Walk around Coeur d’Alene. Work in a coffee house in the morning, forget last night’s woes. Redrik informs me about the outcome of the presidential elections in France.
We head out. East Washington is unlike what I had expected – dry, rather level, plains and fields. National Forest appears as we near the Seattle area. Snow still crowns the mountain tops. Stop by a deli-chalet for lunch, interview some snowboarders.
It’s the end of afternoon when we reach Seattle. It feels good. Very good in fact: from here on out we’ll be hitting several major cities, as well as some of the prettiest coastal (Oregon) roads in the nation.
There remain 1,500 miles to the trip, but these bear little psychological weight after what we’ve been through. We made it from Miami to Seattle.
Meet with family. Uncle and aunt cook up barbecue, we have a restful dinner.
Redrik opts to get a motel room. I choose to stay with my folks. This is a mutually sensible decision. It’s good we get some time to ourselves.
Spend some time in the morning talking with my uncle, who’s a commercial and art photographer, and share more about the project.
Plan on meeting my cousins, the ‘fun’ branch of the family with whom we’ve shared some good stories and memories in the past. Give Redrik a call, he’s feeling lousy again, due to his ex.
He just learned that she was dating someone – a viscerally tearing feeling which has drained many of us…
He didn’t just ‘learn’ it though, rather, the c**t has been pursuing cruel mind games to deliberately inform him of the disagreeable fact (sorry girl, I don’t know you, but trust me, I’ve heard enough!)
“Come over man. Nothing worse than remaining alone in a hotel room when you’re feeling down.”
We meet with cousins, who put us at ease. Seems we’re in luck: one of Seattle’s few clear-skied, summer days. Check out the waterfalls out of town.
The waves clatter down, dancing flames of water gushing through the mountain, to the river, and eventually into the Pacific Ocean.
Play crocket in my cousin’s backyard with some friends. It feels good to sit back.
Stay over with cousins. The younger one’s got a rare day off from his job running the kitchen in one of Seattle’s prime restaurants. The older one’s in lesser spirits, tomorrow he’ll be undergoing an unpleasant medical procedure involving his rectum.
They take us for a tour to check out downtown – drive by the Space Needle, Starbucks headquarters, Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, have a beer. Later, family dinner along with a great uncle, with whom I’ve always been close. He’s old now, and his lucidity wavers at times. Sit next to him at dinner, it’s good to see him.
Awake on my cousin’s couch again: the last days have been a blur. A much needed blur.
Redrik and I return downtown, check out the famed Seattle Market, the fish throw, first Starbucks, some interviews.
Watch the game at my cousin’s house before heading out to Portland. Wish him luck on tomorrow’s procedure, he recommends us to check out the ‘titty bar’ scene in Portland, reputed because it is one of few states where strip clubs own licenses to sell alcoholic beverages.