Monday, August 19, 2013

Roadtrip - The Coast

Leaving Seattle meant only one thing -- the trip was only halfway through. Part of this roadtrip was not to plan too much but take each day as it came. As free spirited as that may sound, it can become a challenge to figure out where to go next; however, with the rest of our trip consisting of Hwy 101 and Hwy 1, there wasn't much to worry about. We would end up where we ended up. One of the things that really made me smile was the ability to see, feel, and in turn, experience that which I have missed so much of living in the valley -- RAIN! O, refreshing rain! Along with the notorious mist/fog that accompanies the Coast. This meant that the days consisted of cool temperatures and lush greenery all along the drive south. 

We stopped off in numerous sea towns along the way and visited many local eateries. When we were tired of driving and the Sun wasn't up, we'd pull over in one of the towns and crash in the car. When the Sun rose again, we were off to find coffee and a bagel and were off on another leg of our journey. 

Our final destination was the Lagunitas Brewing Co. located in Petaluma, CA. With a tour of the facility and food/beer to accompany us, we decided to head back to the valley to come full circle in the completion of our roadtrip. Although I wish you all could have joined us, I hope that someday you, too, will be able to venture out this way and experience all the sights and sounds yourself. If you'd like to see the rest of my photos from our trip, you can view them at:

Venture on!
- Griff

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Roadtrip - Seattle, WA

Greetings Griffamaniacs! We have left the city of Portland, OR to continue North up-and-over yet another border to the great state of Washington to venture around the streets of Seattle! Although we were able to delve too deep into the grid here, we were able to visit what seems to be the most visited street in Seattle -- the famous Pike Place! Here there is the well known Public Market where fish are thrown through the air at the whim of a customer and tables filled with the abundance of produce from neighboring farms to sell to the masses. If you aren't in the need of any produce or fondled fish, feel free to take your pick of the handfuls of eateries that line the street or stand staring at the next America's Got Talent contestant performing for you on the nearest corner. But wait! There's more! This local lane by the sea is home to the birthplace of Starbucks.

Yep, as I type this post in a progeny of the coffee giant, I must admit it was neat to grab a cup of Pike Place in the store that started it all (although, I have heard that the first store burned down.) As I stood in line, I couldn't help but overhear a man describing this store a "local shrine" to the business. I agree, but then again, why wouldn't a fan want to visit this place?? I'm sure that same gentleman enjoys visiting his favorite team's stadium. Nevertheless, it was a good time.

What would a trip to Seattle be if there wasn't a trip up the Space Needle to view the city from above? Well, I guess it would be a trip that was spent with a crooked neck. (Plus, there's some good 3-D art from the top.) Walking around the top of the Needle, you can see so much and even plan a route through the city that you'd like to travel without having to deal with much traffic.

Gas Works Park is another place to visit if you like to fly a kite, watch sea planes, bathe in the sun, or go kayaking/SUP. On the premises is an old grouping of pipes, boilers, etc. that are attributed to the name of this recreational area within the city. If this doesn't appeal to you, don't worry as there are a handful of other parks that yearn for your attention.

I definitely had a good time visiting this city; however, I just wish I had more time to venture around. That only means one thing, another visit is needed.

Venture on!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Roadtrip - Part Two - Portland, OR

Another day was spent wandering the streets of Portland from morning to night and then some. The morning started out with a nice run through Washington Park, which hosts two gardens, multiple trails, and even a holocaust memorial. (Stopping off to view the memorial was definitely worth the while and recommended for those ever visiting the area.) Breakfast was had in the kitchen of the awakening hostel before heading out the door to see what else this city had to offer, but this time on the other side of the river.

We made our way to the SE portion of the city, away from the tall buildings and into the more relaxed atmosphere of homes, gardens, and the small business owners that revel in the constant flow of the local population. It was here that we decided to attend church at Imago-Dei, which had been read about in a book I recently finished called Blue Like Jazz (highly recommended.) After that, we had lunch at RadioRoom then headed to Bagdad Theatre to watch Man of Steel in an interesting, medieval-ish feeling movie theatre that allows one to enjoy a film with a nice cold brew in your hand (don't worry, you can drink it too.) The visit to the other side of the river was concluded with a visit to a British-style pub known as Horse Brass Pub to enjoy a pint and chips. Then off we were again to the hostel to regroup, chill, and wait for the clock to turn to 7:30.

Sure enough, the clock didn't let us down because once 7:30 arrived, a group of ~ten hostelites (including ourselves) were lead down the street to visit three breweries that are well-known in the area -- Bridgeport, Rogue, and Deschutes. The evening was spent getting to know each other over some pints and seeing the sights. Once we through, we decided to snatch another doughnut from Voodoo Doughnuts to indulge in since this local eatery is the most visited attraction in the city. Then, back to the hostel we went, satisfied with another day exploring the Land of Port.