After our Halloween in Seattle, and the start of our international tour, we were hardly ready to pack up and head back to the states. On our last day in Vancouver we stopped and grabbed all you can eat sushi for lunch. This was a marathon and not a sprint. We tried a little of everything and both endured major food comas afterward.
Despite the urge to lie down and succumb to the food baby inside, we decided to walk to Stanley Park instead. The park was incredibly beautiful with all the fall colors scattered on the trees by the Vancouver bay. It was a perfect way to walk off some of our sushi.
After the park we decided to head to Commercial Street, which we heard was queer, artsy and full of poetry. We went in search of Vancouver’s Van Slam, but were saddened to learn that the venue was closed. We later learned we had gone to the wrong venue; it turned out to be at Café Deux Soliel and not Café Du Soliel, so confusing!!
Mishap aside, we ended the night strong with pizza and Dexter on Netflix. In the morning, we had to say goodbye to Canada and head back to Seattle, where Hannah and Tiffany were waiting to greet us again! The four of us grabbed dinner on the waterfront, and went to a free production of Les Miserables in Issaquah.
The glass blowing museum was incredible and it was truly spectacular to see what could be created with molten glass and human breath. It was hard to determine which of the two attractions were the most breathtaking.
As the sun went down, we started heading towards Scratch Deli for the Rain City Slam. The venue was intimate, but powerful. They packed the house and the poets were incredibly talented. The audience was live, appreciative and supportive. Poetry lovers in Seattle should make it a point to stop by and check out this venue!
Our stay in Seattle was wonderful, but there was only more magic to come as we headed south to Portland, Oregon to visit our A-Camp cabin mate, Andie! The first night we arrived it was her birthday! We grabbed dinner at a local Indian restaurant, and a lot of her friends made an effort to make it kind of boring because the next night, we were planning a surprise party!
While Andie was distracted with a fancy date night, the rest of her friends gathered with booze, streamers, cake and a creepy but awesome birthday banner. She had no idea and we ended up scaring the crap out of her. The party was a smashing success, and we managed not to wake up in a drunken hungover haze.
In the morning, we headed to the Saturday Market in downtown Portland. We perused all kinds of art vendors, tasted free samples and even got a birthday present for Marine’s dad. We grabbed some infamous Voodoo doughnuts after waiting in line for half an hour. Walking around with the pink box was like holding a talisman of deliciousness. Everywhere we went people asked about the delicacies lurking inside.
In the evening, we met up with fellow A-Camper and poet, Brenda for an impromptu poetry reading, and everyone there agreed upon brunch the following morning.
We met at Night Light for bottomless mimosas and delicious breakfast foods. We definitely got our money’s worth and ended up a bit out of sorts for the rest of the afternoon. Bottomless mimosas generally spell out a really unproductive day. However, not all was lost because Powell’s bookstore was open until 11pm.
Powell’s is a Portland landmark and spans an entire city block. It’s a reader’s paradise, and we snatched up a few books for sale before calling it quits.
In the morning, we fly to San Francisco. It will be the first time back in the sunshine state in almost three months. There’s still a few weeks of the adventure left, and we promise we’ve saved the best for last!
Up next: San Francisco, CA
After a week crammed full of poetry, meet ups and thrift store shopping in Denver, it was time to head up to perhaps the rainiest part of the country, Seattle. We arrived on a dark and stormy night and were picked up by Hannah and Tiffany, an adorable couple we met at A-Camp!
While on the road, we’ve kept a lot of our costs down by getting groceries and cooking wherever we’ve been staying, which is something we love to do at home. Halloween was no exception. We walked to the local grocery store and picked up some ingredients to make these awesome “Hatch burgers” made infamous by Unami burger.
We roasted some Anaheim and poblano chile peppers, then grilled up our burgers in soy sauce and served them on a toasted butter bun with garlic mayo and chips. It was inexpensive and delicious!
When Hannah and Tiffany got home from work it was time for the witching hour to begin! Seattle on Halloween was fall perfection. The leaves were falling, the children were wandering the streets in search of candy and the dog was dressed like a bumblebee.
Luckily, we had managed to score some cheap costumes at a thrift store back in Denver, and had some fun accessories to prowl the night in! We first stopped for some hard cider and people watching before heading to the infamous ”10 Things I Hate About You” troll.
When we got there, there were bagpipers playing, and a whole host of people dressed in costume. We carried on to Hannah’s family friend’s place, which was decorated to the nines with creepy baby corpses, vats of dry ice and jumping spiders.
Overall, our Halloween was the perfect mix of cute and creepy, with plenty of candy to go around. We couldn’t stay out too late because the very next morning, we were going international!
We woke up extra early and caught a bus to the Greyhound station to head into Vancouver, Canada. Of course, Greyhound being the corporation that it is, failed to tell us that it had cancelled all early morning buses to Canada. This left us with a free afternoon to go explore downtown Seattle. We made the most of our snafu and headed to the famous Pike Place Market to shop around, score free samples, and watch the day begin to stir from sleepy morning to bustling afternoon.
After a bowl of chowder and a shrimp louie salad for lunch, we meandered back up to the greyhound station ready to head up to Canada! Despite the early morning mishap, the coach was clean and all the staff was friendly. This station was an entire departure from the greyhounds we rode through the south. We only arrived a few minutes past our newly scheduled time and we were greeted by A-Camp staffer and friend, Geneva!
She helped us navigate the public transit and we feasted on Chinese takeout before ending the night with Mario on her old school Nintendo 64.
The next morning it was pouring rain outside and we were in desperate need of umbrellas, Canadian money and food. After stopping and stocking up on bus tickets, umbrellas and cash, we headed to Granville Island to check out their shops, brewery, and grab something to eat! We ate lunch in this cozy spot by the fire and warmed up with some honey lager before braving the rain again.
The next morning was Sunday Funday, which all queermos know is the best time for brunch. After skyping with Gabby and Carmen, who were brunching it up in DC, we decided to make crepes. However, after failed attempts at making them over a hot plate, and even baking them in the toaster oven, we figured bagels and mimosas would do just as well.
In the evening, we headed out into downtown Vancouver to explore the gay part of town,Davies Street, and to find some dinner for ourselves.
In Canada, Halloween and Thanksgiving are now over, so every store-front in town is decked out for the Christmas season. The temperature was dropping so we linked arm in arm and strolled through the twinkling lights of the city. We stopped to try some roasted chestnuts and settled on a spot for dinner. It might be the most romantic time of the year speaking, and we’ve been on the road together for 85 days, but the fire isn’t even close to going out.
Up next: More Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR