I managed finally to find Powell's Books in Portland. Way over-hyped. I didn't like it. It is too big, too commercial, too uppitty.. just *too* everything. And far too crowded. Not my style, at all. But, then I went and finally managed to get in contact with some people who lived up in the area (sorry, geckoinpdx, I got your info while I was already out with tragerstreit and noodlboy) and we went out for sushi for lunch. Wasn't too bad, but something about it left a not-so-happy feeling in me. So ja, had lunch and had a great time talking with them. I haven't seen them in so many years, and I do so enjoy spending time with them. Thank you, both of you, for taking the time out of your day to entertain me for a few hours. I appreciated it a great deal.
After that, I drove up north further to dotarvi's place. We had dinner at a local pizza place, which proved exactly what I needed to calm my innards after the sushi. Great pizza. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Allow me, for a moment to digress somewhat. I've now driven for a few hundred miles (not exactly a grand ammount by any stretch of the imagination, but enough) in each of California, Oregon, and Washington. I have discovered a few rather interesting facts:
-) Washington drivers are trained first on the brake pedal. They must have special cars that don't have any gas pedals, but have extra-big brake pedals. "Speed Limit 60" (the predominant speed limit in this state) means everyone drives 55. A slight lane-shift of 5 feet is enough to warrant slowing down by at least 10mph. There is no "fast lane" concept anywhere in this state. Everyone gets on the freeway, merges over a few lanes to the left, and proceeds to drive nice and slow. I found the best way to get somewhere fast was to merge far to the right, as no one wants to drive in that lane (can't fathom why) and you'll be able to get up to a decent speed (at least the speed limit) without much hassle.
-) Oregon roads are AMAZING! I don't know why, but there is something about the highways in Oregon that lets me get the most amazing mileage. I was going uphill at 65, and still managing to pull a good 50mpg, easy (this would never happen in either WA or CA). Their roads may be noisy, but they are smooth and well maintained.
-) Oregon drivers drive the speed limit, most of the time. Major highways will change speed limit multiple times, and the drivers on them will slow down or speed up accordingly (something you'd never see in CA), but on the minor highways people seem to think they are private roads and they will drive as fast as the car can physically manage.
-) California drivers are rude. Let's face it, guys, we are. We'll merge into a lane with less than a car's length behind us. We'll fly down city streets without a care in the world for pedestrians standing at the corner. We'll happilly tailgate someone in hopes that this person will merge over to let us pass. Here in WA (and to some degree in OR as well), none of this ever happens. They are just so much more considerate on the road here, it's amazing. Kinda frustrating in a way, also.
Ah well, I guess you just kinda have to get used to each little area's personality. That's part of the point of traveling, right?
So yeah, where was I? Ah yes, the awesome pizza.. And then we slept.
We walked around Seattle. Had some local coffee, not bad. Saw a great little marketplace with flying fish. Got a good feel for the city, will feel more tomorrow and have more to say on it then. Had great food in the needle, and spent a good half hour in a truly rawking kitchen store. :) Yeah, I may not do much cooking, but I love to when I can and I always enjoy wandering around kitchen stores and thinking of all the little things I could do with this-or-that. Great fun. :)
And that's all the update you get for now. I'm going to rest for a bit. There may be more updating after dinner, or perhaps you'll have to wait till tomorrow.