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Dicy McCullough: Vacation brings adventure

This time of year, if youíre like me, you think about vacation. My husband and I are not big travelers, so that means usually we stay pretty close to home. If we travel more than five hours, by car, we think weíve taken a big trip.
For most of my married life, vacation has been either the mountains of North Carolina or the beaches. The few times Iíve been adventurous in my travels have usually been with a friend, not a family member.
One of the best trips Iíve ever taken was last year, when I visited my friend, Billie McCauley, at her condo in Edmonds, Wash. Billie and I used to be neighbors on Bear Poplar Road, but she moved three years ago. When she moved, I promised I would come for a visit. The time seemed right last fall.
Another friend, Charlotte Huntington, went with me on the trip. We took an airplane from Charlotte for the six-hour flight on a hot, sultry August day. This was not my first flight, so I thought it would be OK to eat pizza before getting on the airplane.
Was I ever wrong. We had only been flying for about an hour when Charlotte looked across the aisle at me and said, ěDicy, you donít look well.î She was right. Itís for sure, I didnít feel well, either, because I was sick to my stomach. I was on the outside seat, and I think the two passengers on the inside seats must have known, too, because they never got up during the entire six-hour flight. After we landed and drove to Billieís condo, I felt a lot better once I threw up in the bushes.
The trip from that point on was wonderful. Edmonds is a beautiful little town that has not only a view of Puget Sound, but also breathtaking views of the Cascade Range and Olympic Mountains. It is about 30 minutes north of Seattle, so instead of driving into the city each day from Billieís condo, we decided to take the bus. That was quite an experience, in and of itself, because there always seemed to be someone interesting on the bus.
The first morning, a young man of about 24 got on and sat in the seat across from us. He began a conversation, and much to our surprise he told us his mom and dad had gone to a wedding in North Carolina. We, of course, had to share with him we were from North Carolina. This led to a discussion about where we lived and where his parents had gone for the wedding. We were pleasantly surprised the first person we talked to that far from home had a connection to North Carolina. Just like the saying goes, ěItís a small world.î
For the duration of the ride, people were talking back and forth across the seats just like they had known each other for years. When it was time to get off the bus, like everyone else, we expressed our thanks to the driver for a wonderful trip.
This being our first day in Seattle, we decided to visit Pikeís Market and the Space Needle. Pikeís Market is a farmerís market famous for the ěthrowing of the fish.î If you hear the guys behind the counter start to sing and chant, you better watch out because fish are going to fly.
One of the highlights of the day was riding to the top of the Space Needle. On the way up, we were advised that normally the view included Mount Rainier, but on this day it was too hazy. Come to think of it, I never did see Mount Rainier because it was hazy all week.
The next day, while in Seattle, we rode the Ducks. ěDucksî are vehicles that can be driven not only on land, but also can be taken into water. A fun part of the ride is that everyone must sing and try to get people on the sidewalks to sing along. One of the many stops on the tour was Union Lake. The driver drove the Duck right into the lake and then began to point out landmarks, some of which had been in the movie, ěSleepless in Seattle.î We rented the movie that night but couldnít concentrate on the story because we were too busy looking for the sights. We kept saying, ěWe saw that. We were there.î
On this trip to Washington, I saw people from all walks of life, nationalities and cultures, speaking a myriad of different languages and dialects. Most everyone was friendly and tried to be helpful when needed. By traveling to a new and different place, I stepped outside my comfort zone and now have memories of people, places and events I will forever cherish.
Recently, another friend invited me to come for a visit. She has a house on Kerr Lake in Virginia. Although this trip isnít as far away as Washington, Iím sure Iíll still have wonderful adventures and stories to tell. Well, at least this time I wonít have to take an airplane. Maybe Iíll even have pizza on the way.

Dicy McCullough is a writer and poet who lives in Rowan County. She can be reached at 704-278-4377 or on her website, dicymcculloughbooks.com.

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