After California, I flew north to Seattle, Washington. At about 300,000 people it's the largest city and economic hub of the state. I was born there, and although we moved to California when I was only six, I moved back and lived in Seattle again from 1985 until 2001. I have lots of friends in the city, so it was easy to spend a few weeks visiting.
I stayed with Marcy and Domenick. They are truly the "host and hostess with the mostess."
I visited my old house in the Greenwood neighborhood. New owners Doug and Vicki seem very happy living there.
Seattle is full of beautiful "Craftsman" houses with lush gardens.
I did some great eating (ribs at Lenny's)
Next I went up to the beautiful Skagit Valley, where I lived during 2002 and 2003.
My main mission was to thin out my storage locker (most of my remaining U.S. worldly possessions.) I had a garage sale and sold a lot of stuff, then moved the remainder into a smaller 5' x 10' locker.
Mount Vernon, the county seat, is a pleasant little town with a still-vibrant downtown. But downtown shop-owners are worried about the recent city approval for a new Walmart SuperStore over by the interstate.
Skagit Bike riding! Out on the Skagit Flats / visit to a wildlife refuge on the Skagit River.
More food: Yummy pancakes with Lynne and Stoney.
(I stayed with Stoney in his spacious apartment above over Pacioni's Pizzeria.)
Next I visited my friend Chris Martin in Tacoma. We got to be good friends in Cuba during the mid-90's. On this trip I stayed with her three nights and she gave me a grand tour of "Renaissance Tacoma."
Glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly at the new Tacoma Glass Museum.
More great eating...
Sadly, it was near the end for Chris's ailing husky, Sasha. She had to put him down a few weeks after my visit.
I hope his gentle soul is happy in doggy heaven.
After 45 days in the U.S., I flew back home to the Philippines...Bye-bye America, thanks for the great vacation!