Hi guys! I’m so excited. I am leaving for my trip today. I just wanted to document everything from start to finish so here goes. I got everything packed up last night. I didn’t pack much. All of my things fit into my carry-ons. I packed really light because I wanted this trip to be more about comfort, experiences, and adventure. I didn’t want all kind of crap holding me back. I got almost everything I wanted to get done before I left completed. I really wanted to get to those two baskets of laundry because I start school the day after I get back and didn’t want to have to do that upon my return. Oh well, the laundry will have to wait because adventure is calling! Anyway, I’m just getting a few last minute travel arrangements in line this morning and enjoying a lot of hugs and snuggles with my pups before I leave at 4:30 p.m. this afternoon (I love the evening/red eye flights). I’ll update again when I get to my perfect Seattle! Love you guys!
Greetings from Seattle! I was so tired and cranky last night, there was no way I could update. Surprisingly, I was extremely exhausted but somehow still ended up sleepless in Seattle. Finally, I fell asleep but I didn’t sleep good. I generally have a doggy nose or tail (or two) in my face when I sleep. I miss my pups for sure. Anyway, yesterday was nothing but travel. I ate lunch on my small layover and then read a book the whole flight to Seattle. When the plane got to Seattle, I looked out the window and I saw the Space Needle and my heart melted. I couldn’t help but smile. My life is basically a love affair with Seattle. We (Seattle and I) are in a long distance relationship and we have just seen each other after a long while. Seattle always greets me with such wonderful things. As the plane was landing, it was raining. It was so beautiful! It looked like the plane was flying through white glitter. Clearly, Seattle is a fairy land! It was a day filled with airports, airplanes, luggage, but so much gratitude though. I love the feeling that I get when I feel the airplane's wheels lift off. It’s like all of my stresses and worries are left behind and I am going to see the world.
I think I am going to go get some breakfast downstairs and then get dressed to go out into the city today before my train to Canada later. I am so sad that I am not in Seattle longer but I am so happy to see my cousins! Talk later!
Hello from Canada! Today was the most insane day ever! After I left my hotel, I went to the light rail (subway) in Seattle. When I got off downtown, I used a car sharing app to rent a smart car. That smart car experience was either very exciting or completely terrifying! I cannot decide which. That car was so small. I didn’t know what I was doing. Seattle roads are basically roller coasters with steep declines. The minute I put the little car into drive it started to roll down hill. I caught on quickly and I was off.
I drove to Kurt Cobain’s home. There is a park next door to his house that is an unofficial area where people go to pay respect to him. It’s called Viretta Park. There are benches which people have written messages to him on. People come from all over the world to leave flowers and things in respect. It is amazing how after over 20 years, he still has such an influence on people. While I was there, about 15-20 people came to pay their respects. Some were from the UK and Australia.
The area was beautiful. I took pictures of his house, the park, and Lake Washington. In an effort to get pictures of everything, I ended up full of dirt, grass, and leaves. I tumbled down a hill and caught myself on a tree. It’ got crazy for a while... I spoke to many of the people who came. It was people across different age groups, nationalities, and walks-of-life. It felt so strange to be there. It’s like you could almost feel him there and the sadness for what happened to him… He is truly a legend and I am so lucky to have gotten to go there and walk in the same places he did. Simply a dream come true.
Anyway, I finally found a place to park that ridiculous car and got rid of it. I rode a bus to the light rail station and took the light rail to the train station. At the station, I hailed a cab to take me to the post office so that I could mail something that I got back to myself. I can’t say what it is but if you know me ask me and I will tell you! It was something so special and priceless! (Sorry to leave you guys hanging). After the post office experience, which included rummaging in my luggage and packing up my “thing”, I went back to the train station. There I was informed that I had not purchased a train ticket but a bus ticket. So, I took a chartered bus to Canada. The bus driver was crazy and kept falling asleep at the wheel and burping. I was terrified and disgusted! I kept coughing and banging around so he would stop that nonsense. I made it here in one piece though. My cousins came to get me and we went out for dinner. Dinner was amazing because I have not eaten very much at all since I left home. We ordered salad, chickpea fries (AMAZING!), and flat-breads. It was so good to eat, laugh, and sit outside in the cool Canada air.
We got back home to my cousins house, I am all clean and showered, and about to open the window and watch some Netflix. In my cousin's condo, there is a window that pushes open like a door. I love this window so much! I can feel the breeze and hear the sounds of Vancouver while I drift away to sleep. So lovely!
Time has a way of stopping when you travel and I love it. I feel like I have been gone for so long. I guess it's because I was on the go constantly today. Today was filled with adventure, love, and gratitude. Anyway, time for me to go. Talk tomorrow. :)
Hi guys! I was so tired yesterday that I just could not update. Yesterday was a great day though. When I got up, one of my cousins and I made breakfast at home. We had berries, pita, feta, and smoothies. It was so delicious. After we were done, we walked around the seawall to pick up some friends little twin girls. They are adorable. I met them when they were three and now they are 11. We went to North Van and had lunch at a Persian restaurant. I had a delicious vegetarian pomegranate and walnut stew. It was really rich, kind of sweet, definitely different. After lunch, we walked around the area and went into this pomegranate shop. They made everything out of pom’s. We got super sour pom juice slushies. It was really good and really strong. After that we walked back to our car and drove to West Van. There we went to Lush and other cute shops. The area almost looked like a little village with shops lining the streets. When we left we came back to the condo and met up with my other cousin and some friends. We all walked down to the seawall to watch the sunset. Dogs walked by. One even came running and crashed into me. She was an adorable little pug named Coco. She made me miss my dogs. I miss their beautiful faces so much.
Anyway, some of the best times of my life have been spent along the seawall in Vancouver. I love how people really “live-live” here. They live in this amazing place where the weather is always great, they eat outside at restaurants, they walk everywhere, and take their dogs with them. I love sitting and watching the boats on the water. Nothing I ever say in this blog will describe how wonderful it is. I wish I could put the feeling down here for you all to understand. Simply indescribable... In talking to those who live here about how great it is, they just don’t get it. It’s sad that they take for granted the beautiful place that they are blessed to live in when other people are dying for their view.
Ok, so I will write later. I am not sure what I am doing today yet. I want to get some Tylenol or something. I slept crazy and now my neck hurts. I know there is an art museum with a Picasso exhibition that I would love to see. I will go for now. Talk later. :)
Hi guys! Today was another fantastic day. My cousin and I walked 20 blocks to her mom’s house for lunch. The walk was great. I saw the most beautiful flowers, interesting sites and people. When we got to her mom’s house, she was still cooking so we decided to take their precious little dog down to the seawall for a walk. This seawall was amazing! It was a totally different view than the one outside my cousin's condo. Simply breathtaking. I took so many pictures! So many people were out sitting in the grass and walking their dogs. We decided to sit in the grass for a while with the little dog. She just loved it! Also, the little dog basically walked us. It was hilarious to see her lead the way. She knew every corner that we were going around and waited with her nose at the elevator door. She walked right to her condo like a big girl! I love her!
After the walk, we went back to eat lunch. My cousin’s mom prepared a feast for us. There was veggie patties, a Persian eggplant dish, a Persian soup, a nut and date cake, etc. It was amazing. After lunch and visiting for a while, my other cousin came to pick us up. We then drove to Coquitlam to visit another of our cousins. Coquitlam is about an hour away from Vancouver. Once we got there, we decided to stop off at a hookah bar. It was so neat! We had so much fun, laughing, eating bon-bons, drinking tea, and of course smoking hookah… So crazy that I did that right?!?! Anyway, once we were finished there, we headed over to our cousin’s new, beautiful home!
Her home is amazing and I hope to live in such a perfect home one day. She told me that the home was like a “junk house” when they purchased it. They completely remodeled it. The walls are a super light matte gray color and all of her decorations are bursts of beautiful, bright colors! Simply beautiful! The back yard is also so perfect! The grass is different than normal grass. I think it is that “low-maintenance grass”. It’s super soft. The whole place looked like a house out of a home magazine! I’m in love! Lol.
Anyway, I got to meet her little baby for the first time and I love her so much! The most adorable little doll ever! So happy and cute! I also got to meet another cousin that I didn’t know existed. She was visiting Canada for a month! They prepared a feast for us as well. When we got there, there was a beautiful spread of cheeses, chips, crackers, fruits, and candies in beautiful little dishes. We snacked on that and visited. After that, they BBQed for us. They were so sweet and even grilled veggies for me since I don’t eat anything that had a face. It was delicious! Following dinner, they brought out the most yummy pistachio cream bar cake. I don't know what it was but it was flaky and creamy! Soooo good!
After everything was over, we gave hugs and kisses and headed back to Vancouver. There was a sadness leaving tonight because tomorrow morning I am leaving. We didn’t talk about it but I know we all felt it. Anyway, I am going to take a shower and get some sleep. I have an early bus back to Seattle tomorrow…
Hello. Today was such a bittersweet day. We all got up early this morning and got ready, made lunches, and headed out. My cousin gave me food to take with me for the bus ride back to Seattle. So sweet and kind. We dropped one of my cousins off at the hospital where she works and my cousin took me to the train station to catch my bus before he headed to work. As we drove through the streets of downtown Vancouver, I felt a lump in my throat. I constantly tried to swallow it but it was to no avail. When we got to the train station, I quickly got myself and my luggage out. I walked around the truck and hugged my cousin and kissed his cheek. He did the same. I told him that I wanted to cry and he said “No tears”. Later my dad told me that my cousin had called him and told him that he cried when we left. It is so heartbreaking to leave him. He is like my brother and I love him so very dearly. We tease each other all the time but at the end of the day, he is very dear to my heart. One of my favorite people in the world for sure. Even now as I write this, I am filled with tears. I cried in the train station for the two hour wait. I cried the entire three hour ride to Seattle. I cried on the light rail to the hotel and in the hotel for two hours. My heart was so broken.
I eventually sucked it up and pulled it together enough to get ready and head to Pike Place Market. I ate at the famous Lowell’s Restaurant in the market (from the movie Sleepless in Seattle). I had a market vegetable sandwich with fries! It was so delicious. I purchased lychee from a fruit stand in the market and shopped around a bit. I also got a piroshky (Russian pastry) for dessert to take back to the hotel with me. I headed to the light rail and took in the nice ride and lovely Seattle scenery. I imagined my life here in two years and how it will be so wonderful to never have to miss Seattle again… My home.
Now I am back in my room and I just took a shower. I’m so tired. I am about to go down to the lobby and get some fruits and veggies. My mom and I did this each night the last time we stayed here. It was such a treat for us. I just have to do it for old times sake. I’m going to save them for the morning and have my piroshky and call it a night. Tomorrow is the Persian Festival and I cannot wait! Good Night!
Hi! Today was such a fantastic day(s). Since my flight was an overnight flight on the 13th, these days have just continued into each other. However, these days were so perfect that you just know there is a God. Days so perfect that I could never have imagined them in my wildest dreams. Heaven definitely touched earth today! My life has changed! What a difference a day makes! :)
I got up, got packed up, and checked out of my hotel. The hotel held my luggage for me so that I could go to the Persian Festival. I got on the light rail again and then got on the Seattle Monorail which brought me to Seattle Center. Once I got there, I headed to the Armory where the Persian Festival was taking place. I walked around a bit and then decided to eat lunch. I got a veggie pita sandwich and fries. I enjoyed my lunch and then was going to sit down to let my food settle, take in the events, and listen to some Persian music. Just as I sat down and was getting comfy, someone grabbed my arm. I immediately thought, “OMG, I’m being kidnapped!”. When I turned to see who it was, I saw a familiar face asking me if it was me. I immediately got up and screamed “OH MY GOD!” and hugged this person. It was a cousin that I spoke to on social media all the time but had never met. I had wanted to meet her for such a long time. The universe gave me a gift today! It was truly a moment of pure serendipity (my favorite word). A fortunate accident to meet this person. She is from California. Neither of us knew the other was in Seattle or at the Persian festival or anything. It just happened. After hugs and kisses, pictures, and so much freaking out we sat together and talked. She was with her husband and cousins. We all decided to go see the cooking demonstration by a famous Persian Chief that was part of the festival. The chef is Najmieh Batmanglij. She cooked dinner for the president at the White House!I purchased one of her cookbooks and she signed it for me. I even got a picture with her. It was such an honor to meet her.
After this, we walked, talked, and shopped around with my cousin. I bought a few things (t-shirt, Persian sweet bread, European doilies, and Persian ice cream). Eventually, it was time for me to go. My flight was leaving at 8:30ish and I had to get back to the hotel to get my luggage and head to the airport. I was so sad to leave my dear cousin. She is my mom’s age so she is more like my aunt. I so did not want to leave her. She walked with me to the doors of the Armory, kissed me, hugged me tight, and I left. Again, I felt a great sense of sadness. Not only because I was leaving my beautiful Seattle, but also because I was again leaving a family member whom I dearly loved.
The Monorail station is in a mall, so I ended up shopping around a bit more. I went into a few little gift shops (I love them!). I bought a book with nothing but Trader Joe’s recipes. I also bought two more books that are by my favorite children’s book author, Stephen Cosgrove. He wrote “Serendipity”. My favorite book as a kid and my favorite word. The two books are of course, children’s books. He is from Seattle and the two books are set in and about Seattle. One is even about a rescued kitty cat. The books are “The Wheedle on the Needle” and “The Wheedle and the Noodle”. It’s kind of funny… It’s like even as a child, the universe was pointing me towards Seattle and saving animals… :)
My last rides on the Monorail and the light rail were spent taking in as much of my city as I could. I kept telling myself that it won’t be long until I am a Seattleite, not only in my heart but for real. Anyway, I got to the airport, checked in, and sat at my gate. I was filled with so many different feelings: sadness, gratitude, happiness… I finally boarded my flight. I walked down the corridor, which felt like an eternity, sat in my seat and thought to myself what an amazing, life-changing trip this has been. I am so sad that my beautiful trip is over.
I got to California and had a small layover. Little did I know when boarding this plane, that something so kind, so amazing was about to happen to me. The flight was leaving sometime after midnight. The real red-eye flight. Ha. I chatted with the people in the seats next to me about our travels. Eventually, the flight attendant came by with drinks and gave us all little bags of pretzels. The people next to me ended up getting four bags and I only got one. The lady asked me if I would like to have one of her extra bags. I told her yes and thanked her because I hadn't eaten since lunch. After we ate pretzels, we all settled in and took naps. When the flight landed and I woke up, I was gathering my things and waiting to get off the plane when the lady in front of me asked me “Are you the lady that said she didn’t eat all day?” I thought for a minute and then recalled my conversation with my seatmate about the pretzels. I told her yes and that I had been a long, busy day. She handed me something and with a kind smile and said: “Well, make sure you get something to eat.” I was confused and looked down and saw it was money. I told her: “No, you don’t have to do that. I have money. It’s just been a long day.” She said to just take it. The line was building behind me and I had to get off the plane. When I got into the airport I looked down and saw that she had handed me a twenty dollar bill! I waited for her and when I saw her I just walked up to her and hugged her! I continued to tell her that I had money. She grabbed my hands and told me that I looked like her granddaughter and that she wanted me to have it. I could have kissed her for being so kind to me, a perfect stranger! There is hope for this world yet!
If by some chance that you ever read this, I think of you often and pray for you daily. Your act of kindness has inspired me to do kind things for others. You changed the world the day you gave me twenty dollars for food. Whoever you are, I hope you are always happy and I hope our paths cross at some point in this life again. I don’t know your name but you are forever my friend. Much love to you always dear friend.
Anyway, I got breakfast and got to my last flight home. The flight home was cancelled due to extreme weather where I live. My flight was changed to the town where I go to school. I called for my dad to come and get me and he did. When I got off the plane and got down to the loading area, I saw him. I was so happy to see his face. He hugged me and took me to eat lunch and then to get dessert and coffee at a near-by place that we used to all go to as a family when I was a kid.
We drove home and he dropped me off. When I walked in my big dog ran up to me and started kissing my face. I am so happy to see him, yet so sad to be home all at the same time. So many wonderful things have happened to me. I felt like I was glowing. How am I ever going to return to normal? I hate feeling like this. I always feel like this when returning from a trip. I feel bad for feeling this way, some people never get to have the experiences and the adventures that I have just had. Yet, I can’t help it... I am going to get a few things unpacked and show my mom my pictures.
Thank you all for “flying away with me” and for all the sweet messages and well wishes that you have sent me. This trip has been my best adventure yet and I am forever filled with gratitude for the adventure! I have truly lived because I have travelled. Check out some of my travel pictures below! Much love! Until next time!