I’m Back. Did You Even Know I Was Gone?

One of the benefits of being married to a Lonely Planet travel writer is tagging along on research missions. While it’s no vacation for her, with all the running around and investigating hotels and interviewing winery owners and writing down new addresses and photographing everything to keep it all straight — for me, it’s three weeks of seeing a lot and writing nothing.

Last year, she spent six weeks in Florida, and I only went along for one because, you know, it’s Florida. But this time, it was the Pacific Northwest. Three weeks in Oregon and Washington, from Portland to Astoria (where they filmed The Goonies) to Seattle to Leavenworth to Yakima to Walla Walla and points in between. Thirty-five hundred miles, to be almost exact. Which is why we recently sold the 1995 Honda with 120,000 miles on it and got a Prius. From Bend, Oregon to San Francisco on one tank of gas! Take that, Exxon.

Knowing that we were going to be going every goddamn place in two states, I spared you from a bunch of posts about how we stayed in a different hotel in a different town every night and how good our gas mileage was and how much I was enjoying the Velvet Painting Museum and the Doug Fir Lounge and the Columbia River Maritime Museum and RichArds Yard Art House and Bern’s Tavern and Voodoo Donuts and the (pictured) Museum of Glass.

In fact, I chose to do no writing whatsoever. No revising of plays. No plotting out new ones. No work-related beer label writing or financial brochure writing. No blogging. No journaling. I didn’t even take notes; if I needed to jot down an address, I took a picture of it with my phone.

So now I’m back, refreshed and itching to get back to it, just in time for this. Pretty smart, eh?