Sometimes we just need an excuse

We’re on our way to Seattle for a mini-road trip right now because Patrick wants to attend an In Design User Group. The featured speaker is someone who just self-published his own book so his advice will most likely be quite invaluable.  Patrick thought it would be useful to attend since we are self-publishing my travel memoir in the next year and he is in charge of the design and layout. I couldn’t agree more. Plus, it gave us an excuse to go to Seattle.


Even though it is July 10, the weather is cool and overcast. Definitely too cold for what I am wearing—a miniskirt, tank top and flip flops. We returned from Charleston, SC a few days ago. After spending several weeks relishing in the hot, hot, heat we came back to discover that summer had arrived in Portland. But summer is never an actual season here; there are days of summer mixed in with days that feel like fall. After being in Charleston—a place that embraces the full season whole-heartedly—and returning to this, there is no doubt in my mind that I will be living somewhere farther south in the next few years. It’s the little details, like realizing how much I miss seeing the sun on a regular basis, that assures me we’ll need to move. Missing the sun is my excuse.

When the wheels start turning in my mind and I know I’m going to move away from a place, I tend to start daydreaming my life away. It’s happened pretty much everywhere I lived. Not gonna happen this time around. This time I’m going to embrace the Pacific Northwest a little more than I have lately. I’m going to give it a big ol’ hug and thank it for all the time we have yet to spend together.

I’ve made a plan.

Yesterday, I flipped through two of the local parenting magazines. One of them listed all of the upcoming fairs and festivals. I put the ones we could make on the calendar. We’re going! The other publication had a great neighborhood guide that featured parks, restaurants and other kid-friendly activities to do in many of Portland’s cool neighborhoods. That one is a keeper. I’ve highlighted all of the places that we are going to visit when we do our Portland “staycation” neighborhood excursions. What I found most interesting is that while I was planning these local outings, suddenly my appreciation for where I live skyrocketed. I feel like there is so much to see and do around here and I’ve been missing it all.


And that is why this Seattle trip is taking place. We’ve lived in Portland for eight years and have only visited Seattle twice. Oh the shame! The first time we came, it was for an expo when we were the publishers of the Portland edition of Natural Awakenings. The second time, my best pal Larissa came to visit and wanted to go to Seattle, so we went. That was six years ago. Coming back for a visit is always on our “to do” list. Every winter Patrick and I talk about taking a train up to the city for a weekend when spring rolls around. So far, that trip has yet to happen. Thankfully, we finally found another excuse—a User Group at Adobe headquarters.

Now, we’re cruising up I-5 on our way to Seattle. I’m simultaneously teaching my little pickle to spell words like “ladder” and “Erin” as I write this and am also critiquing a play that one of my relatives wrote. And boy, am I excited. I’m thrilled to try out some new gluten-free and veg cuisine at several restaurants that we’ve researched over the past few days. I’m stoked because we are going to do some touristy things that we didn’t do on our other visits here. I’m also happy that I’ll get some more good material to write about on the RV site at

Sometimes all it takes is an excuse.

                                         And a credit card comes in handy, too.

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