Ah Bugger

The vapid utterings of a neurotic mind.

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Location: DC, United States

I ain't too proud to bug.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Heaven? Or Portland...

Hi folks. I am at my aunt's house and it is great. I got a glass of wine when I walked in and dinner served to me. This morning, I got a fresh fruit smoothie for breakfast. I am just saying that I might not leave. Plus, her house! Oh, it is sooo cute. She has so much space and it is so clean and uncluttered. Ecstacy! I want to pick up this place and drop in No. Va. and live there. My place is so cluttered and well, not like this one at all!
We are headed to the Oregon Coast tomorrow, but not before we watch "The Bucket List" movie tonight. AND She is making me dinner right now. Hog heaven.
See ya.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

'spose I'll have to come back to Seattle sometime...

I was so excited to see Seattle. I got up fairly early (read: alarm went off at 7:30 and I got up at 9) and had some breakfast. I went to the Tacoma Glass Museum. It was really cool, the various works of art there. I would have loved to have bought a piece, but the average price was several hundred dollars. Instead I bought two little glass bugs. They were a buck each.

I headed into Seattle and found a place to park on the marina. I wanted to go to the Odyssey Maritime Discovery Center which is a hands on kind of museum (my favorite!), but they were closed due to some Microsoft event. Grr. So I went to the Seattle aquarium. I was in and out in 12.2 seconds. There was nothing to see except a wolf eel which looked like an old man chomping on his dentures, a wee little octopus who was squished so tightly into a corner that I nearly missed him, and a bunch of starfish. Wow. Worth the $15. Nope.

So then I wandered up to Pike's Market where, apparently, a mood had set in and I was not appreciative of this place I have been aching to go to forever. I pushed my way through lackadaisical crowds who languished at the stands piled high with clams and whole pike. I scoffed at the magic store and turned my nose up at the sterling silver jewelry. Uh oh, I thought. I am not feeling this.

History: Every time Marci and I take a trip, there is a day where we hang out in the hotel room and do nothing. We eat candy, stay in bed all day and watch bad television (usually some girly film that ends super happily). I think that moment in time hit me today. But what about Seattle? I was determined to see and do stuff. I drove to the Space Needle and looked up at it . I contemplated going up into it, but the crowd waiting to go up made me grumpy (er) and I turned on my snotty little heel and went to the monorail. I paid $2 to go to a mall. Once in the mall, I wandered about and then paid $2 to go back to where I started. In the monorail, I noticed that the flagship Macy's was right where I just left. Dang. If the Macy's was there, then the Nordstrom ought to be nearby. But I was headed back to the Space Needle. I got into my car and drove over to that area. While doing so, I contemplated the name Nordstrom. Loosely translated from German it means northern electricity. So then I thought, well Nordstrom must be Swedish (like Ikea). Truly, the amount of thought I gave it was unbearable. Then I suddenly could not go there anymore. (Plus, I just had to look Nordstrom up because I have thought about it so much that it no longer seems to be the right name, but it is.)

I drove on. Well, best I could considering the traffic. For a second I thought I was back in DC. ACK! I just kept going.

I am missing out on the tour of the Seattle underground. I am missing out on the Orcas. I am missing out on Seattle, but I don't care! Am I burnt out? I don't think so. I just think I was not ready for a city on my own after having been in so many national parks and then with friends. Plus, there is just always that one hotel/bed/tv day.

Washington and more National Parks

Okay, I am getting sleepy, but I guess I should get you all up to date while I can. I will be heading to visit family soon and that will leave you entry free for a little while.

I am currently near Seattle, WA. I am beyond thrilled to get to witness this city. Back in the day, I applied to the University of Washington. They did not accept me. But I could have possibly lived here. I have always wanted to go to Pikes Market, etc. Tomorrow I will start by seeing the glass museum in Tacoma.

Today I drove some random path into Olympic National Park. Several miles in (to the nothing... I just drove up a steep mountainous path into nothing), my gas light went on. Uh oh. I kept driving because the Tomtom said there was a gas station in a few miles. (Where, on the top of the mountain?) I was freaking out. There was no sign of life and I had not encountered anyone in a long time so I finally wised up and turned (carefully. It was a narrow road) around. The road was super windy and the edge dropped off terrifyingly. I put the car in neutral and coasted down the mountain at breakneck speeds. I coasted for 25 miles. I wanted to not have to walk and get gas and my plan let me go an additional 40 miles on empty. Ack. Never will I go below 1/4 tank again!!!This could have been one of the last things I ever saw...

Then I took a different path into the same park. I stopped and had lunch at the lodge. Fresh halibut. Yum. Plus there was a painting on the wall there I really liked. I wrote down the artist's name and maybe I can order a piece.

This was the view of Lake Crescent from the lodge. After lunch I hiked the Moments in Time trail. I saw a couple of deer who showed no fear of me, whatsoever. I kept walking and got scared that I may be eaten by a bear. I actually turned around to head back to my car, but then ran into a couple from Nebraska and forced them to let me walk the trail with them. After we parted ways, I found my way up to Marymere Falls. The path was steep that I was panting a bit. (Shameful). I was apparently rather gleeful in having gotten to the top! Like the hair? I flipped my head over and fluffed it up. Trust me, this picture is way better that the one right before it. This tree was big and so I set up my camera to take my picture. I want to compare this picture to ones I will take at Sequoia National Park.

I left the park and found myself at a blackjack table somewhere on my route towards Seattle. I chatted up the old men sitting there (connected to an oxygen tank) before losing my $20 and heading back into my dark gray chariot.

That's all for now!

xoxoxoxoi (the i is for Clussy)


Yesterday, I spent the day in Victoria. I remember my dad saying that it was one of the most beautiful places he'd been. I think I have looked forward to checking it out my whole life.

I drove to Butchart Gardens (which I had a really hard time finding and thusly spent an inordinate amount of time driving through the 'burbs of Victoria). The garden was packed to the brim with people, but check out these beautiful flowers and you shall understand.

Then I drove into Victoria and shopped a bit. I bought a t-shirt at Roots with "1973" on the front. Great year, that was. I still had some time to kill prior to getting on my ferry to Washington State and so I went to see the film "Journey to the Center of the Earth". It was in 3-D and it was pretty good. I liked it, anyway. Some of it was a little cheesy, but it is a kids movie and some of the cheesiness was due to the 3-D factor. Therefore do not watch it unless you can do so in 3-D. Plus, there is a scene where the kid is leaping onto these rocks that hover over an unending abyss. This made me feel sickly because I envisioned him falling off. Gah.
This is Victoria, as viewed from my ferry. Two violinists were playing music on the ferry. They were passengers and simply did so to terrify me and two German tourists whom I bugged during the ride over. It terrified us because the Coast Guard rode next to the ferry with a huge weapon manned by a man on the helm. Uh... We had visions of the Titanic and the violin music was played there, too.

I got into Port Angeles late and stayed at a wee little hotel. Back in the States. Thanks for the entertainment and the coffee, BC.

Wait, there's more! Vancouver Island

MarciA came over on the ferry with me to go to Vancouver Island. There were seals that were swimming alongside the ferry, but we could only see their wee little black heads bobbing in the surprisingly calm waters. We met up with two friends who then took us to Nanaimo to witness the annual bathtub races. Yeah, you read me right. Bathtub races. Apparently, in 1967, the mayor of Nanaimo, Frank Ney,(who dressed like a pirate) thought that racing bathtubs across from Nanaimo to Vancouver would be a great way to celebrate the centennial. The tradition has stuck and now people create these bathtub boats they have to race across the straight of Georgia. They kneel in these crafts for an hour and half (or so) in supremely choppy waters. When they arrive at the finish line, they are to jump out and run up the beach to a bell they must ring. Unfortunately, their legs are often numb and they tend to collapse instead. It is rather hilarious, though one guy bit it pretty badly and ripped his leg open. That was not hilarious at all.
This guy had trouble with his motor at the beginning of the race but managed to finish pretty quickly. He had a rather exciting (for me anyway) trip to the finish line. His legs were like rubber and buckled several times, bringing him to the same repeatedly. But he rang the bell.

This is how they look on the water, racing along. It was all very exciting. I am estimating, because I can't remember the details, that 43 boats entered the race and 8 sank. Oops. Each bathtub boat has to be escorted by a bigger motor boat just in case of issues.

After the races, we milled about Nanaimo where MarciA tried to feed some WLM. They seemed a liiittle too comfortable.

We went to the house of one of the local friends whose parents fed us a great dinner. Really great people. I like Nanaimo. I even found a house I could live in, though I did not photograph it. I also found another rainbow. They seem to be following me around.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What happens in Vancouver... is shared here

Oh my goodness, I have so much to tell you. I was staying with my friend MarciA* and her husband just outside of Vancouver, BC which is why you have not heard from me in a while. But while you were feverishly refreshing my page, I was having a ball being a tourist with MarciA.
We went out to White Rock and wandered the beach. That's where I realized that Vancouverites really enjoy the colour orange. Seriously, it's every where! Check out this house.

This person is a true Vancouverite. The picture does not do it justice.

Then we went to a CFL game. The BC Lions were playing the Montreal Alouettes. The game started off really boring, but then the Lions started to realize they were actually at a real game and started to play properly and won by a very narrow margin in the last seconds of the game. I had a great time at the game, though AND MarciA and I met the mascot, Leo. Guess what colour the Lions wear...

That's right! Orange.

The next day MarciA and I went to Stanley Park where we found a couple of fellas who drove up in a DeLorean. I started smacking MarciA because we had to go get a picture. We headed over to see that not only did they arrive in a DeLorean, but one was dressed to the hilt in a Darth Vader costume (to attend a wedding. No, it was not a theme wedding). I think I love Vancouver.

Not quite certain why I am standing like an 8 year old, though.

Stanley Park is lovely though a lot of trees were taken out by a rather wicked storm a few years ago. We tried to go to the aquarium to see their baby beluga whale. Unfortunately the line wrapped around the building, so we walked on. Soon we found ourselves at the Capilano Suspension Bridge (where finally my student id got me a discount. Yay) and MarciA made me walk on a very long bridge that wobbled and shook. I am surprised at how much it freaked me out to walk on it. I was holding on for dear life and I could feel the fear build up in the bottom of my throat.

That's me hamming it up a bit for you, but I never let go of the railing. Seriously, it was a long way down. See?

Besides, MarciA was telling me about how a woman dropped her baby off the bridge and that made me envision that act which only made my knees more wobbly. (The baby survived and was taken from the woman). The other side of the bridge had more stable bridges to climb about on to get to various little treetop platforms. We gallivanted around there and when we finally had to go back over the suspension bridge, I was not quite as freaked out anymore.

I had a great time in Vancouver. MarciA cooked me breakfast every morning and we had beers and friendly conversation every evening. Her friends are awesome, as is her husband. It is so great to meet someone that just instantly becomes a friend for life. Two peas in a pod, we are.

Thanks a ton, you guys!!!

*I add the capital A to Marcia's name so that you know not to confuse her with the one and only Marci.