The following is a log of all my travels, both business and pleasure, starting at the beginning of the century. Trips to St. Louis, MO (and similar) are not listed. Entries with an asterisk were strictly pleasure.
This post serves as my primary travel log - it will be updated with future trips.
01.13.05 - 01.20.05 - Leesburg, VA
12.17.04 - 12.20.04 - Sterling, CO
08.17.04 - 08.21.04 - Seattle, WA
05.05.04 - 05.12.04 - Seattle, WA
11.16.03 - 11.21.03 - San Antonio, TX
10.18.03 - 10.18.03 - Cameron, MO
10.03.03 - 10.05.03 - Bangor, ME
10.01.03 - 10.03.03 - New York, NY
09.28.03 - 10.01.03 - San Antonio, TX
08.14.03 - 08.16.03 - Clinton, TN & Nashville, TN
02.21.03 - 03.02.03 - London, England*
As I type this I am on a train traveling from St. Louis, MO to Kansas City, MO. This trip has been my first experience traveling by train as an adult, and by and large it has been a good one. Some observations using this mode of transportation:
- More laid-back than flying and more relaxed than driving. This is, however, at the expense of time, amongst other things.
- No security... no baggage checks, no metal detectors, no groping. Hell, they even let me take a fingernail clipper on board.
- Very scenic. You're at ground level with all the creeks, trees, rivers, small towns, etc. Missouri is a beautiful state, especially in the country.
- Trains have horns. Amtrak isn't shy when using them, either. And as a passenger, I can hear the horn loud and clear every single time it is used as we cross the entire state of Missouri.
- Lots of free time to read, to write, to rest, to sleep, to take in the scenery, etc. In our rapid-fire world, having a long contiguous block of 'me-time' is a good thing.
I find myself in a hotel. The hotel consists of one large structure shaped like a ring and numerous small buildings running along side it that contain five hotel rooms each. Between the clusters of hotel rooms and the ring is a thirty foot long garden with a small, curvy foot path linking the two.
Curious about the ring, I go inside it and explore. There is nothing exciting about it. There is one large reception hall followed by another. In one room a band is setting up while people are putting up decorations, in another room people are mingling around tables of food, and in another room things weren't much different than the latter.
I manage to annoy one or two people while cutting through these rooms, so I decide to explore outside. It is a mild summer night. I hear people in a nearby pool but I can't see them; the pool is surrounded by trees, bushes, and a fence made of brick and wrought iron.
Then, I awake from this dream. Well, kinda.
I awake into sleep paralysis. I can open my blurry eyes enough to see my yellow painting ladder in the corner of my bedroom, but I cannot move. This happens every few months and lasts about thirty seconds; it's of no concern to me. One or two minutes pass... mild annoyance turns to mind concern.
I go back inside the hotel. While exploring I recall seeing some switches at the exit that leads to my hotel room. I walk around the ring and find the exit. Sure enough, there are switches and one of them is labeled 'slow time in room'. I turn it off and go to my hotel room.
Then, again, I awake from this dream. This time I can get out of bed.
What really made the trip, however, was the University Of Washington. On Wednesday, shortly after I flew into Seattle and tracked down my hotel, I walked over to the University of Washington and pretended I was a student. While exploring the campus I stumbled across their school of art, so I walked in and checked out the student galleries.
One of the pieces in the gallery was made by a female student who suffered the loss of her boyfriend. Atop letters that were exchanged during their relationship and newspaper clippings of the drowning were photos that she had taken of places they spent time together and things that were apart of the daily life they had shared. It was awfully personal and chilling.
Neighboring the University Of Washington is a street called University Way that is home to a long strip of shops and restaurants. Along this strip (and nearby) were a number of all-vegetarian and all-vegan eating establishments. The vegan restaurants were incredible... Araya's Vegetarian Place, Pizza Pi, and Mighty-O Donuts (I brought a dozen back to KC!).
There was even a (mostly) raw food restaurant, Chaco Canyon Café. I was excited to try a raw food dish prepared by someone who knows what they're doing, so I asked what items were popular and chose one on the 'best of' list. It was the Spicy Thai Grinder. What I received, however, was not spicy, sure wasn't Thai, and sure as heck wasn't a grinder. It was a mound of nutty paste. Eck! The raw food carrot cake was ok, though.
Nutty grinders aside (no pun intended), Seattle was a great experience.
On Wednesday of this week I was sent out to Seattle, WA for business. I've been lucky that this trip has afforded me quite a bit of time to sight see. With this being my first time in Seattle, there's *lots* to see.
Today I drove around Microsoft's World Headquarters in Redmond, WA. This wouldn't have happened if it weren't for a female college student standing near the onramps for highway 5 and highway 520 with her hand digging around in the front side of her sweatpants. Originally, I planned on taking highway 5 to downtown Seattle to visit the Space Needle, but when such a sight is found in one's peripheral vision it begs a double-take. Before I knew it, I was on highway 520 headed to Redmond.
I can't say much about Microsoft's campus, unfortunately. I only gave it a quick drive-through. I wish I had parked the car somewhere and taken a walk... Next time I'm up here I'll have to tour the facilities. The campus looked nice - the buildings were mixed in with Washington's natural beauty.
Later in the day I did make my way to the Space Needle without distraction.
bi_angel_from_hell_1985188: u see here bi_angel_from_hell_1985188: i have a bf im leaving bc he dont treat me right ok.... bi_angel_from_hell_1985188: and i have no place to live inless i have a bf systmc: Ok. So, say you meet a guy tomorrow. How soon after that would you start living with him? bi_angel_from_hell_1985188: if we click good enough and he askes me to move in than i would systmc: So, by the weekend you'd be moving in? bi_angel_from_hell_1985188: if we clicked yes bi_angel_from_hell_1985188: why systmc: Well, you're making yourself awfully vulnerable. It's obvious that you don't want to be mistreated, considering you're looking for a way out of your current relationship, but by judging a man's character within a day's time you'll likely end up where you are now... if not in a far worse situation. bi_angel_from_hell_1985188: whats that mean systmc: What part don't you understand? bi_angel_from_hell_1985188: all of it
To purchase the condo that I have my eye on, I need a loan. To get the loan, I need to earn the confidence of a lender. This lender knows me only by my financial history and what legal documents I provide them with - they have only what's written on paper to judge me by. As you can imagine, there's no wiggle room when it comes down to asking for one hundred forty thousand dollars. Saying that 'you're good for it' just won't do.
So, today I was told that I need to provide a copy of each check that I wrote to pay rent with for the past twelve months. What this is for is to establish that I have a history of being responsible with such payments.
Well, I never thought that these checks would be seen by anyone other than my roommate and the bank teller that he would hand these to. To make his life a little more interesting when going to the bank, I used the memo field on the checks liberally. Now the lender will see them too. Oy! Here's some of them...
Feb '03: Rent, Groceries, & Illegal Services
Aug '03: Lots of 'D' Batteries (and rent)
Feb '04: Rent & Man-Whoring
Today I put a deposit down on a condo. The deposit holds the condo in my name for the next 15 days to allow me time to get a mortgage and think things over.
The condo is on the 3rd (top) floor of a renovated luxury apartment building from the 1920's. It has hardwood floors, a deck in the front and back, and a separate room accessible from the back deck that was used as a servant's quarters. This is the first time the units have been made into condos, and soon as the weather warms up they'll be putting a wrought iron fence around the property with a security gate and private garages for the residents.
The name of the building is Vanderbilt Place and it is only a couple blocks from the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. There's a quaint little Wild Oats down the street and it is awfully close to The Plaza, Westport, UMKC, KCAI, and a few parks.
I'm pretty excited. It's what I've been looking for... it's a nice place that has personality and offers a lot within a short walk or a bike ride. :-)