Cute little Bellingham!
Trip Start Dec 30, 2010
84Trip End Jul 06, 2011
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Where I stayed
Couchsurfed with Emily
My host is Bellingham, Emily, is volunteering at a charity event called Ski to Sea. Some sort of Iron man type race where a team of 4 ski, run, swim and cycle. She is spending the day standing on a corner directing the cyclists. I love the fact she is involved in her community! So, I have time to kill and with back pack in hand, go to explore the town of Fairhaven (near Bellingham and where the Greyhound bus stop is located), which incidentally is having it's largest festival of the summer. So, a perfect day to arrive into this small town to explore. I plod around for an hour or so before my shoulders are giving way and I find a bench to sit and people watch. I had two hours to kill, annoyingly, I again have already eaten when there are tasty food stalls located around the town.
I walk back to the bus station, find a long wooden bench, the kind you would find in the train station in Chicago, and sit and listen to my music. I've been listening to the Fleet Foxes non stop for a few days now, and continue to enjoy them, mixed in with a little of the DaVincis. I also have the problem of my cell phone! I can't make or receive calls, I can send texts but can't receive them!! Man!! Two hours drift by and no sign of Emily, I figure I'd give it another 30 minutes. Then, she calls, but I can;t answer. I let it hit voice mail, listen to the voice mail, find a pay phone and call her back. Annoying to read? Annoying to experience! Turns out she is just outside the station.
A very sweet and shy young lady. She works at a blood bank and is hoping to save enough money to go back to college and study to be a nurse, but she thought by working at the blood bank, she;d get over her fear of sticking people with needles and blood. I can tell she is a little shy, so the talkative monster that is Tony clicks in. It's quite amusing, but we are both mutually indecisive. Mine is out of politeness, hers is just fact. We eventually decide on going to find some dinner and I'm given the choice of four places and pick a great place that does fresh salmon steak burgers. We're talking a sizeable piece of salmon placed in a burger, served with chips or coleslaw. Of course, I ask for chips, pause then ask if that means fries. Typical, it doesn't so I go for the coleslaw. We talk for a long time over dinner, make that I talked for a long time, but after a while, Emily opened up when we discussed family and some pretty bad things that happened in her family. I really enjoy her company and suggest a quick tour of Bellingham followed by a trip to an ice cream place.
The town is tiny, very very small. It takes just a couple of minutes for her to drive me around. We stop near the centre and go to her favourite ice creamery. I explain to her my fear of random ice cream flavours, and that I stick to plain, normal ones. Though, today, I go for a slightly unusual one for me. Though, this was three weeks ago and for the love of me I can't remember what it was. It had nuts in and I got too try the ice cream type and the just 'ice' type? We sit and chat some more, I tell Emily some of my stories from the road, and some of the places I have been lucky enough to visit. Of course, I produce a little picture of my nephew, that I am only days away from seeing again.
My body is tired, my mind is tiring. I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening with Emily and wish I was staying longer as we were getting on very well.
We drive to her place and it is so very unique inside. She and her apartment remind me of my friend Di. Her apartment has collectables has artwork she has created herself. She loves giraffes, and sea horses and they are dotted around the apartment. She has a cute little dining table with one seat, she has a small fold out sofa, an old fashioned writing desk, more for show than for use. The apartment matches the sweet and endearing person that she is. If one were to just see her from a distance, you would not maybe form the same impression. She has a large tattoo that covers her shoulders, collar bones an finishes on her breast plate. The large tattoo is of a south American bird. She has a whale falling from the sky on her left arm and plans to have a sea horse falling from the sky on her right arm. This young lady see beauty in the world, she is kind, considerate, generous and full of character. We chat some more, she admits to being a very good listener, I apologise for being such a talker!
Seeing as she has an early start in the morning, normally 6am but for me it will be 7am, she hits the sack. She lets me check on some emails with her fancy apple computer. The sofa bed is pretty comfy and I enjoy a good night sleep.
Miles walked 0.92
Day 147 May 30th - I'm up and ready for leaving around 645am. Emily drops me off at a cool little coffee shop near the bus station. I say goodbye and thank her for being a wonderful little host and for letting me stay just one night. So sweet and helpful.
I drop into the coffee shop, grab a bacon sandwich and a coffee. The day is pretty slow for the lady serving, so we strike up a conversation that leads me to showing her a picture of my nephew. As ever, I warn her that he is very cute, and the picture I show is Easton with him Great Grandfather. I love that picture and have to to hand when I want.
I sit, plug into the wifi and kill a few hours. England have put Sri Lanka into bat in the last day of the first and wickets start tumbling, I tell myself, not to leave the coffee shop till all the wickets go. Luckily England bowl out Sri Lanka pretty cheaply and win the game. The reason I was lucky they did it quickly, was because I was a 40 minute walk from the Greyhound bus or a 5 minute bus journey. Seeing as it was memorial day, the buses weren't running. Just as I realise, Emily rings, I don't answer but she leaves a message telling me the same thing and offering ideas to help me. I pop back to the coffee shop and a guy points out a nearby trail that is walkable and I have enough time to walk the trail and reach the bus station.
The trail is beautiful, but with my big pack on my back, I'm focused more on walking quickly. Before long, I recognise where I am and have to cross a foot bridge and walk around the town of Fairhaven to get back to Greyhound. I make it with ten minutes to spare.
This is the last stop in the USA before I hit Canada and continue to edge closer and closer to seeing my brother Pete, my sister-in-law Kim, my nephew Easton and my brothers inlaws, Loren and Joan. I'm lucky to have a goal at the end of my trip that will be so good to reach,many times through my adventure, when maybe my spirits have been low, just one look at a picture of my nephew cheers me up and gives me motivation to keep going! I'm hoping he's grown up enough to get me a beer from the fridge, they can do that at 11 months, right?
Next, Canada land.