Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


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Fun + Games in Portland

What can I say about Portland that hasn’t been said before? It’s hip. Like, grow-your-own-rhubarb hip. Make-your-own-moleskin-journal hip. Pig’s-head-in-a-trucker hat hip.

I normally don’t go in for hip. I hate hip. But in Portland, people are friendly, t-shirts are in, and the donut scene is certainly superior. I liked it more than I thought I would.

I drank Spanish cocktails in a floor-to-ceiling booth at Huber’s. I went to Powell’s and almost cried, not because the immensity of the bookstore, but because people were milling about happily inside. People still love books.

I did Portland things and have Portland pictures.

 

 

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The Perfect Storm, Part 1: Driving Through the Rain

This past week, it poured, literally and figuratively. My apartment, my life, my pillow, all soaked. As I write this, the rain keeps coming, no signs of slowing.

Multiple rounds of bad news made me want to stay in my room under my cozy comforter, the Dog curled in tight. But a blanket is no armor. And though I want nothing more than to get on a plane and see my family, I can’t.

This is the biggest drawback of my life 2,018 miles away from my nearest and dearest—there’s no teleportation, no easy way. I have to face the sting of regret when time slips through my hands like a rope. I have to confront the fact that I have missed a lot of birthday cakes and memorials and piano recitals, a lot of moments I really “should of” been there, but couldn’t be.

Damn you entropy!

But forget the storm for a moment. Let’s travel beyond it and into the Yakima Valley.

Yakima Valley Travel

Moving to the country, going to eat a lot of peaches. Totally about this place.

Moving to the country, going to eat a lot of peaches.

There’s a vast desert past the heavy drape of clouds. The topography changes suddenly, just past the ridge. Shrubs, sagebrush, and balsam roots replace leaning firs. Dijon-colored hills roll against a slate sky. Washington is nicknamed the Evergreen State, but the Yakima valley is all gold. Continue reading


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24 Wild Hours in Vancouver

I cheated last week.

On Quebec City, my favorite Canadian city with Vancouver, its anglo rival. French has multiple words for the type of affair you’re having. What Vancouver and I had would be called an aventure– a brief affair. Ours lasted 24 hours. A liason is a longer, more involved indiscretion.

I headed to Vancouver to give my best friend, who I have known for over 15 years a good time before her impending marriage. Note, I did not write “one last” good time because we’ll be having good times well into our 80s. Maybe even our 90s.

Whenever I head out on the road (often), I pretend I am Hunter S. Thompson or Jack Kerouac. Don’t worry. It’s less about peyote; more about legal, goofy fun with sunglasses and loud music. Continue reading


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Crazy for the Maine Coast

I have traveled to (or through) 35 states. And I can tell you with absolute certainty that Maine and South Dakota are the most underrated. Everyone should apologize to the residents of those states, who probably constantly get asked: “Why, besides lobster, would you live in Maine?” Or “What’s in South Dakota?”

I knew Maine would be pretty, but I had no idea how pretty. It’s not pretty in the same cheerleader way that California is pretty; it’s pretty in a dark, mystifying, eerie way. It’s the kind of place you should run to if you ever become a fugitive. Lots of woods. Close to Canada. Easy access to water.

Maine beaches in fall

Maine photography, old orchard beach

The Husband gets half credit for pointing this out.

I know, I know. You’re supposed to be burying yourself in a pile of leaves, not sand.

I am not a fair-weather fan of the beach. I like to feel the spray of salt-water on my face, like to stand there and scream “Bring it” to the abyss when (hopefully) no one is around.

I like to watch the clouds cluster and their bellies swell and darken with rain. I like walking underneath abandoned boardwalks, I like the silent remains of carnivals, like to watch everyone buzzing around, cleaning up and preparing for winter.

Maine travel, new England travel, travel blog

Sunglasses work better than insta-gram.

Fall brings locals to the beach, so if you’re a tourist who doesn’t like other tourists (me), visit the Maine coast in fall. Continue reading


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Leaf-Peeping Tips

Maine leaves, leaf peeping, travel blog

New tagline for Maine: Our state looks like a water-color painting.

I lived in Quebec City last fall and during a magical two weeks, it was like living inside a flame: a swirl of reds, golds, and oranges.

I went back recently to work on a few articles and to knock four more states off my list: Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. My follow-up post will be a leaf-peeping log of the things we did, ate and argued about. Continue reading


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Lavender Love: Adventures in Agritourism

agritourism, lavender farms, lavender care

I don’t think the red flower gets enough attention.

The Husband and I have adopted the habits of a couple in our early 50s. We don’t have kids and aren’t big partiers, although I have been known to dance until the wee hours. It’s just us and the dog in our apartment in a complex full of other drifters who decided to retire at the ripe old age of 30 (you know, the types who wear lots of flannel and refuse to work in an office and make art out of paperclips). Continue reading


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Street Cred – Seattle’s Car Art

When these whimsical vehicles parked in my Seattle neighborhood, I had to snap about a million pictures. I wondered why my Honda CRV has to be so boring, so uninspired. Do I want people beeping at me everywhere? Probably not.

Click on the photos below to see a larger image.

And comment with the one you like best!

Car Art or Art Cars?

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All cars part of Seattle’s annual Freemont Festival. All photos copyrighted by Amanda Halm.