These are going to pale in comparison to Erin’s Japan Pics, but I’ve been meaning to post some of these for quite a while. Instead of doing three separate posts for three separate occasions, I’m just going to slap ’em all up here at once. I apologize for the onslaught of them. It might seem a little overwhelming.
But let’s get going. We have a lot of ground to cover.
PART ONE: Cinco de Mayo Carnival with Emily.
80% Standard Carnival, 20% Hispanoamerican Flair.
View of the Carnival from the Ferris Wheel.
Ferris Wheels are awesome. Especially because they are not the spinney carnival death machine ride (I can’t remember the name) we went on post Ferris Wheel. I had been perfectly happy to appreciate centripetal force from a polite distance; I did not need a personal, live-action demonstration. God Almighty.
Apple-Buttered Elephant Ear. That’s the aforementioned 80%, right there.
PART II: VegFest! with Lisa and Jenna.
It’s an annual festival they hold at Benson High School where a whole bunch of local vegan vendors offer samples, and guest speakers talk about the continuing fight for animal rights and stuff. It was pretty great, and only 5 bucks to get in.
The first session we attended was a cooking demonstration. One of the chefs from Blossoming Lotus made Raw Pad Thai using squash and zucchini instead of noodles. It was surprisingly delicious.
Lisa deftly demonstrates both the surprise and the deliciousness.
We wandered around the food court where all the free samples were, and lo! We spotted our favorite waitress from the cult-run Vegetarian Chinese place. She was handing out fortune cookies, and she gave me two for being a loyal customer.
The Humane Society gave a lecture in the main auditorium. Benson High School is pretty old, and has some beautiful light fixtures.
PART THREE: The Olympic Peninsula and Seattle with Will
This was in honor of me now being able to legally rent a car. The basic plan was to go up the 5 to Olympia, then take the 101 northwest up around the perimeter of the Olympic Peninsula to Port Townshend, and then back down through Bremerton and Tacoma, and up the 5 again to Seattle for dinner. (Seattle has not one but TWO Vegetarian Chinese Restaurants, and I was determined to try one of them).
I didn’t actually think we’d be able to cover all of that, but we did, remarkably. Except I lost the directions to the Chinese place in Seattle, so we ended up just eating at that Thai Restaurant that Los Rousse and I went to that time the car broke down. It was still pretty tasty.
I was a little nervous about spending the entire day with Will. He’s not very fond of small talk, and he’s kind of negative about most things. As it turns out, though, he’s an ideal travel companion. He hates to drive, which meant I got to be behind the wheel the entire time. And having someone so quiet was pretty nice, it turned out. We spent a pretty good amount of time talking, but we also spent a lot of time quietly absorbed in what we saw outside the window. It was a good balance. He also didn’t complain about how frequently I jeapordized his life by attempting to take pictures while driving.
First up is our trusty steed: the rental car company gave me a brand new car. It had maybe three miles on the odometer when I picked it up. When I brought it back this morning, it had about 650. I was so proud.
This was a small town outside of Olympia where we stopped for snacks. Will wants everyone to know just how passionate he is about saving our country’s kids.
So this is on the 101 out on the Penninsula. Behind the clouds you can see a big-ass mountain.
We decided to take a quick detour down a side road, and naturally there was a llama farm. Llama farms are pretty much a requisite fixture for rural highway offshoot roads.
There was this sign that said “Mountain View Scenic Recreation Area NEXT LEFT,” and I assumed it meant there would be a good spot where you could see some Mountains. What it turned out to be, we soon found out, was a spot on TOP of a mountain where you could see down to the Pugett Sound. It was at least 2000 feet up, and reached by a winding, one-lane (!) road that clung to the side of the Mountain without any guard rails all the way up. And there was hardly any shoulder, so you couldn’t turn around once you unwittingly began your journey up.
The pay-off was pretty big, though.
Once we got back down the Mountain (miraculously unscathed), there was a rest stop in front of the Sound. Will had apparently not been around any body of Salt Water in like 15 years.
Highway 20, the Road to Port Townshend.
Port Townshend is predictably charming. It’s on the Straight of San Juan de Fuca between the Pugett Sound and the Pacific. It’s also in some sort of Rain Shadow (I don’t understand climate) that makes it the sunniest place in Western Washington. It also has some pretty unexpectedly nice Victorian-era architecure. The place was full of tourists from Seattle.
That land mass behind me may or may not be British Columbia. We were too lazy to ask which direction was North. I’m not angry, just squinting cause it’s windy.
More of Port Townshend.
…And more of Port Townshend.
Port Townshend Lighthouse
This was the name on someone’s actual boat. I suggested Enthusiastic Oppossum as an improvement. Will prefered Coked-Up Prarie Dog, as the implied drug presence would increase the owner’s chances of successfully luring hookers on board.
Anyway, onward to Seattle!
Art-Deco Ross in Downtown Seattle
Trying not to look frustrated while navigating. (Will can’t read maps, so I was having to find my way around by instinct, an ability I always forget that I do not possess.)
Looking out over Elliot Bay. A good end to a good day.
We made it back down to Portland before midnight, and Will was very gracious about letting me play Cat Stevens on the way home. Good Times.