Friday Five – the Pacific Northwest Edition

My travels have been epic this month! So epic, in fact, that I haven’t had enough time to sit down and handle email, let alone blog.

Today, that changes. Today, I update you on my life and travels. With pictures. 🙂

1. At the end of February, I left Healdsburg and drove north to Eureka in Northern California. Why Eureka? a) it has an awesome name. (That was seriously and non-ironically a contributing factor.) b) Redwoods. There are parks with redwoods both north and south of the town, and I’ve wanted to see some redwoods since I was a kid.

And beaches!! You drive north, the highway curves, and suddenly the whole Pacific Oceans is spread out glittering below you. And you can stop and check out the pocket beaches like this.

2. Then, I drove north to Portland on March 2 on a wet and rainy night. I held out less than 24 hours before I drove downtown to visit Powell’s and the main library. I doubt that surprises anyone.

This is the library. By sheer chance, I parked right across the street from it.

I also took advantage of a gloriously sunny Sunday and went to Washington Park.

3. A week later, my friend Arielle and her boyfriend Zack came out to visit me and see Portland.

She is the epic planner of all things vacation, and thus began the food tourism. It was too delicious for us to remember to take pictures, but I managed this one before I gobbled the rest of it down:

SO tasty. Totally worth the long line.

Wine tourism at Oregon Wines on Broadway.
I was the designated driver.

Arielle also wanted to go to the Grotto, which was extremely cool, but slightly creepy on a gloomy, rainy day. I cite this photo as evidence:

This is the elevator, btw.

But it was also very pretty.

We also left Portland and saw some cool stuff:

The Oregon wine country!

Multnomah Falls!

NOTE: Visiting the Pacific Northwest has taught me to recognize 50+ shades of GREEN.

Then they went home. I had an extra day between dropping Arielle off at the airport and my Seattle plans.

4. On Wednesday, I drove north again. (Basically, the last couple weeks have been a springtime migration North, like a bird.) It was a rainy day all the way from Portland to Seattle – giant trucks throwing up spray on my tiny MINI Cooper, like someone throwing buckets of water on my windshield. Honestly, it was some of the hardest driving I’ve done on this trip. And you know what? I can’t imagine how the settlers did it!! When my car slid a bit, my thought was this: how did people do this with a covered wagon??

But now I’m here, staying with my friend Maria. We worked together in New York, and then she came out to Seattle to work for Amazon. Her apartment is full of books – four bookcases and stacked up on the edges of the spare room. Obviously, she’s my kind of girl.

This is what Seattle looked like at dinner this evening.

5. Despite my multiple visits to Powell’s, I’ve only gotten a chance to finish one book this past week:

I read a lot of Katherine Applegate’s Animorphs series as a kid, but I usually don’t like books with animal characters. I actively avoid them, to be honest. But I heard too many glowing reviews about The One and Only Ivan, and I had to pick it up.

It was SO good! I inhaled it in one day. It’s one of those books that breaks most of the rules about plot and pacing, but it sears itself into your heart. I definitely, DEFINITELY recommend it!


  1. F.T. Bradley: March 17, 2012
  2. Shelby Bach March 18, 2012
  3. F.T. Bradley: March 18, 2012
  4. Shelby Bach March 20, 2012