Mermaid Overseas: Savannah to Seattle

The soundtrack to a Mermaid making music across three continents.

Where: Savannah to Seattle

When: 15/5/2015 – 20/5/2015

Lesson: Vests are waistcoats and induce wild behaviour and the Starbucks sign is a mermaid

Achievement Open mic in Seattle

Lyric: “Still you sigh and still you cry. You moan, inventing this fight”

Quote “What’s up?” / “Mimosa?” / “Margherita Monday” / “I’m on a 3 month vacation”


1. The Doobie Brothers – What A Fool Believes

“She musters a smile for his nostalgic tale”

Penny, Sarah and I headed into Savannah for my last day to explore and meet up with Abe, Penny’s son who I last remember running around pools naked in France being bullied by his brother. He is now studying at SCAD which seems like a great University with lots of creative people embracing the pretty city. I enjoy that I’ve managed to visit the three cities that you can drink booze on the street within USA which is Savannah, New Orleans and Las Vegas but it boggles my mind what the kids must be up to if you can’t drink when you’re a student.

I should only ever be shopping for essentials as my purse grows thin but still walked into Bare Minerals on the way into Savannah. Good old America did not let me down as I managed to get a bronzer (a high essential) and a highlighter/blush for $15. This track was playing on the radio as we drove to Savannah from Hilton Head via Bare Minerals and I enjoyed seeing Penny and Sarah bopping around, again reminding me of Annie.

Savannah felt French to me as we wandered in and out of shops although that could have been in the company of Penny, who I spent every summer of my childhood in France with. I remembered I am still a child within as Sarah bought me an ice cream and I chose Blue Moon and Mint Choc chip of fluorescent blue and green colouring. My tongue remained fluorescent as we walked around a furniture shop full of cool items such as tables made from old jet planes. Both Penny and Sarah used to be air hostesses and it sounds like a wonderful life travelling and boozing constantly. I regained maturity meeting Abe and his friends finishing their first year of University and we ate delicious pizza. I happily accepted a whole massive pizza to myself and took it all the way for my midnight snack at Atlanta airport 6 hours later. I was so grateful for a few days of re-cooperation, care and food to send me on another new adventure way over West.


2. Shaggy – It Wasn’t Me

“Saw me bangin’ on the sofa”

The majority of Americans I have encountered have insisted I should visit Portland and in particular I heard Pablo’s voice expressing how “fucking beautiful the Pacific Northwest” is. Flights from Atlanta across the entire States were expensive and the cheapest was to head to Seattle where I planned to get a bus down to Portland after a couple of nights. Alas, I never made it to Portland but with bloody good reason.

I found Will on couchsurfing sounding passionate about music which naturally drew me in and I sent my spiel insisting a Clare shaped hole in his sofa would be a good move. I can honestly say I have never copy and pasted my couchsurfing pleas and personalise them all to the key parts of the hosts profile which intrigues me. I knew my instincts had drawn me to the right fella as he warned me they were having a party (a “vest party”) that night so if I had a problem with partying I should find somewhere else. This is the best response to a request I could receive.

I arrived to Will, Reed, Trevor, Luben and Adam’s home in Capitol Hill, the best area in Seattle where another couchsurfer was also staying called Josh. Josh made me and Will pasta and we drank red wine and headed to a thrift store to find a vest for the party (a vest is a waistcoat not a 40 year old Yorkshire drunk wifebeater drinking Stella vest but still a bizarre theme for a party). I fell in love with Will’s distinct speaking voice which is too hard to describe but I feel one day everyone will hear when he has his own radio show leaking the best music of the moment, cracking some jolly jokes and grilling artists as they come into the studio to be interviewed. I found my vest – black and gold with coloured beads and looked pretty bloody good.

One of the first things Will told me was that “we don’t have a lot of friends” which would be tragic except for the ones they have are good, good eggs. A 5L red wine bag was mine and Josh’s contribution which was on constant pour through the night including a “slap the bag” event where one would have to slap the bag very hard and have wine poured into their mouth at a violent pace. This reminded me again of a night in France where my friend Briel would do the same to everyone but whilst in the pool and proceeding to dunk us underwater immediately after the wine pour.

The party escalated quickly as soon as Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” embraced the speakers after which Adam and I escaped to hit some bars. I don’t recall this clearly but we apparently went to a couple of bars where I marched in and ordered the usual tequila and tinny. When we eventually got back to the house the party was an episode of Skins in full flow and all round fabulousness by my expectations. No photos were taken of the fateful event but here is me at the beginning pretending to be Ringo.


3. Filter – Take A Picture

“Could you take a picture? ’cause I won’t remember”

The morning’s hangover was spent trying to find Zsofi, a girl from Budapest’s phone in the aftermath until heading out for brunch which is always lethal when someone (me) will order alcohol and the party will cease to end. Sunday Funday went from the first ordered Mimosa becoming a jug, then becoming homemade mimosas and “I’ve Never” becoming the leading game sat in the sunny “yard” of their house. Myself, Adam, Trevor and Josh formed the dream team during the course of the day powering through and staying highly on form.

Zsofi managed to get us to Golden Gardens beach where the view was beautiful and the party still continued until darkness came and the fires went out. We danced around a drum circle, met more couchsurfers and shared rolled up cigarettes without filters acting as if they were joints. I sat with Will on the sand and he asked me who my favourite music artists were and as I reeled off my top 10 he told me I had just listed the line up of Sasquatch Festival (minus Bruce) which the group were heading to the following weekend.

Will is an excellent music chooser for various situations and as we sped to the beach in his car he blasted out some tunes in the sun. More than once a day I probably had to ask who it was playing as I liked it and wanted to be educated and this Filter track was one on this car ride this glorious Sunday Funday.


Monday came and the house full of normal adults with jobs dispersed and me and Josh lounged around “Lounge Luben” which is the name of their abode. He gave me guitar lessons and I sung a song he had written during his year of travelling that he was nearing the end of. Luben had returned for Sunday Funday with Alonzo from a camping trip before his last week in the house as Adam was taking his room. I spent the day perusing on a exploratory walk of Seattle seeing all the touristy shit.

4. Angel Olsen – Creator, Destroyer

“Fuck this and everything we’ve done. Fuck you. Fuck you and your lies.”

Will and Reed are a couple who both work at Starbucks, appropriately in Seattle where the the company began. Not surprisingly they hate it and from what I’ve further learned, the company is ridiculous. Reed enlightened me with the hideous knowledge that the Starbucks symbol is actually a Mermaid which appears slightly more obvious on the original Starbucks downtown. A slight deflation for my love of the creature that I am.

They rose for work every day I was there around 5.30AM but still joined Margarita Mondays which resulted in the drunken persuasion (it did not take much, it never does) for me to also attend Sasquatch Festival that weekend. Will’s great gift for sound-tracking situations perfectly was in full throttle as he played everyone throughout the evening who I longed to see live including Angel Olsen, Hot Chip and Ryan Adams who I have seen a few times before but managed to miss in New Orleans and Memphis. This track I had not heard before by Angel and is one of Will’s favourites.

I thought I was lying when I was agreeing to come to the festival but the morning came and with my head screwed on I was on a mission to find a ticket. The ticket was found, the money was spent and the plan was certain. I was sacrificing a non-refundable bus and plane ticket and the time to see Portland but it felt like the right decision.

5. Nick Drake – Pink Moon

“I saw it written and I saw it say pink moon is on it’s way”

I met up with some other couchsurfers I had been in touch with who were also heading to the festival for some drinks including Maddy from New Zealand who I organised to meet up with for some daytime exploring the next day.

Maddy and I had coffee and walked to Pike Place Market seeing some sights before feeling satisfied to hit happy hour. Maddy was a month into her America travels and heading to Canada to work for a year or 2 so quite similar to my plans but me in Australia. Doing a similar route to me but with her own Campervan I was pretty jealous. She’s my kind of gal and I continuously referred to her to the people of Lounge Luben as “my Kiwi”.


When lazing in the garden during the days with Josh and playing him my music he said he could hear Nick Drake influences in my music which flattered me. His Pink Moon album had been on repeat on the long journey back to the West Coast since falling in love with River Man in New Orleans. I continued to have him as my soundtrack at every opportunity in Washington State’s sun.

That evening I headed back to Lounge Luben to find the journey to the festival was not going to be as smooth as planned and I needed an alternate ride as I did not fit in the car with the crew. This added some stress to my plans but I headed out to play an open mic at a bar nearby and Adam joined me. Adam is from Chicago starting a new chapter in Seattle and loving it so far. As good as my American “valley girl”, as Will calls it, accent is I cannot nail the Midwest one. Adam reminds me a touch of Adam from Girls and a touch of Ross from Friends and is a loveable chap all round. I played a couple of songs and when Adam and I got back to Lounge Luben the lads were whipping up a storm of “fud” (a rice bean mixture) for the festival.

Currently sat looking at a box of pasta and a bunch of bananas and being told it won’t be enough food for a 5 day festival…



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