Yes, dear readers, I too cannot believe it’s been nearly a month since the fam bam’s Seattle & Vancouver adventure times. But it has and that is quite the predicament. Thus, this re-cap will be short, sweet & to the point in a list format of my favorite memories made in the Pacific Northwest & the beautiful reprieve that is Vancouver.
1. I will never tire of watching the clouds drift by lazily in the din of the setting sun. It’s not something you easily forget, ever. Something about being airborne makes you never want to land.
2. Seattle doesn’t mess around with their coffee. You seriously can stop at any of the hipster-y, dive-y places on the streets and find yourself enveloped by the most amazing smells of freshly roasted coffee, non-corporate style.
3. Swing dancing. Lots of swing dancing with an amazing live band. Not only was SLX Sunday night fan-flippin-tastic, but so was the company. Old and new friends, all congregated in a gorgeous old ballroom, dancing the night away. In the span of 4 hours, I sat down for maybe 2 minutes tops. I also had a great conversation with my cabby on the way home. What a honest guy full of interesting quips about the socio-political climate in the world today. Epic dancing followed by sobering conversation makes an intense night. Not to mention, I found THE dress, a little white and blue floral number that screams baroque (but is really just FXXI, hehe).
4. Touring cities with my family is probably bar none in terms of entertainment. My parents are definitely still in love and my brother and I will occasionally catch them sneakily holding hands. Oh, you two. They always take walks together in the park or wait while my brother and I meander around museums (because, yes, that’s the kind of sibs we are. We like museums. Deal.) Flying around the world with them and trekking through White Rock Pier in Canada left me sore from laughing so much. We watched the waves lap the shoreline, took incredibly goofy pictures by White Rock & had way too many tapas at a great local joint. I know some people can’t stand their families, and sometimes I’m one of them, but this trip brought me closer to my loved ones.
5. On that note, it’s on these trips that I’m reminded how time flies. Every time I snapped a picture of my brother during the trip, I realized how quickly he’s approaching middle school. In a few years from now, he’ll be a few inches taller than me, perhaps a foot. I can’t wait to see how God works in his life and transforms into a gentleman. Given his many talents in piano, soccer and math, I’d say he’ll be a catch come college time. Smart, sophisticated yet down to earth. I foresee great things in your future, my little brother. But to me, you’ll always just be Alex. (If you start forcing people to call you Alexander or something equally pretentious, I will see it as my duty to punch you; like a sister should to keep you ego low. Ok, not really, but I will figuratively punch you with a biting comment.)
6. After missing friends from either busy schedules or living in different cities, visiting always reminds you of the strength in keeping close to solid people. Lucky person that I am, I got to meet up with two people, one per city, while out west. Each meet up was chock full of new memories, old jokes and new adventures. Thanks, J & L –each one of you guys know you’re a fantastic host and way too hilarious for your own good.
7. What is travel without the amazing food? A boring, lackluster trip. My mother and I picked fresh blackberries everywhere we went. Amazingly sweet and perfectly ripe, they popped right in your mouth.
8. I miss the way streets sound at odd hours – 7:15 in the morning was the perfect time to stroll around YaleTown with the Mum, while mid afternoon seemed the perfect time to people watch at a sushi house. The sound of buzzing commuters assembled in this weird sort of compelling white noise.
9. Did I mention the food?
10. I enjoyed this trip most because of connection–and most of all, joy. Joy to be surrounded by the people I love in places that were lovely, loved by a joyful God. If God created the platypus and the little kid’s hiccupy, derpy laugh, don’t you think he has a sense of humor? This trip was definitely full of joy and happiness.
As a good friend once told me, the best way to explore a city is to get lost…then find your way home again.
Because, as you know, “not all those who wander are lost” really.