Wednesday, September 8, 2010

pacific nw

a couple of years ago, i got it in my mind that i wanted to travel out west. i guess i've had my share of island vacations, so i was looking for something different. so i started talking it up to Jarronn. telling him that it would be great to see some of the beautiful nature that the u.s. has to offer. and he seemed open to the idea.

last month, i finally took my trip. my mom and i spent nine days in the pacific northwest, traveling from california to oregon to washington to british columbia. and it was nothing short of fantastic.

we started by flying to san francisco, where we spent the day hanging out in union square, the yerba buena gardens, ghirardelli square, and alamo square.

on day 2, we headed north for a beautiful day in napa valley, which i definitely plan to visit again.

on day 3, we drove north on the california coast, driving on winding roads through beautiful redwood forests, until we reached mendocino, ca. we walked around the small town and down to it's beach. by the end of that day, i'd already reached the point where i needed to empty my camera so that i could take more photos. (i had a couple years worth on it, so it was long overdue).

on days 4 and 5, we set out on our drive north up the california coast and into oregon. driving along the coastline, the views were pretty phenomenal. and some of my favorite music playing from my ipod made it even better. (below are the ones that remind me most of Jarronn).
  1. for all we know - donny hathaway
  2. so amazing - luther vandross
  3. more of you - fred hammond
  4. thank you (i won't complain) - fred hammond
  5. simply put - fred hammond
  6. true love - stevie wonder
  7. caught up in the rapture - anita baker
  8. just the way you are - billy joel
  9. long distance - brandy
  10. to be free to be who we are - harold melvin & the blue notes
  11. coming home - john legend (the song i walked down the aisle to)
  12. again/another again - john legend
  13. the sweetest thing - lauryn hill
  14. joy ride - mariah carey
  15. gravity - sara bareilles
after 20 hours of driving, more than 1,000 miles, and one dirty little nissan versa, we arrived in portland, or. we spent a night there and visited their downtown farmers market, the ancient chinese gardens, and ate some great meals.

on day 6, we took the train north to seattle, wa. we enjoyed beautiful sunsets from our hotel's rooftop deck, and on day 7, we took a tour to mt. rainier -- the highest mountain in washington state and the cascades mountain region. breathtaking. and a tour guide straight out of some sitcom.

on day 8, we took the train to vancouver, british columbia. we had lunch at the art gallery and rented bikes and rode around the sea wall at stanley park.

on day 9, we woke up early and took a whale watching tour from vancouver to victoria -- the capitol of british columbia. it was quite the adventure with 10 ft. waves, but it was worth it to see the orca whales swimming in their natural habitat. (forget shamu!) we explored victoria for the day, and fortuitously stumbled upon the best breakfast/brunch restaurant on the island while trying to find a different restaurant.

my computer is acting slow, so trying to post photos from every day would take me hours. but you can check out the remainder of pics that i posted on facebook.

Jarronn didn't get to go on this trip with me. and i wished he could have seen it all. i cried along the way. while driving. on my pillow before going to sleep. even once while out to dinner. i missed along the way.  but i'm living. i've lived. my photos of friends and trips and special moments from the past year and this memorable trip remind me of that. i'm glad i've chosen to live.

and beautiful nature like what i saw reminds me that God is real. and big. and i'm small. not insignificant, but small. too small to make big plans and see big pictures. and that's ok.


  1. Your last two paragraphs touched me so Jess. Thank you. I miss him along the way too, and you're right...I'm proud of you that you CHOSE to keep living. Actively, and consciously. I know he'd be proud of you too.

  2. this was great....keep deciding to live!

  3. Beautiful Jess! Brought tears to my eyes! God does have a plan for each one of us. Sometimes it's hard to understand and difficult to reason with but it is for the best. God Bless Jarronn. I did not know him but your posts always have me wishing there were more people in the world like him. You are a strength to all of us! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, emotions, and love with us! Lots of Love! (Kelley Glenn from CB East Class of 2000)

  4. This was great and the SF pics are oh so familiar. I'm happy to hear that you had the great opportunity to see all that!