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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.

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

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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.

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Today’s lesson in Thu’s travels: Get over yourself.
Get over it and yourself, because people don’t really care. I will take as many pictures of iconic places as I want. I will eat whatever I want. Hey, I might only get one shot at this adventure, and I’m going to follow my gut. SURE, I might get on a train without paying fare. SURE, I might have circled Pike several times and had to Google how to get home down to crossing the street. IT HAPPENS, get over it. It’s a slow process…but I’m getting over it.

Other notes about Pike Place/today’s adventure:

  1. Transportation. Don’t forget to tap your Orca card. Fare Enforcement will take a picture of your ID if you don’t.
  2. Pike Place is as overwhelming as the 1st time you enter Whole Foods on 6th St. in Austin.
  3. If you think something looks good to you, you should just go ahead and eat it.
  4. Pike Place is like NOLA’s French Market…but less alcohol.
  5. RR’s and Sitting. There are restrooms and sitting areas in Pike Place, you just have to find them.
  6. Hydrate. Maybe bring water? Or fuel on coffee, up to you. Don’t get dehydrated.
  7. There is a City Target by Pike Place, don’t freak out if you forgot your toothpaste.
  8. There are homeless people. (I wrote this in my notes, whatever.)
  9. Wear SPF because did you know that there is sun in Seattle?
  10. Bring cash, because there are some CASH only places.
  11. Own your tourist-ism, but don’t get crazy and obnoxious. No one likes that.
  12. Maybe bring your own charger or battery backup. I was that tourist that charged their phone at a random outlet. Whatever, I’m owning my tourist-ism and technology dependency.

thutexas amtrak

Jeep > Train > Bus > Virgin America Plane > Shuttle, twelve hours later- I’m in my new destination.

I took the Amtrak Surfliner to Los Angeles where I concluded that I hate LA. Sure, I was only here for a couple of hours. Sure, it was probably Murphy’s Law that took over. Sure, traffic is just understood in LA but you know what? I was done before it even began. That’s my bit about Los Angeles.

View from my seat

View from my seat

Let’s talk a little bit about my Amtrak ride:

  • Remember to sit on the side of the train where you’ll end up seeing the ocean (on the Surfliner, it’s the left). Also, sit in the front train cars, they’re cooler.
  • Maybe don’t wear a dress if you’re going to wear a backpacking pack as a carry-on. You might moon someone (speaking from experience, whoops).
  • BYOL. Bring Your Own Lunch. You’ll avoid fast food and bellyache later.
  • Thank baby Jesus that Amtrak provides outlets for your phone because you took too many pictures/videos/selfies.
  • Enjoy the view, it goes by pretty quickly.
  • LAX Union Station– do you have any restrooms because I found zero.
  • PRO Tip: LA Fly Away is what you look for if you’re going to the airport directly from LAX Union Station!!
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LAX Union Station

Here are some of my notes about the airport:

  • People do weird shit.
  • Listen while you go through security so you don’t irritate someone (TSA officers) by accident.
  • Wear pants to Seattle…and in general, check the weather.
  • Changing in airports is norm. I did it.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
LAX layover, waiting.

LAX layover, waiting.

I was in transit for 12 hours, woof. At least I’m young, I can sleep when I’m dead. Now, onto my next adventure- dominating public transportation. YIKES. Are you following me on Twitter (@thutexas)? #thugoeswest

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This is my last night, and all day I’ve been hearing, “shut up,” because we don’t like to talk about it.

My time in this little paradise has come to an end. Apparently camp does bring this sense of nostalgia and deep gap/hole you feel that you miss from your heart. How does one do this year in and year out? I’m glad my camp experience is limited to this rounded, perfect place. They have cinni’s here. And the most rad people. “Rad” is something SoCal people have infected me with (thanks y’all).

lajolla_thutexas

Yeah, La Jolla is perfect. We went here today to watch the seals flail around in the “children’s pool.” Those beachy waves whooshing back and forth. If only they took my worries and stress with them. We also went to Mt. Soledad because they very close to each other. It’s an iconic place if you’re involved with/in Invisible Children. Today, I essentially felt like a roadie. Today was my farewell day/dinner. It was the best and it has been the best. As much as I feel compelled to brush my teeth and sit in bed, I am making myself crank out this sappy, mushy post. There are so many words I can say about today and this whole week (have you been reading my blog or following me on Twitter?). It’s just been one of those weeks. Another week for the books. I’m only half way through the year and I feel like my book has been filled with the best. I’m truly, truly blessed. Every day has not been perfect this year, but oh boy, it could be worse. I wouldn’t trade it for anything (but maybe some cinni’s).

Tomorrow, I head off to my next adventure. Tomorrow, I leave such a great group of people. There’s something that’s heart-warming and heart-wrenching: it’s going to be hard to leave this, and isn’t that just something?

Should I list the things I did today via a list? Those are fun (and just lazy blogging).

  1. Church
  2. Home
  3. Lazing and watching Bar Rescue
  4. Hamburgers + Pool Time + Family Time + USA v. Portugal World Cup Time (Meow.)
  5. Home
  6. Run 2.7 miles (while I thought about how on earth I ran 13.1 miles 4 months ago)*
  7. Home

If you didn’t read my post about Sundays a couple of weeks ago, you should. Sundays are really up to your own interpretation, but ultimately it’s a day of rest and spending time with your people.

*Vacation running is hard, y’all. It’s a whole new environment. It’s exciting because it’s new and different. And it can be scary if you’re not properly prepared. Vacation running is also eye-opening because running in said “new environment” gives you perspective on things you routinely do and spins it around a bit. Running for me had been so routine. I woke up, ran to Town Lake, and I would run back. I knew the route, I knew my obstacles (and I knew where all of the water fountains were). It gets pretty passive after a while. Then I come to a new place and everything has to be reconfigured. I have to be more alert and aware. While running, I imagined myself creating a new life here and I’m like, “everything would have to be reconfigured. Hmm, ok.”

Yes, I parallel running with my life (as a whole) a lot because our lives are just a bunch of analogies and parallels. While this thought is kind of a “duh” moment: theorizing about a new life in your home-base is very different when you’re experiencing it firsthand.

Does this mean I don’t ever want to leave Texas? No, anything is up for grabs. I’ve learned this the hard way. But does it give me more perspective than when I would sit at home and think about a life here on the west coast? Yes, absolutely.

EVERYTHING IS ABOUT PERSPECTIVE. Maybe my blog will just be about perspective. Here’s a thing: perspective is in constant flux.

Every time something comes to a close, I do some hard thinking. This is my nature. Camp is all fun and games until you realize, “Wait…it’s almost over.”

 

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So today I’m a tad too winded to post the pictures that I took. I promise that I will go back and add them in. The irony of this statement is that today was free day. What does that mean? It means reading, the World Cup (sorta), sassy breakfast, and falling asleep in the back patio. It also meant going to an antique store to discover and rediscover things like real-wood furniture, old cash registers, and a boar head. Seeing old things remind me and make me ask myself how different life was back when *insert antique here* was created.

Now things change at mostly an instantaneous pace, the patience threshold we once had is shortened. This makes me want to force myself to just stop, take a breath (or 20), embrace, and really think before I let my brain get disrupted by the closest thing to me. We’ll get there when we get there.

I’m by no means good at this patience thing. Being in that transitional generation when the internet was first introduced, I feel like I have understanding between those two worlds (pre- and post-Internet era). At the same time, I’m growing up in this post-Internet era, and it sometimes dominates my once-patience-pre-Internet brain. Why did this blog post end up being about patience and the Internet? Oh yeah, antiques. Antiques and listening to Lord Huron…it makes a girl think deeply.

Happy Summer Solstice and good night.

Camp Damata activity day: beach day!!!!!

thutexas beach

PTH = peak tanning hours.

Survival of the Sickest is what I’m currently reading a la mi hermano. Am I cultured because I used both spanish AND french in that sentence? I’m probably doing it wrong huh? Some of the science goes over my head, but I love it because I’m learning a lot. You guys know I love non-fiction books.

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The infamous Hotel. I hear it’s haunted.

I found my calling.

I found my calling.

Grave-digging, hole-digging, whatever- I found my calling. It’s not advertising or communications (no way), it’s digging. But really, I had too much fun digging a large sand pit. I didn’t do it alone, which makes it even cooler and more camp-like.

There's gold in the sand. Wut.

There’s gold in the sand. WHAT. Yeah.

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Fish tacos at Miguel’s. Oh, and a margarita.

I really enjoyed Miguel’s! It kind of reminds me of Chuy’s, but I’m not in Texas so it’s not Tex-Mex. Tex-Mex is just different (and amazing). They did, however, have queso, which was a pleasant surprise. The fish tacos were grrrreat!
Imagine being 25 minutes away from this. It kind of makes me sun-exhausted thinking about it…but it’s because I’m actually sun exhausted. Y’all, this is the best camp ever. Camp Damata rules so hard.