Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pictures from America

Proof of my old lady lifestyle- pretty much the only name tag with a real name instead of a twitter handle. 
Last weekend D convinced me to join him at TechFestNW, a two-day extravaganza for lovers of technology, utopian futures and long TED-style lectures. I think it's safe to say that he got a little more out of it although I sure enjoyed the walk down to the event.
Here's one of those homes-afloat that we dreamed of for about 5 seconds.
Afterwards, a long walk along the waterline showed off all the things that prove Portland merits a new calender of sights each year (and if you haven't seen this 3-min video yet, you should):
Looking for artwork and/or bongs? You've come to the right blanket.  Nearby signs included "You can't spell healTHCare without THC". (More about this on Wikipedia.)

Spot anything unusual here??
 That's right:

Whatever #FIATATSEA is (ack! twitter again!), I bet a lot of people want one after seeing this:

Anyway, this is not going to become a Portland blog- in fact, we're not even there at the moment. We've practically worn a groove traveling between the Pacific Northwest cities of Portland and Everett.

Guess how many trips?

Eight trips already, about 1600 miles of car journeys, traffic jams, and rumbling bus rides.

Three hours is a speedy jaunt between the two cities. The longest trip yet was seven hours (never travel during an airshow). Now whenever I close my eyes, all I see is this. Over and over again.

Scroll fast for the most realistic effect:

D's mother has kindly lent us one of her rooms for the time being and we've since been immersed in the family's life, spending afternoons driving around with a whole mini-van full of family members, speaking Russian, visiting malls and pizza joints while Kit naps back in the apartment. : )

At the mall.
Aside from the malls, one of the family's favorite spots is a quiet beach in the nearby city of Edmonds.

But the plan is not for this to become a Pacific Northwest blog either. Although we are here now, my heart lies in faraway places, Ukraine and beyond. It may take some time- or perhaps a lot of time- but we'll get back out there.

PS: Thanks for getting all the way through photo overload!! ; )


  1. Come over to UK, I am sure your eyes/camera would reveal parts us #Brits do not see :-)

    1. Haha, I'd love to do that one day, Rupert! Actually squeezed in about 3 hours in London once during a layover. Just enough time to get on the Underground, go out to take a few pics of Big Ben, and head back to the airport. Probably my first time on any serious(ly intimidating) metro.

      How's it going adjusting back to life there, btw?

  2. I have been enjoying your blog for a while and coincidentally I live in Everett and my son lives in Portland!

    1. Wow, small world! :) Do you have any tips for the Everett area?

    2. Surely. But what kind of tips? I have lived here for more than 20 years now so I am pretty familiar with it.

    3. Any cool places / things to do that you recommend, especially family-friendly ones, would be appreciated : ) We've got the mall and the public library covered, not sure what else to do. Thanks!

    4. Yes, Mukilteo Lighthouse Park, beach and children's play area. You can picnic there and think you still are in Ukraine! you will hear Russian/Ukrainian spoken by so many people. I recommend this while the weather is still pleasant.
      We missed the opportunity to take the free boat to Jetty Island (well, almost, tomorrow is the last day) from the Everett Waterfront.
      I am guessing you don't want to spend a lot of money, just like most of us! Go to for lots of good ideas for things to do.
      Do you know there is a banya in Everett? Right on Colby Ave. in the middle of downtown!
      It is not cheap but there is often a Groupon coupon for it!
      Because summer is effectively over, there are less recs now then when summer was here. I love a drive to Deception Pass Park. Beautiful. Go up to Mt. Erie while you are there also.
      I will try to think of more things.

    5. Awesome, thank you!!! I can't believe there's a banya in Everett that sells veniki! That's just too cool : ) I think we have a trip planned soon to the lighthouse. There's been a lot of talk about visiting "The Маяк" so it might be the same one you mentioned. I'm so glad you sent these ideas along, this is great!

  3. Hehe am one of the family she is talking about. And am the driver of the mini van that my grandfather had. It's called nissan quest.

    1. Hi Slava! You're a good driver :p Thanks for showing us around town.