Sunday, May 27, 2007

Travel log: Seattle to Asheville

Sunday, May 27
Not quite the smooth start I was looking forward to. Started at 3 PM instead of 10 AM. That's ok, since 10 AM had been a totally arbitrary deadline anyway. We didn't get as far as Mercer Island before my cat, Simon, started puking, pooping, and pissing in his carrier. I had to clean something up at least once an hour from 3 PM until 10 PM when we pulled into a nice little hotel in Kellogg, Idaho. But the drive was stunning, and I'm excited to be out of Washington state and on my way to my new home.

Monday, May 28
I'm in Billings, Montana which is kind of a shithole town. But the state of Montana is absolutely gorgeous. Every mile of it. I was hoping to get to Wyoming tonight but we didn't hit the road until 11 AM. Sleeping in was great.

Tuesday, May 29
I've entered the part of the country where the best you can expect to hear on the radio is adult soft hits or 70s cock rock classics. The food got a whole lot worse too. But the drive is still pretty. I passed by a whole lot of national treasures and landmarks today, but didn't feel like stopping at any of them. I'm just about half-way through my trip, in Oacoma, South Dakota.

Wednesday, May 30
I was hoping to make it to Columbia, Missouri today, but we stopped short in Boonville due to some serious rain. We're staying at a total dump called the QT Inn, which is right next door to an adult video store. I'm pretty sure the hotel manager is staggering drunk.

Friday, June 1
Home, sweet home! We rolled into Asheville at about 11 PM last night. The last 45 minutes were extremely stressful - driving along narrow winding mountain roads, in the dark, rain, and fog. On the plus side, the cats totally lost hope that they would ever get out of their carriers and they settled in, made themselves comfortable, and slept for most of the day. The incessant yowling finally stopped.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

So long, Seattle

Tomorrow is the big day. I've shipped most of my stuff via USPS and I've got the rest all packed up for the drive down. It goes without saying that there are people in Seattle, who have had a tremendous impact on my life, that I will miss terribly. I haven't loved Seattle, but there are a few other things that I will miss:

1 - the amazing view of downtown when I walk my dog around the neighborhood
2 - Mt. Ranier, when it is actually visible
3 - Jill's life-affirming yoga and giddy wisdom
4 - the most beautiful summers ever

But there are some other things that I am looking forward to getting away from:

1 - the insane housing prices
2 - the loooong gloomy cold winters
3 - the "Seattle freeze" (yes, it's real)

Seattle is a neat city and actually has quite a lot more good things to offer, but most of them I can get in Asheville. Right now, I am so sick of packing the endless piles of crap that I just want to go already.

Raw food dish of the week - Mango banana pudding

I needed to make something easy and quick for my going away potluck, in the midst of all the packing. I pretty much made this up, but it was wildly popular.

Ingredients: Fresh mango, dehydrated mango, bananas, blended well. Sliced bananas mixed in, with mint leaves for garnish.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Where did all these friends come from?

I didn't realize that I'd built up such strong ties to Seattle until I got ready to break them. I leave for Asheville in less than two weeks. Suddenly everyone under the sun wants to see me before I go. Not that I'm complaining. I'm quite touched, actually. My social calendar has never been this full. Where have all of you been for the last four years??? I'm just kidding, of course. I'm a bit of a recluse and I think I've turned down a lot of social plans. Once again, my problems are of my own making.

I am realizing this week, that I love my friends. Even though I don't see them often enough. Even though I would rather sit at home by myself most of the time rather than go out and do something. I really love them and it's going to be hard to leave.

In related news, my brother just moved to Portland from the east coast. I mean he just moved to Portland. He was kind enough to come up here and visit me before I go and make me a phenomenal gourmet meal. The picture above is of his delicious chocolate cake with endive sauce. My brother is a brilliant vegan chef who wastes his talents cooking meat dishes.

Raw dish of the week - Arame Cucumber Salad

My lemon was so crappy that I only got a tablespoon out of it, but the recipe called for 2 tablespoons. Even so, this was very good and took very little time to make.

Ingredients: Arame, cucumber, red onion, Braggs Liquid Aminos, lemon juice, sesame seeds.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Asheville feels like home

I visited Asheville, NC last week. I had a couple of job interviews, checked out some rentals, and ate a whole lot of the most delicious vegan food ever. Asheville is everything I hoped for and way more. I don't know how they managed to get so much culture into a city of only 70K people. I had such a great time that I totally forgot to take pictures, except for the one above. It's a piece of vegan peanut butter strudel cream pie from a vegetarian restaurant called Rosetta's Kitchen.

I have a short-term rental set up for June 1 and a job offer at a fun, exciting, and forward-thinking web company. The pay is shit, but I think I will be able to go to work every day without wanting to hang myself. Afterall, I'm not relocating all the way across the country just to keep having my soul sucked dry.

Now I have to get myself ready to move: sell my furniture, pack up what I need to take, and donate everything else. I can't seem to make it happen fast enough.

Raw food dish of the week - Pad Thai

I've thought about this dish many times as I passed it by in my recipe book. It just never seemed like it would be anything great. But it was fantastic!

Noodles: Summer squash, mung bean sprouts.

Sauce: Cashew butter, orange juice, Bragg Liquid Aminos, agave nectar, fresh ginger, wild jungle peanuts.