I started answering comments on the”Free Will” entry and it put me in the writing mood, so now I just NEED to make another blog entry.
Anyway… the road trip was great, as usual. Some highlights from the trip…
Portland was an AWESOME city. So many great things there. The first that springs to mind is that I got to meet Rebecca Dean. She’s a really cool girl… I wish I got to spend more time with her!We went hiking in Multnomah Falls the first time we hung out, which was really great. It’s a beautiful area that has 11 different waterfalls, and you can either see one from the very base (making the trip a half hour or so), or you can hike to the higher ones. Rebecca and I chose a 7 mile round trip hike which was pretty challenging… but INCREDIBLY rewarding.
The next time we hung out, we went to a Greek restaurant where we danced, broke plates, and ate ridiculously good food. After that we went to the Portland City Grill where we got to see a breathtaking view of Portland at night!
My favorite place in Portland, by far, was Powell’s Books. It’s a HUGE bookstore – takes up a block – with just 3500 SECTIONS of books. It’s seriously incredible. I felt like I was living a different life with every section I went to… some sections I’d delve into psychology (great book that my friend Chad recommended, btw – Mindless Eating – love it!), into palm reading, astral projection, business… whatever. It was great. I even allowed myself a guilty pleasure and read some chick lit – “Fat Is The New Pretty”, I think it was called. :)
I ended up at the SE Powell’s (smaller) almost every day.What else… I saw a really cool extinct volcano at Mt. Tabor, right near the place I subletted. I was walking around there for a while… started walking on a new path… and ended up catching the tail-end of a wedding. That was really special.The culture of Portland was fascinating to me. The first night I got there, I saw some guy putting food from the grocery store into his backpack. He took it all out at the register, and then put it back in when it came time to pay. That would NEVER happen in Philly… people would think he was stealing! PDX (they call Portland that because of the airport code) is really laid back.
People seemed to be pretty friendly, too. Honestly, I found L.A. to be more “surface friendly”… but the difference is that the people in Portland who want to be friendly mean it. I dug the people there a lot.One of the other things I LOVED about the city is that I felt compelled to exercise everywhere. I took yoga classes, walked all the time…The culture’s pretty active, too. People walk and bike all over. They don’t even have cross-lights in many areas… they just trust the drivers to let them go, and the drivers do. I was taken aback when I got there and didn’t even know I was supposed to stop. Oh well… I quickly learned.What else… ahhh, I signed up for Greenpeace while I was there. Really awesome organization that donates $.90 out of every $1 to the cause.
When I went to Montana, I was planning on just sleeping and leaving. I ended up meeting a guy at my hotel though who told me about this special area inside Yellowstone that I absolutely had to see. It was an hour or so out of the way, but he promised it’d be worth it… and it was.I drove up this goooorgeous cliff (the roads seriously had brick walls next to them so you wouldn’t fall off… it was a SCARY drive), and the views were absolutely spectacular. I’m so glad I met that guy. Yellowstone’s a beautiful place… my 2nd favorite in the country, I think (next to Grand Canyon).
Minnesota was awesome because I got to meet up with Brian McElroy. I stayed at his place for 2 nights and we had a LOT of fun!I got to meet his mom, first of all. She’s a great lady… I didn’t think she was going to like me (she told Brian I was a “bad influence” because I like to travel all the time :)), but we got along great.The first night I got there, Brian and I went to a movie… inside… THE MALL OF AMERICA!! Yes, that’s right… I got to go. Haha… I’m a little less of a shopper than I used to be, but it was still really neat to see the roller coaster inside!
The next day we went to the Minnesota State Fair. DUDE. Brian said it would be an eye opening experience and he wasn’t kidding. When you first go in, they have tons of just-born animals inside the Miracle Of Life Exhibit. We saw one birth happen in real-time. It was awesome!
(Side note: I refuse to ever count up how many times I use the word “awesome” in anything I write… I think I’d be red-faced.)
We also went on a ride that looked like a death trap (went up suuuper high, flipped you upside down, went ridiculously fast, etc.) to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. Haha… it worked.
I think my favorite part of the fair was all the crazy food they had. Chocolate covered bacon, teriyaki ostrich on a stick, fried fruit, overflowing buckets of cookies… the ingenuity was definitely there.(Can’t say I tried any of that stuff, though… was going to try the bacon but they gave you SO MUCH… I wasn’t hungry enough, especially after trying out cheese curds, walleye on a stick, Australian potatoes…)
All in all, it was a great time. It’s always a lot of fun to see Brian.
I stopped in Cleveland to see one of my high school best friends, Laura. She’s seriously the funniest person I’ve ever met and had me in tears pretty quickly.
We recounted all kinds of stories from when we were in high school… including the times we thought it’d be funny to leave watermelons on people’s cars… throw tomatoes at an ex boyfriend’s house… the time we got pulled over from a policeman who was only trying to get my phone number… geez, that stuff seems like so long ago. Glad I’ve progressed past the tomatoes. ;)
I’m back in Philly now, until late September. My childhood best friend is getting married on September 26 (day after my birthday!) and I’m going to be in the wedding.
Philly has been great so far… I always love to see my mom and family… and I’ll see my friends soon.Come late September I’m going to head out to Barcelona (well, probably October 1st), hang out in Europe for 3 months, and then move to Australia for the New Year….Guess that’s it for now, will post more soon. :)
EDIT: I forgot a really cool part – I’ve now been to 47 states (missing Alaska, Hawaii, and Kentucky)! I’ll get ’em soon. :)