If I’m being honest, I have to admit that before this last trip we’d never spent more than roughly 24 hours’ time actually in Seattle. We can luxuriate in a relatively bustling city scene here in Kansas City if we really want to (we generally don’t) but have nothing comparable to the ocean and mountains and temperate rainforests, so most of our time in the PNW is spent enjoying those natural splendors. And indulge in the outdoors we did: we walked stunning ocean shores, hiked to waterfalls, ventured to the northwestern most point of the continental U.S., decompressed with beautiful lakeside vistas and paraglided for unrivaled sights and exhilaration.
While searching for a hike near North Bend/Snoqualmie*, we stumbled across a film crew at a local diner. Perhaps you’ve heard about the resurrection of a cult favorite tv show, Twin Peaks… You guys, we were in North Bend while they were filming Twin Peaks! We really didn’t see much, as the flurry of crew members obscured most anything interesting and accessibility near the set was limited. (David Lynch was apparently unhappy with fan presence; this article was published the day before we coincidentally ended up on-site.) We might have been more obnoxious in trying to obtain photos had we binged all 22 episodes prior to going rather than just finishing it this week.
I can tell you that from a couple of blocks away, down a back alley, we saw the classic turquoise waitress dresses—couldn’t discern which actresses were wearing them. One gal had curly hair but looked too short and a bit too round to be the fictional Shelley Johnson.
*We never found the hike I had planned. Crews were working on Middle Fork Road, so that access was cut off and we opted to return to the hotel for an afternoon nap rather than search for work-arounds.
Twin Peaks wasn’t the only geeky indulgence on our vacation. The EMP Museum in downtown Seattle ensured that, as our time in town corresponded with the traveling exhibit “Star Wars and the Power of Costume.”
The exhibit itself was quite nice, if a bit overpriced. Past exhibits “Star Wars in Concert” and “Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination” showcased many of the same costumes, but that didn’t hamper my enthusiasm. This is, after all, the year of Star Wars!
EMP also featured brilliant exhibits for fantasy, horror and sci-fi costumes and artifacts. There was something for virtually every geeky indulgence, from Ghostbusters to the Wizard of Oz, Alien, Harry Potter, Doctor Who and Game of Thrones to The Princess Bride. I definitely recommend visiting if you can stand to pull yourself away from the majestic wilderness.
To see the full complement of photos from our trip, including MANY more geektastic exhibit images, trek on over to my share site (HERE).
When last we spoke, I was preparing for our latest adventure in the Evergreen State. We’ve been back nearly 6 weeks now and I’m finally getting around to posting photos and reflecting on our time away.
As I’m shoulder-deep in writing for Christmas 2016 at work (yes, you read that right, 2016!), I won’t be sharing much in the way of words here until early November. In the meantime, I offer some photos. The shots below are a few of my favorites from our hikes.
Next post will focus on the photos of geeky aspects of the trip—namely the Star Wars, fantasy, horror and sci-fi exhibits at Seattle’s EMP Museum as well as our serendipitous encounter with the North Bend filming location for Twin Peaks.
If you want to cheat and see the full complement of photos from our trip before I post them here, trek on over to my share site (click HERE).
We’ll be back in the great state of Washington a week from today. I’m stupid excited, naturally. But as we approach that time of sleeping away from home, I’m reminded of one of the things I’ll miss most of all… my box fan.
It’s true that you are not a sexy appliance—
You’re really much more of a square.
But when it comes right down to user reliance,
Well, darling, you know I’m right there.
It’s not just the cooling that makes me adore you,
I’m really more fond of your noise.
The dull roar helps me sleep, there’s no need to count sheep,
Dear box fan, you’re one of life’s joys!
ps. if you also like sleeping with the sound of a fan, you might check this out next time you’re away from home. Just don’t be surprised if your internet connection drops at some point during the night and the sudden lack of noise wakes you up. <–speaking from experience
We interrupt this dead air for a brief transmission from yours truly.
Working short-staffed by day is not good for my recreational writing. Neither is binge watching shows like Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD by night. (For the record, people aren’t lying when they say it got unbelievably better after the first 12 or so episodes.)
But all is not lost…I finally finished editing photos from my September Oregon adventures with my momma. I’m including my 15 top picks below as a teaser; you can view a couple hundred more over at my share site (here).
I was in my early teens when the internet first became a household amenity, so I remember quite a bit about life pre-www. We listened to music using bulky stereo systems that played formats ranging from shiny compact discs to clunky cassette tapes and scratch-prone vinyl. We bought those cds/tapes/records at brick-and-mortar stores or through the mail via rip-off “clubs” like BMG, often purchasing an entire album for a single radio hit. Yes, I’m one of the kids who fell victim to BMG.
Though I had my own computer games, VHS tapes with programs recorded from the television and a few video-gaming platforms (Intellivision, Atari, NES and Sega GameGear) at my disposal, play time most often involved action figures, Barbie dolls, storybooks, stuffed animals, puzzles, crayons/coloring books, my bike and the swing set in the back yard. Tablet-toting tykes just didn’t exist.
My 110 camera used flash cubes, took film that you had to manually advance after each photo and probably cost the same as what you’d pay now for a family of 4 to eat at McDonald’s. What if your subject blinked when you took a picture? Well, that’s just too bad because you didn’t know for sure until after the film was developed, which took at least a couple of days. No instant uploading.
We sent actual cards and letters in the mail. We wrote checks and meticulously balanced our checkbook registers. We did everything then that we do now, just a little more slowly.
Try as I might, though, I simply can’t fathom how people planned vacations back then. My parents had a file drawer full of travel brochures—something of a mystery since we only ventured out of state to visit family—and I assume the telephone must’ve played an integral role. Were that the case today, I would be even more of a curmudgeonly homebody than I am now.
Thanks to modern technology, I am empowered to explore locales unknown with nary a voice call on my phone. Airfare, rental car and hotel rooms are all booked online, and I spend time equivalent to days on end harvesting ideas and reading others’ reviews to decide what we want to see.
My travel-planning “dream team” consists of Pinterest, Google Maps, TripAdvisor, a physical map, some Post-it flags and a Sharpie. See, I’m still a little old-fashioned…I just happen to buy the maps on Amazon or order them from state tourist websites—some states even offer them for free!
When we have an overarching idea of where we’d like to go (Oregon, for example), I fire up Pinterest; inevitably, I discover places that make my heart go pitter-patter. I open separate browser tabs for Google Maps and TripAdvisor. Google Maps helps me narrow down which part of the state I’m exploring, and TripAdvisor gives me an idea of if I want to stay in a particular city or look for a neighboring community instead. I also pull up candidate hotels’ websites and scour the web for coupon codes or special pricing. It’s a lot of legwork, but we rarely end up disappointed.
Google Maps also helps me plan out how much travel time we’ll need between destinations. This is particularly helpful as we tend to cover a lot of ground on our trips.
Utilizing a tangible map adds an extra step to planning a trip, but I find it worth the effort. After I’ve located sights and sites online, I lay out the map and start flagging destinations; this gives me a much better feel for the terrain and helps me analyze which routes we should take to maximize our experience.
The map also helps when we find ourselves in areas devoid of cell and satellite signals, which happens more often than I would’ve thought. Let me tell you from experience, it can be more than a little unsettling when you’re driving through the middle of a deep, dark forest without any sign of civilization and no technological assistance. I’m considering investing in more comprehensive state atlases at some point for this very reason.
While it all sounds very structured, the reality is that the planning just gives me an overall “ballpark” idea of how things will go—our vacations tend to be rather free-flowing and include a lot of naps. We generally know where we want to go and how to get there, so we fill in the rest along the way.
What are your favorite travel resources?