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:
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. 🙂
After 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).
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!