‘How was your year abroad?’
‘How was America?’
These arenít questions that you can answer in five minutes without getting carried away. An entire year away is something that is difficult to articulate, but one of my trips stands out above the rest.
Nine days, four cities, four friend, one car. Road Trip!
In June I decided to drive from San Francisco, California, to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and those nine days were by far some of the greatest days of my year. A drive of over 16 hours and almost 1,000 miles, lots of people take on the ëWest Coast Road Tripí If, like me, youíre an avid Portlandia fan, partial to a bit of 90s grunge, and desperate for some nature, this trip has the lot! Here are my top four moments of the trip!
Grouse Mountain, Vancouver, Canada
Canada: what an incredible place. On day six we arrived in Vancouver and I cannot express how beautiful this city is. With so much to offer and so much to look at I could have easily spent another week here. However, the highlight for me was definitely Grouse Mountain.
As one of the North Shore Mountains and part of the Pacific Range, the 1,200 metre tall Grouse Mountain is a ski resort in the winter and a hiking destination in the summer. Regardless of the time of year, Grouse is home to some of the best views in the area. After the two-hour ëGrouse Grindí hike, youíre treated to one of the most breath-taking views you will ever see.
Cape Disappointment, near Ilwaco, Washington
Have you ever seen the film Into The Wild? I have. It was cool. Cool enough for me to figure out where that sweet beach scene was? Ring any bells? No? Well, not to worry, I did the hard work for you.
Cape Disappointment is located in the deep South West corner of Washington State and is one of the most scenic places Iíve ever been to. Even in the pouring rain, Cape Disappointment never ceases to charm. With giant cliff faces and sandy beaches – and luckily for us no other tourists – I felt like I was on a movie set. Petition to rename Cape ëdefinitely not aí Disappointment please?
KEXP Radio, Seattle, Washington
This was probably my highlight! KEXP Radio is a station based in Seattle, specialising in alt-rock and indie, interspersed with blues, hip-hop, punk, electronic and anything else that you could wish for. KEXP Radio is huge and I love it very much.
Famous for their incredible live lounges, KEXP is based just a 15 minute walk from downtown Seattle. The University of Washington is deeply involved with KEXP, and having worked with LiveWire, I emailed their team to see if I could spend a few hours in the studios, but I ended up with so much more. I met DJís, the band and volunteers who quickly inspired me to make a heavy decision; I want to move here!
Powellís Book Store, Portland, Oregon
Located in the Pearl District on the edge of Downtown Portland, Powellís claims to be the largest independent seller of new and used books on the planet.
In their central store that consumes an entire block, they had absolutely everything you could ask for; special editions, limited editions, first editions and more! I think I spent almost 4 hours there, leaving with a pretty neat copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Accompanied by the charming hipster aesthetic Portland radiates daily, Powellís books is definitely a place to visit.
SF to Vancouver, Vancouver to SF. Nine days Iíll never take for granted. With great company and our trusty Volvo we made many friends along the way and tonnes of sweet memories. Itís a trip Iíd recommend to anyone!