Weekend Getaway to Seattle and Portland (click on link to see some great pictures!)
Ever since Lauryn joined The Institute for Aging at Keiro, she has been talking about how beautiful her home town, Seattle, is and how much she misses it. So, last weekend, I decided to visit and see for myself.
A Seafood Lover’s Dream
Lauryn was right – I fell in love with the city right away! There were tall green trees, water, bridges, and fresh seafood. I had clam chowder for lunch, fresh oysters for a snack, and crab for dinner. The city is a dream for a seafood lover. Pike Place Market is great for anyone who enjoys going to farmers markets filled with fresh seafood, colorful fruits and vegetables, and beautiful flowers. I was really disappointed that I could not bring the flowers home since they wouldn’t stay fresh. Instead, I began dreaming about living by the market and walking there to buy fresh flowers and seafood every morning… That would be my ideal lifestyle!
Other than food and the market, we enjoyed the nice views from the Gas Works Park and Alki Beach. Also, at the Chittenden Locks, I was impressed by the canal system to keep the fresh water from the seawater, as well as human technology to preserve the ecological system for salmon by creating a fish ladder.
Concordia University, Portland
On the third day, we drove to Portland, Oregon. There was a reason why I wanted to visit there; I spent a summer at Concordia University, Portland to study ELS about 20 years ago. That was my first experience in the U.S. It was a small private college with only two or three buildings on a huge campus located in a quiet residential neighborhood.
However, it has changed so much. Now there are many more buildings with a beautiful, brand new library. Much of the empty yard has been converted to parking areas. The old dormitory where I stayed was also converted to an administration building. All of a sudden, I was having mixed feelings of nostalgia, disappointment, and excitement. I felt disappointed since I was expecting to recall memories of summer days, but it did not happen as the campus had changed so much. At the same time, I was proud of the school for expanding.
A Moment of Realization
While I was having such mixed feelings, I saw foreign students coming out of ELS classes, which reminded me of when I was just like one of them. Twenty years later, I was in the same place again only to realize that I met so many people in those years, each who supported me when I needed it. I was feeling overwhelmingly grateful for every single person in my life since I wouldn’t have been here if I hadn’t met them.
I love traveling, whether it’s to a new place or the same old place that I’ve been many times. There’s always something I discover about the place and myself.
Kanako Kusano, a Health Promotion Specialist at The Institute for Healthy Aging at Keiro, was born and raised in Urawa, Japan. Upon graduating from a high school, she came to California to fulfill her dream of becoming a social worker. She has been working for Keiro Senior HealthCare for 11 years.
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