Pacific Northwest Trip

Well, Aliciana and I are finally starting to feel recovered from our recent trip up the west side of our beautiful country. Our trip ended up taking 6 days in all. We learned several valuable lessons on this trip, the most important one being to never drive more than 4 hours a day on vacation if you expect to enjoy yourself.

The first day of our travels we drove 9 hours from Bakersfield to Medford, Oregon. This was a major mistake. We finished up the rest of the drive to Seattle the next day, only a 5 hour drive. By the time we got to my friend Ryan’s apartment, we were completely exhausted! We ended up spending the whole trip in a state of exhaustion, which kinda ruined the trip, but we still managed to have some fun.

Our original plan was to spend 3 nights at Ryan’s apartment, but after 2 long days of driving we were already itching to call off the vacation and go home. Then we saw Ryan’s apartment in person and I decided there was no way I was going to be able to spend more than one night there. I am very grateful to Ryan for offering us his floor, but his apartment is the smallest apartment I have ever seen. There are a couple of pictures of how Aliciana, Ryan, Ryan’s friend Dave, and I all managed to squeeze into it.

The next night I decided to try to salvage what we could of this trip and booked a room at the Hampton Inn which is just one block away from the Space Needle. We spent the rest of the day walking around the University of Washington, Downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square, and the Seattle Underground. The Seattle Underground Tour was amazing and I recommend it to anyone who is ever visiting Seattle! I will blog about the tour more tomorrow.

For our trip home we changed our plans and took 3 days to make the drive. It was easier with the mileage spread out but still very exhausting. We spent the night in Eugene, Oregon and Redding, California. Along the trip home we stopped at the State Capitol of Washington in Olympia. We also saw the State Capitol of Oregon on the way to Seattle.

Overall, we had a good time. We got to see a lot of the country we hadn’t seen on our first trip up there. But I highly doubt we will ever do that drive again. Next time we go to Seattle we will fly.


Heading North Day 1: Bellingham

Linuxfest Northwest is like a giant LUG (Linux users group) meeting. We decided to check it out since we were planning on going up to Vancouver anyways. I figured it was a good excuse for our first trip into Canada.

Besides checking out some exhibitions and attending a talk on OpenID, we didn’t do a whole lot at the festival. It seemed like a lot of the geeks were having a good time but because we had just moved to the pacific northwest we didn’t know a single soul.

It was worth checking out the festival since we were in the area but I don’t think it would have been personally worth attending otherwise. I greatly enjoyed LinuxWorld last year in San Fransisco but this festival was nothing like it. But, the LinuxFest Northwest group was trying for more of an intimate get together of local Linux lovers, and it seemed like they accomplished that. I think Aliciana was expecting something a little more impressive… I definitely need to drag her to LinuxWorld in the future.


Heading North Day 2: Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver is a very beautiful city. We did some shopping in the “Robson Street” area of the city. Then we headed to Stanley Park just west of downtown. It is quite amazing to have such a large park bordering a major city. We took a small hike though part of the park and enjoyed the many gardens. It was a very good first impression of Canada; I really wish we had more than just an afternoon to spend there.

On the trip home we spent 30 minutes trying to get back into the US. While sitting in line we took in the sites of the waterfront and the Peace Arch. After convincing the border patrol we weren’t terrorists, we were finally allowed on our way. It struck me as funny, and kinda sad, that it took 20 seconds to get into Canada, but a 10 minute interrogation, and 20 minute wait, to get back into the USA. I guess that is just the world we live in these days.


Tillamook Cheese Factory Tour


Portland’s Washington Park


Exploring the Kitsap Peninsula

Aliciana and I took the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. Next we drove up the 305 to Poulsbo and then down the 3 to the 16 and into Tacoma. Click here for a pretty map.

We ate dinner at the Spaghetti Factory in Tacoma, but I wouldn’t recommend it because the service sucked. Go to the Spaghetti Factory in Seattle instead.


Visiting the Family in Vegas: Part 1

Three friends from Bakersfield, Jialan, Connie, and Rosalva, happened to be in Las Vegas for the weekend so we met up with them for lunch. Later that evening, at dinner, AJ decided to pose for some pictures.


Visiting the Family in Vegas: Part 2

Some pictures of my new brother and sister. AJ and Michaela, the dogs, and grandma. It is hard to believe that I have a 1 year old brother and a 4 month old sister.


Visiting the Family in Vegas: Part 3

More Ladd Family 2.0 pictures. The cute 6 year old wearing pink in the photos is Juanita, a foster child staying with my parents for a while. Along with Aliciana and me, my parents house contained Juanita, AJ, Michaela, Grandma, my mom, my dad, my sister Courtney, the 2 dogs, and Molly the cat. It was quite a zoo.


Aliciana’s San Diego Trip: Part 1

By Aliciana:
The kids love taking pictures.