I’m sitting in a coffee shop in Portland. If I could do this every day… Surely it’d lose its charm at some point, but for now I’ll enjoy the here-and-now.

This trip started exactly one week ago. We’ve been having a ton of fun, and still have a week to go. Every piece of this trip feels like a dream. It has spent most of its time in our minds as just that: a possibility, a ‘maybe one day’, and now half of it is a memory.

We began our trip on Thursday. (This wouldn’t be a true travel blog without a picture of scenery with some aircraft protuberance, so here you go.)IMG_6190

We took a plane from Philly to Toronto, and then to Vancouver. It went well, except that when we landed in Toronto, I realized that my wallet was missing! Whoops. I knew I had had it in Philly and then recalled my (apparently unzipped) purse tipping forward as the plane landed. We (very fortunately) had some time until our next flight and after a glance at my plane ticket and a quick phone call, the person at the desk located it almost immediately. Thanks, American Airlines! Lesson learned: keep your bag zipped on an airplane.

We got to Vancouver a little later than anticipated, and checked into our hotel. Just kidding. Not a hotel. A hostel. My first reaction upon arriving? “I’m too old for this (poop).” We slept in a room with two other people and I showered in a tiny box two nights in a row. I initially hated it and searched for hotels at dinner, ready to spend more money than one should on lodging. Matt convinced me to give it a go, and by the time we left, I loved it! Our two roommates were from France and Australia. I had forgotten how fun it is to talk to other travelers (we really haven’t since we went to Europe) and we left with positive feelings about hostels. (Will we do it again? Maybe, but probably not. But I’d recommend doing it at least once, preferably when you’re young and not yet as snobbish as we apparently are.)

And Vancouver?! Pretty fun place. We’re not planning to go back, but we enjoyed our time there. One of the best parts was the jet lag! We were up and ready to go by 6am! So we enjoyed probably an hour and a half of coffee, breakfast, and finishing our airplane books the first part of the morning. We then dropped our things off at the hostel and proceeded to a ferry! This brought us to a market where we bought some fresh fruit, cheese, etc. for our picnic in Stanley Park. The market was great, and we LOVE Stanley Park. The views on our walk were stunning and it was difficult to believe that we were in a city. Later that day we went to dinner and got oysters! (Ironically, 1/3 of the oysters were from the east coast. It defeated 1/3 of the purpose of eating oysters in Vancouver, but I guess it was nice to compare.)

Some photos:

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Vancouver is funny.
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Outside the market. The views of mountains were amazing!
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We tried to have a picnic lunch in Stanley park, until…
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…this guy walked right over to us. He reminded me of my cat. But way more hungry. He’s eating our bag of just-spit-out cherry pits so he’s kind of gross. And later on we saw this…
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…which confirmed our suspicion that he had rabies. Close call!
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This bridge can be found in Stanley Park. So beautiful.
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That’s us.
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Pond in Stanley park that is predicted to disappear in the next (I forget the number of) years. From the lily pads.
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Coolest library building ever. Sadly, it was closed.

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Oysters.

The next day, we took Amtrak from Vancouver to Seattle! I had been most looking forward to this because of the misleading picture of the all-glass train on the website. It was just a regular train. So that sucked. But on our way to getting our tickets, the man started to hand us a paper with one pair of seats, saw my camera, and changed his mind. He put us on the other side of the train where, through (regular sized) windows we were able to take some photos and admire the scenery.

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I didn’t get amazing shots, but here’s one that’s kind of cool. Sorry, ticket guy. But thanks for trying.

Then we arrived in Seattle! We stayed with my cousin and went to the market, a baseball game, drank, brunched, and drank a lot more. I LOVE Seattle’s beer. And Seattle in general. And my cousin.

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This pretty much sums up Seattle. Lagunitas!!

From Seattle, we picked up a rental car and headed to Olympic National Park! I can’t really describe it. I don’t know enough synonyms for pretty and beautiful, so I’ll just show you the pictures and you can think your own thoughts.

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This popped up out of nowhere on our drive. Mount Rainier.

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It’s wildflower season right now…

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The trees are furry.

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We camped in Olympic. It was not my idea. But it wasn’t so bad. The night was pretty warm and the campsite was great. I don’t have pictures. But there was a tent, trees, and a stream down the hill from us. So there you go!

And then we drove to Astoria on our way to Portland. I loved it there. We had some beer, bought a book (mostly because we talked to the lady who owned the store and really liked her and felt a little like we SHOULD buy something, and partly because I didn’t have a paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), walked around, and got some crazy views from an outlook. Amazing!!!IMG_6645IMG_6646IMG_6655

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Yes, I DID take a photo of a trash can. I thought it was cool.

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And now here I am in Portland, waiting for the next adventure!

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