It’s been a while since I posted an update. Part of that is the fact that life has been clipping along at a fast rate, and the other part is that I spent 10 days exploring the Pacific Northwest. I’ve never been to the Northwest, and I really enjoyed my trip. After this trip, I only have 16 states left to visit until I have been to them ALL!!
Seattle was the first stop for the NASPA conference. This is a national conference for Student Affairs professionals and was 7 days of sessions, volunteering and “networking”.
The trip started at 3 a.m. when Shannon and I drove from Waco to Austin to catch an early morning flight. The flight from Austin to Houston was short and uneventful. Then we flew from Houston to Seattle- a 4 hours and 45 minute flight. This flight was far more interesting. I was in the window seat, getting ready for take off and an almost 5 hour nap, when the lady in the middle seat asked to put her head on my shoulder. I was completely taken aback and awkwardly agreed. The oddity of that situation prevented my sleeping for a while and I got excited when she and the guy on the end both were awake at the same time. (This was about an hour and a half into the flight.) I climbed my way over them to go to the bathroom. For some reason, when i was finished, the flight attendants wouldn’t let me go back to my seat. They said there was a spill and I couldn’t go back until it was cleaned up. When I got back to my seat, I discovered the lady in the middle had spilled her in-flight breakfast on my seat. . . Total Cereal. That made the rest of the flight much, much longer.
The conference was spectacular. I spent a few days volunteering at The Placement Exchange, both for the conference and for Baylor. When the conference started, I really enjoyed the sessions that I attended and had a great time visiting with old friends and colleagues.
I also made time to see some of the sights in Seattle. We went to Pikes Place Market along the Puget Sound. This is the home of the Pikes Place Fish Market– a fish stand where the employees have a blast throwing fish around and entertaining their customers. If you’ve ever heard of the FISH! Philosophy, this stand is the inspiration.
Additionally, PIkes Place is home to the first Starbucks. Of course, we made sure to go there. Now, I am not the biggest fan of Starbucks coffee, but they started a movement of which I am a willing participant. The first Starbucks is small and plain. They are currently renovating it, so there are about 4 seats at a window bar. The coffee tasted just like it does at every other Starbucks, but the staff were really friendly!!
One of my life goals is to go to all the World’s Fair sites and visit the buildings that were built for the fairs. I was able to visit the Space Needle while I was there too. We went on a day that was mostly clear so we were able to see the Cascade and Olympic Mountain Ranges as well as the Puget Sound.
Here’s a slide show of my time in Seattle:
After the conference ended, my friend Shannon and I took a train ride to Portland to stay with her mom and sister who live there. We were joined on the train by a couple of our friends who used to work at Baylor. Drew works at Reed College in Portand now, and Matt was going to spend a few days with him. The trip took about three and a half hours and was beautiful ride.
While in Portland we went hiking near Maltnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. It was cold, but absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately most of the path to the top of Maltnomah was covered in ice past the bridge, so we did not get to climb to the top. We explored another set of water falls before driving along the scenic route to take some great pictures. Along the way out to Malnomah, we encountered a flat tire on the interstate. Luckily we had Matt with us, so the stop only added 10 minutes to our time.
While in Portland we went to see “Wicked” the musical which was a blast! One night my friends Laura and Brian met us in Portland for dinner. This was after we visited Powell’s Bookstore in downtown Portland. Powell’s is a four story talk bookstore that takes the entire city block. I could have spent hours in that store, but only got to spend about 45 minutes.
Saturday we went to the Pacific Ocean. This was my first time visiting it. Unfortunately, this was the only day it Portland that it rained. So, we didn’t spend much time at the beach but took a nice scenic drive. We ate at Mo’s, a famous reastuarant on the beach for clam chowder. Next we headed to Tillamook Cheese factory to walk around, eat some cheese and ice cream! It was a fun day of driving around the Oregon Coast and an awesome way to finish out the trip.
Here’s a slide show of our adventures in Portland: