Traveling from Portland to Seattle by way of the San Juan Islands, my husband and I logged nearly six hundred miles weaving along coastal highways and through national forests canopied by hemlocks.
This was our first visit to the Pacific Northwest. Along with a change of scenery, we experienced several firsts.
1. Our hotel in Astoria, Oregon (The Hotel Elliott) had heated floors. Living in Dallas where everything is naturally heated by the relentless sun, I’ve never considered such a luxury. What a welcomed surprise after sleeping with the windows open and waking to chilly fifty degree mornings.
2. We visited an alpaca farm. These creatures, a cross between a llama and an Ewok, were mild-mannered, curious and hypoallergenic. After watching the owner spin buttery-soft wool, I almost wanted to take up knitting.
|Oregon Alpaca Farm
3. We lulled away time at a lavender farm. The aroma floated over rolling hills making the entire afternoon dream-like.
|Lavender Farm, Mt. Hood River Valley, Oregon
4. We hiked through a rainforest. Walls of spruce soared two hundred feet, a reminder of our country’s majesty.
5. We wandered around Powell’s, the world’s largest independent bookstore. It’s a super-sized miracle I’m not still there.
6. I ate pan-fried oysters for breakfast. I’ve never been much of an oyster fan, but plucked fresh from the sea, these were deeeelicious.
7. Much of our route was marked by Tsunami Evacuation Route signs—another first and a bit unnerving. In Dallas we worry about tornadoes and drive-by shootings and heat stroke—all impossible to warn via highway department signage.
New surroundings summon new thoughts and ideas, a different way of looking at life.
What new things have you experienced lately?
This was written for Day Seven of the Write Tribe Festival of Words. Prompt: the number Seven.