Road Trip to Bellingham for Soccer Moms

Road Trip To Bellingham Road-Trip-to-Bellingham

With signs and pictures in the car windows mocking our youth, I headed out of town on a good old fashioned road trip with a few good friends made a lifetime ago.  While one currently lives nearby, the others I haven’t seen in quantity since I graduated college in Bellingam, WA.  It was so long ago that not only was Kurt Cobain alive, Nirvana was small enough to show up for a surprise concert at our student union.

I have to give credit to my friend Mara for planning this trip or it never would have happened.  I’m more of a “sure that sounds like fun” girl rather than a planner.  Our Bellingham road trip called for visiting the town that was home for four years.  While we did visit with a friend who chose to make Bellingham, WA her home, the rest of us had not returned.

I live in SW Washington very close to the Oregon border and the town we were visiting is on the I-5 corridor close to the Canadian border.  The familiar drive took us over the 4 hours etched in my memory.  Whether the time discrepancy was due to additional bathroom breaks caused by 7 collective children damaging our bladders or concern for having to pay our own speeding tickets, we had plenty of  stories to entertain us along the way.

Our road trip playlist may have had room for Achy Breaky Heart and the Macarena even though our flannel  and wool based wardrobes back in the day placed us securely in the middle of the grunge scene.  In the spirit of reliving our glory days, we wanted to rent a house that would be conducive to stretching out and having a central area to just hang out, chat, and enjoy a glass of wine nurse a hangover.

Just so you know, I am totally not complaining, it was perfect.

Road Trip To Bellingham Hiccups

But, there were two rules that struck my funny bone when we got a tour of our rented digs (aside from the fact it was actually a daylight basement).

1.  We weren’t allowed to use the outlets by the vanity in the bathroom because the owner had salt water fish tanks in her house that        were on the same circuit and if overloaded, may kill the fish.

2.  We had to turn on the oscillating fan when using the toaster oven to avoid activating the smoke detector.

We all agreed that it was nicer than all of the places we lived in while students, the price was unbeatable, and the ambiance was part of our adventure.  So was taking a cab home the first night when we needed to.

We had a few adventures that I would like to share.  Perhaps next time as this is getting long.  Also, I’m old, I’m tired and I really need to take a shower.  I may or may not smell like dead fish.



Poppy is a runner, writer, and mother of 3 children ranging in ages from 5 to 14. By day she's shuttling teenagers to the mall or someone to a birthday party in between Costco trips. She may not have had a pedicure in 5 years, but she still makes time for moms night out, girls nights in, or local PDX events with good friends. Recovery from fun nights out include a healthy lifestyle of marathon training, triathlon training, and lean eating. Parenthood can be messy, but Poppy always manages to find the funny under the snot.

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18 Responses to Road Trip to Bellingham for Soccer Moms
  1. Mara
    April 16, 2012 | 10:54 pm

    it’s so funny how some memory files that had been inactive for so many years suddenly came alive and I’m having a hard time turning them back off! Hope re-entry wasn’t too bad for you!

  2. Kristin
    April 17, 2012 | 3:45 am

    It sounds lovely. Even with the risk of a fish kill and it’s resulting smell.
    Hey, could you and your fish murdering friends come here?

    • Poppy
      April 19, 2012 | 10:36 pm

      Now that would be a drive! We would probably have a harder time than we used to getting over the border. We were reminiscing about the “good old days” when we barely had to stop to get across the border and the bars were so easy to get into we would all share one ID. The last time I went to BC, it took hours!

  3. liz
    April 17, 2012 | 4:43 am

    It’s things like that that make your stay that much more memorable.

    I can’t decide which rule you were more tempted to break. Cuz I’m sure you at least thought about testing out one of them.

    The fish. I think you thought about plugging in a curling iron.

    • Poppy
      April 19, 2012 | 10:39 pm

      Actually, I was most tempted to steal eggs from a backyard chicken coop she had for a heartier breakfast. My “city” friends weren’t willing accomplices.

  4. Kimberly
    April 17, 2012 | 5:32 am

    So was there chaffing in awkward places when doing the macarena in flannel.
    Curious minds need to know.

  5. Eva Gallant
    April 17, 2012 | 6:18 am

    Sounds like a fun time; can’t wait to hear more!

  6. Sandra
    April 17, 2012 | 7:07 am

    Having grown up in Chilliwack, BC, I’m very familiar with Bellingham and it’s shopping mall.
    And the weekend sounds so decadent, fish tank or not.
    And smelling like soccer mom would beat smelling like hockey mom. Hockey moms smells like armpit and anger. You don’t want to go on a roadtrip with a hockey mom. Just an FYI there for ya, in case you were ever considering it.

    • Poppy
      April 19, 2012 | 10:41 pm

      We spent a lot of time across the border our first two years because the drinking age was lower in Canada and well, you didn’t have to prove it. We would all go into a bar and share the same ID.

  7. julie gardner
    April 17, 2012 | 9:21 am

    I HAAAAAAD to get married in 1996.

    This of course means the Macarena was played at our reception. Even though we begged the DJ not to.

    He said, “I give the people what they want.”
    Like he was David Copperfield, or something.
    (If David Copperfield would say something like that. He is quite magical.)

    Anyway, our videographer accidentally spliced the Macarena scene into our video twice.


    Yep. It smells like line dancing, banquet chicken and an open bar.

    Oh yeah.

    p.s. Can’t wait to hear more stories. You are making me nostalgic for my friends…

    • Poppy
      April 19, 2012 | 10:45 pm

      I may have had a wedding in 1996 too and their may be footage of me in a wedding dress somewhere doing the Macarena too. I’m pretty sure I requested it. The shame.

  8. tracy@sellabitmum
    April 17, 2012 | 11:08 am

    Oh my word I am so hormonal right now that I cried reading this whole damn post. I must REALLY need a girls weekend. xoxo

    • Poppy
      April 19, 2012 | 10:46 pm

      It’s a good thing I didn’t post a picture of an old picture I found with my pants practically to my nipples. There would have been more tears shed for that unfortunate fashion don’t.

  9. Jamie (@chosenchaos)
    April 19, 2012 | 7:36 pm

    My college girls and I just went back to our town too… loved it!

    • Poppy
      April 19, 2012 | 10:48 pm

      I hope we do it again, but I know the next time I go I will probably be dropping off one of my kids. (I hope!)

  10. Lib Aubuchon
    April 23, 2012 | 6:14 pm

    My pals and I have declared 2012 the year we’re going Ladies First! Money is a little tighter for everyone and we decided it’s staycations for the families because the travel priority will be all-gal trips…

  11. Tonya
    May 15, 2012 | 4:07 pm

    I get a lot of girl time, but there is nothing better than a whole weekend away. Glad you had fun!

  12. Jane
    August 30, 2013 | 10:40 am

    Hi there,
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Bellingham to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!

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