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Month: November 2015

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. 🙂

11-7

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! 🙂


Bend, Oregon: 10/31/15

Happy Halloween! Happy Samhain!

Today is the thirteenth day of my journey– I think Halloween falling on the thirteenth day is a pretty great thing. 🙂 I didn’t do anything really to celebrate Samhain this year, but I did dress up for Halloween so here are the few pictures I took of myself today:

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Do you see my cheekbones in that one picture? You know the one. ^_~ It looks like life on the road is thinning me out a little. Anyway, this is the costume that my friend Megan sent to me on a whim because she knew I’d wear it– and I think it’s super awesome that she did that for me! I’m flattered that I came to mind. For those of you who haven’t known me long (because let’s face it–if you’re reading this blog you’ll get to know me pretty quickly), I used to wear costumes all the time in college. I tried to wear a costume every Friday or Saturday, mostly for the fun of it. I started making little outfits for myself in high school and eventually I started making and wearing eccentric clothes or costumes as often as possible. I packed a lot of clothes like that for this trip because I’ve worn uniforms for too many hours of my life–I think self-expression through clothing is really important, at least for me.

Anyway, I got up pretty early today so I could make good time getting to Bend to visit my mom’s friend Rick and his wife Rita. I loaded the car and said good bye to Raven and the family and I left by 9:30, but it was raining pretty heavily so it was slow going. I actually hydroplaned for the very first time, and then at least another ten times after that. I was able to remain calm for the most part but I was gripping the steering wheel and being wary of other drivers. If I didn’t need a massage before today I definitely need one now–if I have time I might do it in Arizona before I drive to Nashville, or maybe I’ll try to do it in Greeneville if I can wait that long. I’ll definitely need some before I return to work, though.

So I ate a little less than half a sandwich for breakfast before I left (my leftovers from last night’s dinner) and I was getting hungry around 11 so I stopped to look for gas (the prices here are so much higher than NC) and went into Safeway to walk around and clear my head for driving in more pouring rain. I got a block of Parmesan that was on sale, kombucha, water, Dr. Pepper since I was a little sleepy and that’s my go-to caffeine, a box of wasabi soy sauce Triscuits (which are SO GOOD!), and some red grapes to snack on in the car and by the time I finished shopping and talking to Mom on the phone (about the rain and hydroplaning, plus asking her to contact Rick to let him know when I’d arrive) the rain had lessened a lot. It was still raining enough for it to be a little extra dangerous on the highway, but I was fine and I turned up my Notre Dame de Paris CD and sang all the French words I remembered. Since I was running so late at Phoenix I only grabbed one CD case and I wish I’d grabbed more CDs because I could have had my Nightmare before Christmas CD for today, or Rocky Horror Picture Show, or at least my old school CDs that I stuck in the other case–like Evanescence and TATU. My iPod won’t connect to the rental car, so the only CDs in the case I grabbed are musicals (which is fine with me–I ended the drive with Les Miserables and I listened to Hairspray after Notre Dame de Paris) and Italian love songs and a new German CD I haven’t listened to yet that I THINK is full of German Christmas songs. Oh, and The Killers and one of my Pirate CDs–but mostly musicals. Oh, and I managed to listen to Sweeney Todd today–that’s sort of Halloween related. It’s a stretch. Moving on, I had no idea I was in Oregon until I was in Portland when the rain let up–I must have missed the sign since I was preoccupied with the rainy driving conditions. Soon after I ended up on this back road and started driving up through mountains and eventually I reached high desert, which I wasn’t expecting in Oregon. It was a beautiful drive and I love all the pine trees; I’ve missed pine trees ever since we moved out of Northern Idaho. The speed limit was only 55 but it seems that the locals don’t care because they were easily going 70 and I was letting everyone pass me since I’d rather be cautious about speeding than find myself with a ticket, which meant I didn’t make up any time and I didn’t arrive until almost 5. Rick and Rita showed me around and introduced me to the dogs then we went out to this little arts event Rita had found in the paper. It was a gathering of local artists with their wares for sale and they were passing out treats. If I had brought my own cup I could have gotten hot chocolate and beer, but I didn’t have one so I bought a clay cup from one of the artists there. The guy I spoke to who was also buying cups noticed that my cup had some bubbling and when you look at it in the light it almost looks like dragon skin or something, so now it’s the cup I plan to use for Dungeon and Dragon events (when I eventually start playing again–I’ve been missing it for a long time now). I got some hot chocolate with orange liquor and cinnamon as my “treat” and after we’d walked around and looked at everything (I bought one more thing as a gift) we went out to have dinner at the best burger place. I can’t remember the name, but they told me it was the best burger place in town and it was on the corner of one of the streets–downtown Bend is only two streets and there’s a big park and lots of hiking nearby. They call it “The Dog Town” because dogs are allowed inside all the stores and people put water outside for them to always have water. I think it’s great, and I did see a lot of dogs while we were driving around. Anyway, I tried the same burger that Rita gets but I could only finish half of it–so now I have lunch for tomorrow. 🙂

Day 13 gAfter dinner we went back to the house and I went upstairs to sort out whether I would drive the rental car back to Phoenix like I’d originally planned or if I’d drive back to Seattle and fly to Phoenix. Assuming I stayed in a hotel both nights, it would be about the same amount of money either way and I’d much rather go back to Seattle and keep exploring (plus I’ll get to hang out with people I know I’ll have lots of fun with) than drive two days in a row just to drive two days in a row right after that on my way to Nashville. Plus this way I get to color and read more while I’m at the airport and on the plane–AND my flight has a layover in Denver so I’m still technically making it to Colorado, even if just the airport. ^_^ After I called around and tried to get good deals I settled for the deal I found on the internet, which was better than both the other deals I was offered, and I left a message for my rental car place since they left me a message confirming that they will lower the price of my rental car if I return it to Seattle instead of Phoenix. All in all, I’m happy with my decision to go back–plus I left something there. This morning as I was packing I thought to myself, “I want to make sure I have everything–I don’t want to ‘accidentally’ leave something as an excuse to come back” but the thing I forgot wasn’t with my stuff because it was mailed there and I hadn’t gotten it yet. Fate works in mysterious ways. 😉

After I figured out my plans I joined Rick and Rita and we talked about travel, family, and all sorts of things–it’s really nice to just share conversation, especially after busy days. Rita had read that I like kombucha so she had bought me some bottles of locally produced kombucha so I poured some in my new mug and drank it while we had homemade apple pie and ice cream (I should have taken a picture of the pie–it was still tart and since I love Granny Smith apples the most I really liked it).

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The one I tried was strawberry lemonade and it was good, but I’m looking forward to trying the pomegranate lemonade tomorrow with breakfast. 🙂 After Rita went to bed Rick and I stayed up talking a little longer and I was sitting on the floor petting the two small dogs since they kept coming to me. Tucker is the small black one and he kept flopping onto his back as soon as I touched him so he could get tummy rubs. Normally he doesn’t lick, but he propped up and gave me a kiss right on the mouth and it was super cute. 🙂 I miss Angel–when I would get home from work Angel would jump onto the back of the couch and I’d lean down and let her lick my face in greeting. I used to really dislike dog kisses on my face, but when you love something I suppose you get over things like fear of slobber. ^_~ Anyway, Tuff is the girl and she’s the big one–she came for a few pets but mostly it was the two boys who wanted to be pet and I happily obliged them while Rick and I chatted about all sorts of things. Then I went to bed where I played the Halloween game on Google (Go Team Yellow!) and started writing this blog later than intended. So, here are the dogs and good night!

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