Year 2 | A Week in the United States #17: SEATTLE, PEORIA, and DALLAS

I’ve been all over the country this week!  Last Friday, my brother met me in Vancouver, and we had dinner with my Greek coworkers and Canadian trainers. Then we drove across the border, and I spent the weekend in Seattle with him and his partner. We did some touristy things on Saturday, like touring fancy houseboats, drinking bubble tea (my one request), and going to Vidiot, a bar with free video games. On Sunday we had a lazier day, culminating in Thai takeout and streaming Logan. I left Monday, but the short weekend didn’t feel too short because they will be in Peoria in a couple weeks. 

I spent two days in Peoria, one mostly at the library and the second ending  with a talk about HD at my church. 

On Thursday, I drove to Dallas! It’s a 12 hour drive plus stops, and I had been looking forward to this trip since I arrived in the US a month ago. I love long car trips, especially alone. It takes about four hours before my brain is willing to slow down and shut up, and then I got some serious mental vegging in. Lovely. 

I’m staying with the family I nannied for while getting my Master’s, and I’m reminded just how lucky I am to have employers who turned into family. We stayed up the first night talking about their vacation to New Zealand and then Hamilton, proving that even while apart our interests are the same. 

When I woke up on Friday, everyone was gone for work/school, but they had left breakfast and a key for me. I went out for lunch with my old counseling coworkers, then sold some books at Half Price, and got back to the house when the kids got off school. Sanjay, Anju, and Ketan and I got dinner together before meeting Chrisette at the movie theater to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Today, I’m being lazy. We all went out for lunch together, and then the kids and I played LEGO Star Wars. Tonight I’ll go out for dinner with my favorite professor and his wife. 

It’s all so great! Too great! I’m loving being back in the States, and it’s so comforting to know I have such a huge support system all around the country. It’s also so much fun to hang out with Anju and Ketan again, and to know that even when years pass between our hanging out, we can fall back into old rhythms immediately. And driving! It’s so intoxicating to have the freedom to go where I want, when I want, whether that means to a store or another state. And driving down Dallas roads does things to my heart. 

I do love this city – I’ve got a lot of good memories here!

By Land and By Sea

There is something about exploring a city on my own that both invigorates and calms me.  Maybe it’s the sense of ownership that it creates, knowing that I managed to find my way around without help, confident that I actually am competent.  Although I enjoy traveling with friends, I really appreciate opportunities to set off into the wild unknown…of civilized Seattle.

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King Street Station, where Amtrak’s Empire Builder line ends.

We left off (in #44DaysInATrain: DAY THREE) with me in the coffeeshop Zeitgeist, waiting for my brother Roy’s lunch break.  At noon, we arranged to meet for Thai food.  I would walk one way down 1st Ave, he the other, and eventually we would meet up.  I put on my purse, threw my backpack on, and clutched my duffel bag, then cut a wide swath down the sidewalk.  Just when a homeless man called out, “Welcome home!” I wondered if I’d gone too far.  My phone rang, and Roy said, “I’m almost to Zeitgeist.  Where are you?”  We had missed each other, and I had gone further than the restaurant, so we both turned around and eventually met in front of our Thai restaurant.  Continue reading “By Land and By Sea”