After avoiding pretty much any and all CEUs for the last two years, I finally bit the bullet and attended a Primary Care conference through the University of Washington. You know, to maintain my license and all. I was pleasantly surprised by the conference – turns out that listening to five 1-hour lectures is way more sustainable than listening to five 2-hour lectures, which is what I used to do in grad school.
The conference was Sunday – Tuesday, so A came to join me Tuesday night and we made a mini vacation out of it. I found an AirBnB in Capitol Hill, about a 10 minute walk to the conference and a 30 minute walk to downtown. Aside from the mid-morning drug deal I happened across while coming down the steps of the apartment, it was a pretty sweet location and reminded me of one thing I really miss about city life: Even though we live very close to downtown Missoula, we don’t walk anywhere for a variety of reasons – I’m on call and shouldn’t be too far away from my car, we’re going grocery shopping and need the car, we’re running short on time and walking isn’t a viable option. I know if I lived in a big city, I would have the same problems and probably wouldn’t walk as often. But it was nice to have all the time in the world to get places on my own two feet and enjoy the city from the sidewalk, rather than being stressed out on the road in a car.
On Wednesday (our only sunny day), we took the ferry out to Bainbridge Island. We didn’t do much out there – mostly just walked along the “Waterfront Trail,” which followed the waterfront less than half the time (we did find out where you can order some Gary Johnson bumper stickers, though, thanks to a sign we passed on someone’s lawn). The purpose of this excursion was primarily the ferry ride – I love boats and being out on the water, but due to ever increasing motion sickness (it’s started happening on planes sometimes now, too, WTF), I can pretty much only ride on fast-moving or giant boats (or fast-moving, giant boats, a la jet-foils). It was a little cold and windy on the sun deck, but at least I got to smell the sea air and get that sense of vastness that, for me, is best fulfilled by the ocean.
On Thursday, we took a long, wet walk to the Space Needle. I’d never been and wanted to go at least check it out. I can imagine that on a clear day or during transition times, the view would be breathtaking. As it was, the view was still impressive, but a lot of that was overshadowed by the downpour. We spent some time looking at the exhibits while drying out and then headed back out into the rain. For dinner, we met up with my dear friend, Richard (whom I’d gotten to see earlier in the week as well), and his family, and then stayed out for drinks. It’s always nice to see old friends, and I feel grateful that I’ve been able to see so many this year.
On our last day, we took a flying trapeze calss at Emerald City Trapeze Arts. It had been over a year since I’d done any flying trapeze, but the prinicples and techniques came back pretty quickly. I learned a new trick – the straddle whip – although, I have to admit I’ve probably forgotten the only two other tricks I’ve learned. We had some time to kill after that and before our flight, so we grabbed some sushi and did some window shopping, and then found a comfy spot at the airport and watched a bunch of TV before our flight, which kept getting delayed. I was a little nrvous we wouldn’t make it home at all because of the storm, but we managed to arrive in one piece.