07 November 2012

Lopez Island and a Seattle visit

After my arrival on Lopez Island last week, things have continued to go well with plenty of adventure!

The neighbour's horses. Beautiful.
Rita's backyard
Rita's backyard
Rita's backyard
Rita's pigs. They are ridiculous, I now truly understand the expression "Don't be a pig"
Rita's 15 turkeys. Talk about being a nuisance, these guys were insane! They for some reason would follow me (and only me) around the entire farm, waddling and clucking away only 1m behind, completely ignoring my shouts and threats.
 There are also 2 cats and 12 chickens, so it is a pretty lively place.

My first week of work was pretty good actually. Pretty physically tough work, but in a challenging way that is rewarding. Her land is large and littered with all these unfinished projects, resulting in huge piles of wood, bricks, and many other random objects that lay scattered about, all interwoven between the chicken house, the greenhouse, the turkeys cage, and hip-high grass. Lots to do! I spent hours upon hours shuffling stuff around.

I had to sort this huge pile of wood into three piles based on their size; small, medium or large. After about 3 hours I had barely made a dint!

But I did get to have a hell of a lot of fun using this!

"Outta' my way Turkeys!"
Drove this all over the place, great fun! Mostly to carry stuff like bricks and planks of wood from one side of the farm to the other, and then sometimes I'd just get lazy and use it simply for the sake of using it haha.

Over the weekend Rita and I went to stay in Seattle for 3 days for she wanted to visit her daughter for a few days and I was hoping for the chance to see the city properly as I didn't get too much of a chance when I first arrived last week as Rita picked me up very shortly after I had arrived.

It was also nice to be able to get away from work for a few days, be able to sleep in, and just be with my own thoughts for a little while too.

Aboard the 6.30am ferry... ergh... far too early
Seattle seems like a nice enough city
I am really getting into art lately, I am not sure if it is the case of 'I have nothing better to do' or 'I am becoming more cultural'? Regardless, the idea of visiting the Seattle Art Museum was quite enticing.

Travel tip (or just life tip really): Always keep expired University student cards. Normal ticket price for the Seattle Art Museum: $24. Ticket price when flashing your now 2 year expired University student card? $12! Win =)

The museum was pretty good, but wasn't great. There were only very few pieces that really gripped me, but it was a great way to spend the day whilst it was raining outside.

This was very cool I thought
This one was ridiculously amazing. It was in a room where the theme of the art was 'Light', and you can see here the amazing capture of the light from the fire. Very impressive.
Afterwards I wandered around the city, stumbling across what is a well known market, Pike Market (I think?) which was pretty cool. It had everything from food to crafts, but what I enjoyed most about it above all was definitely the lively and varied atmosphere around this place, with plenty of foreigners mixed in with the locals to create quite the experience.

And that was my entire day really, and after the 5.30am wake up I was more than happy to spend the rest of the night reading my books.

The following day I had lots planned! I had heard of this awesome Seattle Underground Tour that was highly recommended, there was an awesome Egyptian exhibition somewhere in town, and a list of other cool places scattered around too. Exciting stuff... all of which I ended up completely missing out on as I opted for a quick stop in Starbucks in the morning to enjoy a drink, warmth, comfortable couch and my book, which somehow turned into four hours. Whoops. There goes my day.

Although the book I was reading and subsequently finished was brilliant; 'Into Thin Air' by Jon Krakauer, recommended to me by Rita. It retells the true story of a Mount Everest climbing exhibition in 1996 from the eyes of the author who was one the the climbers present on that day, where 12 people died (including the exhibition group leader!) due to a strong unexpected storm. It was an incredible story, extremely raw and thought provoking.

Just after finishing the book I got a phone call, and while about midway through my call the guy next to me randomly said "Hello" to me. I looked over at him and indicated that I was on the phone, and continued my conversation. Once I had finished I expected him to say hello to me again to continue whatever he was wanting to say to me, instead he stayed silent. I waited 30 seconds, purposely making movements to indicate that I am finished on the phone and that he can now talk to me. Instead, nothing. The guy just sat there drinking his coffee. Why say hello to me and then say nothing after?!

I was too curious to stay quiet.

"Hi" I said to him.

"Hello" he replied.

... silence. What the hell?

"Umm... you said hello to me before, while I was on the phone?" I said.

"No. You said hello to me, so I said hello back, and then you gave me an angry look that I was interrupting your phone call"

What! I never said hello to him first, he said hello to me!

"Huh? No, I was on the phone and you said hello to me"

"No, I was sitting here drinking my coffee, and you said hello to me, so I said hello back"

Now either this guy was trying to be funny, or he legitimately thinks that I had somehow, while on the phone, had said hello to him. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and started up a conversation out of pure interest.

"Where are you from?"

Turns out that while I was on the phone he thought that I had indeed turned and said hello to him, hence why he randomly said "Hello" to me, so it was a pretty funny mistake actually. He was a friendly guy, had a lot of questions about Australia, and we easily talked for a good 30 minutes so it was an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.

In my very brief time in Portland a few weeks back I mentioned that I didn't make any friends. I guess that wasn't completely true as on a walking tour around town I did make one friend, Beth, who lives in Seattle. She is a fellow swing dancer and invited me along to her weekly class for that night here in Seattle, sweet!

Such a great night! Had a lot of fun and met so many cool people. Back home in Australia my swing dance class has roughly 14 people in it, whilst in Sacramento (California) the class I went to with my friend Margaret had around 22.. this class though had easily 50 people! It was pretty awesome seeing so many people in the one class, many of whom were very advanced.

Oh and having an Australian accent is very useful.

After such a long time traveling I am somewhat over the 'sight-seeing' aspect of the big cities, and very much prefer the experiences I have with fellow travelers or with newly acquired friends, so I was rather fond of saying farewell to Seattle and was more than happy to return to Lopez Island with Rita early the following morning.

2 more weeks of Lopez Island to go, let's see what happens shall we?

The closest I got the the famous Space Needle... fine by me!


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