Port Townsend, WA: Architectural Cuteness

I haven’t been gone week and already my trip is getting ahead of my posts. I think the easiest method will be photo posts with captions beneath each photo. Here we go!

 

This super cool little donut place was not yet open but was positioned on the main drag downtown. Bonnie said she couldn't wait for it to open. Is this a cable car? Whatever it is, I would buy doughnuts there just to be able able to enjoy the quirky, pocket-sized store.
This super cool little donut place was not yet open but was positioned on the main drag downtown. Bonnie said she couldn’t wait for it to open. Is this a cable car? Whatever it is, I would buy doughnuts here just to be able able to enjoy the quirky, pocket-sized store.

 

Doorways that inspire a photo in the U.S. are rare and that's sad. Port Townsend was an exception. This was my winning choice by far and when I showed it to Bonnie she said, "Where is that!! I want it printed for my wall!" The home itself was unusual, right on the water and likely having a past life in some type of commercial maritime use. A sign nearby said it was a private home but there was a wrap-around boardwalk without any gates so it seemed the public was free to walk around for the views. The following photos are other doors on the non-water side of the house.
Doorways that inspire a photo in the U.S. are rare and that’s sad. Port Townsend was an exception. This was my winning choice by far and when I showed it to Bonnie she said, “Where is that?! I want it printed for my wall!” The home itself was unusual as it was right on the water and likely had a past life in some type of commercial use. A sign nearby said it was a private home but there was a wrap-around boardwalk without any gates so it seemed the public was free to walk around for the views. The following photos are other doors on the non-water side of the house.

Alley-side doorimage

This was the view from the boardwalk on the backside of the house with the cool door.
This was the view from the boardwalk on the backside of the house with the cool door.
More doorways.
More doorways.

 

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And more buildings…

Building one

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Finally, this is where I stayed-

This is the gate to Bonnie’s place. You cannot see the house. Pass through the gate and follow a short path to her adorable door…
Home, sweet home.
Home, sweet home.

Northwest U.S. Photos

I generally like to theme my posts. It also takes a while to formulate themes. After last years trip to Indonesia I ended up having a bunch of photos I wanted to post but couldn’t work them into a theme or couldn’t find the time to make enough posts to cover everything. As time passed photos seemed less relevant to where I was at the time (not that anyone would know, but I would know!) So, now that I have left Portland but still have photos I want to put out there I’ve decided to create a Photo Dump Post 🙂 I would prefer to call it a photo bomb post but photo bomb has a definition these days and would not be an appropriate word choice. I know, who cares? But that’s me, and it’s my blog.

 

Unable to figure out transportation between the BoltBus stop and Budget Car Rental, I had to walk a mile and a half down a mostly uninspiring stretch of road. My reward was finding this painted wall and seeing harmony between it and the billboard above it.
Unable to figure out transportation between the BoltBus stop and Budget Car Rental, I had to walk a mile and a half down a mostly uninspiring stretch of road. My reward was finding this painted wall and seeing harmony between it and the billboard above it.

 

The column arcade outside Hippo Hardware.
The column arcade outside Hippo Hardware.

 

One more expression of Hippo Hardware. These legs are hanging out of the ceiling where you ascend steps to another level of the store.
One more expression of Hippo Hardware. These legs are hanging out of the ceiling where you ascend steps to another level of the store.

 

The restaurant at Jupiter Hotel provided a "selfie" option I was willing to take.
The restaurant at Jupiter Hotel provided a “selfie” option I was willing to take.

 

I got a good dose of Portland weather variability: showers, sun, showers, cloudy but no rain, showers, mostly cloudy... Blue sky showed up the day I was leaving. I have been living in my Patagonia Nano Puff for warmth, and my raincoat. They have been the perfect pairing.
I got a good dose of Portland weather variability: showers, sun, showers, cloudy but no rain, showers, mostly cloudy… Blue sky showed up the day I was leaving. I have been living in my Patagonia Nano Puff for warmth, and my raincoat. They have been the perfect pairing.

 

I saw this building across the street from Mother's restaurant the night Carol Fanta took me there. It was dark so I couldn't take a photograph. The next day after crossing the bridge to west Portland I realized I was just blocks from Mother's again! Couldn't pass it up.
I saw this building across the street from Mother’s restaurant the night Carol Fanta took me there for dinner. It was dark so I couldn’t take a photograph. The next day after crossing the bridge to west Portland I realized I was just blocks from Mother’s again! Couldn’t pass it up.

 

Food carts are everywhere. These are right next to Mother's Bistro.
Food carts are everywhere. These are right next to Mother’s Bistro.

 

T-shirts for sale in Mother's Bistro.
T-shirts for sale in Mother’s Bistro.

Jupiter Hotel and Environs

This woman is standing in the lobby of the Jupiter Hotel
This woman is standing in the lobby of the Jupiter Hotel

The lobby walls are entirely glass yet industrial, perforated metal panels hanging in front of the windows create space to display artwork. Three different local artists are featured all sharing similar soft palettes and use encaustic media. A long coffee table and another side table double as displays for custom metal jewelry.

Red Bull was holding some sort of small conference here during my stay. The hotel offers nice small options for meeting spaces. They are labeled ThinkTANK, DreamBOX, or DreamTent. Connected to the Doug Fir Restaurant was also a nice long conference table with glass etched doors offering an enclosed but very visible venue.

The Lab private event space.
The Lab private event space.

 

My first night here I was introduced to their performance venue which is below the bar & restaurant. I had eaten dinner in their bar called Doug Fir and then wandered outside to the patio area where a fire was burning. A couple were standing there and asked if I was going to ‘the show’. I didn’t know there was a show but when I glanced toward the entrance I noticed a queue had formed. They explained it was a fund raiser put on by Planned Parenthood and Bitch Media called “Babies and Bananas”. It included a comedian and was expected to be entertaining as it covered the history of sex education. Just $10 and for a good cause. Why not?

Doug Fir Stage door

The poster for the show at Doug Fir lounge.
The poster for the show at Doug Fir lounge.

The show was entertaining and sold out so I had to stand near the back. But it was also amazing to listen to the ridiculousness that has been handed down through the years as fact about sexual education. One well-meaning woman explained that light exercise was ok during menstruation but square dancing was far too vigorous and should be avoided. Several guest panelists were brought up to address questions put to them by the host. The variety of perspectives was impressive and included a transgender, someone with aids and even a disabled guy in a wheelchair. His speech was so affected by his disability that he had a translator relaying what he said. That in itself was amazing since I couldn’t make out diddly from what he was saying. It was pretty comical when the disabled guy explained that following college he had been diagnosed with an STD. His parents were surprised and said, ” How did that happen?” He replied, “I guess disabled people have sex too!”

I continued to scope out the neighborhood in a different direction yesterday. Imagine my surprise when just 2 blocks east of my hotel I stumbled upon my favorite hardware store in Portland, Hippo Hardware!

The mascot for Hippo Hardware. Hippos of all sizes & materials are displayed throughout the store.
The mascot for Hippo Hardware. Hippos of all sizes & materials are displayed throughout the store.

Why would a hardware store be my favorite? Because it is one of those places that is more like a salvage yard than a regular store and carries architectural elements (columns, stained glass, ornate metal fittings, claw foot tubs). I texted my friend here, Mike Wardwell, “OMG! I’m 2 blocks from my fav store Hippo Hardware!” He reminded me that anyone who has seen Jackass the movie, or Portlandia would also be familiar with Hippo. It was then that I remembered the scene from Jackass where that guy takes a dump in one of the toilets. Ewww! I will have to look for Portlandia episodes that feature Hippo 🙂

Toilets

Do you suppose the movie was the inspiration for this sealed lid?

Sealed toilet seat

Portland, Oregon!

I finally figured out how to post multiple photos!! The time involved to create this mini photo post was out of proportion to the simplicity of the presentation. Truly frustrating.

Crossing the Burnside bridge, this sign welcomes you to the West side of Portland.
Crossing the Burnside bridge, this sign welcomes you to the West side of Portland.

 

This human-sized "nest" looked recently installed. It was on the northeast side of the Burnside Bridge.
This human-sized “nest” looked recently installed. It was on the northeast side of the Burnside Bridge.

 

I discovered I know someone else in Portland! For those who grew up with the Fanta family, Carol Fanta is out here and saw my Facebook post from Jupiter Hotel. She picked me up last night and took me to a wonderful little restaurant called “Mother’s” in downtown Portland. The premise behind the restaurant’s name is very cool… every month the restaurant features a page of recipes from a different mother! The restaurant has a fine dining air to it with “crystal ” chandeliers throughout and white table cloths but you quickly sense the relaxed vibe. I would recommend it to anyone.

 

The MAX train was an inexpensive $2.50 from the airport to downtown. The ticket is good for 2 hrs and includes riding the bus.
The MAX train was an inexpensive $2.50 from the airport to downtown. The ticket is good for 2 hrs and includes riding the bus.

I don’t know why WordPress is so temperamental on an iPad, but even something simple like placing my cursor in a sentence to edit is proving to be a challenge. For the life of me, I can’t seem to put any text below the last photo to wrap up this post.  So I will end this cobbled mess for now and hope successive posts will flow smoothly!

If I didn't know better I would have thought this was in Miami,
If I didn’t know better I would have thought this was in Miami!

Freaking Out & Shifting Dimensions: Subtropical to Pacific Northwest

Freaking Out & Shifting Dimensions: Subtropical to Pacific Northwest

My day started early, the alarm sounding at 3:30 AM. The Super Shuttle was slotted for 6:00 AM but I was determined to be ready at 5:30 since they had a 15 minute leeway pick up window. By 5:35AM my bags were packed and at the door. I was wrapping up last minute things like taking out the garbage and unplugging the computer modem when the call came from the guard house. Sh*t! They’re early! I grabbed my bags and the garbage and ran from my apartment crossing my fingers in hopes I wasn’t forgetting anything.

We rolled down Biscayne Boulevard toward the highway that would take us west toward the airport. Climbing the on-ramp, my stomach knotted up with the realization that everything I had printed out… that morning’s plane tickets, hotel and flight schedules, bus tickets, information for the Philippines, had all been forgotten on my desk at the apartment. I mentally assessed. Thank goodness I’m anal about organizing my email. I have folders for everything… airlines, hotels, communication with hotels I’ve never even stayed at… I even duplicated emails where necessary so I could have a folder dedicated to this trip (not creatively titled: “2014 Trip”). Whew! I think I can find anything I need so long as I have internet!

Anyone have seat preferences when flying? I prefer window seats. But I now choose aisle seats for any flights over 3 hours. I can’t stand feeling captive to the people in the aisle seats when I have to go to the bathroom. International flights where people have taken sleeping pills are the worst. I’ll take the aisle, thanks. (P.S. This photo: I got a rare window seat… thankfully all women in the row. Women always go to the bathroom at some point).

A morning of jangled nerves has gently morphed in to my return to a favorite city of wisteria, coffee houses, brewpubs and beach-to-mountain possibilities. I promise to figure out how to post more than one photo tomorrow!

Jet Set Learning Curve 2014: Where’s Jody Now?

Jet Set Learning Curve 2014: Where's Jody Now?

Has it been a year already since you followed me around Bali? Well, fasten your seat belt on your favorite surfing chair – – this year’s trip launches tomorrow!

My learning curve this year includes a new way of traveling with technology. This first post is coming to you from my new iPad and it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. As a 20 year veteran using the Macintosh computer, confusion has replaced confidence. I don’t know exactly where to locate information, how to make things happen the way I want them to, and I’m crossing my fingers that I will manage to access all the information I will need while traveling. It’s disconcerting, or exciting, and I will opt to remind myself of the latter as often as possible!

Departing from MIA (Miami), I expect to land on Jupiter by mid-afternoon. Actually, I will be landing in Portland but staying in Jupiter Hotel, a qualified “Jody” hotel based on reviews, their self-described boutique-ness and the Buddha image painted on the wall in one of their room photos. I hope to meet up with a friend from college, absorb some of the Portland vibe, and I will surely hang out in a few coffee shops while pecking away at my iPad informing all of you about my travels.

Then it is on to Port Townsend, WA via BoltBus and Budget rentals. An acquaintance from Key West, FL has found herself relocated to the exact opposite corner of the country. I gave her little room to refuse me so she has generously opened her home for a couple of nights. I hope to see the shop where she is learning sail making ( a shout-out to her own blog: http://www.sailmakersapprentice.squarespace.com) as well as commune with Mother Nature’s brilliant Olympic National Forest.

My final stop on the North American continent is Vancouver, BC Canada. I have arranged a stay with a graphic designer who offers her home from the 26th floor in a downtown high rise through AirB&B.com. I plan to rent a bike and take in whatever I can reach while perched on 2 wheels.

Finally , I will make my first leap to a new country: Manila, Philippines! Stay tuned.

Florida: Miami, and heading up US1

Miami Design District –

I uploaded these to Facebook, then realized I may as well post them here!

I wish I’d realized I was going to post any of this… there were so many things to take photos of but I only shot a few, and then decided to post them. I intend to go back and get more photos another time.

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This black and white building looked as though it housed a number of studios or businesses.

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This building cracked me up because the text was painted on free-hand, and all the ‘grout lines’ are just painted.

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Heading north on US1 Hwy

I am checking out mainland Florida for relocation, so I chose to avoid the freeways and just stuck to US1: Starting from Miami I puttered through Miami Shores… Hollywood… Dania Beach… Ft. Lauderdale… on up to an end point of Boynton Beach. This first image illustrates city beautification progress in Dania Beach where they have been planting new palms along US1.

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These were in Ft. Lauderdale

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Miami Shores

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I call this one “Unintentional Sculpture”. This is actually a photo collage, just in case someone thinks a building actually looks like this. I took the photo from two angles, then stuck them together. It’s like mushrooms on a log.

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Somewhere on US1

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Delray Beach

My major stop was in Delray Beach where there is a developing artist area called Artist Alley. The creative touch of the artists can be seen all around town.

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The signature on this wooden fish was Norman Radin.

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I added the text below. I saw the parallel and went with it.

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This camera shop seemed to have a drive-up window!

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I love buildings that are barely buildings.

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This airstream trailer is the kitchen at a bar called The Backyard. I thought I would go to check it out, but I only made it as far as the parking lot. Why do bars think the music should be SO LOUD?!?

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I’m not sure where this concrete block wall was, but it was part of a combination antique store/convenience store (antique store is a stretch). This is downright decorative for concrete!

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These last photos are of my hotel room tonight. Sixty bucks… so…

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I know you want to see her closer. She could aspire to be the silhouette of someone from Avatar, don’tcha think? (Well, the head is too small but she could be filmed from above so it looks bigger.)

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The walls aren’t the only party in my room. Check out the ceiling.

Good night!