After 24 straight days of working 8 to 15 hours, not taking lunches or breaks, and generally kicking ass, my bosses were like, “Yo–go away.” So after some protesting (“But–but I still have stuff to do!”), I did.
(Side note – I’m at a Denny’s and there’s a young man about my age with a rather grandfatherly moustache happening. I don’t know whether to be awed or concerned. He would be quite handsome with a shorter moustache, or no moustache.)
I disappeared to my favorite vacation spot – anywhere within driving distance of Vancouver, BC – but forgot my passport, so I settled for being in Washington for a week.
Yes, a week.
The picture above is from a lovely little place called Whidbey Island, which is on the other side of Puget Sound from, like, everything. I do mean EVERYTHING. Whidbey Island is densely forested, has exactly zero IHOPs, and houses a considerable number of retirees who prefer boating activities to chasing each other around in golf carts (for the record, retirees in Arizona spend 78% of their time driving golf carts around Sun City; the other 22% is spent wandering arts festivals in Payson).
My lovely not-by-blood brother, Taylor, joined me on this vacation. I think the conversation went something like this:
“Hey. Tay. Wanna go to Seattle?”
“Tell me when to be at the airport.”
Day 1 was spent exploring the aforementioned IHOP-less island (really, wouldn’t be that big of a deal except that I just drove 2 hours to an IHOP that was CLOSED, hence sitting at Denny’s near the ambiguously-aged moustached gentleman). We took many photos, videos, and made quite the family dinner, all while listening to our lord and saviour, Taylor Swift.
Day 2 was spent in the madly-creative urban hub that is Seattle-proper. Taylor and I wandered the city until well-past nightfall, darting in and out of our favorite stores. Some quick, disconnected thoughts about our adventure into the tourist trap that is everything from Westlake to Pike Place:
- Lion Heart Bookstore, you will always be the best bookstore on the planet, even if David was on vacation the same week that I was on vacation
- Shout-out to the marvelous and clever Ethan at Marbles, who now manages my favorite little store at Westlake (and remembered my name and the industry I work for, which is extremely impressive)
- On the Marbles note, if anyone’s talked to Christian lately, Taylor would like a word with him
Day 3 found Taylor and I driving through the Cascade Mountains via Highway 2. Highway 2 happens to be the place that gave birth to my final setting for VHAMA 5 years ago (although, around mid-March 5 years ago there was snow in the Cascade Mountains, not moss and flowers).
Day 4 found Taylor on an airplane back to Arizona and me wandering SeaTac, chatting with former coworkers and trying to see what sort of trouble I could dig up. (To be fair, on the day I flew in, one of the airport agents was like, “Hey, I’m on hold with your department!” and I was like, “Hang up and let me handle it,” and then I handled it. I love my job.) After abandoning Taylor on an Airbus 320, I went back downtown to join yet another former coworker for drinks at Pike Brewing Co. (she recommends the Space Needle IPA and Bison Burger; I stuck with the Pike Pale Ale paired with fish and chips).
Day 5 was spent alone in a half-meditative, half-completely exhausted state. I didn’t go anywhere until after sundown, and if you’ve ever driven through dense and unfamiliar forests after sundown, you know that balls of steel are a must, otherwise there is a good chance you might scream due to rudely frightening shadows. I intended at first to just journey to the opposite tip of the island–instead, I did a massive, 3+ hour loop that ended with me standing alone on the forward passenger deck of a ferry at midnight, beneath the brilliant, beaming full moon.
Overall, the vacation was a success. There were three old acquaintances I hoped to see whose paths I didn’t manage to cross, but that’s just a reason to work another 24 straight days and take the first week of April off, yeah?