On my last trip to Seattle, the weather was considerably more overcast. Thus, I did not have a fantastic view of Mt. Rainier until I was on the airplane headed home. This trip, I relocated to the Hilton next to the airport the night before my flight. I figured I would save a little money on the rental car and be a short ten minute walk to the terminal the next morning. It was a beautiful sunny day in October, which I hear is rare, and I have to say, Mt. Rainier sure knows how to put on a show.
When I found out that I would be returning to Seattle a little over a month after attending my best friend’s wedding it almost felt like an imposition. It’s a four hour flight each direction, there were terrible options for hotels, and by going it effectively took away the only break in my travel schedule this fall.
But then I got here.
It turns out that travel is always worth it. No matter the destination, no matter how exhausted I am (I was in bed by 10 p.m. last night), and no matter where I go, I always find happiness visiting the places others call home.
After taking another flight to Seattle a little over a month from the last, today I headed from the airport to Tacoma to visit the University of Puget Sound’s campus. My best friend attended there, so I had been on campus once before, several years ago. It’s a gorgeous campus, rain or shine. Everyone was walking around bundled up for the 50 degree weather, so I’m sure they found it strange to see this half-Texan walking around business casual without a jacket, or even a cardigan. It’s okay; I’m warm-blooded, and after hot Texas summers a little cold weather feels absolutely perfect.
I’m dragging. In my twenties, it was not a problem for me to come back from a trip on the latest possible flight and skip into work the next day. One Vegas flight in particular, I landed at midnight, was in bed by one a.m. and was up for a three mile run by seven a.m. Today was a much different story. I set my alarm to get back into my typical (mostly) morning routine: run, coffee, get ready. That flew out the window at the first snooze. I surrendered and reset my alarm for another hour of blissful sleep that felt like ten minutes, and spent my time scrambling through the morning, which spilled over to the rest off the day. Needless to say, I’m exhausted. If I could tell my twenty-something self anything, it would be to enjoy your energy, because in your thirties, you will need a vacation from your vacation.
And thus, I leave you with the most relaxing view in all of Seattle: the one taken while sharing a toast with my best friend on his balcony a few hours before his wedding. The view is a little different than two years ago, and you can see all the new development going up. But for now, I choose to believe that in a year or two, he will still have the same view. And hopefully my next photo of it will be of sunset.
My first trip to Seattle was in July of 2009 to visit my friend who lives on Capitol Hill. This was also my first trip as an “adult.” I had just completed my Master’s degree, and in addition to it being a graduation present to myself, it was my first trip that wasn’t a family vacation. While heading to the airport and boarding a plane is business as usual for me at this point, back then it was the strangest feeling in the world to go through the entire process alone, including a connection in Oakland. But, I fell in love with the city on that trip, especially Capitol Hill.
At the time, my friend lived in a small, oddly-shaped one bedroom apartment with thin walls and an old elevator in a historic building called The New McDermott. It is on Bellevue near Pike, and was the perfect location for two early-twenties friends to find plenty of trouble. I remember being amazed at how you could walk everywhere. Those of you who have been to Texas in July know how impossible that would be. Well, not impossible, just no one would want to stand next to you once you arrived at your destination.
We probably walked around ten miles per day and drank half our weight (or more) in alcohol, but we saw and did everything. When you think of Seattle, you typically think of the Space Needle or Pike Place Market, but my stay on Capitol Hill showed me all the unique things the city has to offer: karaoke at The Crescent, fried chicken from City Market, pizza from Bill’s Off Broadway, brunch at Linda’s, and sushi from Ha Na, to name a few. The area has gentrified a lot since my first visit, with a lot of old buildings being torn down to build housing for the thousands who have moved to the area due to an influx of jobs with Amazon, but each subsequent trip I try to visit all my favorite spots, and find more to add.
We’re actually staying in a hotel this trip since we figured it would be rude to crash at my friends apartment during his own wedding. While I’ll miss waking up to his view, I’m excited to explore more areas of town! But, I’m already craving a huge plate of sushi from Ha Na; maybe I’ll have to go there first.