got any pictures this day, either–there are a few picture-less days from the trip. We went to bed almost as soon as we got home so I made myself comfortable on the couch with my bunny pajamas and my blanket and that was that.

Clinton, OK: 11/4/15

What’s in Clinton, Oklahoma? A fairly priced hotel. Aside from that, I have no idea because I drove at least twelve hours this day and finally crashed at an EconoLodge or some similar hotel chain after midnight. I left Michael and Joseph’s around 9:30 and there had been snow in Flagstaff, which was the way I wanted to drive to get back to I-40, so I had a decision to make. Michael recommended that I go South to get to the main highway to get to I-40 without having to drive up the steep road full of tight curves, but as I approached the turn I would have to make to go South I felt inspired to take the steep route anyway. There wasn’t that much snow and none really on the road as I drove up through the switchbacks, but near the top there were pine trees covered with snow and it was a magical drive. There was no one on the road so I could drive as slowly as I felt comfortable with and I only pulled over twice to let people pass me when they eventually caught up with me. I stopped at the top to take a few pictures. 🙂

Day 17 d Day 17 c

Day 17 Day 17 b

Day 17 aDay 17 e

Even though there was some snow it was totally worth it to drive through that beautiful scenery. And aside from that, the drive was pretty uneventful. At some point I noticed that there was a crack in my windshield–possibly from the hail when I was driving to Sedona from Phoenix. The next time I stopped to get gas (and to try to take a picture of the full rainbow, but I couldn’t see it from the gas station–I saw so many rainbows this day because it was raining off and on all throughout New Mexico) I called my mom to see if I should get my windshield replaced immediately and she had me measure it–it’s about 8-12 inches and curves up from the bottom of the windshield. I decided to wait at least until TN and maybe even until I’m back in Charlotte. We’ll see.

I ate out of my car all day–my lunch was a V8 and a bag of pasta chips and for dinner I stopped at a gas station and found a gas station hamburger, which I didn’t know you could get, and I tried to make some sort of spiced coffee but it was gross and I didn’t drink it. All I did was drive and take short breaks for gas and food or water and then I called Mom to tell her I was going to try to make it to Oklahoma City, but it would have been another hour or so of driving past where I ended up. She called me back and told me there was a decently priced hotel closer to me and that hotel prices went up a ton the closer I got to Oklahoma City and I’m so glad I listened to her because I was exhausted by the time I got there. I lugged both my suitcases up to my room and threw myself on the bed on top of the sleeping bag I brought up and fell asleep pretty quickly.

Sedona: 11/3/15

Well, I almost missed my flight again this morning. Let’s start at the beginning. My first alarm woke me up at 3:30 AM and though I did protest and wait 5 minutes to hear the pretty melody again before forcing myself to rise and get ready, I was pretty quick considering. I left a little before 4 after lugging my stuff to the car while trying to be as quiet as possible and my breakfast was a mere 5 dried apricots. I got to the airport in pretty good time and asked if they had recycling there—they told me I could leave my trash in the car, but then the guy gave me a receipt for over $300 which was over three times what I had on the receipt I’d been given when I first got the car—and that was before I decided to return it to Seattle instead of Phoenix. I told the guy that it was wrong, pulled out my receipt (like a boss!) and told him that I had the voicemail that said it would be less to return it there on my phone. They didn’t ask to hear the voicemail, but the two guys started doing something on the computer so I organized my trash and recyclables and took care of that and did some last minute rearranging of my suitcases. Finally they gave me an estimate for about $40 less than the price from my original receipt and by the time I’d paid I was running late, but at least they had carts for me to use for my bags. I power-walked (which isn’t that fast for me—I’m a leisurely person and I don’t really like walking fast unless it’s for something fun) to where the bus picked us up from the rental car drop off and got on immediately. The check-in for Southwest was pretty far away and I no longer had a cart so I did my best to get there quickly and luckily there wasn’t a big line. I used my time in the line to make sure my bags were still underweight and to eat second breakfast, which was an entire granola bar! My Hobbit life coach would be appalled at the scarcity of my breakfasts. 😉 I wish that were a thing. Lol. Anyway, when I finally got to check in the computer beeped at me because I was within 45 minutes of departure so I was a late check in. I asked the woman helping me if she thought my bags would make it and she told me it would depend—if they didn’t make it I would have to wait around Sky Harbor until they showed up because I wouldn’t be able to leave without them since I would be driving miles and miles away. So ignoring that possibility I forged ahead and through security where I remembered to take my laptop out of the case. I was fine getting through security but my gate was probably one of the farthest ones from the main area and long story short I came power-walking up to an empty seating area and asked if the plane had left. They told me I was the last one and I scanned my ticket and entered the plane, surprising the steward who was at the entrance using the intercom for flight safety directions. The plane wasn’t that full so I found an empty row and it was the exit so I had a personal briefing and I even re-read the safety pamphlet because I was just so happy to have made it. I think I shed a few tears as we were leaving, but they weren’t sad tears.

I tried to sleep but I couldn’t quiet my mind and after the sun rose and the city lights had passed I pulled out my tarot cards to find some guidance or clarity. I wrote down all my questions and the cards that answered as I went and I’m pretty sure the male steward started avoiding me because of them, but one of the stewardesses came and talked to me about them briefly. I should probably review the questions I asked—I asked about future job options, my personal life, and about several different moving options. I think I’m definitely at the point in my life where I would benefit from moving out, but if I’m going to just save up and then go to Europe next year then it doesn’t make sense just yet. We’ll see.

We arrived in Denver, Colorado with 40 minutes before my flight to Phoenix so I at least got to see the mountains from aerial view, though I didn’t set food outside of the airport. I found my gate and then backtracked looking for food because I knew I wouldn’t have much time to spare once I got to Phoenix and the best option was Auntie Anne’s so I got some pretzel nuggets (the last one!) and some Dr. Pepper since I was still sleepy.

The guy who was standing in front of me in line to board ended up taking the aisle seat of row 7 and after putting his stuff there he offered the window seat to me. “You looked like you were eyeing it,” he told me and I told him he was right and that 7 was one of my numbers and I probably would have gone to row 12 if he hadn’t offered. Anyway, he was a pleasant seatmate and we kept to ourselves. Oh! And I colored some more. I had already colored the front and back covers, so I just colored the inside covers to make it a little more colorful.

Tarot Book c Tarot Book b

Tarot Book a Tarot Book

We got to Phoenix and then came the moment of truth—did my bags make it? They had listed the bags from my flight at the wrong carousel so another woman and I teamed up to find where they had been reassigned and I almost immediately saw my teal bag (I had a teal and a purple bag). I grabbed it, double checked that it was mine, and waited for the purple one. It suffered a battle wound (one of the legs is now broken off), but it was intact and it even had my grapes which I thought might have been thrown away. I had grapes that I’d bought to eat on my way to Seattle but I hadn’t washed them yet so I didn’t eat them and I didn’t want to throw them away. Anyway, I was relieved and excited and I made my way to the sky tram. I missed the first one—it left before I got to it, but I didn’t care and within a few minutes I was on the next one and then taking the shuttle to the general area of my car. I didn’t know where it was at first but I was so happy to see PocaHONDAs (that’s how I spell it sometimes; I find that it forces people to see the play on words and not think I just have a typo ^_~) that I burst into song. I was really more excited to see my car than I have ever been in my life and I went to the back and made room for my luggage and threw off my boots and put on my flats since it was super hot compared to Seattle. I drank a V8 and had a granola bar or something for second lunch (first lunch was pretzel nuggets—lol, I think I might have actually managed five meals this day) and when I turned on my car the Sebastian song from my Little Mermaid CD was playing and I played it twice and just sang and laughed really loudly by myself. After a few rounds of “You Got to Be You” I traded it for the mix CD my friend Taylor gave me YEARS ago. I started jamming to “Hamster Dance” and driving away before I pulled over to search for the parking stub I had. I thought I had left it on my dashboard but the only thing there was my receipt from the Grand Canyon. I checked my wallet next, but to no avail—I found it within a few minutes at the bottom of my carry-on bag. I paid the fee, filled my tank, and made my way to Sedona through some thunderclouds and hail. Michael was going to meet me to show me their studio so I called him when I got to Sedona and we met in the pouring rain but it was totally worth it because their rooms were gorgeous. They had initially only had one suite but after a while they accumulated a second one and they had filled the rooms with plants and fountains and hanging candles, plus some really nice artwork. The rooms were really beautiful and I wish now that I had taken pictures to show you—but you might be able to look online. They were ranked number 6 of “Things to Do” in Sedona from Trip Adviser while I was visiting, which is fantastic.

After that I followed Michael to their house and showered after my crazy long day–I finally felt like a person again. Michael and Joseph hadn’t realized that I didn’t have a place to stay so they offered their guest room to me, which I greatly appreciated. Even though they told me I was the guest of honor and didn’t have to bring anything I wanted to contribute so I went out to Safeway to shop around and see if anything caught my eye. I ended up deciding to use the grapes and pretzel chips I already had to create a cheese, fruit, and cracker plate so I got some gouda and took a chance on this champagne cheese that turned out to be delicious. I wanted to bring wine as well but I’m not familiar with good wines so I called Mom and she, Phil, and Ashley were all in the car and I was on speakerphone so after a few minutes of input I finally chose Twisted Merlot or something similar–it was pretty good later on when I tried it.

I got back just as the first person was arriving–a gentleman named Charles. I would normally say just “a man” but Charles definitely qualifies as a gentleman; maybe I feel that way because he spoke with sophistication and even threw in some French phrases, which I appreciated (given that I love the French language). He came bearing “little weenies” and soon we had those, Michael’s Sicilian meatballs, grapes, cheese, and crackers, artichoke dip, soup, and all sorts of wonderful foods and wines. Cindy and Carolyn (newlyweds!) came and I used to go hiking with them when I lived there and my friend Bri was staying at their house, so it was really nice to see them. I met a lot of new people, my teacher Damian and his wife Dani (also adorable newlyweds!) showed up and I talked to them both for a while. Dani and I danced a little with Joseph and I massaged her back a little. By the end of the night I had eaten lots of great food, had many fun conversations, and gotten a little tipsy from the wine. I talked a long time to someone I met named Gene and it turns out that he did a road trip for almost a year not that many years ago–he camped a lot and explored California through Texas and I think Florida as well. He, Joseph, and I all stayed up late talking about aliens and nature and philosophy. After all that I slept like a baby.

I could talk a lot more about Michael and Joseph’s party, but it was just so full of interactions that it would be too much to try to write it all down. 🙂

Seattle: 11/2/15

This morning was great! I slept really well after my long day of driving and then I went upstairs to talk to Raven before I went to meet Jonathan for lunch before his interview. She runs an Abraham-Hicks meetup in her area and I was asking her about it because I was interested in going. For those of you who don’t know, Abraham-Hicks is a collective consciousness channeled by Esther Hicks and the information about the vibrational universe we live in channeled through them is called the Law of Attraction. The basic premise is that we draw things that produce more of what we’re currently feeling—feelings are indications of vibration and the better feeling we are the higher our vibration.

Anyway, she was telling me about what exactly they do at the meetups and I’ve never been to one where they do games or exercises together (except maybe a few focus wheels from when I used to do it with my mom). She told me about Master-Minding and how you choose a feeling and simply feel that feeling and talk for a few minutes about how it feels and what you appreciate about it—well, she was telling me and then she decided it was easier to demonstrate than explain. She started breathing more deeply and talking to me about clarity and as she spoke I could feel energy moving around us. It was really powerful to be a part of; maybe I felt it more because I practice energy work and I’m in tune with that sort of thing, but I do think that someone without experience would have felt it, too, because it was so tangible. After talking about it a little more she was getting ready and we were talking and I mentioned that Cancers are one of the four cardinal signs (Raven, Desi, and I are all Cancerians) but that they prefer to lead by example as opposed to active or “in your face” leadership. She asked me about astrology and I ended up reading charts for her, Desi, and Jay. We spent the most time on Raven’s chart and afterwards she told me that she definitely felt I was good enough to be professional—which was amazing to hear because I’ve loved astrology over half of my life and always wanted to do it professionally, but I feel that I need more training or at least more confidence about what I already know before I can comfortably charge money for my skills. We could have kept talking about it for at least a few more hours, except that it was after 11 and we both needed to finish getting ready for the day (I was still in my footie pajamas and I needed to shower before meeting Jonathan) so we parted ways.

I showed up at Jonathan’s hotel room around noon and he had just accepted a job back on the East coast and he was a little flustered about the demands being put on him. I won’t go into details about his personal stuff, but we talked about it a little and I tried to help him feel a little better before going to the interview for the job he was actually excited about. He was dressed nicely and he even had a pretty blue tie that he put on while we were talking (which reminded me that I forgot how to tie a tie a long time ago—say that three times, quickly, except it’s not that challenging, lol) but he still had some stuff to do so I just drank the Kombucha Rick and Rita had sent with me and spent some time in my head until he was ready.

Day 14 e

We went to Panera and I had their tomato soup for the first time and I have to say that it was really good—the croutons were delicious. ^_^ We didn’t spend a ton of time there and we left to make sure Jonathan got to his interview early. After I dropped him off at the medical center I drove around exploring and also looking for parking. I found parking and sat in the car talking to my sister Ashley for a little while before programming Target into the GPS so I could go walk around somewhere. I ended up in downtown and I’ve decided that if I ever do move there I’ll probably prefer public transportation since driving was a little tight and hectic for my taste. I got a phone call right after 3 and Jonathan told me that his interview had ended early so I got to him as soon as I could.

It turns out that HR listed the job improperly—there was one certificate that Jonathan needed and is essentially eligible for, but since he didn’t have it the woman conducting the interview decided not to proceed. Again, I won’t go into too many details, but I want to talk about it just a little bit. When I contacted Jonathan the previous week he had no plans of being in Seattle when I was there, but by my second day there he’d gotten an interview with that company and they wanted an in-person interview the following Monday. The interview didn’t work out, which I know was a disappointment, but I really think his arrival was a manifestation of my desire to see him there. He has the desire to be there and I had the desire to see him there and I think the two desires merged. If I hadn’t changed my plans to fly then we would have arrived on the same day and left on the same day—and if I hadn’t contacted him until Halloween as I’d originally planned we would have potentially had an amazing “chance” encounter. I just think it’s really cool that things like that happen so frequently and we don’t always notice them. I would call it fate, but I know better—I just love referencing Notre Dame de Paris because j’adore Victor Hugo! And who’s to say that fate isn’t merely something we put in our collective vortexes (I’m using Law of Attraction terminology—it is the place where the queue of things we’ve wanted throughout life waits to be manifested by our allowing of those things through lining up with them vibrationally, through our emotions) before entering our bodies? I do believe in reincarnation and that we can plan some events for ourselves throughout life, and though I don’t think seeing each other in Seattle was a huge event like the first time we met (which I do believe was some sort of fate—for those of you who don’t know me, or my history, Jonathan is my ex-fiancé and it’s a long story that I could easily write about for pages and pages), it seems that it would have happened one way or another. Unless I cut Seattle from this trip entirely, but I felt drawn to go and I cut Boulder instead. I can go look at the ROLF institute any time I want. ^_~

And now that my tangent has ended, I’ll tell you about the rest of my day. =D (On a side note, I read the first sentence of this section the way a Crow recites “And now his watch is ended” from Game of Thrones. THIS is why I love spending time by myself—because I’m awesome. I think everyone should be allowed to enjoy their own company. ^_~) After the interview Jonathan did feel less stressed, even though it was a disappointment, but I decided that I would rather spend the evening with him than going to the meetup even though I was interested. We stopped by Raven’s and printed something for the job he accepted and Jonathan and Raven got to chat a little bit. Raven told us which park to go to since it was approaching dark and we wanted to go walk around; she also gave us a dinner recommendation which we later tried to use but they were closed. Apparently some restaurants are closed on Mondays in Seattle—I guess it’s a slow day. Anyway, the GPS took us close to the park but we missed it and ended up driving through this neighborhood full of beautiful houses and apartments overlooking the ocean; it was gorgeous, but eventually we found the park right after dark. It was a pretty small park and we just walked on the road to keep our shoes from getting wet. Mostly we just talk and I’m pretty sure you don’t want me to recount all of our conversations. It was cold, but it was a nice walk anyway and we went for pizza afterwards where we—surprise!—continued talking. ^_~ We were going to go to Starbucks after dinner but once we got there we decided to go to a grocery store instead and I bought a box of Chamomile Lavender tea and he bought a pack of Rainier beer. We went and talked in his hotel room but only until about 9:30 because I had to wake up around 3:30 to get to the airport early for my 5:40 AM flight back to Phoenix. The funny thing is that I didn’t really take any pictures these days, so hopefully my writing carries these two days. 😉 After I got home I said good bye to everyone and packed as best as I could and laid out my clothes for the early morning and fell asleep pretty quickly (which is why I chose the tea I bought).

Seattle: 11/1/15

Well, I drove back to Seattle today. Part of the reason was because I liked the area a lot and I’ve been considering moving there recently (it’s been an option since I was seventeen) so I wanted to explore some more, another part was that I’d rather pay a little extra money to fly than spend two days driving before two more straight days of driving to get to Tennessee, and the third, possibly most compelling reason, was that Jonathan (someone very dear to me) was going to be there. I had to weigh the options and it did take some deliberation because it would have been an adventure to drive down through California and over to Phoenix, but that’s an adventure I can save for another time. The rental car place told me that if I return the car to Seattle it’ll be less expensive than if I drop it off in Phoenix, so that’ll save me a little money from the plane ticket purchase. All in all it was a good decision.

So this morning I woke up at 5:30 in the morning. The time change happened last night so it was technically 6:30, but either way it was early and I couldn’t fall back to sleep. I think it might have been nerves or excitement about seeing Jonathan again after over 4 months. Anyway, after playing my butterfly game and trying to sleep and doing everything I could to stay in bed until at least seven, I finally got up and got ready for the day. Rick and Rita were good company so I was in no rush to leave, but I did want to get on the road by noon so I didn’t have to drive in the dark too much once I got back to Seattle. Mum knew Rick liked cinnamon rolls and I wanted to do something since they were having me stay with them so I offered to make breakfast. I went to the store with Rick to get the ingredients we were missing and when we got back Rita had already chopped some walnuts for the filling layer so I did the rest and this is what they looked like before and after baking.

Day 14 cDay 14 d

I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. At home I made homemade cream cheese icing, but it was a huge batch so this time I just bought some in an icing container. It was rich icing, but I think overall they were a success. ^_^ We chatted for a while during breakfast—their house is full of all sorts of things made by their family members so they told me about those. Rita is a wood carver and she has some beautiful figures throughout the house and her brother is a painter so they have several of his works as well. I think my favorite was of an owl on a bicycle—it was sort of abstract and it looked like it was painted in a style similar to the painting I have in my room (Leonid Afremov). After I gathered my things I said my good-byes and left by 11:30, but not before getting a picture with my selfie stick! I tried to use the normal facing camera and now I have about 5 pictures that didn’t capture all of Rick’s head, so I decided to use the self facing camera even though there’s weird lighting. 🙂

Day 14 h

As I was leaving I asked Rick which way to go—my GPS was giving me the option of going through Portland or going East and coming up on the side of Seattle. He recommended I go through Portland and that’s what I selected, but along the way it must have rerouted me because I never got to Portland and eventually I found myself driving through mountains in the rain as it was growing dark. Until then it had been an easy drive—the speed limit was 55 but the roads were mostly empty and I only stopped once to grab some water and Dr. Pepper (my caffeine beverage of choice), use the bathroom, and get gas. By the time I got to the gas station I’d been looking for a bathroom for almost an hour and I went in there and in my head I talk to myself (as I imagine most people do) so I was thinking, “I haven’t peed for the longest time…” and then I started singing (still in my head) “For the Longest Time” and I sat there laughing for a minute in the bathroom stall at how ridiculous I can be. But at least I’m good company. ^_~

Anyway, I didn’t know that you can’t fill your own gas tanks in Oregon until Rick told me. The day before I’d stopped and thought it was weird that someone came out to do it for me, but apparently there was an accident a long time ago involving a cigarette and an explosion so now there’s a law in effect. After filling the tank I sat in the parking lot and ate the leftover half of my burger from the night before and some of the parmesan cheese block that had been sitting in my car overnight. I was eating the cheese as I was driving and I briefly thought to myself, “Hmm… I wonder if I should see if any penicillin is growing on this since it’s the same color… nah.” I had the thought because one bite had a slightly different texture and I’m allergic to penicillin, but I had already eaten it and I didn’t think I had to worry. About twenty minutes later I remembered the penicillin conversation I had with myself and exclaimed, “I’m still alive!” Most of the things that make me laugh when I’m by myself are like this—non-sequitors that originate from my internal dialogue. So if you’re ever with me in person and I start laughing to myself, it’s probably something like this.

So the mountain drive was really pretty at first, but then the rain became heavy and my knuckles grew white from gripping the steering wheel so tightly. I only hydroplaned once, but going 60 mph down a mountain and hydroplaning was scary. I had a little black rental car and when it started raining I turned my lights on (not automatic since they wouldn’t have come on until it was dark) and when it got dark I found that the thing must have been broken because only the auto and brights settings worked. I discovered this because at night someone tried to merge into me and I suppose they didn’t see me until I honked at them. You would think I would have noticed that my lights weren’t actually on, but I wasn’t having trouble seeing and I’d actually flashed my lights at someone to get them to turn on their lights so it seemed to me that they were on. Anyway, about ten minutes after the car tried to merge into me I fiddled with my lights again and found that only auto worked (unless I wanted to blind people), so I became less of a danger on the road after that. As soon as I got off the mountains I pulled over for yet another bathroom break and contacted Raven to let her know my ETA, asked Jonathan if he wanted me to run by the house or get him first, and briefly talked to Eric about seeing Jonathan later that night and tried to calm down after the stressful drive.

Jonathan opted to have me go to the house before getting him, which I found out only after pulling off an exit in downtown Seattle where I thought he was staying to call him. Parking was a little tough to find so I just drove into the city looking for a place to pull over to use my phone safely and after calling him I found the highway again and went to Raven and Jay’s. They were about to have dinner so I gave them the two cinnamon rolls I’d brought from Oregon and took the key just in case I came home late, thanked them and left to get Jonathan since I was almost an hour later than I’d planned to have dinner together.

As luck would have it his hotel was only ten minutes from where I was staying. If I’d driven instead of flying we would have arrived on the same day and left on the same day and been staying ten minutes from each other. It’s a small world, isn’t it? Anyway, I went and got him and we went to this dumpling place near his hotel that he’d heard good things about. We split twelve chicken dumplings (only $9.95!) and had some delicious noodles from the sampler the woman gave us. It was a really great little place and I would definitely recommend it—if I remember the name I’ll post it here. We always have good conversations and he told me about his job search since he’s been looking for work in Seattle from the East coast. He’s wanted to go back to Seattle for a long time now and it’s easy for me to see him living there happily. We talked about all sorts of other things and after we left the restaurant at 8:30 we went to his hotel and kept talking until about 10:30 when I left.

I got home right around 11 and after the long day I had I didn’t feel like writing a blog post, so here it is a few days late—but at least it’s here! 🙂