West Coast = Best Coast

Travel is awesome.

Travel is wearying.

It’s not that it is tiring.  If you are tired, you just take a rest and then you wake up refreshed.  Or have a giant sugar-bomb ice-cream caramel-drenched tub of sugary evil and tear around like a speed-addled mongoose.

Wearying is more of a sense of some unidentified source of drag.  Friction.  Weight that slows you down mentally or emotionally.  Sometimes physically.

So it was that, as I galloped around all the awesome places (Arctic!  London!  Amsterdam!  Edinburgh!) this vague sense grew.  I looked at my backpack of the same two pairs of jeans, seven t-shirts, and assorted socks with a little less excitement each day.

At the same time, the inevitable happened: I missed my roots. I missed my people.  I missed my city.  I missed being in a place where I know all the rules, where everything just comes naturally.  So the timing of a wedding back home came as a great excuse to head back and breathe for a moment before resuming my travels.

Now, most people think “Seattle” and picture something like this: seattle-rain

However, Seattle in summer is often the Best Place in the World.

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picture courtesy http://www.journeysinlightphotoblog.net

For example, I cruised wherever I needed to get to on my bike, often riding along the river path between Seattle and the Eastside which reminded me that biking here is fantastic when the weather is right.

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Amsterwhatnow?

And hanging out at the Elder Wanker’s house in Sammamish has wildlife viewing just by hanging out on the deck (guest appearance by Nephew “Mr. T”).

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Hey humans, this isn’t Ted Nugent’s house is it? Great, we’ll just hang out and munch on grass for 1/2 hour then.

In addition, there were many places to reconnect with friends and imbibe in a few choice favorites.

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My drink of choice in the bar I learned to love it. Roots, baby.

There were, however, a few times that I was reminded about the less-than-attractive aspects of the area.

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Traffic. Rain. Right, I remember these things.

However, I had a bachelor party and a wedding to attend, both of which were in Portland.

First: the bachelor party.  Now, the groom is notorious for massive parties.  He once hosted a party in his back yard with Storm Large and her band, along with fire dancers and dominatrices who went around whipping guests.  This man is whom Vegas was made for.

So for his bachelor party, you can be assured it would likely be a re-enactment of The Hangover, and we would inevitably have to deal with embarrassing and potentially illegal issues throughout.

Imagine the collective shock when he announced his party would be… camping.

Yep, just a bunch of guys out camping in Oregon. Chalk this up to us all maturing.  We are in our 40’s after all.  Turns out it was awesome.

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Doesn’t do it justice, but from a moving car with a phone, it’s the best I got.

I took no other pictures of the bachelor party, but suffice to say that apologies were needed for the families camping near us, and the campground hosts had to come by twice to get the fourteen guys bellowing around one camp fire at night to just go to sleep.  All-in-all, a fine time.

Now for the wedding, being held just south of Portland in wine country, we had some time before the big day to wander around Portland. I’ve written before about the getting around Portland, but if you really want to get a sense of the unending stream of non-conventional fabulousness that is Portland, hit up http://audreality.wordpress.com.  For example:

Beer Mile

Naked Bike Ride

I didn’t have time for the kind of hijinks expressed in that blog, so I’ll just provide a few more notes to give you a more of sense of what this place is like. First off: weather is similar to Seattle (though Elder Wanker, AKA “Weapon of Mass Consumption” AKA “Disaster”) would argue that it is just like Seattle except better. Five degrees warmer on summer days, better storm systems, etc.

Whatever. Portland Travel Bureau imbedded a chip in the back of his head that forces him to find all ways that Portland can be seen as superior, so his opinion can’t be trusted. Photo evidence of footwear chosen by Fruit Cup, EW and myself is documented proof that the weather in Portland can’t be trusted:

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It’s Portland, place your bet for footwear. You will be right for at least 20 minutes of the day.

However, the show Portlandia is, in fact, a documentary. The strange things that go on in the show are pretty much what happens here. Some examples while walking around the neighborhood:

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A lending library. One of many on random street corners. Because Portland.
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Lending library? Pshaw! We are collecting and lending creativity.
And we’ve crocheted a cozy for our post.
BECAUSE PORTLAND.

For the trip down to the wedding, we were able to fit the entire Wanker clan into the van, and given the traffic-laden aspect of the freeway, the nephews (Mr. T and Auzzie) busied themselves with digital entertainment of which they are usually strictly rationed. It was interesting to discover that they have a shared pose when enjoying such things:

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Da boys. Watching movies on separate but equal Surfaces is best enjoyed with arms akimbo.

The wedding was held south of Portland in the beautiful wine country. Weather was perfect (as August in the Pacific North West is known for). The groom organized everything himself, yet when it was time for him to organize himself (eg: get dressed) he was missing some things. Like a hair dryer. Being a resourceful chap, he was not one to let that stand in his way even though he was needed downstairs in minutes. The dehumidifier would have to do.

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The dude abides, but the groom improvises.
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Oh, you’re gonna take my picture? Well, two can play that game.

The whole affair went off perfectly and in picture-postcard fashion.

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Oregon wine country. In August. Be jealous.

Reception and after-party went into the night, with one of the last standing being the groom’s son. Once let loose on the turntables, he experimented and created some new custom mixes that I think we’ll have to describe as nu-electro-house-hop.

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The future of music is happening right here.

All in all an excellent trip. I got to visit with friends. Also, resolve any lingering issues with bills, my ATM woes, and mail that had been collecting for six months.  Now I feel connected again and ready for my next destinations.

Dublin.

Croatia.

Prague.

Like I said: travel is awesome.  More from Europe soon.

8 thoughts on “West Coast = Best Coast

  1. Welcome back To the Emerald City Dorothy even if but a pit stop to refresh your weary self.

    “Or have a giant sugar-bomb ice-cream caramel-drenched tub of sugary evil and tear around like a speed-addled mongoose.” Ha! Apparently I have been dealing with tired all wrong.

    Looks like you added a few destinations. I have a theory you can test while in Dublin. I believe they keep the real Guinness, the good stuff there and import the dregs. Must like Germans and Jäger. But you’ll have to get a pint or two to test my hypothesis.

  2. I’m sure you’ll be checkin on the Angel’s Share whilst in Ireland. 🙂
    We actually have the mini libraries in Seattle too–and clearly, you missed the extensive yarn bombing whilst you were away…looking forward to hearing more of your continued adventures!

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