A Travellerspoint blog

1 day, 29 minutes

sunny 96 °F

We'll be in the air (hopefully!) in 1 day and 29 minutes...I'm definitely getting excited! Today was the day of packing. It was my first chance to really try out my packing cubes, and they are quite awesome, if I may say. I was able to get everything compartmentalized into the cubes, so now all I need to do is just pull out the cube and put it back without messing up the whole bag. Excellent invention, my dear eBags.

Packing is also quite the psychological study for humans. I wonder if anyone's ever done a study. I've discovered a few things about myself. First, I tend to be a procrastinator. I dragged the bag out just last night, and I finally finished the laundry this morning, so I really didn't try to get on it too early. I have also discovered that I'm a travel-size item hoarder. I don't know if it's hoarding or forgetfulness, but I need to clean out the hoard when I get home and really learn to streamline that process. I am sure I spent unnecessary amounts of money on cute little deodorants and toothpastes when I likely didn't need to.

I also tend to be a little scattered when I actually do start to pack. Though I have the greatest of intentions in packing one item at a time (this was easy with the undies and socks), I discovered that I didn't want to waste time going back and forth between the bedroom and dining room (aka ground zero) because I was packing one item at a time. That being said, I carried out the pants, shirts, and fleece out at the same time and then sorted. I reserved the shoe choice for last, and I'm still not completely convinced that I've packed the shoes I want, but I'm almost convinced. That's probably its own psychological study, but that's for another time and place.

Ultimately, my bag is packed and about 38 pounds...plenty of room for souvenirs! Tomorrow I'll be heading to yoga for a last-minute relaxation/workout, and then we'll be on the road to LAX. I'm hoping I'll be able to update on Wednesday, but it may be a short one.

Posted by S_J_Peterson 17:06 Archived in USA Tagged packing Comments (1)

A Weekend Getaway

Seattle, WA: 3-6 June 2011

sunny 70 °F

My first trip to Seattle was earlier this month, and I had a great time. I should consider myself lucky since I had a built-in tour guide who has lived in Fremont for about 7 years, but it was truly a great experience...one full of sunshine, good weather, and laughs.

I decided to go for a weekend because I'd never been before, and my friend always told me Seattle was a place both my husband and I would love--ocean, lakes, rivers, mountains, fishing, hiking, and good food. She definitely was right, and I only wish my husband could have gone. He truly would feel at home in the Washington mountains.

I arrived on Friday afternoon to beautiful sunshine at Sea-Tac, and the sunshine never wavered until I left the tarmac on Monday morning. The afternoon lent itself well to a leisurely (though crowded!) stroll around the Pike Place market. The cruise ships were docked and leaving at 4 that afternoon, so many people were on shore before their departures to Alaska. The hustle and bustle was energizing, though, and the delicious piroshki next to the original Starbucks hit the spot after my morning flights to Seattle. We also delighted in a couple of drinks at a "hidden" french bistro overlooking the sound. The weather was perfect for sipping drinks on the upper deck, and my Washington friend got to work on her tan to catch up with my California sun-kissed skin. After drinks, we met up with some other friends at a brewery downtown, had beer and appetizers before heading back to Fremont to get ready for mexican food at a great little restaurant in the Green Lake area. The best time of the evening was sitting with my friend and laughing about high school memories from more than 10 years ago...I think neither of us truly realized we have been gone that long.

Saturday opened up again to another beautiful, sunny day, and we took this opportunity to drive inland a bit and visit Snoqualmie Falls after noshing on TopPot doughnuts and picking up our registration materials for the Race for the Cure on Sunday. Despite her residency in Seattle, my friend had never been, so we thought it would be something different and fun to do. As a native Californian, I love the outdoors and only put up with California because of all it has to offer--beaches, city, mountains, waterfalls, hiking, biking, boating. Washington was no exception to this, and though Snoqualmie isn't as tall as some of the falls I've hiked (primarily Yosemite, Vernal, and Nevada Falls in the Yosemite Valley), it was lush, green, and full. Its beauty was calming and soothing, and the italian soda served at the visitor center definitely hit the spot! After this, we meandered into Woodinville and did some wine tasting at a couple of wineries. Again, despite living in California, I've never "officially" wine tasted--I've always been the DD--so this was an excellent chance to taste some Washington wine. We delighted in the wine and wood-fired pizza at Januik and also made a stop at Chateau St. Michele before making our way back in to the city to get ready for a barbeque with friends. The barbeque was one of the highlights. Though it wasn't some place fancy or Fodor's-recommended, it was fun, friendly, and real. The food was excellent, the growlers were flowing, and the weather held out for excellent conversation--what real Seattle is like, I suspect. We didn't stay too late because we were in the Race for the Cure the next day, but we had a great time nonetheless.

Sunday, my last full day in Seattle, was mostly focused on the Race for the Cure. One of the biggest races in America, the Race started at the Seattle Center under the Space Needle and worked its way downtown and back for a great little 5K. We chose to walk (especially with my knee the way it is), and again, the weather was perfect for the race. Over 15,000 people joined us in the race, and it started the day with great energy. After the Race, we took the time to explore Ballard, a smaller town just to the north of Fremont. They had a great farmer's market set up, and we walked along and took in the sights before having lunch at a great bar and grill. Once lunch was done, we decided to snack on a cupcake (Caramel with sea salt--delicious!), make our way to the U-Village for pedicures and a little shopping. We topped the day off with dinner at Ray's Cafe in Ballard and italian gelato before making our way back to Fremont for wine around the Real Housewives of Orange County finale.

Despite my early departure on Monday morning, I had a delightful time in Seattle, experiencing a few things off the beaten path. I can't wait to go back again soon and explore a little more. Now, however, I need to get ready for my trip across the pond...19 days and counting!

Posted by S_J_Peterson 11:20 Archived in USA Tagged seattle washington barbeque wine_tasting race_for_the_cure snoqualmie_falls Comments (0)

A few photos..

I've just uploaded a few of my favorite photos from last summer's London and Paris trip. I'll try to upload a few more as the days get closer to my next trip. 52 days until we depart for England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales! Can't wait...

I guess I should also include that I have been a bit deficient in commenting on my "small" trips. Yet again, I forget to take the time to comment as the school year draws to an end I must administer my finals, clean up for next year, and start redesigning curriculum. Soon, I'll transcribe the old journal into this blog, but that may be after school is out.

Posted by S_J_Peterson 15:25 Comments (0)

The Long and Winding Road...

I suppose I should have started this about a year ago when I was still a virgin world-traveler and had never been anywhere other than the few states in the US, but life often seems to get in the way. What with work, forensics, and the general need to take care of my animals and my husband, the time to blog about my first adventure across the Atlantic slipped away.

I did write about my nine-day trip to London and Paris last summer in the old-fashioned way, and the gentle strokes of pen to paper did quite a bit to soothe my traveler's nerves on the flight home from Paris last July. At some point, I will transcribe them into the blog so I may relive the enjoyment and wonder I felt at my first trip to Europe.

My goal now is to blog about each adventure, grand and small, that I take. I think if I were to recount the adventures I've taken thus far, I'd have enough to fill a book, but I'm not sure if it would be that interesting considering I'd miss all the small details--the old couple singing and playing the violin on the streets of Montmartre underneath the shadow of the Sacre Coeur may accidentally be relegated to the majesty of the Notre Dame. My hope with this blog is that I will be able to capture the moments of my traveling life from today on, and I hope that each of you who read it will experience the same joy that traveling has brought me throughout my life.

Though I may not live in the most beautiful of places, I have the luxury of being able to travel to those places almost on a whim. Being two hours from the big city, California's central coast, the harsh beauty of the Sierras, and an airport make my home base an excellent place to start my adventures.

Last year it was London and Paris; this summer it will be the British Isles. I am so looking forward to spending more time in the beautiful landscapes of the United Kingdom, and I can't wait to update as the date moves nearer. Until next time, bonjour!

Posted by S_J_Peterson 22:45 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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