Friday, June 01, 2012

The Northwest: Seattle, Vancouver, and Portland

In the past three weeks a lot of things happened: I started working as a tutor at the BYU English language center, the baby continued to grow bigger everyday, Mr. L started his summer classes, we took a road trip and drove all the way to Seattle, Vancouver B.C, and Portland, and I quit my job.

First, I want to talk about my job. It was a really good job and pays rather well. I enjoy tutoring English language learners from all over the world and help them with their pronunciation and writing. However, I don't like the hours I got. I only work one hour a day from Monday to Thursday even though I applied for more hours. There were too many tutors during the summer semester. Everyone tries to earn a few extra bucks while they are not in school. The main reason I decided to quit is I hurt my back/hip. I think I hurt it when I bent forward one day trying to reach my make up bag on my bed. I might have pulled a muscle or something but the pain increases when I walk. I usually walked to work since it's only about a 25 minute walk and Mr.L needed to use the car on Mondays and Wednesdays. With this back/hip pain, I can no longer walk long distance or for a long time. So I decided to quit my job and stay home and be a bum (actually, I really need to finish my MA project this summer). I am rather happy with this decision since I am always sleepy around 3pm, which is the time I need to get in to work. 

Mr.L and I had planned to go on a road trip to California to see the giant red wood trees this summer, but we changed our plan and decided to go on a longer trip to the Northwest during the Memorial Day weekend. We left early on Thursday, drove for like 13 hours to Seattle, stayed there that night, went sight-seeing around the city the next morning, and drove up to Vancouver, Canada that very evening.

When I did my research about Seattle, I didn't find many things that intrigued me. That was why we only spent a day there. The city turned out to be quite fun to see, especially the Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square. I love the green pine trees, humidity, and cloudy sky in Washington. I don't know why people always say rainy day is depressing. To me it is nice. Okay, maybe not the constant rain, but the constant cloudy sky is the best. I can be outside all day long without having to wear sunscreen or worry about getting super tan. 

Pike Place Market. It was fun to see the fish throwing.

Tulips are so pretty! I love all the fresh flowers they have out, not in the fridge.

Golden pig is a symbol of prosperity for Chinese so I had to touch it and take a picture with it. Oh, Mr.L bought me a tulip :) 

 When we asked the man at the information desk at the market the direction to the waterfront, he told us about the second most disgusting place in the world: this gum wall. I am glad he told us about it. I loved it! BTW, I never found out what the first most disgusting place in the world was.

I loved the little figurines on the wall. So cute!

King Station on King street, close to the Chinatown. Do you even notice me? 

Space needle. I expected it to be much taller. We didn't go up. 

A hand-blown glass exhibition. Obviously, glassblowing is a big thing in Seattle. There were so many amazing pieces at this exhibition. You can see my Facebook photo album for more pictures.

My favorite exhibition. It's a boat full of glass orbs.

Vancouver was a little disappointing. I think the highlight was the Capitano suspension bridge, 20 minutes outside of Vancouver. The city itself is boring. It is filled with condos and office buildings that looked really neat. Then there's Stanley park, which is not bad. Oh, and there are lots of Asian restaurants in the city. Lots! I wanted to go to Victoria to see the Butchart garden, which I heard was really pretty. But we decided not to cause it was 3 hours away from Vacouver and we'd have to take a ferry and pay $55 each way. $110 and 6 hours for a garden...not worth it. 

Capilano suspension bridge, tree house, and cliff walk park

To be honest, my legs shook as I was walking across this long bridge. It was shaky in the middle. 

 On the cliff walk with the suspension bridge in the back

So on the website it says the cliff walk is not for the faint of heart. It was not scary AT ALL! I guess that means my heart is not faint. 

After the suspension bridge, we went back to our hotel to take a nap before going to the Stanley park. 
Pretty flowers at Stanley Park.

I love this white flowers meadow. 

This tree was really cool too. It was like a willow tree, only it wasn't. I have no idea what it was. 

This marina is in Stanley Park as well. 

Happy to go home to the U.S. even though the immigration officer was NOT at all friendly. Why so stern? :p

The last place we went to was Portland, Oregon. I love Portland. For some reason I feel like it has its own personality. It is a lot like Seattle too. I love all the cute food carts with food from all over the world. I also love the Japanese Tea garden and an artisan ice-cream parlor called Salt and Straw. The highlight was seeing the Multnomah Falls and Thor's Well. Multnomah Falls was about 30 minutes outside of Portland and it was one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've ever seen (and I have seen many waterfalls). It is not just about how tall it was. For some reasons, there was something special about it, the water, the location, the bridge, the plants around it, the mist, everything looks so perfect together. Thor's Well was 3 hours away from Portland, on the Oregon coast. It was so worth the drive. The coast was really pretty. It was so amazing to see Thor's Well in real life, though it appeared to be smaller than what I saw in the pictures, and many people don't even know about this place. I didn't get to see it way up close because it was rocky to go out there and the waves were really big and it could wash a fragile weak preggo swimmer like me away. Mr.L got way up close to see it though, almost all the way next to it and he got me some nice shots of the well. It looks amazing! 

Multnomah Falls. Isn't it so pretty? I love love love it. 

Some cute colorful houses we drove past, on the way to the International Rose test garden.

Well, there were about 7000 roses in the garden but not all of them bloomed. These are "mini roses", as you can probably tell. 

These are red velvet roses

At the Japanese tea garden. I read that it's one of the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan. It is pretty cool to see. There were 5 small gardens altogether.

This is my fav. I wish I were there in Fall. 
The red tree leaves would add a different kind of beauty to this scene.

Before heading to the Oregon Coast, we stopped at the food truck lot for some Indian food. 
This one serves all kinds of European food and I love the colorful design of the truck.

Many more food trucks

I forgot the name of this lighthouse. I think it is called Yachina lighthouse. 
I have always wanted to take a picture like this. Thanks, Oregon, for fulfilling my dream. 

A blowhole near Thor's Well. I think it is called Spouting Horn. 

Tada~ Thor's Well! Amazing, isn't it? I always wonder what would happen if I got swept into it. 
I guess that's bye bye for me. I truly marvel at this nature wonder. 

After a good night's rest we drove 15 hours home to Provo. Let's just say it is so much more fun on the way to than on the way back from the Northwest. I am so glad we made it back safely. I am always happy to come back to our small, messy two-bedroom apartment. 

1 comment:

Ivy Ting said...

The last picture is cool but make me shiver at the same time to think about what if I drop into it. Haha