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.
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. 🙂
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! 🙂