Seattle, Portland, and Salmonella. Oh My!

Everybody looks forward to vacation, especially when they get to fly home to visit friends and family. I was so excited I was approved 10 whole days off to go home. TEN! That's a lot when it's in the middle of the holiday season. I'm fortunate to be able to go home every 6 months or so, partially for medical reasons, but no one wants to be alone at Christmastime. 

Being born and raised in Seattle, I take pride in my hometown and enjoy every visit home. One of the things I miss about living in Seattle is the nightlife! There's always something going on, every single night. From theater performances to sporting games to concerts, you're bound to find something to do every night. 

The first night I was home, I went and saw R&B/Soul artist Allen Stone - who is one of my all-time favorite artists and live performers - at Neptune Theater. I first saw Allen when he came to The Republik back in March 2016. He is just unbelievably talented. Seriously, if you haven't checked him out yet, please do. I was blown away when hearing his music on Spotify, but after seeing him sing in person, he definitely has one of the best vocals I have ever heard. He's also from Washington like I am, so a bit of hometown pride for me as well! I've seen Allen four more times since: at Wanderlust Oahu, MACC in Maui, and twice in Seattle. I love this guy. 

Allen Stone at Neptune Theater in Seattle, 12/17/18

Planned a semi-spontaneous trip to Portland, Oregon as well during my trip. The drive between Seattle and Portland is approximately 3 hours, which made for a fun little road trip with my friend...sorta. I'll get into that later. 

Upon arriving in Portland, we scope out our hotel...which looked a bit more like a motel. Probably should have read some Yelp reviews prior to booking. The one plus about our room was that our door had a chalkboard surface, which made for a lot of fun and inappropriate drawings. Ate some oysters at the lounge next door, and later had the most incredible Southern/soul food at Screen Door. The next day, my friend and I wandered downtown Portland, and visited Powell's City of Books

Me freezing next to a pizza mural outside of Sizzle Pie in Portland, OR.

Later that same evening, I was going to attend Emo Nite. I'll have to make a separate blog about how amazing Emo Nite is. Hold me to it! My friend hit up her friend who lives in the Portland area, and we grabbed dinner and pre-gamed before I got dropped off. It was my first Emo Nite outside of the Seattle ones I've attended, so I was curious what the Portland Emo Nite was all about. The venue was bigger (and better) than the Seattle one, that's for sure! Lots of old "emo" hits such as My Chemical Romance, Sum 41, Linkin Park, The Offspring, and blink-182 were played. PBR's were consumed. Emotions were released. Some stuff was released in the bathroom...and not something I was hoping for. 

Long story short...I ended up back at my friend's friends house, wrecked their bathroom, proceeded to throw up the 3 hour drive back to Seattle that morning, and ended up at the ER upon arriving home. Turns out it was extreme food poisoning caused by salmonella. SALMONELLA. How in the F did that happen?! Later remembered I had Thai food before Emo Nite, which contained egg and chicken. Maybe the veggies weren't washed properly? Who knows. Either way, the symptoms were no joke. I'll spare you the gruesome details, but you can always WebMD it to read what happens if you're really curious. 

The next few days were rough. Didn't have much of an appetite, felt nauseous and exhausted most of the day, and I was restricted by doctor's orders to not eat any raw veggies, raw fish, fried/fatty foods, dairy, spicy food, caffeine, alcohol...basically everything I love to consume. I had no desire to eat meat or eggs, though. A week later, I'm still feeling super low-energy at times, and my stomach still turns a bit when I think about certain foods. I usually eat eggs for breakfast, but that hasn't sounded appetizing either. Maybe I'm just psyching myself out, but ew. Salmonella, you guys. It sucked.

Fortunately, the rest of my trip wasn't a complete waste. Still had a great Christmas with my parents, spent time with friends, and left Seattle with a relatively normal stomach. Can't wait for another trip home to "redeem" myself! 



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