A leisurely drive up to Vancouver
We’ve been really lucky with the weather over the past two weeks. Everywhere we’ve gone, people have told us stories about the recent big storms, from the Bay Area on up the West Coast. Fierce storms are back in the Bay Area but we are now in (sunny!! what??) Vancouver. We saw only a little rain on the drive up too. I really hope we didn’t just use up our year’s allotment of good weather right at the start of 2023.
It was nourishing to see family and friends over the holidays. Besides the Bay Area and Rocklin, where we spent the weeks around Christmas, we also stayed overnight in Portland and in Seattle, where I met up with friends I hadn’t seen in years. As someone who is not always completely aware of when I am out of balance, sometimes I think I am toodling along just fine, and it’s only after I make a change that it dawns on me that things could have been better all along.
That’s how I often feel when I reconnect with old friends, and how I felt this week upon seeing my college and grad school friends after many years apart. These types of catch-ups are few and far between, even when we are at home, since meeting up means juggling everyone’s schedules (including the kids’…especially the kids’) and commutes. Though I recognize I’d like to rejuvenate old connections, I don’t always realize I miss them until we finally do connect and I think, “Well, that was very nice.”
Here in this post I’ve included some scenes from the past few days. The Pacific Northwest territory we passed through is beautiful and misty, as if out of a dream. And the time I spent on the way here, with people who have known me for a while, was very nice indeed.
Pretty Good Things
Every time I’m in Portland, I go to the main Powell’s Books location at Burnside. So many lovely books to peruse at the “largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.” This was Beanie's first time there, and she was enamored by the vast selection in the children's section. We picked up a few books for her, including a fantasy novel by The Decemberists' Colin Meloy—Wildwood—appropriately set in the dark and mysterious forests of Portland.
The cover of this illustrated travelogue caught my eye while I was at Powell’s. It follows author Emma Fick’s and her partner’s trip from Beijing to Moscow by way of Mongolia, on the Trans-Siberian Railway. Each page contains Fick’s written observations and colorful sketches, which make for a fun read whether you ever intend to make this long train journey or not.