One week in already!
Despite a few early teething issues (specifically jetlag, accommodation falling through, and an unnecessarily nasty message from an ex’s sister here) the process of refreshing my memories of this marvelous state is working a treat.
Still in Washington at this stage, I rented a car and then settled into my temporary home in Olympia up near the Capitol Building. Got real lucky with this one and my 3 night Airbnb has now turned into something more long term with a super cool Californian family (zoologist and graphic artist) , their 2 year old son and their houseful of one-eyed and ragged rescue cats (plus Riley the dog).
**More on Amber and her Animal Rescue non-profit to come – living in a cathouse is awesome and Ive never seen such a variety of one eyed rescues in once place 🙂
Slipping back into the familiar territory around Olympia here was a good idea and getting tuned into the weirdness of American life was much easier than I expected.
Day 1 was a tired, confusing tangle of getting shit done, tip calculation and left handed “uh oh” moments, but after a good nights sleep and a few hours walking around, I was back in business.
Day 2 was much better. Rent a car. Get some jerky at the Markets, see the last day of the Olympia Lakefair. Time to explore.
It literally took only 10 minutes for me to adjust to right hand driving again. After the sweaty palms and abject fear of learning to drive here last year it was a welcome change.
So where to start?
Well of course I have to go back out to Union Deli for my usual.
Heading out to Union again to catch up with my friends felt like I’d never left and the last year hadn’t happened. It was like driving into my home town (which was totally weird) and I don’t think that I’ve ever been made to feel so welcome than here (well…apart from the initial hiccup with J’s sister – although it upset my apple cart briefly, the wheels straightened, springs settled and the horse trotted on).
Holly remembered my Americano and honey after a year or more away and the coffee was as good as ever. Bless you, Holly Jean.
Anyway my point here is that I’m here for a few reasons.
Firstly, and foremost Ive fallen deeply in love with the mountains, waters and forests of Western Washington. Something about this place vibrates at the same frequency as I do. I feel at peace here and this place has been calling me back from the moment I left.
I dream about the woods here.
Secondly, there’s a need to overwrite some of the bad memories from last year and replace them with good ones. I kinda got the idea from watching a film – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – a while back. While erasing memories is beyond me at the moment (red wine aside), I thought that an enforced refresh might work – overwriting old with new memories would be just as good. It seems to be working well so far.
…so just calm the heck down, Sarah.
**Maybe don’t read/follow/report on my doings if its going to ‘upset’ certain peeps.
I wasn’t going to mention that but hey it’s my blog so I guess I am, huh. Whomsoever actually reads my social media/blomit now interests me and wtf should people care what I do anyway.
One last passive-aggressive thing: there’s an unfriend/unfollow button there if you don’t want to be friends with me. I get it – it’s cool. Its not you, its me. Global peace etc. The unfriend button is really easy to use and I don’t really mind either way ( well I do actually but for the point of this argument I don’t).
Personally, I love to stay in touch with people and I definitely stay in touch with people I care about.
Like you kind folks. You are awesome.
Feel free to stay friends.
So…just to clarify.
What am I NOT here for?
Chasing ghosts and dwelling on the past. I am here to exorcise them for good and move forward.
As of today, after a week? Same sights, sounds and places, no triggers. No negative reaction whatsoever, so a perfect result as far as I’m concerned.
Mission almost accomplished.
It’s been fun to reconnect with my actual in-person friends here and experiencing this beautiful American summer for the first time is recharging batteries that I didn’t know I had.
So – what else has been happening?
Well exploring Olympia in the sunshine is a treat, but summer nights are a different story all together. For example the Capitol building is simply stunning by night. The views from the Police Memorial over the South Puget Sound in the evenings are breathtaking, taking in the distant Olympic mountains over the water as the sunset purples into clear starry night and the lazy mosquitos fly into every hole you have.
Ive only done some minor shopping so far (staying in the “keep it light and carryon on only” rule) – updated my worn out Merrel barefoot shoes (they lasted over a year but the superglue is failing and the soles are micro thin). Bought a tshirt and some used Levis at a thrift shop. Saw a movie! Got a mall haircut! Had the best coffee I’ve had for ages. Walked a lot.
Basically haunted the streets of Olympia until I can walk them with my eyes closed (not that you’d want to as you have to dodge the tweekers, beggers and other various loonies)
A few days back I headed up around the Peninsula – all forests and ocean and Indian reservations and movie sets and isolated beaches..like Forks and La Push beach…(Forks is a dump but La Push area is beautiful)
Driving around the whole Olypmic Peninsula is always fun…oh and Port Angeles also…
Its not just going over old ground here. Just for a change Im throwing in some new experiences as well.
Slacklining (thanks Guru Shay, rocking the 1″) is going to be my new thing and so far I suck pretty badly but I’m getting there. Bought my 2″ kit from REI and it’s going to come with me everywhere I can take it.
This weekend we drove up into the mountains past North Bend, dug for quartz crystals and amethysts on the side of a deeply wooded mountain, got real dirty crawling under tree roots and digging deep into the earth (the holes in the pic are from peeps digging into the hillside with small shovels and/or garden tools – sometimes the holes go in 12-15 feet)
** here’s where we met friendly weed-smoking crystal hunting John and his blue heeler dog (such a cool dude).
Had lunch at the RR Cafe (Twin Peaks fans will get the significance), and just relaxed and breathed in the fresh clear mountain air.
Whats to come? This week I’m up to Mt Rainier for a bit (i5 traffic pending), then make my way up to Seattle and see the things that I missed last time. Then driving down to Los Angeles to see my sister Martha (hopefully if shes around) and a few friends i met during my travels last year. Then I’m heading off to get Lost…no fixed itinerary – Glacier National Park, Yellowstone next month (maybe), anywhere the road leads me…
Also I want to see a bear, and a cougar, and some goddamned raccoons this time.
C’mon America – how hard can that be?
The adventure continues…
**And also a huge thanks to my Cambodia travel buddy and good friend Shay for bailing me out and putting me up here when my accommodation fell through for a few days.
Shes a talented emerging local potter/ceramicist and artist so I’ll point you to her web store when she gets it up. Buy a lot of her stuff.