Arriving back in the US, May 19th

We arrived back in Seattle May 19th, greeted by surprisingly sunny and warm weather.  We flew from Fiji via LAX and were excited to see our friends and our dogs.  The first night back we stayed with our friend Sean in Bellevue, which after staying in hostels felt like a luxury hotel! Thanks Sean.  We had a good time catching up with him about our travels over one of the food places we missed-Chipotle.   We ate well on our trip, but did miss some of our  eateries back home. Over the five days we were back we made sure to visit these places (Chipotle, Whole Foods, Pho House, Starbucks).  After recovering from jet lag and sleeping in at Sean’s apartment we picked up our car at the storage unit and headed to pick up the dogs.   Luckily the car started up with no problem after sitting unused for almost 5 months.  Love the subie.

Flying into Seattle
Flying into Seattle

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Sleeping in at Sean's apartment in Bellevue. Felt like luxury!
Sleeping in at Sean’s apartment in Bellevue. Felt like luxury!
Eating at Pho House in Kirkland, our favorite.
Eating at Pho House in Kirkland, our favorite.

Duke and Spike looked great, although they had gained a few pounds while we were away.  Duke was super excited to see us and jumping up and down while Spike meandered out with tail wagging to say hello and when he was satisfied walked back toward the play space!  Jamie, the owner of Camp Charlie, said Duke ran the place and Spike spent most of his time hanging out under a shady tree.  Evidently he really liked his stay there.  Happy to be back with our dogs we took them right to the dog park.

Happy to be walking the dogs.
Happy to be walking the dogs.

Our friends Tracey and Russell graciously let us stay with them in Seattle for a couple days so we got to catch up with them. Tracey also happened to be very pregnant and was due any day!  It was super fun to hang out with her and we stayed up chatting way too late.  The morning we left to stay on the Eastside she had her baby, Quinault. We were so happy the baby decided to come on time so we got to meet him and spend more time with the family.

Hanging out with Sylas, Tracey, Russell, and new baby!
Hanging out with Sylas, Tracey, Russell, and new baby!
Tracey with Quinalt
Tracey with Quinault
Practicing our vegan Thai once again for Tracey, Russell and family.
Practicing our vegan Thai once again for Tracey, Russell and family.
Delicious vegan pizza from Zaw in Seattle post baby hang out.
Delicious vegan pizza from Zaw in Seattle post baby hang out.

Ravi also got to spend time with a couple of his past coworkers and I did as well.  Both of us really enjoyed catching up with our coworkers and hearing about how things had changed and progressed since we left.  I got to tour the new residential facility for eating disorder treatment, Eating Recovery Center of Washington, that I had been working on prior to leaving work.  I know the team at ERC and The Moore Center had been working very hard to open so it was fun to see the completed project.

After meeting up with friends and enjoying our tour of restaurants we missed we started the process of entering our over stuffed storage unit to find our camping gear.  Despite us doing our best to put the gear we anticipated needing toward the front, we still had to do some digging and ended up not finding a couple of items we wanted to bring.  Which was probably good because we had to cut down on our packing anyway to make everything fit in our Subaru with us and the dogs.  Eventually we got our gear and packing squared away and were ready to leave Washington.  We also took care of random errands, caught up on some TV, and most exciting of all I finally officially changed my name-Alison May Raman!

Packing up the car
Packing up the car
All packed up and ready to go
All packed up and ready to go

Our first destination was Yosemite for a family gathering.  On the way we stopped in Portland for lunch with our friend at an amazing vegan restaurant called Blossoming Lotus.  If you ever are in Portland definitely stop here-even if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian you will love it.  On our way we also spent a few hours in Ashland, OR wandering around and enjoying the food from another raw/vegan cafe, NW Raw.  We took the drive to Yosemite relatively slow stopping at plenty of dog parks along the way.  It was near 100 degrees in California so we were ready to get to Yosemite to enjoy the cooler weather and spend time with family.  In total we took about 5 days in Seattle and 2 and a half to drive to Yosemite.  It feels good to be back in the States and exploring our backyard!

Smoothie and Juice at NW Raw in Ashland.
Smoothie and Juice at NW Raw in Ashland.
Vegan cinnamon roll at Blossoming Lotus, Portland
Vegan cinnamon roll at Blossoming Lotus, Portland
Driving on I-5 in California
Driving on I-5 in California

-Alison

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