Things I Love About Road Trips

Hi again!

I wanted to make a separate post for this, because it definitely deserves it.  Here's a short list of things I <3 about road trips, c/o my coast trip.  Enjoy :-)

  • Not using a GPS
  • 'End Speed Limit' signs
  • Alternate routes and detours
  • Lighthouses
  • Tourist traps
  • Towns that only consist of a street corner
  • Foggy, cool mornings
  • An empty road
  • Seeing old friends and making new ones
  • Quiet places to read
  • Random in-car dance parties
  • Not being asked for ID
  • Chatty waiters/waitresses
  • People pumping your gas (I know, I'm surprised I liked it too!)
  • Driving stick on windy, curvy roads
  • Road signs in other states
  • Awesome hole-in-the-wall restaurants
  • Cool bridges (read: engineer)
  • Silence
  • Feeling insignificant (an all-time fav of mine)
  • Festivals
  • Free continental breakfasts
  • Wi-Fi in the middle of nowhere
There you have it, my list from the trip.  I'm sure I have tons more I could add, but this is what I thought of as I traveled the coast.



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The Most Northwestern Bathroom in the US

Sorry guys, kinda got swept up with this whole Seattle thing that I totally forgot to write up my second half of my trip!  Well, now there's a bit of a lull before all the craziness begins Wednesday, so let's sit down here and have a chat.

The title is only one of the many random things on the way from Oregon into Washington along the coast.  As I got farther along, I realized I sped up a little bit each day, eager to make it to Seattle.  Although that's the case, I'm happy to say that I think I've covered most of the western coastline, at least for now :-)  Okay, so here we go!

Day 4: Lincoln City, OR to Portland, OR

  • Got up early and before I knew it, I had crossed the 45th parallel.  The tiny sign came up so quickly that I missed it and turned around for a quick blurrycam pic.
  • Stopped at my first Oregon gas station.  MAN it's weird having someone pump your gas.  At least I got out and did my own windows :-P
  • Took the 3 capes loop off of 101.  A bit foggy, but it was a pleasant drive; it reminded me a lot of a resort town near Traverse City or something, lots of wooden condos hidden in the woods.  Unfortunately, the road was closed to the Cape Meares Lighthouse, but I just took the detour for fun.
  • Drove into Tillamook and got my cheese fix.  A very cool, *free* factory tour.  I even bought a few random gifts for the old SLO roomies (hope you guys enjoyed the poop paper lol!)
  • After stopping here and there for some coast pics, I drove into the packed vacation town of Cannon Beach.  It was nice to start seeing more WA plates, made me feel at home.  I grabbed a quick lunch and did some reading in the bustling little town.
  • Stopped by Ecola SP to see this grand view of the coast my book talked up, but I pulled a U-turn after I found out it was $5 to see a fogged out coastline.
  • Jumped on the road to Portland, where I got stuck for an hour in a crazy traffic jam.  Hell, I turned off my car 3 times and friggin' READ while I waited.  Good thing I had nowhere to be lol.
  • Made it to Portland, woo!  Hung out with Carrie at her new digs and talked over tea and vegan curry.  We spent the night roaming the streets seeing the funkiness that's Stumptown, stopping to grab a huge waffle cone from the food trucks parked in a lot in her neighborhood before heading to the park.  We talked about our new lives (she just moved from SC) and I even got to meet her gf and learn about "vegan rollerskates" lol.  Thanks again Carrie for putting me up for the night!
I'm excited for Seattle, but I'm also so happy Portland is so close.  I mean, it's about a 3 hour drive or a 3 1/2 hour train ride for $60.  I can't wait to head back!  See you guys in October 8-)

Day 5: Portland, OR to Astoria, OR

  • Hung out with Carrie and Sarah all morning.  Grabbed a vegan lunch in Belmont before heading back up US-26 to the coast.  Don't worry, I'll be back :-)
  • Walked around Seaside for a bit, though it was a bit cloudy for a day at a beach town.
  • Headed up to see Fort Stevens, but there was a crazy accident involving a school bus blocking the way.  Found a detour around it and eventually saw a really cool bunker, the only place in the continental US bombed during WWII
  • Fort Clatsop (endpoint of Lewis + Clark) was closing at 5 p.m. so I headed into Astoria.  MAN it's annoying how stuff closes early, but oh well lol
  • Walked along the RR tracks in Astoria for a loooong time, taking bridge pics before realizing I went the wrong way lol.
  • Went up the Astoria Column, which has an AWESOME view of the rivers and the ocean.  Lots of stairs though haha.
  • Drove to my motel (complete with an awesome view of the Columbia and the bridge to WA) and then to a good seafood dinner.  I was amazed how chatty people were, both the gas attendant (admiring my bike) and the waiter at dinner.  It was nice to chat with some folks.
I may not have gotten far that day, but it was a ton of fun!  Now I was really getting anxious to hit WA, so the next day I vowed to push it and get far...and I did :-)

Day 6: Astoria, OR to Port Angeles, WA

  • After admiring the view from my motel a bit, I stopped back at Fort Clatsop to snoop around before grabbing Starbucks and driving over the bridge.  Washington at last!
  • I tried to go to the North Head Lighthouse, but the pay-to-park thing was $10 and I only had a $20.  I didn't feel like breaking the honor system and I had seen enough lighthouses, so I skipped it.
  • Went to Long Beach, admired the random stuff in the Free Museum (complete with crocodile man!) along with the world's largest frying pan and a reconstructed whale skeleton.
  • Sped through Willapa Bay, Grays Harbor, Lake Quinault and Kalaloch.  Not much to see lol, towns are a bit smaller and farther in WA, which was a nice pace from OR.
  • Hit the Hoh River Rainforest.  Simply amazing!  I liked it (and Olympia National Park) so much that I bought a year pass.  I will be back!
  • Took the alternate route up highway 113 and 112 to Neah Bay, the most NW point in the US.  Yes, that's where I found the bathroom lol (as pictured), though I never found the running fish statue :-/
  • Now it was dark, but I pushed on, speeding past Lake Crescent and the rest of Olympia before getting stuck for 15 minutes at a one way road lol.  Stupid construction...
  • Hit Port Angeles, where I grabbed a motel and walked to Michael's, an awesome seafood place recommended by the hotel clerk who used to work there lol.
I did it, I was almost to my new home!  The next day it was Seattle baby!
Day 7: Port Angeles, WA to Seattle, WA

  • Woke up and drove up Hurricane Ridge in Olympia, even though it was fogged out on the webcam.  I found the crazy Deception Point road, which is a curvy dirt road with no guardrails that goes for 8 miles.  I thought I had the balls to do it, but apparently not...especially in the fog lol
  • Hiked really quickly on the ridge and took some pictures of deer before heading back down and speeding towards Seattle, burned out and ready to be done.
  • Skipped Sequim and Dunguness and went straight to Port Townsend, which has a ton of cool shops and restaurants.  Again, I was a bit anxious to be done, so I definitely will be back, although I did find some cool bike shops along with a good lunch.
  • Excited, I drove to the Bremerton Ferry and sailed into Seattle!
Woo!  I had made it; after about a week, as I expected; I was at my new home.  The route was quite impressive; be sure to check it out:

I drove straight to my new house, where I have been ever since, exploring my new surroundings.  So far, it's been about a week and a half and I love the weather and the city!  We'll see about's starting Wednesday haha.

Be sure to stay tuned, I will be keeping my blog more up-to-date now that the craziness of getting moved in and settled has calmed down, I promise.  After all, I need a break from the grad work once and a while, right?

I leave you from my spot in a cozy coffee shop, soon to write again.

Until next time!


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From Bay Area to Bay Area and Beyond

Well folks, it's three days into my PCH trip and if y'all been watching my Facebook then I'm sure you're all up to date with where I'm at on my trip in terms of pics.  However, that's only part of the story.  Here's a quick update on the past three days:

Day 1: San Jose, CA to Eureka, CA

  • Tripled checked everything in SJ after my rough night out with the HGST peeps Tuesday (thanks again guys lol!) and sent off the packing cube.
  • Ate one last meal at our hole-in-the-wall, The Breakfast Place, before taking off at 10 a.m.
  • Made my way out of the Bay, listening to all my fav radio stations as I cruised up 280, across the GG Bridge and up 101.
  • Stopped at a deli-mart in Ukiah for lunch where it was friggin 95 degrees!  Ugh, it was like that most of the way up to the PCH.  The cooler weather couldn't come sooner!
  • Hit the redwoods and tourist traps galore!  Checked out the One Log House and Drive Thru Tree (where I had to take my bikes off to fit and then scratched my mirror on the tree, oops!)
  • Cruised the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt State Park.  Wow.  I was a little freaked out b/c I was low on gas, but I still had fun hiking the Founders Grove and learning about Dyerville, which apparently was totally wiped out from earthquakes and floods.
  • Checked out Scotia, the last company town in CA, followed by Ferndale, a tiny dairy town off the track from 101.  It was a cool place, but like all towns, it was shut up by 6 o'clock.
  • Fogged rolled in and temps dropped into the 60s as I rolled into Eureka, yay!  Found a motel and ate at a local brewery, although I still didn't really feel like beer lol.  Surprised by how large a town it was.
Most of this day was mileage since I was trying to get to where I left off on the PCH at Leggett, so I covered about 325 miles!

Day 2: Eureka, CA to Gold Beach, OR

  • Everything was closed in Eureka until 10, so I wondered over to Samoa looking for some lighthouse ruins, got lost in the fog for a bit, then finally drove up to Arcata to bum around Humboldt State like a student.  Seems to be a big environment/forestry focus, props to that!
  • Cruised the town of Arcata, looking at books and antiques before grabbing food at the co-op.  Someone almost hit me with their car and surprisingly stopped and said "Sorry".  Man, people are nice up here, AND they drive at or below the speed limit!  I'll have to re-learn how to drive lol.
  • Headed to Trinidad where I checked out the lighthouse and beach trail with a TON of stairs.
  • Drove through Redwood National Park and St. Patrick's Park searching for Elk on the alternate route.  Didn't find any :-(
  • Popped into the Trees of Mystery tourist trap.  Probably not worth $14, but definitely cool to see, especially with the talking giant Paul Bunyan lol.  The skyway tram freaked me out a bit; it comes to a complete stop everytime a car is loaded/unloaded, so you're just stopped, hanging over the forest.  Nice view though.
  • Hiked in Jedidiah Smith Park for about an hour.  The road in was crazy in itself.  A nice, bumpy one-lane dirt road.  Absolutely quiet; it's just you and the giant redwoods out there, very relaxing and peaceful.
  • Blew through Crescent city and then grabbed gas right at the border.  I like pumping my own gas :-P
  • Oregon!  Drove through the SW coast through towns like Brookings, taking pics every once and a while.
  • Stopped in Gold Beach and debated going to Bandon, but after struggling to get an answer from people up there I gave up and stayed in GB at a nice motel (thx AAA!)
  • Ate at a pricier seafood place called Spinners, watching the sunset while drinking wine and eating crab cakes lol.  Of course, I had a 15% off coupon :-)
Covered a lot less that day (~125 mi), but there was a lot more to see, and I was already on the coast highway.  Still wondering, do you tip the gas attendants in OR?  Based on what I've read, I guess not. Just feels weird...  Oh, and my motel manager used the term "pop" for soda.  Strange lol.  But hey, things are SO much cheaper, I can't complain!

Day 3: Gold Beach, OR to Lincoln City, OR

  • Started off at the Prehistoric Gardens looking at concrete dinosaurs.  Blake, you'd be in heaven!
  • Ran into a parade and the Cranberry Festival blocking 101 in Bandon.  Bummed around for a bit looking at the fair and the shops.  Lots of free chocolate samples at the Cranberry Sweets & More shop.
  • Marveled at the huge piles of woodchips and logs in Coos Bay, labeled strangely as "Oregon's Bay Area"
  • Passed by the dunes, lots of opportunities for ATVing
  • Grabbed some good pie in Reedsport at Don's.
  • Paid $10 at the Sea Lion Caves to see nothing, although I got several good shots of the Heceta Head Lighthouse, which was closed for construction.
  • Hiked on the top of Cape Perpetua to take some pics, although a longer hike would've been nice.
  • Skipped Newport and went searching for the Otter Crest Loop for biking as suggested in my guidebook.  Found a 3 mile stretch of old 101 with no view leading to Cape Foulweather, so I just drove it and took pics.  Later that night, I found the stretch my book mentioned to bike.  Oh well, can't do it all!
  • Went back to Newport and walked up and down the main port area.  I still wasn't hungry, so I took the short journey up to Lincoln City where I checked in (luckily I reserved early for Saturday!)
  • Got some Thai after wandering around for a bit.
  • Back to my plush room to blog away :-)
Today was about 200 miles, not bad for one day, although it was a lot more rushed.  There weren't as many good things to see today unless I had planned a bunch of stops for hikes, etc.  I've noticed that although I don't have endpoints planned, I stress when I try to do one of the hiking/biking things on my "Things To Do" list, because it takes time, and a lot of the time it's already evening when I get there.  For future legs, I think I might drop those unless I have extra time and they're in the morning.

I flew through lots of Oregon coastal towns and parks, including Yachats, Waldport and Depoe Bay.  It was all beautiful, but after a while I had my fill, and there are just SO many (about one every 10-20 miles lol).  I could be on this trip forever, and although I need to chill out and keep my pace, I really don't want to be out more than a week.  I wanna see my new home (and Tami and  Alex :-) )

Tomorrow is a quick alternate route before sampling cheese in Tillamook and then it's off to Portland to visit Carrie and Sarah.  I can't wait!  Afterwords, Monday looks like I "may" make it into Washington, on time for my one week trip, although there may be another day in there give or take.  We will see.

Until next time!


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My Six Year Vacation

Well it's about that time, eh chaps?

Nearly six years ago, I sat in a crammed van with my parents driving my entire life 3,000 miles west across I-80 from Michigan to California. All I remember thinking was, what the hell am I doing? After living my whole life in Grosse Pointe, I decided I wanted to move as far away as possible from GP for college. And so I did...alllll the way to California.

So now it's six years later, and I'm readying my exodus from The Golden State, packing a shipping cube and driving to my new life in Seattle. How's Cali treated me? Well, it has been quite an experience and that's what I wanted to chat about today.

California has definitely changed me. I went west a quiet, shy, unadventurous computer geek and came back an outgoing engineer (who's still a geek lol) that loves to bike, hike, volunteer and explore the world.

Who the hell is this guy? And what's with the long hair? I'd never in a million years guess I would've changed this much, but I'm very thankful for it and for the most part have CA to thank for it. So what do I have to say about California? A lot.

My four years at Cal Poly alone changed me drastically. The California culture melded with my midwestern charm, creating a weird hybrid that is my personality. I spent the first two years being told I had an accent, and now I can hear the difference between my voice and my mom's when she says "box". I learned about the civil war brewing between the North and the South (sections of California, that is) and how ridiculous it sounded. Now, I'm a true NorCal kinda guy (sry Brian, I'm a Norkie :-P) and I've loved it! Oh, and In-N-Out is awesome (props to Mike for rushing me up to A-Town ASAP when he found out I never tried one) and I will definitely miss it in Seattle.  Maybe Dick's can take its place?

To all my Poly friends: you're awesome, I wish you the best, and be sure to keep in touch!

Let me say that this state has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. The parks are gorgeous, and I've thuroughly enjoyed hiking through them. Yosemite was probably the most beautiful park I've ever been to, and it was only three hours from my house! Heck, just having sun all the time has been nice, although I do get bored of it sometimes lol. I'm not a beach goer, so it's not as big a deal to me, but it's a plus. Roadtripping has been a blast too.

Driving up the PCH, cruising through the redwoods, and even battling traffic in LA, they have all been experiences. I've explored cities from Leggett to Laguna Beach and a few more on top of that. I've covered a lot, but I'm not sure if I could ever cover it all lol.

The people are also extremely friendly.

Strange at times (sorry guys!), but friendly. I think it has something to do with all that sun, it makes people always smile. It's true what they say about long Michigan winters, they can kinda get you in the dumps when it's cloudy for days on end. Everybody I've met has always said "Hello" and given me help when needed. Two weeks ago, I fell off my bike at a red light (it happens) and a guy in a truck next to me asked if I needed help.

Going from the fattest city in America to probably one of the healthiest spots was also a switch. Of course, I've always been one of those skinny guys that everybody hates because I can eat whatever I want, but still. It's nice to see people exercising and trying to eat right. I know I've definitely started exercising more and eating better since moving here; it's infectious. I'm sure the weather has something to do with it too; those winter months in MI can be tough. Shoot, I bike 30 miles roundtrip to work now, that's nuts! I've always been a biker, but even when I started small with my 5 mile ride to Poly I thought I was crazy. Now it's like no big deal.

One of the biggest impacts of California on my life has been its dedication to sustainability and the environment. I have both the state and Braun to thank for getting me more into “bring green” and I am forever grateful. I hope I can continue to make an impact in the Evergreen State with my research, my career, and my everyday life. I wouldn't go as far to say I've become a hippie (I think they'd be offended). Rather, I've become more environmentally conscious, one who believes in little changes that are needed to make a big difference in protecting our planet.

So why move away? It all sounds so great. Well, like I said, it's been a vacation. I mean, going to California or Florida or South Carolina was always a real treat as a kid. Even though I've lived here six damn years, I still don't call myself a Californian. When people ask, "Where are you from?" I always say, "Oh, well I'm originally from Detroit and now I live here in California." It took me a while to figure out why I do this. Why I have never truely adopted this state as my home. Like a vacation, it's great at first, relaxing, a new adventure. However, after a good stay there (in my case, probably around the 5 year mark), I'm ready to ship out. Now, I'm not saying I want to move back home to the D (don't worry mom and dad), but I'm ready to continue trying new things and searching for my home.

I'm tired; that's all there is to it. California is a crazy place, and after six years of trying to fit in, I need a vacation (at my new home haha), at least that's how I see it. The traffic everywhere, and some of the drivers, man! They're called blinkers people! And don't even get me started on the people merging across four lanes and exiting lol. I love being liberal, but all the antics in the state government get a little ridiculous and everytime I check the paper, we're out of money. I've never been into politics, but I mean come on, an IOU for my tax refund, really? People are nice, but it's hard to nail many of them down. We live the land where “people are flakes” as my good friend puts it. That's not very pleasant if you're an ISTJ like me haha.

I'll be honest: most of this I can deal with. Hell, I'm sure I'll run into this sorta stuff wherever I live. However, based on six years of solid research as a guy, I'm pretty sure I'd never meet someone in CA. I'll admit it, I'm a bit rough with signals, flirting, relationships, dating, etc, no question. But, I have yet to meet someone I think I could be in a stable relationship with. Well, there's been a few girls, but usually they're already in relationships, and I'm sorry, but I'm not the type of guy to go around splitting up couples. Many people have background stories and drama I just rather not deal with. I'd like to meet someone who listens, someone who is willing to put forth the effort to make things work. Sounds weird coming from a guy huh? Well, believe me, I've run into plenty of situations where I'm stuck trying to make things work and I'm tired of it; if that's your game, “Check, please!”

Those who know me know that I've never really been into the whole online dating thing. I'm not boycotting it or anything, I've always wanted to meet someone the old fashioned way. Well, I've changed my mind. If I don't meet anyone during grad school, and who knows what will happen up there, then I promise I will try online dating. That's my pact, you all have it in writing. I'm not really hot to trot on the whole dating/relationship thing; I love being a lone ranger. I just figured I'm so sluggish that I might as well force myself to get the ball rolling lol and put it in the plan.

There you have it, that is major force driving out of the state; that's what might keep me from coming back. California is an awesome place to be young and on the go, but I think for my future's sake, another state might be a better fit for me. Yes, I'm still young and yes I'm still exploring, but I can see the writing on the wall and I think it's time to leave and keep looking.

My past two years in San Jose have only reenforced my desire to leave. Although it's probably a much better fit than the craziness of SF, the sprawling family towns of Silicon Valley are not the best match for me. I love the variety of food and culture in the South Bay, not to mention the easy access to hiking/biking and all the latest tech I could want. It's the little things: sitting in lines of traffic, dragging my ass up to the city to have fun, getting honked at and swiped by drivers on my bike, staring at the orange street lights that paint the streets an eerie color at night. Not to mention that “Man Jose” isn't helping my odds either.

I moved back to SJ to work at Hitachi, and although I will forever be thankful to Steve and Roger for getting me the job when the economy tanked, I have to admit that it wasn't the best fit for me and I'm ready to move on. I will miss the SoC team, along with trips to the Korean BBQ, Juicy Burger, Chavez Super, and even the fun club (the snack room for all ur non-HGSTers, nothing shady lol). No, I'm not probably cut out for a startup writing apps or software, but maybe a smaller company, one that is working on something that I am passionate about, like the environment or volunteer work...

Ah, SVV, that has been my one saving grace in San Jose. Volunteering with Avni, Aravind, Denise, Jose, Lesley, Melisa, Michelle, Shailendra and all the volunteers has been a blast and I thank you guys! I was getting a bit stir-crazy in SJ by early 2010 and thank God I found our Meetup group. It's been so much fun working with so many great people doing something that before that point, I had almost no experience with. I'm totally honest when I say I will miss you all and I hope to start up a new volunteer Meetup in Seattle. Volunteering has been an eye-opening experience and I hope to continue helping those who have needs. Oh, and I'll totally be Skyping SVV meetings when I can :-)

So Seattle...what's up with that? Well, I've visited only twice, but both times I loved it. Touring was a blast, the city reminds me a lot more of back east. However, the hills give it a bit of a SF feel, which is great because I've always wanted to live in SF, although I realize now that I'm probably not cut out for it. Crusing the neighborhoods, I got a real feel for the city, and I liked what I saw. Not to mention UW is an awesome school. There's a view of Mt. Rainer from the quad right next to the EE building. Crazy! Oh, and no surprise, but everything (food, transit, houses, etc...) is so cheap compared to Cali. I loved the real estate agents I called:

Agent: “Well sir, now rentals in the city [Seattle] are a bit pricier than the rest...”
Me: “I'm from California.”
Agent: “Oh! Well no problem then, you'll love the cheaper rents!”

“Do you know it rains in Seattle?” YES, and I'm looking forward to it haha. For the record, it doesn't rain as much as people say it does. Sunny all 5 days last March when I went. Weather in CA is boring; too much sun, if that's possible. I miss seasons, snow, and even tornados. No, I'm not crazy, I just like a little variety. It does rain more often and there's a (small) possibility that it will even snow. Of course, SEA shuts down when it snows, but so does SoCal when it rains lol. It's also much greener; the brown, grassy eastern foothills of the Bay are not my fav.  This might affect my exercising a (tiny) bit, but that's what the rollers are for :-)

Seattle also seems to be with it when it comes to many of the things I love about California. They're friendly, healthy, liberal, and green. Not to mention all the opportunities for biking and hiking, I can't wait! I'm all about the west coast lifestyle, but I figured it's time to try moving a little north and checking out the PacNW. I've spent the past two years getting into the whole coffee shop thing too (fine, Chai tea) so I can't wait to check out all the indie places Seattle has to offer. There probably aren't as many awesome sandwich shops as the Bay, but hey, at least they have Jimmy Johns lol! Sure, the Frys is now 30 minutes away instead of five, but I can deal. Oh, and I guess I'll need to take up listening to grunge too :-P

Grad school has always been on the periphery of my mind since graduating in '09. I applied for three years straight, and finally I made the call this year. That and my GRE was about to expire. My goal has always been a masters. Yes, I am an academic (insert Tami laughing about my GPA here) and I'm sure I could be a PhD student, but I think I'm cut out more for the working world. I am excited to teach and do research, and who knows, the option's always there, maybe someday I could be Dr. Staniszewski (God, that would be weird!) For now, however, I am sticking to my two years of graduate work and we'll see how it goes from there.

My one regret about undergrad was not cutting back on the studying to go nuts once and a while in the "Happiest Place in America". Too much time spent behind a book and not enough exploring and being a college student. That's why I have vowed to not revert to my bookworm self when I go to UW. I hope to have a lot of fun in grad school, both learning things and researching fields I'm actually interested in (rather than doing busywork) and I hope to have a good time in Seattle while doing it. I'm sure I'll be swamped with work, but I hope it's work I'll enjoy and that I can take with me to a coffee shop (there's only 10,000 or so of those in Seattle lol) Tami, I'm counting on you to help me out!

So...after grad school, what's next? Oh, who knows lol. I'm using grad school as a two year trial period in Washington. All my residency stuff will still be California.  Afterwords, I need to make a call, and so far I'm riding on 3 separate plans (after all, I'm Stan the Man with the Master Plan :-) Either:

1) Stay in Seattle
2) Move back to the Bay Area
3) Move back to Detroit

Both 1) and 2) are in the realm of possiblity, although I have to muster up the strength to put my effort into making 2) work again. This time round, I'd live anywhere but SJ, most likely north of Mountain View. Peninsula? SF? Marin? I don't know, but I will not live in San Jose again.

Yea 3) is a little out there, but I'm considering it. Of course, there still aren't any jobs really for me in Motown. If I moved back to Detroit, I'd definitely start up my own business, maybe in downtown somewhere in the shell of a former auto factory. The incentives are there, the labor is there. All I need is an idea. And in order for that to happen I need time. Hmm...time, where the hell will I find that haha? I don't know, I hope to come up with some cool new cleantech idea that I could work on from the D. Shoot, maybe it won't even be related to engineering. There's a lot of people moving into downtown and I'd think it'd be badass (to use my new catchphrase) to be a part of the revitalization of the city.

What's in the future plan? Well, of course like most people, I'd like to be able to live comfortably someday and meet someone. I don't want to be rich; I just want to be happy. I'm definitely not ready to settle for a while, but I do want a house someday, you know, to putz around with? I stood in Home Depot a week ago watching all the happy couples buying stuff for their DIY projects. Is it weird that I want a place to mess with more than a girlfriend? I like to mess with stuff, that's how I am. This all comes after my barage of traveling and then finding a place to stay of course. Maybe that city is Seattle...I don't know. All I know is that right now I want to travel as much as I can and I will find my city someday.  In the meantime, I'll keep running on hope.

I do feel bad about moving away because I have met so many wonderful people.

[Insert friends list here]

I feel like with leaving Michigan, once I meet good friends, I seem to run away. Granted, I've only done a big move like this once before, but still, I basically uprooted myself, and although I had a blast and met all sorts of new people and ran into many new situations, it was hard to let everyone in Michigan go. Why would I have to do that? I didn't, you're right, and I don't need to do it when I leave California either. I'm just reallllllly BAD at keeping in touch. I know it. You know it. The world knows it. So please, all my Cali friends (along w/ everyone not living in Seattle lol), make sure I keep in touch. Harass me, email me, fb me, Skype me, I don't care, just make sure I stay on the ball. I know I tend to do it, and I'll try my best to not fall back on old habits, but I could use your help. I'd love to hear from ya at all hours!

To everyone, I wish you the best of luck in all your adventures. Keep safe, have a good time, try new things. I'll keep you posted as I meander 1,200 miles up the west coast and on life in the Emerald City. Drop me a note, stop on by and keep on reading...


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