Seeing Attle

At a recent family gathering, my uncle Ron asked me what I'd been up to lately. "Well, I went to Seattle," I replied.
My grandpa chimed in, "How is Attle? You said you went to see him." Like Papa, many of you (ok, just one of you) are (is) clamoring for the details surrounding my trip to see Attle. As the dutiful blogger I am, I shall oblige.

It should be mentioned that the entire reason for this trip to the Pacific Northwest involved the 2+ years of gentle prodding from Amanda. Click on her name for a more accurate view of Seattle life, including pictures. When my tax return landed in my bank account with a happy jingle jangle I thought it was high time to pay my friend of 16 years a visit in her adopted city.

It should also be mentioned that night before my flight, I cut off all of James' luxurious curls like a wicked Delilah, then left, softly, while he slept, for the airport.

The flight passed without incident, and armed with a couple of detailed emails vis a vis smartphone from Amanda and my familiar leather weekend bag, I attempted to get myself to her apartment. She told me to take a cab, so of course instead I took light rail (which was pleasant) to downtown (which was not). Toothless people in wet fecal sweatpants lurched down the avenue; I guess all downtowns are the same. Wanting to end a conversation swiftly heading south with some kind of armed bus stop guard, I hopped on a bus that said "Queen Anne" but was, evidently, not the Queen Anne bus I wanted exactly because I had to get out and walk up some hills. "I told you to take cab," said Amanda. It was ok, because the bus was clean and and it seemed to run on the honor system, or at least the bus driver didn't make me pay because I didn't have exact change, and the hills were dotted with charming homes and greenery and coffee houses and through the parting clouds I could see the whole Sound and the Space Needle that Frasier lives in. It was like everything I liked about San Francisco with nothing that I didn't... so I guess like a big wet Berkeley.

Amanda took me on the grand tour, driving me through every neighborhood of note. She took me to places that she knew would appeal to me-- weekend antique markets, shops filled hand-made shoes and Portuguese leather doo-dads and little tucked away restaurants with walls of reclaimed driftwood, drinks last in vogue in the 1920s, and small plates of morsels so exquisite, so earthy, and so local, we didn't even know what they were. We had our waitress select menu items that fit within the parameters of both of our diets-- one vegetarian and one gluten free-- white girls on holiday!-- and admired the bearded gentlemen as they wafted by like peacocks in their lumberjack attire. "Ah" we mused, "ain't life grand?" Well, maybe we mused that. Maybe we were drunk and just spent 100 dollars. Later, as I strolled through the heavily forested University of Washington campus, having a pleasant Santa Cruz deja vu with the rain beading off of my borrowed REI jacket, I thought, "Maybe I can just get used to being wet all the time." Maybe.