Summer Road Trip 2017

  • The Wedding

    Day 33: July 28, 2017

    The most eventful thing today was of course the wedding.  I don’t remember what we did in the morning, I think we went into town for a little bit but, I honestly don't remember.

    The wedding however, was spectacular.  Gabe had to be there early for pictures so, I took in the scenery and talked to some of his family.  We were obviously there through the whole day so we got to see some background things.  Gabe was in charge of Facetiming his grandmother because unfortunately she couldn’t make it but that’s the perk of technology I guess.  The ceremony was beautiful.  Since Gabe was Facetiming, it gave us an excuse to sit close so, while Becky was walking down the isle, I took the advice of the internet and watched Andy’s reaction the whole time.  It was beautiful how in love he is with her.  It really radiated at that moment.  When the ceremony was over, we went to grab appetizers and drinks.  Gabe and I still hadn’t eaten much so when we found out there was a cheese bar, we took a mad dash.  We were sitting with all the cousins so I finally got to really interact with everyone.  When it was time for dinner, we were still pretty hungry and ended up eating a ton.  Then dancing came around and we didn’t sit down for the rest of the night.  Overall, it was a really, really lovely evening.

  • Rehearsal Dinner

    Day 32: July 27, 2017

    We revolved today around food.  Our first stop was Kartlandia again.  Josh and Gabe shared a Mexican dish and some American food.  Zoe got something Mediterranean and I got Thai.  The sun was high and hot but we were all really happy to be together.  From there, we went to an ice cream shop.  We didn’t want to go to Salt and Straw and have to wait in line so, instead we went to another place one of Josh’s college friend suggested.  It had funky flavors but we were all really satisfied.  From there we went across the street to a thrift shop.  We spent so long looking through everything and Josh and Zoe left with some good finds.

    We then headed to the rehearsal dinner.  While driving, the boys found a field in the middle of no where and decided they were going to throw the frisbee around for a bit.  They ended up playing for like an hour while Zoe and I made friendship bracelets in the car and listened to music.

    When we pulled up to the dinner, Gabe still had to get dressed but, his parents met us at the car with open arms.  I was really happy Gabe got to see them.  He doesn’t say it much but he was for sure homesick.  I think this helped a little.

    The only people I knew at the dinner was the bride to be and Gabe’s immediate family so at first I was a bit timid and hid behind Gabe but I opened up eventually.  The evening was really lovely and it ended with Josh and Zoe picking us up and heading back to Nonna’s.


  • Day 1 with Josh and Zoe

    Day 31: July 26, 2017

    I tried to plan a somewhat packed day because I felt bad that Josh and Zoe didn’t have much time to spend in Portland but, it didn’t really work out.

    We started the morning relatively early. Nonna and Poppop got us bagels and my cousin Reed came over.  We then headed to the city.  Our first stop was Powell's Books.  Josh, Zoe and Gabe are all book lovers so they were very much in heaven.  We spent what felt like days there.

    Then, Josh’s friend from school recommended a ramen place two blocks away.  It was a little hidden place, decorated in anime characters and colorful walls.  All four of us were extremely happy with how the food turned out.  After lunch, we went shopping at Buffalo Exchange.  I looked at shoes that I’m still dreaming about.  I should have bought them.  Zoe found some good finds and so did Gabe.

    Gabe then wanted to go back to one of the skateparks that he enjoyed in Portland so, we dropped him off and headed to a coffee shop.  We stayed and caught up for about an hour and then when to go get Gabe.  The skatepark in underneath the highway and when we put it into maps, maps kept taking us across the bridge because it didn’t understand that Gabe was under the bridge.  For what should have taken 12 minutes, took about an hour of screaming at traffic and bonding over how silly maps was being.

    When we finally got Gabe, we headed straight to Nonna’s for dinner and once we got there, she put us to work.  I think she was really happy to have so many hands in the kitchen.  We had a delicious pasta dinner and ended the night with a night swim under the bright stars.

  • On The Road Again

    Day 34: July 29, 2017

    Today was an early day for all of us! Josh and Zoe were staying about an hour away from the wedding so they had to get up at like 7:30 to come pick up at 8:30.  We decided to leave so early because we had a 12 hour day ahead of us to Bozeman.

    The drive was rather beautiful.  We drove through Washington, the tip of Idaho and Montana.  Through the trip I’ve found it interesting that although you learn the history of all these States in school, no one ever touches on the beauty.  Josh and Zoe haven’t experience driving like Gabe and I have on the trip so fro a long portion of the trip they were like “wow, that’s just beautiful” or “omg look at that, damn”.  Gabe and I got a kick out of it.

    While we were driving through Montana, we ran into a forrest fire (the fire was way off the road but we could see all the smoke from it).  We all rolled down the window to take in the smell and Gabe looked up more information on it.  The fire had been burning for two weeks and they called in (something like) 15 fire station to help with the fire.

    We then found a small town to have dinner in and since the sunset was so beautiful, we stopped to take some pictures.  We still had a pretty decent drive ahead of us so we ate fast and kept moving.  We got to Bozeman on the later side and all crashed because we had an early day ahead… again.

    (Photograph by Zoe)

  • Mount Rainier

    Day 30: July 25, 2017

    We started the day off late because we knew we were going to have a very long night.  When we finally got going, we stopped at Einsteins for breakfast and then headed to Mount Rainier.  Prior to our visit, I didn’t have much knowledge about it.  But as we drove closer, Gabe filled me in on some history.  It was really amazing that the mountain was that large.  Driving up to it, I was staring out the window, waiting for it to stop growing.  It never did.  We took the mountain very easy.  We stopped at a waterfall before heading to view the mountain.  We obviously had no intention of climbing it although it has inspired me to think about doing that one day.

    We spent about five hours there and most of it consisted of driving so, we ended our time there with a dip in the water.  We didn’t go swimming but we stuck our feet in the water and reminisced about old camp stories.

    Then we headed back into civilization to grab a bit to eat and relax a little bit before Josh and Zoe came in.  When we finally got the call that they had landed, Gabe and I were like excited monkeys.  We were screaming in the car and once we knew where they were waiting for us, I ran out of the car to greet them.  From the airport, we had a two and a half hour drive back to Nonna’s.  Gabe and I split the driving while Zoe and Josh slept.

  • Truly Uneventful

    Day 29: July 24, 2017

    We had high hopes for the day, we were going to go to the glass museum and tour the city a little more but instead, we got locked out of the apartment after we left.  The most eventful thing about our day was having to grab the keys from Gabe’s friend and going back and playing Ticket to Ride and napping.

    We went to grab dinner at Trader Joe’s and went back to the apartment to finish the night with Rogue One and popcorn and ice cream.


  • Pikes Place Markett

    Day 28: July 23, 2017

    Today felt jam packed when really we only did one major thing: Pikes Place Market.  We spent most of the day downtown and it was so much fun!

    Originally, we wanted to do the market for dinner so, I found some shops around town to pop into while the time passed.  Gabe wasn’t thrilled, but he was a good sport about it.

    We got hungry in the middle of the day so we ended up going to the market earlier then we expected and once we got there, we fell in love.  The whole thing is like a big farmers market, spanning three city blocks and it’s right next to the river.  And we got perfect weather too, it was a nice 75 degrees with not a cloud in the sky.

    We walked a bit and found a cheese store and Gabe and I nearly sprinted in.  They had free samples in the back and all three of them were delicious.  (This is a little out of order but it makes sense for the sake of the story)  We saw that they had “The Worlds Best Mac and Cheese” and because their samples were so good, we ended up coming back later in the day to get it.  When we finally ordered, we watched our server pour the creamy looking noodles into our bowl, we took it to our seats, took a bite and were unfortunately quite disappointed.  Their self proclaimed worlds best Mac and cheese was sad, to say the least.  Maybe some of that was our fault, we were expecting greatness but this was sub par.  The sauce was over flavored but under seasoned (it doesn’t make sense, I know but that’s how it went) and the noodles practically sipped down our throats because they were so overcooked.  To say the least, I would not recommend going to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese for anything but their free samples.

    We walked a bit in the indoor market and found a little book store.  Gabe had to go in and once we stepped into the doorway, I knew it was a good find.  It smelled of old books and there was a typewriter stationed on the top of a short bookshelf with cook books and photography books surrounding it.  Gabe found a couple books he was passionate about but only ended up getting one.  He was a happy camper to say the least.

    We then found a honey shop that was selling all natural honey and honey sticks and the honey sticks were flavored so we got an original, a pink lemonade, a peach, a watermelon, a strawberry and a mint.  The only good one was the original (in my opinion - Gabe seemed to enjoy most of them).

    The next place we found in the market was a little shop that was selling different kinds of apple cider, we thought we should play it safe due to the unfortunate choices of honey so, we stuck with the original but they had everything from peach to mango to watermelon.

    We then watched fishermen throw fish around the market like it was as easy as a baseball (stay tuned for the week five update for a video clip).  They were so knowledgable about everything they caught.  It made me really sad seeing all the fish laying there so as soon as we saw one fisherman thrown the a fish up close, we went to dinner.

    We found a Thai restaurant near by and decided to go there.  The food was fine, nothing special but it was nice to be able to sit outside and not feel obligated to take a picture or look at our phones.  Peace, quiet, food and good company.

    We then went home to play Ticket to Ride and watch Game of Thrones.


  • No Phones and Full Stomachs

    Day 27: July 22, 2017

    We saw another one of Gabe’s friends today and he showed us a different side of Seattle.  We first went to his house so him and Gabe could catch up and all three of us played a game of Settlers of Catan.

    We then decided to go to Bite of Seattle which is a food festival in the heart of the city.  It was a little overwhelming because there were so many people but, the food options were endless and we were in heaven.  We first had a mango lemonade because it was still warm out.  Then we went to a Thai stand and got coconut water in a coconut and next door to the was fried Mac and cheese, so of course we had to try that too.  Gabe’s friend had some of his friends there too so we all sat in the grass and enjoyed some live music.  Gabe and I split a corn on the cob and headed out.  On the way out they were giving samples of ice cream and we couldn’t pass that up.

    We finished the day with a game of Ticket to Ride and fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows.

    Overall, today was filled with lots of face to face interactions and lots and lots of good food.  It’s nice not needing the dependence of technology to interact with people.  Today was splendid.

  • Skatepark Tour

    Day 26: July 21, 2017

    A ton of Gabe’s frisbee friends live in the area and Gabe has a special bond with one in particular due to the fact that they skate together so, when he heard about the trip, he put an entire itinerary together and showed us around his favorite skateparks of the city.

    He started our day at 8:30 and we met him at his house and he cooked us breakfast.  From there, we went to the first skatepark.  It was a small, transition park but Gabe and Harrison had a ball.  There were two really great skaters there also.  Gabe ended up talking to them for his writing but they were from Brazil and didn't speak great English.

    From there, we hit a second  skatepark.  It reminded me a lot of Gabe’s favorite park from home.  It was under a bridge in this industrial area and it was a whole DIY project.  It was great because Harrison, obviously had been going to these parks and noticed changes in this one because people had been continuing to build upon it.

    We then went to lunch and Harrison’s favorite skate shop.  For lunch we went to Tacos Chukis in Capital Hill and it was some of the best food we’ve had on this trip.  I had a carne asada torta and I was full and found myself still eating.  It was wonderful!  We then walked off our food babies to go to the skate shop.  They recognized Harrison which I thought was lovely and they fixed his board and Gabe got a new one.

    We then went to another skatepark, I fell asleep in the car and slept through the entire time they were skating so I obviously can’t say much other then I took a fat nap in the car and stayed buckled the whole time (even while they were skating and the car was parked).

    The tour ended with a park that had an indoor and outdoor park.  The boys toured the indoor park but didn’t skate it.  When we got to the outdoor park, there were 20 (maybe more) unicyclists waiting for their competition to begin.  We didn’t know why they were there at first so the boys, like the rest of the skaters at the park, tried avoiding them as much as possible.  Unfortunately, the cyclists were taking up a lot of the park and while Gabe and Harrison avoided them passively, the other skaters we not as thrilled by the cyclists presence.  I didn’t end up taking any pictures because I was so focused on how crazy these unicyclers were and what tricks they were doing.  I ended up taking a video for the weekly update so, look out for that.

    When our tour was done, we went back to where we were staying and played another three games of Ticket to Ride.  We then ordered dinner and watched Ali Wong’s stand up.  Let me tell you, Gabe and I were choking on our food at points because she was so funny.  Her stand up is on Netflix if you are interested in watching.