Lessons I learned while visiting the Pacific Northwest

Relaxing time away – on overdrive. That’s the only way I can describe traveling with my former college roommate, Shaye, and her sister, Marrianne.

Except for the destination, our trips rarely have a plan or involve much sleep. Yet we always manage to see some astoundingly beautiful parts of the country. We somehow manage to get the fantastic photos and have the most amazingly fun-filled time. And we laugh. A lot.

This year’s destination – the Pacific Northwest. Here is a list of a few things I learned while visiting.

  1. Do NOT let the airline ship your bag to Fort Lauderdale. But in the event that this does happen AND your flight is 90 minutes late, laugh. Laughter makes everything better. After all you can’t let the absence of a few articles of clothing ruin your whole trip.
  2. When making a 2 a.m. “lost luggage” run to Wal-Mart, do NOT automatically trust Siri. She may just take you for an unexpected tour of Vancouver, Washington.
  3. The road construction guy waving you through at 2 a.m. MAY actually just want you to pull forward to tell you the road is closed. Because the large orange sign that says “ROAD CLOSED” was absolutely no indication of that.
  4. Be prepared for your passenger to pipe up and ask the road construction guy how to get to Wal-Mart. At 2 a.m. On a dark, abandoned road. That’s obviously closed.
  5. You can absolutely never have enough pictures from your trip to Multnomah Falls. And no matter what angle you take or what season you go, it will be magnificently, mind-blowingly astounding.
  6. When one of you is a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright and you go in search of the houses he designed, you should probably take long, wooded driveways as a sign that the owner is not interested in having you photograph his home.
  7. If you’re afraid of heights, the top of the Space Needle is probably not your favorite place to be. And the elevator ride up that looks out over the city – well, you may just want to turn around and face away from the window.
  8. Don’t go to The Crab Pot on a full stomach. Or even if you’re just sorta hungry. Holy Crab Pot! That’s a lot of food!
  9. When traveling on a Seattle bus, understand two things –
    1. They will drive on the train tracks to avoid traffic. Evidently this is a controlled situation and perfectly safe. But when you’re a visitor and they do it for the first time, it freaks you out for a moment.
    2. If you sit at the jointed part of a bus, you may be within inches or feet of your neighbor at any given time, depending on turns and such. Again, controlled and quite safe, but when you’re a visitor carrying on a conversation with someone in that seat and it happens…a little weird.
  10. Plan more time to go back and do it all again because that was some kind of fun!


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