Monday, November 26, 2007

Hey ho, Kermit dee Frog here...

Ok, so that subject title has little to do with the post, but hey, I felt like using it, okay? And I keep hearing that in my head. :P

I realize there has been a huge gap from the last time I posted. I think this is mainly for a few reasons...

1) I jumped ahead on the timeline of things with my post about meeting Mamarose in Iowa City, IA before we got the previous locations up

2) Chas is the one in charge of the pictures, the gallery, and therefore it seemed rather fitting he make the entries encapsulating our stops here and there

3) Perhaps the saddest reason of computer is seriously dying. We suspect a logic board problem. It began shutting down and not easily restarting, but more importantly, the screen has just stated to fade away. Can't do anything about that now other than to be really nice to Chas and have him let me use his precious computer.

Generally, here is what I thought of the places after Iowa City...

Des Moines, IA--better than expected, but still not all that great. Got a few things at Old Navy. Yay!!

Lincoln, NE--much like Des Moines only not better than expected. Best part was moving westward from there as the fierce winds died down a bit.

Fort Collins, CO--neat little town. The scenery was nice with the Rockies so close. Enjoyed the friends and company greatly. Poudre Canyon was nice, and I still have my little "river rock" in my pocket. Plans and schemes grow. I also got my cool orange boots here.

Jackson (Hole), WY--never figured out the difference between Jackson and Jackson Hole. Very woody and western, and in a cool kinda way. Small town and definitely dead in November. Had snow experiences there (or what I joked about being a bad dandruff problem...heh heh heh!!!) . Yay!!

Boise, ID--definitely a go back to place, in the same way that Fort Collins is. Driving out of Jackson via the Grand Teton Pass left me gripping the door handle of the van for dear life. There was snow on the ground, with salt and getting all muddy, and 10% grades both up and down. Beautiful yes, but scary!! Thank you heavy overloaded van with traction control and Chas for knowing how to handle it!!! We had low expectations of Idaho that were changed as soon as we crossed the Grand Tetons and Boise seemed WAY better than expected. They have a Basque quarter there, odd as it sounds, and it looked like culture and art and other stuff.

Portland, OR--spent time there with Helena mom when she lived in Beaverton, a nearby suburb, in the early 90's I think. Did not get to show Chas things like Multnomah Falls or Crown Point, but we did see a bit of downtown on our brief stay. We were going to try to see The Pittock Mansion but we just did not have the time. Was nice to see the city as an adult. Had beautiful coffee at Stumptown Roasters near the hotel. Yum!! Weather was a little warmer and that was good. Went to a Nordstrom for the first time. Really liked the Pioneer Place Mall. Had first (albeit via fast food) bento box. Was way more food than I could have eaten though. Hope to get back and do more in better weather.

Seattle, WA--best part was seeing loved ones, friends and family, and meeting some new people. Not so fun was walking up to the Capitol Hill district with Jenny. I mean, the walking and talking with her was great...the end result of Value Village at the top was great...but bloody hell, the walk nearly killed me. :P I don't know how steep that street we walked up was, but I was panting and aching and Jenny kept asking if I was ok. I gulped down masses of water, and in 40F weather, at the end of the walking uphill, I was ready to strip bare to cool off. :P City was nice, but we both agree we liked Portland better.

Vancouver, BC--was not there that long but we did get to Granville Island Public Market, took a harbour ferry over to the Science World area hopped on the Skytrain up to the Waterfront, walked around a bit, and I dealt with icy ground for the first time in a while. Some parts you could clearly see were icy, others not so easily. Had a lovely dinner that night too. Met with family friend the next day for lunch at the Vancouver Art Gallery cafe...she saw me last when I was 3. Apparently her husband and my dad were best friends in Montreal. Wished we could have stayed longer to see the Georgia O'Keefe exhibit there but we booked it back to the hotel and then to Tsawassen to get tickets for the 5pm sailing. We got there way early but they have a little quay there wth shops and eats that occupied the 3 hours til we boarded. Trip over to Victoria was pleasant and painless and quite quicker than I remember...perhaps because I walked around a lot.

Victoria, BC--enjoying exploring places and meeting new people. A couple of guys were seated next to us at breakfast at this diner-ish place and commented on the close quarters, but we began talking and it was strangers being friendly and chatting with us newcomers. Also got invited to dinner at this place we looked at renting for a short term, but the landlord(s) decided they did not want the couple to sublet it after all. Anyhow, the couple who were going to sublet to us invited us for dinner...a chicken dish and salad with dessert and...we chatted for about 3 hours!! Got my Social Insurance Number (SIN) this morning in a quick (15 minutes tops, and that includes sitting in the waiting room) and painless fashion. Yay!!! That means I can start looking for work now. Lots to do and think about and learn and so on...the journey continues.