04 July 2006

Seattle wrap-up

I put the finishing touches on my stay in the Puget Sound area today.

Starting with a late morning drive to Mt. Rainier (spectacular - but I've seen tall, spectacular mountains in California as well), I had to give up Mt. St. Helens due to excessive drive times posted at the Mt. Rainier visitor center. Oh well. Perhaps the next time I come up here, preferably driving through Portland and on to Vancouver, I could make a stop there.

After returning to Seattle for a quick tour of Chinatown and Little Saigon, I returned to the hotel, showered, changed, then headed south again - to Bob Perretz-Rosales in Olympia again, to join his 4th of July party. Though joined by tons of strangers, I didn't have much of a trouble introducing myself, since everyone knew Bob's cousin - and my writing instructor - Gayle. The conversations were very current events and politics oriented in nature, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that at least there was a consensus among the crowd, something I am hard pressed to find in my own circles back home. I had to cut short and return to the hotel though, since my flight home is very early tomorrow. At least, I was treated to a sight of dozens of fireworks displays in the twilight, stretching all the way from Olympia to Seattle and everywhere in between, as I returned.

So this ends my wonderful stay in the Puget Sound area. I came expecting to find just a face or two, and do sightseeing on my own. I got far more than that, doing some bar-hopping, 4th-of-July-partying, and other things that I have every right to do back home, but couldn't. I don't know if I'll ever be able to top this trip with a future trip of similar caliber. The best I can hope for is for me to move to a more tolerant, more urban neighborhood in Southern California, and make some of this magic happen at home.