May 18 2010

434 Calories of travel wisdom.

May 17th, 2010

A glass of wine would have been fewer calories, but it didn’t come with these quotes.

Don’t eat anything you cannot lift. Miss Piggy
All you need is love. John Lennon
You are what you are when no one is looking.  Robert C Edwards
Life is too important to be taken seriously.  Oscar Wilde
Do or Do Not.  There is no try. Yoda
Hope is a waking dream. Aristotle

Lots of wisdom for 434 calories and a couple of bucks (American. Canadian coins are no longer accepted).

I am in the dining car of Amtrak’s Cascade Express.  My seatmate in car 9 had the look of a seasoned traveler; a nice way of saying he was smelly. Before I could decide how to deal with that I was sharply whacked on the head when the fellow in front of me declined his seat as I reached in the bag at my feet.   A swift kick to the head might be in order some days but the last time I bet on No. 9 was at a Derby Day party.  I raced for the comfort of a window seat in the bistro between cars 2 and 3.  So I’m watching the scenery, craning my neck occasionally to see what is around each bend, with an oatmeal cookie and hot coffee at my side.   The sun is poking through the trees.  I am on my way home after a weekend in Seattle.

The gypsy in my soul is waking up with each sip of java.

My sister recently repeated the advice she had bestowed on me in the early 1980’s.  “Settle down and you’ll meet someone.”  The encore was prompted by me sharing Buz’s comment about my two-city status. I reminded Shelley I didn’t follow her advise then; probably wouldn’t now.  Besides, I’d argue today, I met lots of people the past two days.

First there was the bicycle taxi owner on the waterfront.  He offered me tips on where to ride my recently inherited bike upon my return to Portland.  It was fun to hear him call out “Hey Portland” whenever our paths crossed later in the day.  A real gem was Jan, a Seattle Opera Volunteer, whose last name I should have caught. Her telling of the first act of “Amelia,” while we hovered close to a small theatre monitor in the lobby, was as engaging as what the audience heard inside. (I was uncharacteristically early to the theatre but had been given the wrong show start date by the hotel concierge so row G had a vacancy until intermission).  Jan also supplied added color with local production tidbits not in the program.

There was also Michael, the music history professor waiting tables at Tavolata, who promised he’d like nothing better than to email me suggestions for new music to download via iTunes.  And who can forget Desmond at the hotel front desk when by day two he was blowing me air kisses as I stepped off the elevator.  This after I handed him his head for botching part of my Sunday plan.  We indeed kissed and made up.

And least you think the trip was just brief, new encounters with no threads to my past or future, Tavolata is one of four restaurants (see the link below) owned by Chef Ethan Stowell, the brother of Portland friend and Oregon Ballet Theatre Artistic Director Christopher Stowell.  I also meet at noon on Sunday with Tulsa friend and caterer Angie Johnson of eat2u.  Connecting by phone Friday on business alerted us to the fact we’d both be in Seattle for the weekend.  Her ex-husband of 19 ½ years bought us a drink and took our photo near Pike and 4th. (I wish we had a photo of Dean taking the photo; he did quite a back bend to get my lime green walking shoes in the photo.)

There is one person I didn’t meet this time in Seattle but we still got to know each other better through the trip.

Where to next?  After work tonight I am going to get out a map and consult the Whippets.

What about you?  Will you travel by boat, train, car or plane?  Where to?  And with whom will you share the journey?

I hope you’ll post photos! Lots…   Traveling is great.  Sharing makes it better.

As always, Trix

http://www.ethanstowellrestaurants.com/