hollyking: (ahead full)

Holy shit! I'm going to the Hague, by way of Amsterdam!

My friend Frans talked me into this crazy trip where we're flying to Amsterdam, taking the train to the Hague and spending a week at his brothers' place. We'll be seeing Nik Kershaw and Marillion on two different days and probably seeing what other kind of trouble we can get into while we're there.

Go me!

I promised to write about my adventure yesterday and so I am…

A few days ago my brother, [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt, was invited to attend a housewarming for a fellow home brewer in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island. He asked if I would like to come along and having no objections I agreed. If you haven’t been lucky enough to have home brewers for friends or family let me tell you it’s a wonderful thing. They always brew more than they can drink and it’s up to folks like me to help them drink it all. Being a fan of beer I figured I would get to try some great brews and get some food.

We, my brother and I, are planning a trip to Germany and we thought it would be a good idea to stop by Rick Steves' travel store.  After all it’s not far from the ferry terminal in Edmonds, so after a bit of shopping we could hop on the ferry and make our way to the island.  Those of you who live in the Pacific Northwest might have noticed a slight flaw in my plan already, but hold for the fullness of my tale and don’t give it away to the others.

The travel store did not disappoint and while I didn’t learn much about Germany, the staff helped me get an idea of what sort of questions I need to answer for the trip.  As we left I noticed we had a few minutes to make the ferry in Edmonds.  So we rushed a bit and zipped aboard the boat with about a minute to spare.  We weren’t the last car on the the ferry but it was close.  I was actually feeling pretty good about myself as we made the crossing.  It was a beautiful sunny day as we drove along the road and I was having a good time until we passed a sign for Port Townsend.  Port Townsend?  I don’t remember PT being on Whidbey Island.  Nope, it is on the Olympic Peninsula and we had neatly made the wrong ferry.  Gah!  So much for being smug and ahead of the game.

This required a bit of consideration so [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt and I pulled over and checked our maps.  We could turn around, take the ferry back to Edmonds, drive up to Mukilteo, take the ferry there to Whidbey and continue on our journey.  Our other option was to continue on to Port Townsend and take another ferry there across to Keystone, which is on the island, and make our way to the party.  As I mentioned it was a nice day so we chose the second option and drove on.  From prior experience I knew that the Port Townsend/Keystone ferry is small and it can fill up.  My brother got on his phone and tried to make us a reservation, but the web page wasn’t working.  So he got on the phone and worked on getting a reservation.  He was told that if we could make the next ferry there was plenty of room and we wouldn’t have a problem.  As we pulled in to the terminal I asked the woman taking the fares if this boat actually went to Whidbey.  She said yes, and then mentioned we took the wrong boat earlier.  “You must have taken the Edmonds/Kingston ferry,” she said.  I replied that we had to which she replied, “You want the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry.”  Thanks, this was information I could have used an hour ago…  We had a pleasant crossing and then drove up to Oak Harbor without further incident. 

Arriving at the housewarming a bit behind our planned time we joined the festivities in progress.  M & J have a nice home and there was plenty of homebrew to sample.  I wasted no time doing my part to relieve M of his overabundance of full bottles and replace them with empties so he would be able to pursue his hobby and fill them again.  I’m nice like that you know.

Drinking and conversing with the other guests was going well and I was in a good place.  Then I met J & T, a couple who are realtors on Whidbey Island.  We were talking about music and they mentioned going to a shanty concert the night before.  They were trying to tell me about a band they heard and I realized it was Pint and Dale, a local group.  We kept talking about music and were hitting it off when T asked me if I would like to go with them to the second night of the concerts.  Checking with my brother, who gave the ok to leave him at the party, I left with J & T and headed out to the show.

Riding along in the back of their car I realized that I had stepped into a classic horror movie setup.  I’m on an island, it’s dark outside and I’m riding along with a couple of people I met not an hour earlier.  It was quite a thrilling ride.  Was I going to listen to music or was I going to be cleansed in the finest quality spring water, lightly killed, and sealed in a treble milk chocolate envelope, and lovingly frosted with glucose before being fed to Constable Parrot.  As you can see I ended up listening to music as I am still here to tell this tale.

The show started off with the Shifty Sailors, a Whidbey Island group.  They sang songs about whales and whaling.  They were good and very entertaining.  I really liked a couple of the songs and I hope they were on one of the CDs I bought.  During their performance T leaned over to me and asked “What are the odds that you would go to a party and end up at a concert with a couple of strangers?”  Pretty high I guess, as I was sitting next to her at the show.  The next performer was a gentleman named J.W. Sparrow.  There was one great song he sang about a Japanese fishing vessel that had drifted around the ocean for a couple of years before being recovered here.  I will have to find a CD of his with the song so I can research the story more.  Next was the previously mentioned Pint & Dale, a favorite of mine for a few years now.  They did not disappoint in concert and I’m very happy to have seen them.  Finally we had Broadside & Cabin Boys a fun group that I enjoyed.  For some reason they had to shut down the venue at 10pm so all of the groups got back up and performed one last song together.  Then everyone put up their chairs to lend a hand with the cleanup.

J, T and I headed back to the car to head back to the party.  I had left my coat at the party because it wasn’t cold but coming out of the concert it was chilly.  Let me say that finding out that the back seats were also heated was a nice thing.  A nice thing that I enjoyed quite a bit on the drive back.  Back at the party I met up with my brother who had messaged me a few times, but the show was outside of the service area so I wasn’t receiving his messages until then.  It was now about 11pm and I had missed most of the food and the mead tasting, but I didn’t mind.  I scrounged a bit of dinner from the leftovers and talked with other folks at the party while making sure I was sober to drive.

We finally left Oak Harbor about midnight and instead of taking our chances with the Washington State Ferry System again we drove through Deception Pass and made our way back south on I-5.  We finally got home around 2:30am where I thankfully sank into bed and tried to sleep with memories of this day, ferry boats, shanty songs and good beer in my head.  It was…  Quite an evening.

hollyking: (ahead full)

One of my favorite memories from childhood is riding the train to and from Grandma and Grandpa's house. We were living in Kansas City but Mom was from Webster Groves and her parents still lived there. Thanks to Amtrak [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt and I were able to visit our grandparents every summer even if our parents had to work. Mom and Dad would drop us off at the Kansas City station and Grandma and Grandpa would pick us up at the Kirkwood station. At the end of our visit we would reverse the trip and come home. Sometimes our parents would drive to Webster Groves for the weekend and we would all drive back together. (The train was more fun and we had more room.)

To this day I still love train travel. It doesn't matter if it's a short hop on the local light rail or a longer trip on Amtrak. So I'm still bouncy from booking a train ride to Leavenworth yesterday. I haven't travelled as much as I would like but it's a small price to pay to get out of debt. I look at those balances drop, and they are dropping quickly now, and remind myself that when it's paid off we're going redirect some of that budget toward travel. An some of that travel is going to be on trains.

I'll be in Kansas City for a day in the first half of June. Due to the reason I'll be in KC it will be my last visit for quite some time. I'd love to have dinner with friends while I'm there. Let me know if you're interested and I'll keep you updated with my plans.

He's off again! I just bought tickets to see Dream Theater in Portland Oregon at the Roseland. My plan is to drive down early on Monday. Spend some time at Powell's and hopefully meet a friend or two for lunch and dinner before the show. What's still unsure is finding a place to crash or driving home after the show. The show is Monday June 21st and the doors open at 6:30pm. WAAAA!!!!!

And now on the urging of a friend I also have tickets to see Rush at the White River Amphitheater this August. It's been a long time since I've seen Rush so it will be good to see them again.

I don't know if I mentioned it but at the start of 2010 I wanted to increase the number of live shows I saw. I certainly have done that. Go me!

Flew to San Francisco yesterday. Attended most awesome concert by Transatlantic. Three hours of their music. Scored a ride back to the airport. Missed getting through the security gate by a few minutes. "Slept" on an airport floor for the first time in a long time. (SFO has no benches that don't have arms.) Returned to Seattle. Still jazzed from the show but I go thud now. See you all tomorrow...

I just read about the Thirsty Bear in San Francisco. I should swing by for a pint or two when I go for my visit.

hollyking: (ahead full)

I’ve wanted to get back into seeing live music again. I used to go to concerts all the time but life got in the way. So I resolved to get out and see more shows even though it would involve travelling as the people I wanted to see don’t seem to come to my area*. I’ll easily go see someone who performs in Portland or Vancouver BC. A three hour drive for a good show is a minor problem I’m willing to overcome.

The big problem is I don’t deal well when I'm alone in crowds of unknown people. If I have a friend with me I still suffer the anxiety but at a lower level I can handle. Flying off to an unfamiliar city, finding my way alone to a concert venue, attending a show with a huge unknown crowd and making my way back home again is something I never thought I would do. I feel a bit anxious just thinking about it. But Fortes fortuna adiuvat.

I’ve purchased plane tickets and this morning I bought my concert ticket. On the 18th of April I’m going to see Transatlantic at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco!!!

Now to start figuring out how to get around SF and where to have some food. I'm not going to book a hotel as my return flight leaves at 7am and I don't think it's worth it for a few hours I'd get to spend there. That does mean that I'll be travelling light. Good thing I have my Coat of Many Pockets.

*: Sylvan and Porcupine Tree did come and I went to see them both! Thanks guys!

Transatlantic is playing in San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts. Any of you music fans interested in going? I could swing part of it if someone would share the driving and hotel expenses with me.


Aug. 18th, 2009 05:43 pm
hollyking: (ahead full)

At Noon on Thursday September 3rd I'm going to drive up to Vancouver to attend a meeting from 7-9pm. I don't think, at least I really hope, it won't take seven hours to get there. This leaves me with some time to kill. Drinks anyone?

Home Again

Jul. 5th, 2009 12:32 pm

There was good in my trip back to Kansas City. I spent quality time with [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt, who sent me home with beer and mead. I reconnected with some dear friends who I haven't seen in far too long. Was able to share some good memories of [livejournal.com profile] ranjtheobscure.

For all that there was the constant reminder of why I might be from Missouri but Washington, around the Puget Sound, is home. Beyond the humidity, which I remembered but as I said there's knowledge and then there's experience, there is the fact that I've seen mountains and the sound this morning. Driving back from Dim Sum the characters walking around Capitol Hill. I love them all.

It was fun trying to convince Kacey to move here and her trying to convince me to move back. I think we've settled on a friendly truce where we'll come visit the other. It's her turn next so I can't wait to show her my home.

hollyking: (anime)

[livejournal.com profile] ranjtheobscure's memorial is on Friday July 3rd. I'm flying to Kansas City on July 2nd (arrive at 7:55pm) and returning to Seattle on July 4th (leaving at 6:30pm). I'll be staying with [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt and coderigger has offered to give me a ride to the memorial. That covers all of the critical stuff.

Seattle People: I would like a ride to the airport at 9:20am on Thursday July 2nd and ride home on July 4th at 11:28pm. I can park in the long-term lot if no one is available, but I'd rather not drive after the flight back or pay for the parking. I'll bake you something or buy you a pint for a ride. :)

Kansas City People: I would like to see you. I know it's a holiday weekend and you all probably have plans but if we can work something out it would lighten the reason for making this trip. Right now I'm available Thursday evening and Saturday morning and afternoon. There is also some Friday before the memorial but coderigger has already claimed me for some of the day. [livejournal.com profile] bountifulpots and [livejournal.com profile] theslice are you going to be available? [livejournal.com profile] verminiusrex, it might be a long shot but it would be great to meet you in person while I'm in the area too. I hope I didn't miss anyone, but if I did accept my humble apologies and thwap me so I remember you.


Oct. 24th, 2008 09:06 am
Had a pretty grand day yesterday. Lots of birthday wishes from wonderful people. A grand time at my dinner party. Although getting spanked by someone from the other table was a bit odd. [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt called but it was too noisy to talk.

I should have taken today off, but I want to save the time for St. Louis and Kansas City. Speaking of Missouri, my plans have changed. I'm still going to Missouri, but we're not going to Branson. I'll be spending some time with my family in St. Louis. During the week we will also come to Kansas City for a couple of days. So if you want to see me and [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen we'll be in the state from December 14th through the 21st. Let me know what days would work so I can try to organize when we'll be where. Oh, and if anyone was willing to host a get together so I don't have to drive all over the city that would be fantastic!

Right now it’s fairly quiet in our home. [livejournal.com profile] cheesentoast is off getting trained for her new job and [livejournal.com profile] hollyqueen and I have lots of chores to finish this week. So other than the monthly trivia tonight we’re probably not going to be doing much. That is until Friday.

Friday afternoon my brother, [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt, is flying in for his first visit and the next seven days will be full of activities and adventure. [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt doesn’t even get a break because after we pick him up at the airport we’re heading off to Vancouver for the weekend.

When we come back from Vancouver [livejournal.com profile] cheesentoast should be back from her training so all four of us will be sharing our small apartment. But it’s only for a week so I think we’ll all survive.

During the week [livejournal.com profile] ragnorokt and I will be spending the days seeing the sights that Seattle and the Puget Sound area has to offer. I know he has a list of things to do, so we’ll probably use that as a guide from day to day. See this is me relaxing and not planning everything ahead of time. :D

So Seattle has no free wifi. Dulles in Washington DC has no free wifi. Atlanta has no free wifi. Charlotte has... Free wifi!?!!!?! This was the last place I expected to find it.
Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
Nothin' to do and no where to go-o-oh I wanna be sedated
Just get me to the airport put me on a plane
Hurry hurry hurry before I go insane
I can't control my fingers I can't control my brain
Oh no no no no no
Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go....
Just put me in a wheelchair and put me on a plane
Hurry hurry hurry before I go insane
I can't control my fingers I can't control my brain
Oh no no no no no
Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
Nothin' to do and no where to go-o-o I wanna be sedated
Just put me in a wheelchair get me to the show
Hurry hurry hurry before I go loco
I can't control my fingers I can't control my toes
Oh no no no no no
Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go...
Just put me in a wheelchair...
Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be sedated
Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be sedated
Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be sedated
Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be sedated

Damn, I've missed [livejournal.com profile] pallidbat! She was a great friend to me during the very troubling time of my divorce. I'm glad I could be here for her during her special time.

In other news, I'm very drunk right now. We had a regular party going in my room for a bit and I was having a blast. Too bad it's almost 2am for the folks here. It's only almost 11pm for me and I'm not nearly ready for bed. I guess I'll try to sleep soon so I'll be good and rested for the fun after the wedding tomorrow. I've heard that I've been placed at the kinky table so that will be interesting. ;)

I've met "the boy" and he gets my approval. I'm very happy for [livejournal.com profile] pallidbat and wish the both of them the very best.

I'm at the hotel in Atlanta now. Thanks to a snafu on my second leg of the trip I missed the rehearsal dinner so I'm chillin' a bit before they come get me for fun after dinner.

I posted a bunch of updates via TxtLJ today but I guess I did something wrong as none of them seem to have been added. Oh well... Nothing too exciting anyway.

Wheels Up

Feb. 9th, 2007 04:50 am

Damn, it's early. This getting up at 4:30am is not for me. My shuttle to the airport should be here in 10 minutes and then I'm off to Atlanta to watch [livejournal.com profile] pallidbat get married. Who knows when I'll have any internet access while I'm there but I'll be back on Sunday.

No destroying the city with wild parties you kids!


Feb. 8th, 2007 02:53 pm
What kind of Silicon Forest airport doesn't have free wifi? Hell, Portland has free wifi.



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