Summer Adventures

I’m alive during summer. Sure, there’s still days where I’d rather prefer staying in the cool AC rather than getting swamp ass just walking out to my car to go somewhere. Let’s not even speak of the amount of sweat generated when I ride my bike. Anyways, I still get that childlike nostalgia in the summer and thus summer becomes sort of like a vacation on nights and weekends.

Summer and fall are times I try to get away most. This summer brought a wedding of a dear friend from college in the Pacific Northwest. My close friends from school are not your average college friends. First off, they live all over the fucking globe, which is amazing that we have a close network where we all love to travel and visit each other at any opportune moment but that situation also blows because of the same distance. We make the best out of it though and stay in touch via WhatsApp, Facebook group chat, Skype, carrier pigeons, smoke signals and other various modes of communication. Secondly, these ladies are some of the cream of the crop, intellectually and globally/culturally aware speaking, and just really self-motivated individuals you want to surround yourself with. Not to mention, my ride or die bitches. (Yes, we’ve been in bar altercations together before.) To say I was excited about the reunion (and debauchery to ensue) was an understatement.

My plan for travel was St. Louis to Denver, Denver to Seattle, Seattle to Olympia, Olympia to Seattle, Seattle to Portland and Portland to St. Louis. Friends came from South Africa and Indonesia to meet in the Lou to travel by car to Denver.

In Denver we picked up another one of our party, explored for a bit (meaning I went to a dispensary at the first opportunity), indulged in local cuisine, prepped for a bachelorette party and then set out for Seattle. Denver was lovely, the short amount of time I was there, and can’t wait to get back to explore some more.

We landed in Seattle, met the bride-to-be and set out for Olympia, where the wedding events were to commence. Our accommodations for the first night there were in cute little beach cottages along Boston Harbor Marina. We settled in and got ready for a very nice dinner, hosted by the bride’s aunt, that involved all the important women in the bride’s life. This was a new and interesting tradition that I had never taken part in. The restaurant was right on the harbor with sea views- really wonderful. Afterwards, we finally got a chance to catch up on each other’s lives and what not over some wine on the harbor, which was such a treat since we all hadn’t been together in two years.

Friday we woke up early to conquer our bachelorette party duties. This gave us a chance to see Olympia somewhat. We had breaky at the bride’s favorite place to do so, New Moon Cafe. From there we went on our bachelorette cruise, complete with mimosas, games and snacks. Jumped into the very, very cold ocean only to see a half eaten, dead shark, which was really reassuring. Nonetheless, the sail boat was just what the doctor ordered- no cell service, good friends and genuine happiness. The party ended and we were off to the rehearsal dinner. So close to the ‘big day’. After the dinner, we went back to our new digs- Ground Inn, where the wedding party was staying. If you’re ever in Olympia, stay at the Ground Inn. So good! The place is the cleanest ‘hostel’ I have ever been in and the host makes the most incredible breakfast. Also, there’s also a super cute baby running about. At Ground Inn, the kids got together for some drinks, smokes and Cards About Matrimony– the equivalent of Cards Against Humanity but geared towards matrimony, of course.

Then, THE day came. We had some downtime during the morning before having to get ready so I took full advantage, getting Stumptown cold brew, doing a bit of vintage shopping/looking, inquiring about tattoos and trying to find some recreational herb. The herb run was unsuccessful since everything in town was medical and I have no medical prescription. Back at Ground Inn, we all got ready. Luckily, my dress came in from ASOS just in time for the wedding and it was killer, but I don’t have to tell you that. You already know. See here.

The wedding was on an intimate beach in Boston Harbor Marina. The ceremony was perfect (this coming from an atheist that doesn’t see a wedding in the future), short and sweet. Afterwards, we played yard games and mingled, giddy with that post-cerimonial feeling.

Sunday came too quickly. While everyone was on their way home, I was on my way to Portland. We stayed in Seattle for a night, which happened to be the last night of Seafair. Our hosts took us to this great Mexican place, Agua Verde, for dinner which is on Portage Bay. There we got to watch all the fancy boats and yachts go through the bay departing from Seafair. After dinner, out hosts took us on a little guided tour to see quintessential Seattle sights- Post Alley, Pike Place Market, Starbucks, Space Needle, Fremont Troll and a great view looking back on the city. A quick but excellent tour of the city.

Monday we took the Bolt Bus to Portland. Bolt Bus is the Mega Bus equivalent in the Pacific Northwest- a cheap, clean way to get around. There we met up with another friend who just so happened to be in Portland after Pickathon. We set out to our accommodations via public transit. After we settled in, we headed for Alberta Street and found a cute little spot, Tin Shed, with a large outdoor patio and choice menu to eat at. The food was really fresh and locally sourced, which is pretty much every eatery in Portland. Then we caught a show down the street at The Know, which was pretty good. There I spotted a sweet X-Files patch and a vending machine where you could get a Van Halen tape for $2 among other odd (but appreciated) goodies.

Tuesday we decided the best way to see the city would be via bicycle. After walking through the enormous Portland Rose Gardens, we walked down to 2nd Street to rent bikes from Cycle Portland. Vintage shops were on my list of things to hit up with various other pit stops along the way. Some stand out places along our ride were Hattie’s Vintage Clothing, Haunt, Red Light Clothing Exchange and See See Motor Co. Lots of good places along Hawthorne Blvd. After riding around all day, we met others at Portland City Grill, which boasts a 30th floor skyline view and choice happy hour prices. After spending the entirety of happy hour at the grill, we headed to Teardrop Lounge for a fancy nightcap and a farewell to Portland.

The next day I got up at the crack of dawn to catch my flight back home. It’s amazing that I’ve been looking forward to the wedding, trip and seeing old pals and now it’s over. Depression has set in. But, that only means I need to plan another trip. We’ve already started planning a get together for my 30th in 3 years to get together again. That trip is going to sort of be a celebration/witch hunt/play on ‘Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego‘, where if you can find, me you can hang. Stoked.

Well, that took me forever to get posted. Until next time x

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Style, Art + Culture

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