Seattle, Washington

Woohoo! Alright, so, I’ve made it to Seattle. I’ve actually been here for several days now, but haven’t gotten around to sitting in front of my computer.

I woke up at Ruby’s Inn and Convention Center on Friday, ate a lovely continental breakfast (seriously, they had corn beef hash) and then packed my car and went on my way. I stopped in a little town called Superior to get gas and met a nice young man named Matt. We got to talking and he hopped in my car with me once I got a good sense of who he was (mostly, he’s never killed or hurt anyone, and he wasn’t looking to do any harm, he just needed a ride). He’s been “hitching” for 7 years, travelling all over the US but mostly on the west and in the south. He swore he will never find himself in the south again due to heat and rude people. He got “stuck” in Texas for 3 years a while back and is now making his way back to Seattle because his family lives there. We chatted, stopped for some food, shared stories, sat in silence, I wondered about his life, he probably wondered about mine. It is so incredibly wild to thing he had all of his possessions in a pack on his back. Even his winter gear for the colder months went along with him everywhere. He’s slept under bridges, on couches, near exit/entrance ramps on highways, in the woods. He’s met some very interesting people and got robbed on Father’s day this year. Since I’m doing the majority of this trip alone, it was really nice to have some company for a part of it. He was expecting to find a ride to a town that wasn’t too far from Superior, but was overjoyed that I was going all the way to Seattle.

“Man, oh man, I wasn’t expecting to see this today!” He said as we crossed the border into Washington. I can’t imagine just not knowing where I was going to end up when. My car being with me allows me freedom, but also certainty that I can make it somewhere, or at least sleep in my back seat. He’s got a whole different kind of freedom that’s a little frightening to me to be honest. He works small jobs for under the table pay here and there, but really just bounces around to where ever he can get a ride next.

Although his final destination was/is Seattle, he’s a rambling man and had me drop him off at a gas station in North Bend. That left me in my (now somewhat smelly) car by myself as I cruised into Seattle.

When I got to Seattle I went to Green Lake Park and hung my hammock. I wrote in my journal and attempted to read but got distracted by all of the people, and dogs, that were enjoying the park. Everyone seemed happy. I could not help but smile. I took a little break from my hammock and got some fish and chips at a local shop before retreating again to my hammock for a nice little nap. It was getting cooler, especially in the shade, so I got a blanket from my car and rocked away. After a little while, my cousin, Nicole, texted me and told me she was done with work and wanted to hang. I gathered my things, loaded the car, and headed towards Ballard to meet up with her at her new place. She just recently moved back from New York. We went to a brewery, got some beer, and sat on the patio with her husband, Aaron. After the beers were gone and the brewery closed, we went over to her apartment where our other cousin, Sheila, met us. Aaron grilled us some cheeseburgers and we all sat on the only furniture in their house: patio chairs. All of Nicole and Aaron’s belongings are in a storage facility in New Jersey…supposedly it will be in Seattle soon, but no one is holding their breath. I had a long day of traveling so Sheila and I jumped into my car and went to her place where I was spending the night. She blew up an air mattress for me, introduced me to her cute, cuddly cats, and said goodnight. In the morning we ate at a diner around the corner from her place and then chatted on her couch until my mom called and told me she was in town and had arrived at the house we were renting for the week.

When I arrived at the rental house, everyone except my mom had gone to the grocery store. We looked at pictures from my drive until my dad, grandma, aunt, and two cousins came back. After the groceries were put away, we made our way to Chinooks, a seafood restaurant that sits next to a boat dock. Walking up and down the rows of boats was pretty cool. I found one that I wanted to live in, found some other ones that I would never step foot in, and other ones that are way too fancy for me even on my most fanciest of days. Eventually, we sat down at Chinooks and ordered some food. I enjoyed some shrimp scampi that was saturated with garlic butter and herbs. My goodness it was good. When dinner was done we went back to the house and played some cards before going to bed.

Sunday morning we woke up an went on a city tour with a man named “The Chuckster”. He took us all around town, blowing bubbles, whacking on a cow bell, and telling jokes. The Chuckster was an unbelievably entertaining tour guide and showed us a lot of cool places in the city. We already had places to go in mind during our stay here, but he solidified some of them. After the tour we visited Chihuly’s exhibit. Chihuly blows glass and makes these incredible structures out of them. Some of them are huge! Here’s a picture for size comparison:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe makes chandeliers, garden ornaments, and more. While walking through the exhibit you are hit with beautiful, vibrant colors and interesting art forms. As you make your way through the exhibit, you can enter a garden with tall plants standing next to Chihuly’s glass sculptures. It is something so stunningly beautiful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chihuly Chandeliers with the Space Needle in the background.

Around the corner from the Chihuly exhibit is the Space Needle, so we went there after we saw all the glass there was to see. The Space Needle is cool, but honestly, it’s just that…cool. It’s a long line, tiny elevator, small circular landing, more people, more lines, and then back in the elevator, back down to the ground. Don’t get me wrong, the views form the top are awesome and the whole history of the Space Needle is fascinating, but it’s one of those things you do once and don’t really ever have to do again. When all that sight-seeing touristy stuff was completed, we went to Elysian Brewery to get some grub and get some booze. It was delicious, and was capped off the night with some Blue Bird ice cream from the next block over. Mine was marionberry (basically blackberry). Yum.

So the whole reason my family decided to come to Seattle was because my grandma loves the show Tree House Masters and Pete Nelson, the dude who builds them, built Treehouse Point near Seattle and my grandma wanted to check it out. So that is exactly what we did Monday morning and I could not have enjoyed it more. It is unbelievable to walk into the woods and see little houses sitting amongst the trees. We had a lovely tour guide named Ayla who gave us some history of the place before showing us the inside of 5 out of the 6 tree houses that were there. The 6th one is currently not accessible to people because Pete Nelson is helping the city create codes for building tree houses and this particular tree house is build all on one side of the tree using beams and wires, rather than being built around the tree. Although the city ordinance person came out o said, “Pete, you done good,” they were worried that the public would get their hands on the floor plan and try to create it themselves without having the knowledge in architecture and support like Pete. So, hopefully, as soon as the codes are written, that tree house will be accessible again to the public. And it’s a good thing too, because from the outside you can see into it’s 80 panes of windows and it looks stunning. Yes, it has 80 window panes. Talk about natural light! The tree houses inspired the inner fairy in me and now I want to live in the woods in a little wooden tree house with a compostable toilet next to a river with my cats and call it a day. But for right now, rental house in Colorado Springs it is…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

my future house

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The whole family (minus my brother) before going in the first tree house!

We soaked up the tree houses, enjoyed a walk by the river, I held someone’s baby as she went across the river and back (yay babies!), and then we ate lunch at the Road House down the street. With fully bellies we adventured to Solqualmie Falls where we took a short, but steep, hike down to the bottom of the falls and back before heading back to the house. I took a little nap, washed my face, and then my mom and dad and I met back up with cousins Sheila, Nicole, and Aaron at Hale’s Brewing. It is always nice to spend time with them laughing and telling stories. We finished our food (and our beers) and then said our goodbyes.

Today we managed to drive onto a ferry and get to Bainbridge island. We walked around some shops, I bought things I didn’t really need but really wanted, and we ate lunch at a very slow, but tasty restaurant that had flights of wine. Mmm, wine. After the wine and food we walked around some more and wound up at Eleven Wine Tasting Room. For ten dollars you can try 5 different wines. I will say, I enjoyed all of mine except for the desert one. It was entirely too sweet, but everything else was delicious and I would recommend Eleven’s wine to a friend for sure. What goes with wine? Some may say chocolate, or cheese, but not the Sirovy’s, the Sirovy’s say, “ICE CREAM!” Mona’s across the street had a ton of interesting flavors. I got Lemon Bar ice cream and it was ideal. Before leaving Bainbridge and boarding the ferry again, we drove to The Labyrinth, which is essentially a circular maze made from patterned rocks and crystals. Around the Labyrinth were nice walking paths, a Tibet Prayer Spinner, and a comfy wooden swing.

Back on the ferry, back to Seattle, back to sight seeing, then onwards to dinner, and back home for the night. Today was a long, but entertaining day. We’ll see what tomorrow brings! So far my time in Seattle is wonderful. The weather has been freakishly nice (no rain) and our rental house is working out perfectly.