Sunday, August 10, 2008

saying good bye to friends, across the country in 4 days, first days in Northampton

I am, again way out of order with my blogging, so I'm trying to catch up to present time and finish posting about Europe. The best way to do this is two blog posts in one day on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

My last few day in Seattle were difficult. I really didn't want to leave and seeing friends for the last time was sad. We went to our last flyball practice, said goodbye, Polly and Rudy brought some treats to make it more festive. We also went over to Kate and Jacobs house to play games and eat dinner. Kate is a wonderful cook and introduced us to grilled pizza. She put all the toppings in little bowls and we all made our own pizzas, we also had a chopped salad with beans and a blueberry pie from PCC for dessert. I was introduced to The Settlers of Cattan, which I warmed up to and enjoyed....although Ben gets a bit too competitive with board games, which can be so ridiculous that its funny. Its nicer when you are on his team.

Then after stuffing my car with everything I expect to need for the next year, Ben, Indigo and I left on July 28. I was not happy to pull out of that driveway. I have moments of being excited, but mostly I'm frustrated that I have to leave my home.

Poor Indy only had a little space to sleep (at least I didn't try to bring a TV!)

Day 1 was Seattle to Bozeman. It was 9 pm when we got there and had just enough time to check into our hotel and go to Montana Ale works for dinner. I was surprised at how much I liked the downtown area of the cute little college town. Lots of fun shops, restaurants, people with dogs. We went to a dog park the next morning to tire out the Border Collie and then headed back on I-90 for 14 hours more of driving!

They have an impressive food co-op

Next day we made it to Sioux Falls, SD and then met up with Indigo's breeder, Ignited Border Collies the next day. We met her mom, sister, grandma. I think they had around 20 border collies in the house at that time because they happened to have two litters (one was a repeat of Indigos litter). We also met Dare, the mom that Ben wants to get a puppy from later this year.

Holding Joy's puppy Ezri (Prancer X Race)

Anyway, after spending the night outside of Chicago we headed straight for Albany and then made it to Northampton the next morning.

this explains most of our drive

I was feeling pretty anxious as we got closer to Northampton, knowing that the country roads we were driving on were going to be what I would see every day. I felt better when we drove through downtown and saw my cute little downtown. There was a crazy mix of college kids, tourists, and families. Everyone was out shopping and sitting at cafes. I signed my lease and entered my completely empty apartment.

We spent the next few days racing around to find furniture for my room. It was tiring, but fun to still sort of be on vacation and tour around Western Mass. It was nice to finally meet Danielle, my new roommate and her boy friend. I think we will be a good match as roommates!

The outside of my new apartment

Also, Ben went with me to Great Barrington, MA where I will be doing my community rotation. I've been there before and remembered that they have a super food co-op. It was just as good as I remembered. Its a cute town and Im excited to spend a few days a week there, not excited about the 1 hr drive each way though. The place is called " The Nutrition Center" They have lots of fun programs with kids, gardening and nutrition. They hold a farmers market, house the local WIC office, do nutrition counseling and are in the process of getting new grant funded community food programs. Two of the people there are also Bastyr grads, so Im excited to get to know them.

A bakery in Amherst that uses all local, organic ingredients.

Downtown Noho

My Hotwire (the coffee shop I frequent in Shoreline) replacement, Woodstar. They have free wifi, good coffee and vegan cupcakes. What else could I want?

Finding a place to take our crazy, high energy Border Collie off-leash has not been easy. This place is seemingly really dog friendly. But official off-leash areas are nowhere to be found. After asking around we found out the the old Northampton State Hospital, apparently previously an mental hospital. Aside from the creepiness of this place, most of the grounds are beautiful wooded walking trails along a river with off-leash dogs running free everywhere. Indigo was in heaven and so were we, except for our fear of her getting Lyme disease.


Area restaurants: so far we have been to:
Thai Garden (northampton) - not especially impressive, watery curry, bad peanut sauce
Paul and Elizabeths (northampton) - a natural foods restaurant that was almost good, a little too healthy
India House Restaurant (northampton) - very good, a bit overpriced.
Northampton Brewery (northampton) - pretty good fish sandwich, Ben like the beer, nice outdoor seating
Herrells Ice Cream (northampton) - holy shit, this is worth coming to visit me here for. they make their own sprinkles and the line is out the door every night.

We drove down to Brooklyn (Redhook) on Wednesday night to visit Carly and Fritz. I love their big open warehouse that has been modified to be a living space. We had lots of fun hanging out with them and their two dogs Gus (french bulldog) and Otto (German Shepherd). We stayed in Brooklyn the whole time cruising around with Carly to Fairway (the best grocery store ever), Prospect Park (the biggest dog park ever on Sat mornings). The highlight of our trip was Marlow and Sons, a restaurant in Williamsburg that makes the most simple food taste amazing. I tasted raw oysters for the first time and love them! I highly recommend this place if you are in the area! Then we met up with Rus and went out the the local Beer garden for one too many beers. I was the designated driver and had the pleasure of driving Carly's massive Mercedes G500 SUV that is sort of like a Hummer back to her apartment.
Carly surrounded by adorable dogs

The farmers market at Prospect Park on Saturday morning

Last night we went to see Pineapple Express, the newest stoner movie. It was funny and sad with lots of slapstick comedy and lots of blood for a movie about pot. Dazed and Confused was better. For Bens birthday we are going out for sushi at Osaka and then to Springfield to see Hellboy2. He also wants to play mini-golf ,which is right down the street. We'll see if we can fit that in before he leaves!

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