So it’s like 5 AM and I can’t remember exactly what brought this topic up several hours ago (was it the St. Louis Arch? Maybe.), but I was telling Nate about this place in Missouri called The Magic House. My grandparents used to live in Missouri when I was young (< 8 or so), my mom and I would fly down there once or twice a year and do stuff with them. The Magic House was (is) basically a big children’s museum full of a bunch of interactive stuff, a lot of them having to do with science in some form or another.
It has obviously upgraded since I was last there, but it’s still there and some features are exactly the same as I remember.
I remember the bubble room, that big Van de Graaff generator (my short hair would REALLY frizz out), a wall where you could use pulleys to hoist yourself to the ceiling, colored circles on the floor in one room that made different tones when you stepped on them, a place where you could test if you were colorblind, a place where you could draw silhouettes, and a big wall that you could dance in front of and your image would be displayed on the wall with all sorts of psychedelic effects applied to it. I really liked going there.
Edit: I’ve also been to the top of the St. Louis Arch (again, when I was very young). I remember those weird elevators and being able to lean out over those little windows. I’d like to go back and see that again!
So y’all know Geoguessr, right? Well, my wonderful husband made a Moscow map for me because I’m beyond homesick and I neeeeeeeed the Palouse.
It’s super fun. Go check it out!
I also love how I lived in Moscow for about 23 years total and still don’t know the damn street names.
Today, for whatever reason, is one of those days.
So here we go with random Google Streetview screencaps of Vanland, ‘cause I’m sad and my blog is as pathetic as I am.
My first place in Vancouver. It was a shithole. I wonder if it still has as many silverfish in it as it did when I was living there.
I visited this Superstore a lot during the summer of my thesis defense. It was a pain in the ass to walk to, but it was the closest Superstore to my apartment.
I walked across this bridge a lot.
PERSON, NO! You’re in the middle of Kingsway!
This park was the place I walked to on that one summer day in 2010 when I was feeling all claustrophobic in my apartment and had to get out and do something. It was only like half a mile from my apartment, but it was more than I had voluntarily walked in a long time (sad, I know). And it felt good. I mark this walk as my first walk walk and the thing that started all this current madness and obsession with walking.
In This Blog: Claudia’s Jet-Setting Suitcase Says “Screw You” to Cold Temperatures and Goes to California Instead
Today, I went from Moscow/Pullman (PUW) to Seattle (SEA) to Calgary (YYC).
My suitcase, however, did not. It went from Moscow/Pullman (PUW) to Los Angeles (LAX) to Calgary (YYC).
Luckily, my nine-hour layover in Seattle meant that my suitcase still got to Calgary before I did, despite its little adventure.
I like Sea-Tac; I’ve spent a decent proportion of my life there. It’s a nice airport. Nine hours, though, is a little too long of a layover. At least I got a lot of semester prepping done and still had time to walk around a little bit.
Also it’s Christmas. Merry Christmas.
I spent most of the day in various airports, but at least I got to walk/run this morning before I left. So yay!
In the spirit of Christmas, have a beautiful rendition of Carol of the Bells.
Also, Calgary has a ton of walking/biking paths.
It’s one of the main reasons I love this city.
Every year, The Economist does an assessment of ~140 cities for their Global Livability Ranking. This year, Calgary ranked as the fifth most livable city in the world and the most livable city in North America. The rankings are based on the averagings of the results of five metrics: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
So that’s kinda cool.
If you’re interested in the report, you can download it from here.
WHY IS EVERY MAJOR ROAD IN CALGARY UNDER CONSTRUCTION I MEAN SERIOUSLY IS THAT NECESSARY
It’s a long drive back from the cabin. I used to love long trips (whether they were in cars, planes, whatever), but now I’m not a big fan of them. I still really dig airports, though; not sure what that’s all about.
I also really liked staying in that hotel in Seattle when my layover was so long that they kicked me out of the airport.
Random hotel nostalgia time?
Anyway. This blog did not go where I thought it would, but I can’t remember what else I was going to say, so there you go.
Sorry, I’m stressed out about the upcoming semester and I already miss my mom.
Edit: IT’S ALLERGY SEASON! TIME TO SNOT LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW
We’re all leaving in a few minutes to head down to Nate’s parents’ cabin. I’m pretty sure my mom is going to hide somewhere out there so that she doesn’t have to go back to work next week.
Maybe there will be kayaking.
There will definitely be hot dogs.
We will also put the rain shroud on our tent before it starts raining this time.
I really do. It’s a big enough city that you can get that big metro feel in certain parts of it, but it’s so spread out that there are a lot of places you can go and not feel like you’re in a big city at all.
And the river path. Holy gods, I love that river path. Miles and miles of uninterrupted walking with no threat of murderous cars? Give it here.
I love the weather, too, even though this past February made me want to throw myself into the sun (because at least then I’d be warm). I much prefer the temperature swings of Calgary (hot “near-90s” summers to cold “WHY ARE MY INSIDES FROZEN” winters) to the dreary rain of Vancouver.
I mean, I loved Vancouver too, but for totally different reasons and not with the same depth that I truly love Calgary.
(And I hated the rain. Ugh.)
This is a really well-done set of drone captures of Tucson. It’s got some neat transition effects in there that kind of set it apart from your typical time lapse/drone flyover.
Also, CHVRCHES song.
When I’m in Calgary, I miss my mom and Moscow.
When I’m in Moscow, I miss Nate, Jazzy, and Calgary.
LIFE IS HARD
I really miss Moscow. Like, I’m not sure if I could live here again just due to the fact that it’s pretty hard to walk 15 miles in such a tiny town without taking the trail to Pullman all the time, but it does really feel good to come back here every once and a while. I like knowing that I’m at most like three miles away from home anywhere in the city and I like how quick and easy it is to walk to Walmart/Safeway/Winco and get nonsense stuff.
And how cheap everything is.
I’m heading to Moscow for a bit, YAY! We’re driving back from Calgary today and then I’m in the ‘Scow for like two weeks.
Edit: $163.27 wheel of cheese? It better be…gouda.
I am SO FREAKING HOMESICK RIGHT NOW.
I’m glad I get to go back to Moscow in half a week or so. This has been a very long spring/summer following a very busy winter semester and I really miss my mom.
I also really miss Moscow itself, despite how difficult it is to do my daily 15 miles there without looping the hell out of all the streets.
Calgary is a very pretty city.
One of my favorite things I’ve “discovered” on my walks is the giant Stoney Trail bridge that shoots over Bowness Park.
The first time I walked into Bowness Park I had no idea where I was going (as per usual), so I just kept walking west. The further in you go, the less “park” it becomes and instead becomes much more “wood.” Then, when you’re in the thickest part of it, bam!
This giant concrete structure just comes out of nowhere and swoops over the park. It’s so surreal-looking against the woods that it’s almost startling.
But in a good way. I really like the contrast.
Anyway. I discovered this last summer but only just took my first picture of it, so you get to hear about it now.
Headed back up to Calgary today. Not ready to go back. I want just a bit more time in Moscow.
Edit: THIS KOKANEE FOOT HAS SIX TOES
I am BACK IN MOSCOW AGAIN!
It always feels good to come back for a little while. It’s not quite the same now that my dad’s no longer living here (meaning my mom and I can’t go crash over there and visit, haha), but it’s still fun.
Calgary’s great; I love the big city, I love Canada, and I love pretty much everything else about it here (except CHEESE IS TOO FREAKING EXPENSIVE), but it’s nice to “escape” back to tiny old ‘Scow for a bit.
And buy $1.77 bags of shredded cheese from Winco.
ALSO. Did you know that there is no Colby-Jack cheese up here? I don’t know about the rest of the country, but Colby-Jack is not a thing in Calgary.
Which is dumb, ‘cause Colby-Jack is life.
Remember that map thingamapoop that you can color in based on where you’ve lived and how long you’ve lived there?
Probably not, ‘cause that’s not super descriptive or specific. So here’s mine from 2013.
Here’s the updated map to reflect my current state.
(That was a really stupid joke, sorry.)
That’s…not as different from the 2013 one as I thought it would be, haha.
I still miss it there every once and a while, though. My time at UBC was hell on earth, but the city was cool when it wasn’t trying to drown you in rain.
So today was supposed to be pretty crappy, because while my flight from Lewiston got into Seattle around 10 this morning, my flight from Seattle to Calgary is supposed to leave tomorrow around 11. I was originally planning on just hanging out in the airport and getting some work done (and not sleeping), since there weren’t any other really good options.
And really, that’s not terrible. SeaTac is a pretty great airport. Lots of places to wander if I got bored, that giant food court thing with the ceiling-high windows, and a decent number of places to sit. I figured if I could find an outlet to camp at, I’d be fine.
BUT THEN, PLOT TWIST!
I learned that because my flights were more than 17 hours apart (I think that was the cutoff time?), my checked luggage would only go through to Seattle. I’d have to pick it up there and the re-check it in closer to my flight to Calgary.
And on the plane from Lewiston to Seattle, I realized what this would probably mean: the baggage claim area is not in the cool part of the airport. It’s in the tiny basement thing that’s 70% luggage carousels, 20% luggage hauling SeaTac dudes (baggage bros?), and 10% benches that are taken up by sleeping families.
And since I had to claim my bag, that meant leaving the airport part of the airport and going down there. And staying there for ~24 hours.
Noooooooot as fun.
So I call my mom and we figure out there’s a hotel like right across the street (literally, it turns out), so I pack up my crap and head over there (and feel really stupid taking the bus shuttle because it is, literally, right across the street from SeaTac).
GIANT ROOM WITH GIANT KING-SIZE BED.
Got Subway, worked on stuff for classes, and watched crappy Seattle TV all night.
‘Twas much more enjoyable than the SeaTac airport could have been.
So we did the Skagway train ride today, ‘cause that’s the excursion I always do with my dad when we’re in Skagway. It was awesome as always. Pictures!
Also, it really makes me happy to see people being nice to each other. The stairs to exit the train are relatively steep. After we had exited out of our own car, we passed this one older dude trying to get down the steep stairs from another car. There were like five people—probably all complete strangers—helping him out, making sure he made it to the ground safely.
That kind of stuff really makes me happy.