ugh, such a trauma to return from vacation, experiencing something new everyday, not knowing what the day will bring, and then returning to a structured existence. The body and soul take a bit of time to adjust.

thursday (6/19) - leave from MDW to SEA (hurrah for direct flights), grab luggage and rental car (2003 chrysler sebring) and head northward to the town of Everett to stay at Kim & Mike’s home for the evening

friday (6/20) - breakfast w/ Kim and then northward towards Vancouver, B.C. - it’s good to see Kim and Mike again, glad he’s finally back from the Middle East, they seem to be doing very well, very happy for them - nice drive through the rain and gorgeous countryside, bit of a tense border crossing (intense men asking what we did for a living, best advised not to joke w/ these folks) - too early to check in, drive around trying to locate botanical gardens, instead opt for chinatown - very peaceful rain through most of the day, almost impossible to find public restrooms in vancouver - spend and hour fighting w/ streets that change names, but manage to locate the hotel (Century Plaza Hotel and Spa) - rest a bit, then have dinner in overpriced restaurant in hotel

saturday (6/21) - hit the local town, find the beach and watch the ships for hours - spend time in Kitsilano walking, walking, walking - great food at the ‘Restaurant from Hell’ - try to make it to the vancouver canadians baseball time, but there’s nowhere to park - check out the downtown area near the hotel, can’t believe how clean this town is - dinner at a mediocrie thai restaurant

sunday (6/22) - head to granville island in the AM, pretty rainy so the crowds are mild - the market on the island is fantastic, i really want to live somewhere w/ access to this much fresh food - meet an older couple from alberta (?), very polite folks, very canadian - head to stanley park (1000 acres), discover that the aquarium is $17 and spend the time walking around the park instead. Very pretty area, the folks here are so polite. I feel like just another rude american here.

monday (6/23) - head south to seattle, find nathan & jodi’s apt w/ some difficulty (again, raods changing names) - head out for thai food, used cd stores, public market, monorail - dinner at ‘chinook’s’, nice view of the boats on the water. I feel bad for any company when i’m around the water, i can just stare for hours. Being on the water is the only place i really feel relaxed.

tuesday (6/24) - out for breakfast (amazing coffee) - check out the zoo and a local beach. It would be so nice to be close enough to the beach to take one’s lunch break there - dinner in freemont, hit some used bookstores and pick up the new Jay Farrar - meet up w/ Kim and catch the show at ‘the empty space’. it’s good to see what nathan is up to - hang out with nathan after jen goes to sleep, get cds of ‘Blake’s Cinema’, it’s good to hear those tunes again. nathan is about the only person w/ a similar sense of humor, we can actually bounce ideas off one another and actually keep up

wed (6/25) - leave seattle, head east to Roslyn (where Northern Exposure was filmed) - nice drive, very pretty countryside - Roslyn was a great experience. I have such an emotional attachment to the characters and stories - lunch at ‘the Brick’, possibly the best french-fries of my life. It is indeed the coolest bar i’ve ever been to in my life. The only bar i’ve ever been where i truly wouldn’t mind hanging out. The played the best collection of music i’ve ever heard in a bar (uncle tupelo, phish, dar williams, allman brothers). It was a place that made me feel very content - sad to leave, but southward to portland - bit of a long drive, but beautiful countryside. I think the highest peak while driving was about 3000 ft. The little rental car was having some issues, but we made it ok - find the hotel in portland (the mark spencer), walk around near the hotel, find a fairly decent thai restaurant - head to powell’s city of books . . . an entire city block of books . . nirvanna

thurs (6/26) - walk the entierty of the city of portland, nice lunch in the downtown plaza - again, watch the boats on the river - back to powell’s at night, that store alone would be worth moving for

fri (6/27) - head out to washington park for the japanese gardens and the rose gardens - the public transportation is great, no problems at all - back to the downtown area, more walking, walking, walking - out to dinner and a tour of the portland underground for a pretty interesting history of the shanghai trade - pack up for the home trip

sat (6/28) - pack up, and than northward to SEA - plane is an hour late in leaving . . . stress . . the concert starts at 7:30, the flight is due to land at 6:20 - flight lands around 7:00, after baggage and car location, we hit the road about 7:40 - arrive about 10 minutes before peter gabriel takes the stage - amazing concert, thunderstorms and rain blowing into the pavilion - what a great way to end the vacation

Set List: - Red Rain - More Than This - Secret World - Games Without Frontiers - Mercy Street - Darkness - Digging In The Dirt - Don’t Give Up - The Tower That Ate People - Growing Up - Shock The Monkey - Solsbury Hill - Sledgehammer - Signal To Noise - In Your Eyes - Come Talk To Me - Father, Son

the best vacation i’ve ever had. it was nice to not have to stress about money and just enjoy the time we had. It was great to see some friends from college, the one’s that really mattered, who actually supported all the goofy ideas i had, i miss them both very much.


01 August 2003