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Hi. Today is America’s birthday and I wore this.

Also, today is day 50. I’m starting the title of this post just like I did for day 1: wait, what?

Because WAIT, WHAT?

Fifty days didn’t really breeze by, but it floated by at a quicker pace. You blink and it all happens.
It = Fifty-days of post grad. Not that this is the end, not that I’m employed, but it’s the end of this challenge. Woof.
(If you want to read all of my posts, I put it all on this page. You’re welcome.)

Tomorrow, I get on a plane and by the evening, I will be home. Or at least, my parent’s house.

What’s next? I have no idea. Society (and my parents) say it’s time to get down to business and find a job. Probs.
How do I feel? Different. Some of the different I feel is unexplainable. Some of the different…I want to blog about later because it’s kind of late. But the travel jitters…I know I won’t get as much sleep as I want.
I also feel very thankful and grateful. My experience has been unlike any other. It would have been completely different had I went with someone, stayed with someone [else], stayed in a hotel, went to the east coast, etc etc etc. I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to go on this trip. I’m pretty brave, I think, to go on this trip by myself. I learned a lot. Every place I visited was unlike each other, even down to the sidewalks (I’m speaking metaphorically).

HUGE, TREMENDOUS THANKS AND FEELS TO:
Mom and Dad & Baby Jesus
Shae, Lamar & Co.
My Aunt/Godmom
Jaime
Kristy and Jeff
My brother and  cousins
Lindy, my virtual West Coast tour guide
Meagan and Bethany
Anh Vinh
Public transit, TSA, the multiple Union Stations, and multiple airports
And the West Coast for being welcoming (I GUESS)
Also, Google Maps
Also also, coffee

But seriously, I owe these people. I would have been homeless, culture-less, and hungry otherwise.

Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life -and travel- leaves marks on you. Most of the time, these marks -on your body or on your heart- are beautiful. Often, they hurt.

Anthony Bourdain really says it best.

Tomorrow #thugoeshome.

 

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Did you know that there are hills in San Francisco? Today I biked some of them.

Now, they weren’t the massive ones you hear about with the 90-degree incline…but they took some work. It really made me miss my bike (mostly bc I could have dodged pedestrians more easily with my bike). It also made me more appreciative of my bike, even though I know the second I come up a hill with Newman, I’ll start screaming profanities.

thugoeswest bike

Instagram (@thutexas)

We rented bikes from Sports Basement (which is a massive store with some pretty cool camping gear).
Biked to the Golden Gate Bridge (there’s a hill on the bike route…more than one actually).
Biked across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Biked a portion of downhill that felt very roller-coaster-esque (it was scary as F).
Biked through Sausalito (that place is beautiful!).
Biked to a sammie shop and ate in the grass.
Biked back (after we took the ferry).
We biked along the with water on one side, wind in the hair, helmets on, and optimism.

That optimism seem to go missing the more we biked. NO ONE TOLD ME WE WERE BIKING THIS MUCH, with the amount of hills. But then again, if I was told…I might have opted out. So no regrets! You only live once or something…
Distance: ~10 miles. Had lunch somewhere in between there. Took a ferry somewhere in between there.

Since the  Palace of Fine Arts was close by, we made a stop. Did you know people take wedding photos here? (Go look at my thumbnail). I would take all of the photos here. It was beautiful and reminded me a lot of Balboa Park in San Diego.

I’m actually exhausted and I don’t know how I’m still typing, it’s shocking really. Tomorrow is day 50. WHAT. Tomorrow is also America’s birthday. Red, white, blue, zzzzzzzzzzz (that’s me sleeping because did I tell you I’m exhausted?) Tomorrow is my last full day here in the Bay and I’m just wiped. Maybe I just need a good sleep.

thugoeswest

She’s finally taller than me!

So I arrived in Oakland//San Fran// Hayward//Bay-area last night at around 11:30PM-ish?
I waved to the wrong car, it’s totally cool.

Today was TOURIST DAY. Lots of walking, lots of talking. Lunching, catching up, and introducing.

kristy thugoeswest

Haven’t seen this girl in 1yr? or more?! Crazy how we’ve kept in touch.

Today was the transitional day. You know, when you get oriented with where you are, who you’re with, what you’re doing. I think I’m still orienting myself. I didn’t have to do much in terms of “figuring it out,” so I’m still a bit of a lost puppy. Tomorrow will sort of be the same way, I didn’t realize how many people I actually know who are in this area/coming to this area. It also didn’t come to my attention [until now] that I don’t have much time here either. Time is slut, and on a slightly lighter note, you’re not guaranteed tomorrow…so you know, make the best etc etc etc.

galette 88 thugoeswest

Galette 88. Isn’t that welcoming? I love it.

OH, I have some notes. Let me get my notes *runs to get notes across the room*

  1. We ate lunch at Galette 88. It’s in an alley, but it’s hella nice. They serve crepes.
    PS: There’s woodgrain, white walls, and a chalkboard menu. I felt VERY LOCAL.
  2. I waved to A LOT of Segway Tour people…they didn’t wave back to me.
  3. People queue to get on the BART when it’s time to go home. Civil, much?
  4. I love [good] public transportation. I only hope that one day, Austin will be like that. Dream big.
  5. On the note of public transportation: what would people do without phones? Everyone was glued. I took notes on those people so….
  6. I saw Alcatraz [from afar] today. Also, Fisherman’s Wharf. Also, Boudin. Also, the whole waterfront. Also, the Explorium (Note to self: go there next time). Also, Pier 39. Also, lots of things. Do you get the picture?

Feeling #blessed, and well regular blessed because yeah, I’m very, very lucky. Shit.

P.S. How do y’all like my hair? I want to grow it out, but also short hair is cool. Should it be shorter? I don’t know, travel changes you.

Today was another travel day, another day in movement, in transit. I rode the train, the rail, the bus, and the car. The Wi-Fi didn’t work in the train, the rail stopped working right before my stop, and sometimes I feel like barfing in the car. It’s totally fine. I’m young, I’ll bounce back after a good night sleep. Fingers crossed, because I had a restless night and I am not about that life…I have to get on a plane tomorrow.

Am I crazy for all of this traveling? Maybe. I definitely didn’t know what I got myself into when I bought [what feels like] a zillion plane and train tickets. And I thought it would get better, but it feels new every time. I guess each ride isn’t necessarily new because I know all of the motions. What I’m trying to say is that it doesn’t make it easier despite the number of experiences. How do people like flying/training/busing/etc? Maybe like most things…maybe it’s a mental thing.

ANYWAY, I really had a splendid time in Portland. I miss it [and Jaime] already. Woof. At the end of this week, I will be back home. Double woof. Bah, erase that. Think about now, think about today, self!

On the train, I listened to Bon Iver (sorry not sorry bc I’m in the PNW and the forests and trees). Bon Iver wrote a new song for Zach Braff’s upcoming film, have you heard it? It’s called “Heavenly Father.” I think I love it.

Today’s light-bulb thought: HOLY SHIT, that’s a mountain. It’s a snow-capped mountain. Just look:

mountain thutexas

My friend told me it’s a volcano? I don’t know, I’m too lazy to look at my text messages. She knows about rocks and things.

Last Notes About Amtrak Cascades:

  • There are water stations down at the Bistro.
  • Sometimes Wi-Fi doesn’t work.
  • Don’t forget to look out the window, there are lakes and mountains and trees.
  • As the cars clear out, you can probably sneak in and have a row to yourself for sleep.
  • They recycle on Amtrak Cascades!

I’m tired and I napped twice on the train. The act of travel really sucks up your energy. I understand why people say travel while you’re young, but I see tons of old people traveling! Please, tell me your secrets.

P.S. I wish they had travel punch cards. Today was train #4.

Reminders of home were found in Whole Foods @ South Lake Union today. I found Shiner Ruby Redbird and Chameleon Cold Brew. Again, home.

bike cops

Then, I found bicycle cops and a “Westlake Center.” I thought to myself, “We have bicycle cops and we also the Westlake area.” Everything reminded me of home today (there are construction cranes in Seattle, just like ATX!), even the stupid vanilla macaroons. They reminded me of Central Market, my mecca, my favorite place.

Sorry you guys, I actually took a lot of pictures, but I’m too lazy to upload. I know, what a blog faux pas (okay, I tried a little), follow my Instagram for other real-time pics(@thutexas).

P.S. DID YOU KNOW THAT IT RAINS IN SEATTLE? I’m not a noob you guys, I know this place is Rain City. My Marmot rain jacket saved me today.

Pike Sketching Class

Pike Sketching Class. I laughed to myself when I took this picture, as if I won a battle or something..

P.P.S. Did you know everyone goes to Pike on a Saturday afternoon? I was so claustrophobic, I had to get out ASAP- and I headed back to StoryVille Coffee to hide from the masses. On that note, I found a mass of sketch artists. It was a class of people, I took a picture of them, naturally. Serves you right for trying to sketch me while I’m in my natural habitat. And speaking of natural habitat, today the barista thought I worked at the Pike Place Market. Does that deserve a small, celebratory dance party? I didn’t look touristy, huzzah!

P.P.P.S. (Last one, I swear!): Wandering around waiting for church to start, I found a bicycle path. I think I have a sixth sense about all things bicycles.

Random Seattle Bike Path

Random Seattle Bike Path

Tomorrow, I travel some more. Where? STAY TUNED &  FIND OUT TOMORROW.

Today I felt the first pelts of rain that Seattle is known for…meh. I didn’t get to use my rain jacket as much as I thought I would…but I’ve still got a few more days here so *knock on wood* that I don’t get torrentially down-poured on. It was all cloudy (as seen on my thumbnail)…and then as I railed back, I saw blue skies like this:

seattle blue skies

Because I’ve been touring around, today was kind of a rest day for me. With that said, it was still a 30-minute commute to get lunch. I really wanted to eat some Banh Mi Thit Nuong, so after my search, I decided that I would go to Tammy’s Bakery (off the Othello stop via the SoundTransit…or whatever it’s called). It’s delicious and that place is like a Vietnamese food mecca. Perhaps it was because I’ve been craving Vietnamese food, whatever it was, I wanted to impulsively buy everything.

othello seattle

When I reached this place, as per my Instagram, I felt like I found my people. There was fresh baked Vietnamese-French bread, Cafe Sua Da, Che, and other baked assortments that made my mouth water. After containing myself and buying what I came for, I commuted another 30 minutes, back to the hotel, my temporary home. I admire my aunt, she’s been here on and off for a month-ish. Even if it’s temporary, how do you heal from homesickness? Traveling, transit- it’s makes me restless. There are so many things out of my control, so many things I have to adapt to. I get “comfort-freaks” now. I understand how they reserve  and stay where they feel most comfortable.

These themes, motifs: transit, introspection, control (or lack of), and comfort- they keep coming up in my trip. Sorry if it’s repetitive, but it’s going to happen a whole lot more, I have a lot of time. Tomorrow is another day for these motifs to challenge me, change me, shift my perspective. My only hope is that when I go home, I take these lessons with me…and grow.

This day started off unlike any other: I became friends with four soccer moms from Wisconsin. I guess football/soccer really does bring people together. As we cheered for the USA, Pam, Jan, Becky, and Karen chit chatted about things such as: the word “turnt,” Urban Dictionary, and a bit about me. Also, it should be noted Tito’s Vodka research group- moms like Tito’s. You heard it here first.

After stuffing myself with yet another continental breakfast (it’s pretty damn good btw), I moseyed upstairs to think about where I wanted to go today. All pointed to –> Pioneer Square. Historic, chocolate, Smith Tower. Also…a lot of cyclists were down there.

SmithCollage.jpg

View from the Smith Tower and the China Room (or something)

PioneerSq.jpg

From Upper Left and Clockwise: Way to Intrigue Chocolate, Caffe Umbria, Grand Central Bakery (?), and London Place

I went to my first chocolate/truffle tasting today. Because Seattle is concentrated (maybe), some stores are between other stores. I’m not very good at explaining it, but I had to use some logic and observation to find some places. There are Starbucks on every corner, it’s saturated with Starbucks…as Whataburger is in Texas I guess.

Something that I’ve realized and utilized a lot is Spotify/iTunes. Going back and forth on the rail, there’s a lot of time being passed, and music helps pass that time (sort of). I listen to my ‘Offline’ tunes and the select tunes I have in my ‘Music’ folder. Public transit is amazing, but the commute of 2 hours (this is for there and back)…it’s kind of exhausting. It’s so out of my control and I just have to let it happen. I’m a Type-A, plan-y person if you couldn’t tell. This trip has definitely put me out of my comfort zone. Way, way out of my comfort zone. Can I go back to Santee? They have a comfy couch there. (Something about growth and post-grad trips and reflection.)

Here’s a random note: I totally witnessed a dad getting his stash of Miller Lite beers from behind the hotel couch. This group proceeded to have a drinking party in the lobby, and it was totally okay. They were all soccer moms and dads. That’s food for thought, no? I sat there for a good 8 minutes trying to process what had happened. Another dad took his bag of cherries out of the hotel urn.

Other short notes: I hate the treadmill. I’ve been over-caffeinating myself, I’ve had like 4 cups of coffee today. Sometimes coffee people are snobby (Caffe Umbria), but sometimes they can be nice (Storyville Coffee)! Just more food for thought.