Our travelmonth started in the beautiful city of San Francisco, where I was lucky enough to spend my year as an au pair. My friend got in from Connecticut, the night before, so that we were able to experience this adventure, together. I showed her around the city and said goodbye to some of my favorite places, like the wonderful Pier 39 and the Golden Gate Bridge. I know it’s super touristy, but I love all the different things the Pier has to offer and the Bridge always gave me a special feeling. I will never forget the impact it had when I crossed it, for the very first time.
And of course, I wanted to visit some places, last minute, because I was too lazy to go there, all year. It’s always the same, when you leave somewhere, you always have the feeling that you didn’t do and see enough, which is ridiculous, since I had 12 months to explore the city, but oh well. You can’t do everything but this was a good chance to squeeze in a few more things, like the beautiful mosaic steps or city hall, which is absolutely gorgeous. It was hard to say goodbye, even though it was my own decision to leave, but then again, most goodbyes are. I was also very excited though, both for the crazy month ahead of us and seeing my family and friends when the adventure came to an end. The most important thing was that I had someone by my side, who I was always able to share my emotions with and that made it a whole lot better.
The next day, very early in the morning, it was off to a real adventure. We had our fully loaded rental car and after sitting in there for half an hour because the navigation system couldn’t find the next destination, we switched to Google Maps and took off toward Oregon. We got a little too excited and in the first few hours, we managed to almost run dry on gas and got pulled over by a cop. Intelligent me drove too fast, while he was driving right in front of me. But hey, he was too fast, as well. He was nice though and just gave us a warning because we were German. Just stay calm, put on a nice smile and play dumb – it’s the oldest trick in the book. And trust me, I was really not speeding but the American speed limits are just so super frustrating.
Our first stop was Crater Lake, one of the most breathtaking places I have ever seen in my entire life, and I remember standing there feeling really, really happy. I could’ve stayed there forever and just enjoy the incredible silence and beauty of it, but we were on a schedule and had to get to our Hostel in Portland.
That first actual travel day was the worst because I had to drive for a total of 12 hours. Not super fun but we made it. Fun fact: Did you know that you’re not allowed to pump your own gas in Oregon? They have employees who have to do it for you. But then again, there is also a law that states that dishes must drip dry. I’m just not going to comment on that. Anyway, it was our first Hostel experience ever and I have to say, it’s kinda fun but not completely my thing.
I mean, you have to deal with things like an old complaining grandma in your room, who started ranting in the morning because of my coughing. And I’m not joking because she was literally an old grandma who needed help walking and all. She even left the room in her underwear. Also great, guys clogging the toilet and just leaving it that way, or people hanging out who don’t even belong there. I’ve never felt so safe in my life. So yeah, as you can tell, it’s not 100% for me but I think that if you commit to something like this, you can’t go around complaining, you just have to deal with it. Take the hint, grandma.
Portland was really nice and we loved to see fall slowly taking over. It was October and I hadn’t seen one colorful leaf in California. I wanted to wear boots and beanies and Portland was right for that. I especially enjoyed the beautiful Rose Garden because I really love these flowers and for some reason, they always remind me of my grandma. It was just gorgeous but after all, Portland is the City of Roses. We also visited Pittock Mansion and the hike up a super crazy hill reminded me of how fit I am. Not fit at all. Seriously, am I 80? That cranky grandma would’ve probably outpaced me in a sec. Still, we had a lot of fun, as always and that is all that matters.
Our next stop was Seattle, a really awesome city. We dropped off our car at the airport and managed to arrive at our second hostel by train and bus. Note to myself, I will never ever take the bus with that much luggage ever again, no matter how much money it saves me. It was terrible and I’m sure most people were not very amused. Gladly, the bus driver was nice and patient. The Hostel was awesome and much better organized than the first one. We shared the room with lots of fun girls, no old grandmas in sight.
To explore the city, we had one day and we just powered through to see as much as possible. I definitely want to visit again someday, so I can explore more of the city. One and a half days were definitely not enough. I can recommend the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum because it’s absolutely beautiful. You feel like you followed Alice down the rabbit hole and entered a new and colorful world. And of course, you have to visit the gum wall. It’s kinda disgusting and just the thought of tripping and falling into it gives me herpes, but even us two clumsy girls managed not to touch anything.
Furthermore, you’ll find the world’s first Starbucks in Seattle and the Space Needle is a very cool building. We also enjoyed a ride on the ferris wheel, visited Mr.Gray and ate some very delicious hot dogs. Our budget wasn’t really open to indulging in culinary excellence, but a hot dog was totally fine. While moving through the city, we saw so many other things that we would’ve loved to do but you just can’t have it all. Again, I’ll definitely be back, someday. Unfortunately we missed visiting Columbia Tower in time to enjoy a beautiful view of the city, but even an all-round planner person like me has it’s flaws. We had a nice view from the ferry, though.
So overall, Seattle was definitely one of my favorite stops along the ride because it’s just beautiful and has a ton to offer. I love places that will never leave you bored and this is one of them. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye too quickly but our next adventure was already waiting for us. In the middle of the night, we had an Uber pick us up, because we were not so stupid to take a bus again, took the train to the airport and then we were off to Hawaiiiiiiii.