Saturday, July 22, 2017


Our time in Portland went by quickly. We spent our second day getting some much needed errands done, having the car serviced as we hit another mile marker that required an oil change and cleaning the car as well. We then had a restful afternoon and headed back into Portland to have dinner and play board games with my cousin Becky who lives in the area. She will also be getting married in less than a week, congratulations to her and her fiance Andy!

Tuesday was beach day for us, and after hearing about the natural and culinary wonders of Cannon Beach we decided to make that our destination. We ate salmon fish and chips at Ecola seafood, a delicious place to eat that despite the vaguely unnerving name. We then walked along the shore and admired Haystack rock, an incredible natural phenomenon sticking out of the water. We then returned to Portland, stopping at Tigard skatepark on the way back. I took a few runs, testing out my back to see how it was recovering from the injury I sustained the previous week. Meanwhile, other skaters were tearing the place to shreds, landing incredible tricks that had me and Mira staring at each other in disbelief from across the skatepark. These skaters were wonderful people, one who gave me an enthusiastic "sweet!" after ending an incredibly mundane run, showing the best of skateboarders and their appreciation for the talents of all.

On Wednesday we took the opportunity to sleep in and then started a working day. We went to a cute coffee shop and I wrote (and played some much missed League of Legends) while Mira edited pictures. We then met up with a few people that Mira had connected with on a photographers' online forum, and went to Cooper Mountain Nature Park and had a little photo shoot, a welcome opportunity for Mira to ply her craft while I napped in a meadow.

We said goodbye to Portland on Thursday and continued on to Seattle. We spent a relaxing night in, and played a lot of Ticket to Ride, a tense and competitive board game. Friday was not as relaxing. With a carefully planned itinerary and a delicious breakfast provided by my ultimate frisbee team mate Harrison we spent a full day touring the skateparks of Seattle. We warmed up at a skatepark with plenty of different terrain, and witnessed a couple Brazilian skateboarders ripping in their signature style. We then continued on to Marginal Way skatepark, an iconic DIY style skatepark, similar to Burnside skatepark in Portland and FDR skatepark in Philadelphia. We had a great session there, both landing fun transition tricks while struggling to not be punished by the steep walls and banks of the challenging park. Marginal Way is a sight to see, with massive yet cramped features and deep bowls, all with the signature crusty and familiar feel of a park that was built by hand, by skaters , for skaters. We then went to Tacos Chukis in Capitol Hill for a life-changing food experience, and then continued on to the Mercer Island skatepark, a much smaller skatepark that let us hone our skills a bit more. For our last stop we went to the Bellevue skatepark where we witnesses an interesting scene. A uni-cycling competition had rented out about half of the park, and the top talents in the sport were warming up for the competition. It was a sight like no other, teenagers on unicycles performing incredible tricks in a style none of us had seen before. The skateboarding talent was also beyond belief, along with great personalities and a wonderful community feel. All in all it was a great day for skateboarding in Seattle, and I'm excited to possibly return to a couple of these spots in the days to come.

I named this blog post "Hospitality" because for the past week and a half we have been the blessed recipients of an incredibly amount of hospitality. In San Jose, Portland, and now in Seattle we have been amazed by the people who have opened their homes to us, and I could not be more grateful. Thank you to Darien who hosted us in San Jose even as he was moving out of his apartment, to Carole and Paul who hosted us in their beautiful home outside of Portland, to Bryce and Owen who are hosting us here in Seattle, and to Harrison for showing us around Seattle with excitement and great vibes. All my thanks to all of you, this trip would not be possible without you.

Top to bottom: Me striking a pose at Haystack rock on Cannon Beach, Tigard skatepark, Marginal Way skatepark

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