In June, I went to Seattle (again)

Annette wanted to do a destination race, and I had a $500 travel voucher to burn, so in June, we hopped on a plane to Seattle. We ran the Rock N Roll half marathon, saw a lot of naked people on bikes with Natalie, got sunburned (me), climbed a giant hill to eat amazing burgers with Emmi and Mike, and toured a library and took a ferry ride with Carly.

We had hoped to go to Vancouver for the last night of our trip, but poor (passport) planning on my part meant scrapping the border crossing and instead heading south to Portland, which was 100% as expected. We watched the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, went to the Queen Bee mothership, saw some backyard chickens, ate good sandwiches, and were joined in an absurdly long donut line and a wardrobe_remix photo shoot by Patrick.

It was a good year for making good memories of the PNW. Here’s to more of the same in 2014!

Where have we been? Part 1

Did we mention that we went to Seattle last month?  Oh, cos we did.

To be more precise, we spent about a week in Seattle in early March, partially for vacation and partially for conference attendance.  I don’t have a whole lot of pictures from the trip mainly because Shane had the fancy camera, and he hasn’t posted them yet (or has posted them as friends/family only) – also because I spent most of the trip inside a conference center, while he spent it wandering around.  To be honest I’m hoping that this post will be the nudge he needs to actually talk about his adventures – but that’s neither here nor there.

Mel and Ray

Mel and Ray were our gracious hosts for the duration of our visit – showing us around their not-so-recently adopted city, making us delicious food (and margaritas!), driving us back and forth to the airport and also to Twin Peaks locations.  I met Mel and Ray in Champaign in 2004, back when I was really involved in NaNoWriMo, and was terribly sad when they moved to Seattle in 2005.  We haven’t had many non-Bonnaroo opportunities to hang out since then, so I really enjoyed having a lot of downtime to chat, eat, and renew our friendship.  I also enjoyed their enthusiasm for daytrips, as with our trip to the Great Northern Hotel:

Great Northern Hotel
and to the Double R Diner (now Twede’s), where we shared a slice of cherry pie:

This cherry pie is a miracle

In addition to Twin Peaks-y things, we spent a glorious afternoon at the Pike Place Market, drank fancy drinks in a variety of locations, caught up with a lot of friends ranging back to high school, toured the Seattle Public Library, and snuck into some library things (or at least Shane did – I was legitimately there to give a talk on the Facebook roadshow).

This marked both of our first trips to the Pacific Northwest, aside from a family trip to Vancouver when I was a kid, and we both really liked what we saw.  Navigating on foot and by mass-transit can be challenging, especially when there are OMG HILLS, but I also feel like you get to see and know a lot more of the city that way.  I hope that next time we visit Seattle I get more time to bum around, eat remarkable cupcakes, and enjoy many more damn fine cups of coffee!

Perfect Cup

Man Oh Man

In the last week, I have:

  • Flown from DC to Chicago
  • Read a 500+ page book
  • Took the train from Chicago to Champaign, and then back again
  • Ate my first cheeseburger in 13 years (which Ingbert toasted, appropriately, with another cheeseburger)
  • Successfully defended my thesis, the link to which will be shared soon (with thanks to all that attended the event)
  • Went to Kam’s, where Dan, Jeanne, and I consumed beers the size of our heads
  • Participated in my last LEEP on campus day as a CAS-ter.
  • Had a Symposium in my honor
  • Saw a lot of old friends and didn’t spend nearly as much time with any of them as I would have liked
  • Ate at old Champaign favorites: Jupiter’s, Kopi, Aroma, Esquire, Papa Del’s, Murphy’s, and the Courier.
  • Slept on Molly’s couch.
  • Watched the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special

And THEN I:

  • Took the 6am train to Chicago
  • Had brunch with the ladies
  • Went to a fun game store and an amazing bakery

And THEN I:

  • Took the train to the bus to Rockford
  • Slept for a ridiculous and much-needed amount of time in the very cold basement
  • Spent quality time with Gypsy
  • Saw my sister, her fiance, and their cats for the first time in more than a year
  • Visited my plaque on the Wall of Foam

And THEN I:

  • Missed my flight out of O’Hare because I thought it was at 11:10 instead of 10:10
  • Arrived in Seattle 2 hours later, thanks to the wonder of standby
  • Was joyfully reunited with Shane after being apart for a week
  • Met up with Mel, who picked us up at the airport and gave us our first taste of Seattle
  • Tried local beer at Elysian Brewery and Pike Pub & Brewery
  • Panicked a bit when our pet sitter lost his keys, which were later found
  • Killed a number of happy hours at the Pike Place Market
  • Worked on my presentation for ACRL
  • Bumped into 3 friends and counting at the conference!

I’m here in Seattle through the weekend, flying home on Monday, at which point I will not leave my house until someone MAKES me do so.  I miss my cats and my own bed and not eating expensive meals.  It’s been a pretty fantastic run, though, and the time has gone much more quickly than I expected.