Seattle: conjuring thoughts of salmon and overcast cleansing rain and the first CDs I owned in the nineties (including the Singles soundtrack) and Canada. All this way to the Northwest corner of the country and it’s sunny and feels familiar in the late afternoon sun, like the west coast and coming home. It was a choice between San Diego and Seattle when I was relocating to one corner of the country or the other for AmeriCorps eleven years ago. San Diego and palm trees won over the rumored Seattle steady downpour, and this was the first visit to this alternate reality.
And also the first meeting of my first cousin once removed on my mother’s side! Dave is the twin brother of Lenny, who we met in Indianapolis during the first week of our adventure (and who I thought was actually my second cousin, but we’ve gotten our genealogical terms sorted out). After passing through Idaho and eastern Washington we were welcomed to the city by Dave and Laurie, who put us up for three nights and showed us all over town. We had an amazing time and are very grateful and so glad to have met you both!
Our first night we wandered through a fish festival in Ballard, a section of Seattle in the northwest part of the city. We ate bacon-wrapped scallop tacos and beef brisket sliders and local ice cream with fresh strawberries and visited the beach, packed with frolicking folks celebrating the infrequent sun.
Much needed sleep and the next day off to the Seattle Center, where we hoped to ride right up to the top of the rotating Space Needle and sip on martinis overlooking the city like its space age promise would suggest we do. It all reminded us of James Bond and Epcot. Instead, greeted by long lines, exorbitant prices, and the reality that there was no bar up there, only really expensive brunch that was booked for the day and we could call for a cancellation tomorrow. Boo. Who needs spinning discs in the sky? Not us.
We heard Laurie perform at a pop up poetry reading with Willie Smith, an unpublicized event, whose audience of consisted of us plus Willie’s wife. Pretty fun to have a personal reading while the authors themselves seemed to be desperate for the time to be over, reading in the heavy wind with squawking birds and airplanes almost drowning out their words. Still don’t know what happened at the end of that communist dog story… minds fill in the blanks.
Laurie was our guide for the rest of the day, taking us over to Pike Place Market, sampling mega-juicy peaches and gawking at gigantic shrimp and buying some scotch-ale washed cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery, followed by a delicious seafood chowder smorgasbord at Pike Place Chowder.
Next to the Seattle Art Museum and a great exhibit on Aboriginal art that we spent much more time at than expected, loving the patterns and mapmaking, especially since we spend so much of our time now thinking in maps and weaving patterns of road.
That night, Dave made us his famous deep dish pizza, smothered in veggies, delicious.