Just think of this as the past 2 weeks posts in one massive chunk. fear.
Okay I will start where I left off.. approximately.
Max and I did a lot these past two weeks, but I'll try to condense it down as much as possible. (Hah. After reading through the finished product I just realized that last sentence is a joke.) We only did a small fraction of everything we planned, which is what usually happens. I will write this out day by day, which is more for my benefit than for anyone else's. My memory is apparently crap because Gael and Max had to remind me of several things we did that after only a week I had completely forgotten. Not to say they weren't memorable.. I'm just as dense as rocks at times. Anyway I want to remember this stuff, so the length and detail isn't exactly meant for public consumption. (And this is a journal, after all.) There are a lot more details that I'm leaving out of course, but they're... personal.
Here we go, if you're not interested then skip to the end of the post, that's where it gets at least slightly interesting. ;)
Jan. 20th Sat. -
Max arrived in a rental car. He drove from SeaTac to Port Townsend without any hitches, except for his initial confusion at which side of the car to get in. Like usual he had a ton of gifts from him and his parents. His parents gave me and Gael beautiful silver necklaces from Syria. Mine is jade and Gael's is garnet. Max gave me two silver bracelets and a ceramic "Furious Duck" from Tunisia. I'll try to get a picture of the "Furious Duck", it is truly disturbing. Gael also received a mini stuffed camel. (I won't go into that story right now.) And I a blue glass mascara vase from Morocco. He also brought two bottles of wine, Jaffa Cakes, and Turkish Delights. Gael and I were once again in chocolate bliss.
Jan. 21st Sun. -
The first day was mostly spent waiting for Max's bag that American Airlines lost. They were basically incompetent and flew it all over Washington. That evening we (Max, Dad, Gael and I) all went out to see "Chocolat" with Alix. She was happy to meet Max finally, and vice versa. I loved the movie.
Jan. 22nd Mon. -
Still waiting for Max's bag we (Max, Dad, Gael and I again) took a long walk on Fort Worden beach, and then walked through the old fort tunnels. Max and I picked up his bag at the little local airport and then we all went to the Silverwater Cafe for dinner with Alix, Robin, and Nicholas. I'd never eaten there before, and their food kicks some serious booty. Next time I go there I'm having what Max had: tuna cooked with lavender pepper. *yum* That night we watched "Passion Of Mind" (Alix wanted to see it, had nothing to do with me, honest!) And gawd, it was definitely one of the worst films I've ever had the displeasure of seeing.
Jan. 23rd Tue. -
"We all" will from now on mean "Max, Dad, Gael and I."
We all drove up to Anacortes to see my grandparents. I gave my Grandpa some cognac. Had pizza for dinner. Drove back.
Jan. 24th Wed. -
The great American Mall experience! Max and I bought stuff and I ate too many noodles. We then watched "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" which we both enjoyed.
Jan. 25th Thu. -
Max and I had an early start and drove to the ocean (4 hour drive approx.) and spent a long time on Ruby and Rialto beach. We drove back that night and Tracey was waiting at the house. We all went out to dinner with he and Alix at Khu Larb Thai and watched "Sweet and Lowdown."
Jan. 26th Fri. -
We did some shopping in downtown Port Townsend and bought the Air "Moon Safari" cd for my Mom. Then we had lunch at the Tyler Cafe. I completely forget what we did that evening. Yay me.
Jan. 27th Sat. -
We had planned to visit my family (on my Mom's side) in Eastern WA because they all wanted to meet Max, and it had been over 3 years since I saw them last. It turned out that the train to Spokane only goes at night, so Max extended his car rental a few days and decided to brave the 5 hour drive over there. We had an extremely early morning start, went to the Tyler Cafe to get coffee and cake, see Gael, and then set off. The drive through the passes was thankfully uneventful. We stopped at Vantage by the Columbia River where a sign read in dingy dilapidated lettering; "Welcome to Vantage: We have been expecting you." That creeped us out sufficiently, so we took a photo of it and drove on.
We arrived in Spokane, all covered in snow, and went to my Mom's place. I was so happy to see my Mom, I've been missing her like crazy since she moved to Eastern WA. That evening we went with Mom and her friend Dan to see a band playing medieval music in a coffeehouse. Dan knew the performers because he is in a Celtic band himself. (He also gave me one of his cds.) Then we went to the Satellite for dinner. I also saw Dan's daughter, Abby, who is a year younger than me. We used to cause considerable havoc together when we were younger (broken window, $700 phone bill, etc. ;) She's now married with a baby, and seems very happy.
Jan. 28th Sun. -
Max and I played a lot of Nintendo. I kept giving him lives in Super Mario Bros. cause he kept dying, only to later have him beat me mercilessly in a baseball game. To add insult to injury (the score was something like 9-26, in Max's favor) he kept hitting me with the ball. Bitch. :)
My Uncle Dennis came over and we chatted for awhile. Then Max, Mom and I went to my Uncle Fred's house for dinner with his wife Leni and my cousins Cam (15) and Dan (13). Fred used to be a gourmet chef, so the dinner was absolutely incredible. He made a Cajun seafood gumbo with a side green bean and onion salad with tarragon. I love Fred and Leni, they've always been completely accepting of me and they are like model parents. When I have kids I will definitely follow their example. Cam & Dan are both amazing, and Cam's voice is changing which freaked me out. I still remember being 5 years old and him 1 year old, holding him on my lap. Bizarre.
Jan. 29th Mon. -
Max and I went to downtown Spokane. Ate Taco Bell (shudder), he wouldn't stop whining about it.. "I want Taco Bell!!" Okay, admittedly I was having a craving too for some reason. Though that was quickly forgotten after I ate. It's kind of like my annual craving for Spagetti-O's. They sound incredibly fucking good, I have them, and then I remember why I had been avoiding them for the previous 364 days.
We then picked up a new case and RAM for my pc and went to my Grandma's and her husband Cliff's house with Mom. We had lots of coffee and snacks while chatting. My Grandma isn't doing too well, she's had bad arthritis all my life and it's only getting worse. She is having knee replacement surgery soon, so hopefully that will help her. After that we picked up a deli dinner to have at my Grandpa Hal's, and he gave Max and I some gorgeous wooden pens he made. He's a fantastic carpenter. Then we went to my Uncle Harold and Aunt Leah's house for coffee and strawberry shortcake. (Yes, it was a mad panic "try to see the whole family" kind of day.) They're planning to build an enormous house. It's basically going to be a guest resort. Heh.
Jan. 30th Tue. -
Early morning we went to Grandma & Cliff's for coffee and toast. Saw my Aunt Cindy and met her fiancé Doug. I received a lecture from Grandma saying I need to write her more. *guilt* Fact is she probably couldn't read my handwriting anyway. I can barely read it.
Max and I start off back home at around 9:30 a.m., the passes were a lot snowier this time and we almost had to turn around and go back. We made it through very slowly, only to have a tire burst just as we came out of the mountains. Took about 30 minutes in the pouring rain to change, and then we dumped the car off at SeaTac. The state of the car was very amusing. Dirty, spare tire, and no less than 1,300 miles since Max rented it a week previous. I'm sure they love us. :) We caught the airporter and then the Bainbridge ferry where my parents picked us up to go back to Port Townsend.
Jan. 31st Wed. -
Um.... had lunch at the Burrito Depot. Which is run by a Thai family. They only have a couple Thai dishes on the menu. But their burritos are good. Yah... so is their iced tea. Mm. I'm just taking up space because I really don't remember what the hell we did that day. I think we mostly layed around recovering from our trip.
Feb. 1st Thu. -
We had lunch at the Fountain Cafe (where Efra is the cook.) Efra gave us an invitation for his birthday party on Friday. That night we rented "Saving Grace." Very funny. Did a lot more laying about.. quality time.. ;)
Feb. 2nd Fri. -
We ate lunch at the Tyler Cafe with Gael. We then went with her to see "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" I liked the film, especially the song "Hard Time Killing Floor Blues" by Chris Thomas King. I've had that song on repeat several times now. It's one of those trigger songs for me, I hear it and my mood instantly shifts.
That evening Max and I went for our last dinner together at the Manresa Castle. We both had the same thing.. prawn cocktail starter, leek prawn and potato soup, and curried chicken casimir with a bottle of Fairwinds red wine.
After dinner we met up with Dad, Gael and Alix to go to Efra's party at the Surf bar. There was over 300 people there, everyone already fairly drunk. The drinks were cheap and way too strong. Mine were about 3/4s hard liquor 1/4 whatever else. There was a lot of food, but we couldn't eat much just coming from dinner. Just about everyone I knew in Port Townsend were there, it was neat to see everyone dressed up. Max and I originally intended on only popping in for 30 minutes, but we ended up staying several hours. Later on things were getting a bit rowdy, and two chicks got into a fight next to me. I was pushed over against the wall, and a beer bottle and glass were thrown near Max, Joan and I, splashing us all with beer. We moved away from the scene, which is a good thing since it became a lot more violent. The cops came and Efra decided to move the party to another bar called Sirens. I went along, but I had doubts I would get in because they almost always card there. Both Molly (Gael's co-worker) and I couldn't get in, so we all headed home. It was just as well because I was beyond drunk at that point. I'm usually really good at limiting myself and I only had 3 drinks, but they were stronger than I had anticipated.
Feb. 3rd Sat. -
Max and I got up early, I felt tired and ill. Unsurprisingly. My Dad and I drove Max to Silverdale where he caught the airport shuttle. Teary goodbye, like usual. Fortunately this time around we'll only be spending one month apart. I will be going to London next month, and will probably be there until June.
If you had the patience to make it this far, or just skipped to the bottom, I will tell my news..
Max and I are now officially engaged. Basically what I've been doing for the past 6 months was experiencing a lot of emotional pain, soul searching, and intense thought. I never thought I would get married this young, or possibly even at all, but I believe this is the best thing for both of us. I'm not willing to live without Max for any longer. I love him so much, and I can't imagine him not being in my life. I feel both excited and nervous, but mostly very happy and have a content feeling now that I know things are beginning to take action and we won't have to deal with distance anymore.
No date or concrete plans have been made yet, but we're going to be doing a lot of discussion and paperwork (for immigration) when I go to England next month. :)
That's excellent news for you and Max. Based on what I've read in the past, the two of you surely needed to find some way to stick together. It sounds like you're doing the right thing, and I hope the logistical problems get sorted out somehow. I'm very happy for you!
On another subject, I've gotta say: I can't believe you passed up the chance to take a night train. That's my favorite way to travel. If you can't be transported instantly from one place to another, the next best thing is to sleep through most of a long trip. And maybe meet some interesting people while you're at it. Plus, I'm used to good food on trains. I'm thinking of another part of the world, though. Maybe the rail trip between Seattle and Spokane isn't quite as appealing?
Yeah, that sign in Vantage had me chuckling; it belongs in the opening of some horror movie.
Best wishes ...
Thank you so much. :) I don't think we should have much trouble figuring out all the immigration details. Though we are definitely making sure we do it carefully and correctly. The main part is waiting for everything to clear. I think the basic plan is for Max to move over here for awhile and we'll live in Seattle or Vancouver where he can get a job that he's happy with. Who knows from there on.
I absolutely adore trains too, but it was his first visit to Eastern WA and I wanted him to see the mountains and desert on the way, it's very breathtaking. I wanted to see them too as it had been awhile. The train system isn't great, and it's relatively expensive as well. But I did hear they're planning a high speed rail from Seattle to Spokane, Vancouver and Portland within the next 20 years. Sure I'll be at least 40 by then, but better than nothing right? I wish we had the extensive rail system that Europe has, but America being such a huge country it gets expensive fast.
I'll put up the photo of the Vantage sign when Max downloads them off his camera, plus all the other photos. Vantage isn't really a town, it's two gas stations and a restaurant in the middle of the desert. :)
I truly wish you and your fiancee all the best. I think that's fantastic! I hope everything works out for you guys. I've been reading how lovesick you are over this guy and he seems really great, so best of luck to you both!
Thanks Adam, I'd love to see you again! I would like travel more around England as well, I've only seen the Southeast for the most part. But if you make it to London between March and June you're more than welcome to stop by or meet us somewhere. :)