Category Archives: Vacation

Diatribes about a vacation of any kind.

Day Two: Seattle, WA to Grants Pass, OR

Click here for Photos from Day 2

Fully refreshed from a good night’s sleep, we were able to take to the road by 945 AM. We gave the iPod another shot after checking out some helpful hints online and figured it out, right away. But that doesn’t mean that it made our plan any easier, but I’ll get to that later.

Heading out of Seattle, Mt. Ranier is visible from the skyline. Truly breath-taking. It’s 14,488 feet high at the point and to put that in perspective Whiteface is 4,000 and Mt. Washington in NH is about 7,000 Ft. I’m not sure of the highest point in N. America, but this has to be up there. One of the Points in the Rockies might be higher, but I don’t think it necessarily has the same impact. When you’re already 5,280 feet above sea level on the ground another 10,000 doesn’t really look _THAT_ high. The perspective from Seattle/Tacoma was unbelievable.

Before departing for our trip, we were told by a number of folks to check out some of the beautiful water falls between Seattle and Portland — so we checked out our map for some of the areas that we might want to check out. We found “Rainbow Falls State Park” on the map, and felt this would be a great adventure. Just about an hour into our trip, we take the detour. Arriving at the park, we have to pay a $5 fee to a non-attended booth in order to “Keep the system working.” Between the two of us, we only have $2.85 in change so we throw it into an envelope and pull up to park. It was at this point that we realized that there was free 15 minute parking. DAMNIT! It gets worse. We go check out the map, and realize we already passed the falls. So we walk back towards the entrance, and look down. Absolutely ridiculous. Check out the photos. TOTAL waste of our time. When it comes to valued purchases, the $2 to get into this friggin park was the most wasted money to date.

We get back on the road after a 45 minute detour to see a few rapids. Total crap, if you ask me. We keep heading down Route 5 until we get to Mount St. Helens. We check out the observcation musuem and read all about the eruption of 1980. What’s interesting is that all around us there are kids and their parents running around the museum. It reminded me of my childhood .. but my parents never brought my to someplace as cool as Mt. St. Helens. I remember a random trip to some crazy Dam in New York, and a sweltering hot old-fashioned train ride. But, I’;m sure there’s cool things I did as a kid — I just can’t think of em right now 🙂

Miss Possible continues driving down to Portland which is when the iPod dies. DAMNIT! We figure we’ll have to get a car adapter in order to keep it charged and continue with the A-Z. We’ll pick one up in Portland.

When we arrive, we hit a random mall downtown. Cute city, that’s for sure, but it’s no Seattle. We explore the mall, miss possible picks up a bath bomb (whatever that is), and I get some lunch/dinner recommendations from the Mall Concierge (they exist?!).

We head to this [supposed] amazing seafood place in Portland called Jake’s Crawfish grill. It’s a portland-based restaurant, similar to that of Legal (except it’s not a chain) and it’s pretty damn fancy. Miss Possible gets a really under-cooked piece of salmon while I get a so-so rockfish thingamabob with cheese on it (ARGH!). Totally a waste of money.. the dinner wasn’t worth the money we spent on it, that’s for sure.

We head over to this place called The Mac Store, and pick up an adapter and hit back on the road. I take the wheel and pull the home stretch to Grants Pass, OR (4 hours in total). The iPod adapter is working great until about 45 minutes from Grants Pass, where the iPod crashes when we try to change stations. WTF?! So.. we didn’t even get into the alpha characters yet. Ugh. Totally annoying. Had to reset it, when I got the hotel.. so it’s ready to go for tomorrow, and with the 8+ hours of driving, I think we’ll make a good dent (assuming we don’t get any more problems).

We’re watching the weather channel right now, talking about the dangerous storms in Southern Cali.. this might ruin our trip down the 101.. But, that’s not until Thursday or Friday, so we’ll have to play it by ear.. but it looks like Napa (tuesday) is gonna be a little wet.

Total Mileage: 462.2 Miles.
Starting Track: “!!!!!!!!” — The Roots
Ending Track: 9 Finger On You — Shudder to Think.

~ LTJ

Day One: Seattle

Click here for photos from Day 1

Despite waking up 15 minutes earlier than we needed to (645 vs. 700 PST), we ended up running late. We missed our shuttle bus back to the Airport by literally 60 seconds, and the hotel was nice enough to pay for a cab back there. The driver, though friendly, criticized the idea of our trip and called it stupid. What does he know?

We pick up our rental car, and upgrade to a mid-size from the recommendation from the great salesperson behind the Alamo counter. She did make a good point that with the hills, and potential bad weather, it would be beneficial to have a V6. Makes sense.

The music theory, however, started out with a bust. The Damn Griffin iTrip doesn’t work.. it can’t pick up a station to save it’s life. While I own a Tape Adapter, the luxury automobile that we have isn’t fitted with one of this ancient technology. We’re forced to try to get it working with the Radio Adapter, but to no avail. WE’ve gotten nowhere on our list, and are very frustrated. Hopefully after we leave this major metropolitan area, we can get some better stations to tune into.

[Continued… ]

We first ate in this great area called Pike’s Market, which is similar to Boston’s Haymarket or Fanueuil Hall, but it’s 10,000 times better. All local vendors, selling great items.. Freshest fruit you’ve ever seen. Much better and organic than anything the Bean has to offer. This area is home to Etta’s (our Brunch Destination) as well as the very first Starbucks. Rumor has it they serve Eggnog Latte’s all year round — we didn’t stop in to see if this was true, however.

We check into the hotel, and head over to the Space Needle, which is just about 2-3 blocks from our temporary abode. Take a trip up the needle, which was built for the World’s Fair in 1960-something. Pretty extraordinary views. I highly recommend checking out the photos in the gallery section of my site. Good stuff!

After the needle, we head over to the EMP (Experience Music Project) which is pretty awesome. It’s basically a museum dedicated to all the Seattle artists (Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana and the Grunge Scene, etc.) and had a special feature on Bob Dylan. It also has a great hands-on aspect, similar to that of the Science Museum, except with instruments. Miss Possible and I came to the conclusion that neither of us have any musical talent what-so-ever.

Tonight we’re headed to a one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the city, which is largely vegetarian. Though we’re tired, this city is definitely a great place. Very organic, friendly, and seems like a really fun place to live. Tomorrow’s agenda has waterfalls, portland and potentially Mt. St. Helens.

I hear there’s rumor of storms in Cali. Hopefully we’ll miss that crap.

~LTJ

Arrival

Seattle

We’ve arrived in lovely Seattle. Touched down at Sea-Tac Airport last night around 9:00 PST. Just enough time to track down our luggage, take the wonderful shuttle from the Airport to the hotel where we’re staying.

I guess when I had selected it, just because it said “Courtyard Airport” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s _that_ close to the airport — as it was just about a 10 minute drive (not to mention the 20 minute wait for the shuttle). But all is well.

Today’s plan is to pick up the car and explore Seattle for the day. Visit a vegetarian restaurant (one of the many), and check out some of the sights that Kurt C. and Jimi H. enjoyed. Including the very first Starbucks — though I doubt either Kurt or Jimi hung out there.

Also, from here on out.. all my postings will be in PST, just to keep up with things…. Have something we should check out along our journey? Post a comment.

!++2++!

I’m OUT!

Ok folks. I’m west-coast bound. Today has flown by (fortunately) and unlike yesterday, it wasn’t nearly as painful of a day here at Le Bureau (Hans and Jacques were acting up again yesterday). So.. Stay tuned for the first update from Seattle …

Peace.
~LTJ