I am sitting in seatac airport with five'ish hours to go until I liftoff for home, and want to record some thoughts while they are fresh and juicy. First off, Zoo is a GREAT road mate. Words cannot express his huge contribution to the road trips being extraordinary, but I'll give it a shot..
He is unflinching about being alive and living life his way. I have great respect for him, even when I disagree. His travel is experience is deep, so having him along adds a layer of comfort, especially when he says, "Can we drive down on that iced over river?" (unnamed rental car company, please do not read this). His encouragement of me and other people to go outside their boundaries and live a little makes life interesting and fun. There's so much more, but my point is sincerely that I appreciate you, Zoo. Thanks for the miles and the smiles, dude.
Places #1 Portland #2 Banff #3 Vancouver
I could move to Portland tomorrow and be a very happy man. I will visit Banff many times in the future. And Vancouver is a damn cool city.
Highlights Kennedy School - just plain awesome The Doug Fir and Rontoms are great bars with fun people. Always wanted to drink at the Doug Fir and I learned that the Indie Music scene in Portland is great at Rontoms. My beautiful skull Banff, the beautiful Best Road Biggest Unanswered Question Whistler Village, BC
Favorite People Photo
Growth Every single road trip we make includes opportunities taken to plant seeds, leave room for gestation and let the new rear its head. On this trip, I was a lot more emotionally stable than prior trips, so instead my personal growth included being a bit more "one of the guys." My life prior to this didn't really have opportunity to ever be a wingman, play in bars, flirt outrageously, etc. It was a fairly "normal" path towards the American Dream of having the house, marriage and kids. Now I am living a new bachelor life and finding out that not only do I like being alone, but I also like learning more about what I may like in a relationship with each new gal with whom I spend a little time.
The result? I still believe in love and fidelity in a committed relationship. But it's not something I'll die over if I don't get it now... In the meantime I'm having fun.
As for Zoo, I know he had his own thoughts gestating during the trip. I won't presume to comment on them, but I do think they are going to stay underground for some more nutrients and water in the dark.
On another topic, I have some more thoughts about authenticity. It is a slight paradox that I choose to use a pseudonym on this site, but firmly believe in transparency and authenticity. This is brought into relief by one of Zoo's posts where during that evening I gave out personal information, but not info about this site. It turned out for the best, because the fun-poking from Zoo could be hurtful should the site be found. Nothing terrible, just not entirely nice. And here is the crux of the matter... What Zoo posts is not my responsibility, but I do share the site with him. Do I reveal what he posts by revealing the site, or do I let it pass? That question lies unanswered at present. So I also have something that needs more time to grow before I can make a decision.
It's also apparent that I am still learning the fine art (snicker) of being a wingman. It's foreign to me, and my beliefs. In parallel, I also believe that it's far easier to condemn something without every trying it. Greater understanding comes with experience. Easier said, I'll try anything once. In this case, if everyone is out to have a good time then it's a part of the "game." My gut feeling is that I am far too sincere to be a wingman. ;)
Biggest personal disappointment: Ummm... being a little naive about 'signals'
2nd biggest personal disappointment: Not actually engaging in deliberate Sentography, only holistic.
Biggest personal success: Frankly, enjoying myself with unfamiliar women on short notice. I've been removed from that world for a long time... I usually work into relationships over a long period of time. Bars and dating are almost a foreign language to me.
Wrapup Every road trip is a potent reminder that we have to choose to enjoy our days, not wait for enjoyment to find you. Make the things you want happen, but don't expect to be able to plan every road between here and what you want, leave that to chance - it's more fun that way.
And finally, get yourself a mohawk. It's the tits.
On our way out of Portland, I decided that I wanted to check out the rumor that Sequim (pronounced "SQWIM"), WA was one of the most wonderful places on earth to live. It was a helluva long drive to get there but the reports of it being sunny when all else is rainy were.. True. They apparently get less than 15" of rain each year. But it is a strange town. We stopped at the Hi-Way 101 Diner for lunch and I had the Dungeness Crab n' Cheese sandwich. Holy Yum.
Back out and headed for Seattle, we decided to take the Edmonds/Kingston ferry. There was a line, so we got bumped back one. It was pouring rain... Anyhoo, we made it on the 5:50 (quite huge) car ferry and I went upstairs to snappy-snappy.
After coming around to something approaching normal, we headed north and dropped in on my friend Chase Jarvis.
Chase was addressing a group of students form the Art Institute of Seattle. We caught the tail end of on inspiring presentation. Chase has a great tradition of posting one photo from his iPhone each day on Twitter - and here he is shooting today's:
After this we had a few moments to say hello and meet the crew, then Chase, being the busy and inventive guy that he is, had to hop on a conference call. So, we continued to get to know his wife and crew (awesome peeps) and asked about where to get breakfast.
After a quick stop at Matt's buddy's awesome studio, we headed to Voula's Offshore Cafe on the say so of his (the buddy's) lead assistant / weatherman ... the producer / marketeer at the studio gave us the heads up as to what exactly to order, and we followed her advice. Voula's is in a part of town that someone said was the University District, but it seemed more like folks working the the marine industries, no university in sight. This is just a perfect greasy spoon. Simple, hearty, and famous for a dish called "the Hobo", which is a mess of hash browns, eggs, sausage, peppers, mushrooms, onions, topped with cheddar cheese. It was awesome, but a couple more of those and there goes the boyish figure.
What was funny is that this place was featured on the Food Network's road trip show, "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives" ... out of all the breakfast places we could have ended up at.
Definitely worth the stop, and maybe another on our way out.
Before Phauxtog arrived, I ended up walking around Downtown and Belltown and checked out a few bars ... The Tap Room: 160 beers on tap, heavily skewed towards North America. This is not a place to go to pick up women, but an okay place to catch a game. Had some popcorn shrimp, eh, not bad, not great.
Whiskey Bar: Wanna-be hipster dive (it's hard to be a real dive if you've only been open for 5 years). Awesome Whiskey selection -- they had the Yamazaki. Bartender Christie (or maybe Chrissy?) was cool and friendly. Patrons discussing their baby-momma, scoffing at homeless people, Spanish speaking people, and other relatively retarded conversation.
Casablanca: How can a bar in a city be totally dead on a Thursday night. Lame.
Shorty's: Now we're getting there. Hipster bar that Melissa B took me to in after our "meeting" in January '06. Pinball, Hamm's, cute patrons. Good place to throw back a few.
Juju: I stepped outside of Shorty's and ran into Mantero, a psuedo-homeless guy who pointed me at Uma and Amanda (pictures of the latter to follow). I actually left my beer at Shorty's to join the rubicund Uma and sort of contrarian Amanda. The drinks were top notch, muddled lime gimlet was just about perfect. Sort of felt like Elixir North.