|09-18-2010, 08:48 PM||#61 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Steve and Rachelle,
I would have responded to this sooner, but I'm actually on a trip of my own right now. New York is... dynamic.
I imagine you may already be feeling some slight information overload. Being a travel writer myself, I have some suggestions for you, and I'll keep it concise. --- Since I've spent time in Portland and Seattle, I gotta say there are a few things you definitely should see while you're in both places:
First of all, I love Portland. It strikes a wonderful balance between city elements and natural elements. You can't go anywhere in the city and not be surrounded by trees.
1. International Rose Test Gardens
--- Basically this is a gigantic outdoor breeding facility for roses that produces probably the widest variety of amazing flowers in North America. I'm not a huge flower person, but it's laid out like a park and I saw things more bizarre, beautiful, and bizarrely beautiful than I could have imagined.
2. Voodoo Donuts
--- I don't expect you to order anything from here because it's basically... not healthy, but it is an amazing sight... since the things they put on donuts here will make you question their sanity, and it's hilarious.
3. Japanese Garden
--- The most beautiful Japanese Garden I've ever been to. Not to big, not too small, and exquisitely designed. Nuff said.
4. Powell Books
--- Largest bookstore in the country. Each section is color-coded. Very fun to wander around in here. Rare book library inside, too.
5. Portland Saturday Market
--- If you're there during a Saturday, definitely check out their market. It's right by the river. I like what 10best says about it: "With scores of booths to browse, you'll encounter artwork, crafts, food, flowers — anything you can imagine. The atmosphere is energetic, enlivened by eager shoppers and musicians who play among the crowds. Perfect for gift-shopping or simply to absorb the sights and sounds of Portland and do a little people-watching along the way."
Not as saturated with trees as Portland. Bigger than Portland, and perhaps not as warm, but still a great port city.
1. Pike Place Market
--- Okay everyone will tell you to go here, and there's good reason, it's been called the heartbeat of Seattle, and you can even get raw produce here! Very entertaining to walk through. (see link)
2. Chittenden Locks & Carl English Botanical Gardens
--- Amazing architectural wonder (the locks) that allows ships to go from the Pacific Ocean into Seattle harbor (there's something like a 15 foot water level difference between the two). Plus, the salmon ladder is really cool. And next to the locks is a beautiful botanical garden with rare and odd trees as if from dreams.
3. Space Needle
--- Obvious, but I had to mention it.
I'd also like to highlight what NorthSouth has said. I agree definitely keep these things in mind:
1. Go to events!
--- Find out local events, something awesome may be happening when you arrive
2. See time as flexible!
--- Stay flexible, give yourself permission to act spontaneously and the freedom to stay an extra day or 3 if you feel inspired to do so (and spontaneously wander and meet people too) Whatever you do, do not expect that every day will go to plan. That's constricting the magic of the trip.
3. Do record your thoughts!
--- Keep a journal on the way. I'm actually travelling right now, and I try to write an entry everyday. Sometimes the nature of life makes this impractal, but even ever 3 days is immensely valuable.
But I'm sure don't have to extol the virtues of journalling to you, Steve.
And yes, you should definitely take an afternoon to drive up to Mount Tamalpais and see the INEFFABLE view. A-may-zing.
As you can probably tell, I love the West Coast. And I'm really excited for both of you. You're going to have a wonderful adventure together!
Any questions about what I've stated here?
Last edited by Andreas; 09-18-2010 at 09:37 PM. Reason: spelling
|09-18-2010, 11:44 PM||#62 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
Here is a Raw food place in Sacramento recommended to me by Lisa Paris of RawBeets.com.
The Green Boheme - Sacramento, CA
Let me know if I can help you any more in this respect.
Last edited by Zach M; 09-18-2010 at 11:55 PM.
|09-18-2010, 11:47 PM||#63 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
One more thing: Keep an eye open for mangosteen (not a mango) in Vancouver. You can definitely find some in Chinatown, and I believe they appear at Granville Island markets as well. My friends to whom I've introduced this fruit have been grateful.
|09-19-2010, 12:17 AM||#64 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: A Greyhound Station where I set my thoughts to far off destinations...
|09-19-2010, 02:17 AM||#65 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
|09-19-2010, 10:04 PM||#67 (permalink)|
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Georgetown, CA
The Road Trip
Hi Steve, Hi Rachelle! Sorry for the long post . . . I'm a newbie.
Iíve done a lot of road-tripping since I got my Rubicon in 2004. Iíve lived in Northern California for about ten years: six in the City (SF) and four in Volcanoville (between Reno and Sacramento in El Dorado National Forest).
You are going to have an amazing experience. My first road trip was from San Fran to Mitchell, SD (home of the one and only Corn Palace, gotta love the upper Midwest). It was just me, Rubi (my Jeep Rubicon), and my two cats, Mizzou and Kingsford going to visit family.
It was the first time I drove 26 hours alone, and I knew nothing of what I know now about road-tripping. That first trip, though, was an absolutely Zen experience, and I actually canít bear to part with Rubi now even though he has well over 100,000 miles under his belt. At the time of my first road trip, I was temporarily escaping San Francisco to go see my family in the Midwest, and in the early stages of despising the cattle-car wait-in-line experience of air travel. That first road trip changed me, and Iíve had a thing for road-tripping ever since.
I listen to books on CD because Iím not fond of radio commercials. On my first road trip, I listened to The Power of Now, and Spiritual Contracts. And my life changed. I thought a lot on the drive, and I decided a new path for my life (at least some near-term changes to make). Being on the road can be an amazing experience in two ways: allowing yourself to be absorbed in the beauty of your surroundings even when the outward appearance may be initially unappealing (no offense to the state of Nevada), and getting to know yourself better.
My most recent road trip was in August, when I went from southeastern South Dakota through the Black Hills and Yosemite, and then across the boring southern part of Idaho, but then I drove across mid-southern Oregon and I was enthralled. I have never seen such vast territory changes in a single state before. It was like visiting Tahoe National Forest (just like home), Hawaii (volcanic rock canyons), The Ozarks, a bit of the emptiness of northern Nevada, a bit of the awesome shock of the Grand Canyon except that youíre actually driving through the bottom of a canyon just the width of a small road, and then . . . fog, which eventually burned off so I had the coastal experience as well going from Eugene to Seattle. Then I headed back east along the Snake River (where the actual Oregon Trail was) and made my way to Glacier National Park. I went through the southern end of Glacier then went up the eastern side to stay in a tiny town called Marysville (or was it St. Maryís?), which was only three miles or so south of Canada. Then I spent some time in western Montana before working my way back.
Anyway! Regarding your planned loop . . . Definitely stop in Nevada City for a brief walk if not lunch. The drive west over Donner Pass from Reno is gorgeous, but whoeverís driving needs to really pay attention to the road, and you will be ready for a break in a beautiful little Old West town California-style by the time you get to the Nevada City exit. Every summer thereís road construction west of Reno, because every winter there is road deconstruction thanks to the snow and number of semi-trucks that have to go through there. The road is bumpy and rutted as well as steep with some tight turns, which makes for intense driving, but itís beautiful territory.
Youíve had plenty of advice about SF, so Iíll stay away from that. When you leave the City, however, I have to strongly agree with someoneís earlier post about Mt. Tam. When I lived in SF, we used to go to the top of Mt. Tam to watch the sun rise from above the clouds every Easter morning. You have to leave The City around 4AM to be atop Tam for sunrise though. Then come down the ocean side of Mt. Tam, and head for Stinson Beach. There is a road-side scenic overlook above Stinson where you have to pull over and see this amazing California coast.
I would then stay on the 1 (Highway 1) north all the way to Mendocino, where I would recommend spending a night and going for a walk along the cliffs before you cut inland to either the 101 or the interstate to make the rest of your drive north more efficiently.
Getting to Banff and Lake Louise is a must. No ifs, ands, or buts . . . make sure you go there on your trip. Calgary is most exciting during the Stampede, but itís an interesting city any time of year.
Iím leaving Friday for my next road trip which will take me to San Diego for a while, then Las Vegas before I spend two weeks meandering a loop around the Grand Canyon and visiting all the Rims, then another week in Vegas before CGW. After that Iíll head out ďeastĒ to visit family through Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I wonít be back to my little mountain getaway until sometime in January. It should be an interesting 20 hours from Vegas to South Dakota this time . . . spending two days on the road right after CGW could be another transformational trip.
Given the variety of other peopleís posts regarding road trips and whether or not itís tedious versus enjoyable, well, I think if you like yourself and are not afraid of contemplation, then seeing the country over-the-road, especially the Pacific Northwest, can give you an amazing sense of connection with life. I have two favorite sayings, one of which is particularly appropriate for explorers: ďLife is a journey, not a destination.Ē
I think youíll be pleased with what your dreamer has in store for you in the next couple of weeks.
|09-22-2010, 11:13 PM||#68 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2010
Hey Steve, read your blog for 4-5 years now, lived in Portland for 2...things I think you would enjoy:
1. Rent a bike and bike around, there's tons of bridges and a rather extensive trail system.
2. Go to Powell's bookstore, it's awesome
3. The botannical gardens, if you're in the mood to walk around amid an inordinate amount of flowers.
4. The aerial tram is cool, if you have a clear day.
5. Driving out into the Columbia River Gorge is a must-do if the weather is cooperating, the old Pacific Coast Highway. In Powell's you can find a book of nature destinations and choose intuitively which one feels the best. But seeing mountains/pristine lakes and going on hikes is really what Oregon is all about.
6. On the way up there....the stretch of highway 101 between Florence OR and Waldport, OR has rather astounding scenery.
7. There's a lot of community involvement in Portland. Even though you don't drink coffee, stop in a few coffeeshops in the inner SE Portland neighborhood (they are mostly along the arterial east-west streets between Stark and Division Streets from about 9th/10th out to about 50th - these also often have free wi/fi and herbal teas) and check out the bulletin boards for what could be interesting meetings to randomly crash in upon. Same goes for art exhibits and music.
8. Mt. Tabor offers a nice view of Mount Hood and as far as I know it's the only dormant volcano within a city's limits in America.
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