Monday, June 30, 2014

It's past my bedtime.

Thursday, June 26. It's a little after midnight. And on 360 days of the year I'm deep in sleep by now. But tonight I can't bring myself to go to bed. It's quiet, as quiet as it can be downtown in a city of 600,000 people. My view is of the Seattle commercial harbor, the ferry terminal and of the surrounding high rise buildings, some of which have people staring back at me.

I don't want to go to bed. I will miss this view. I will miss Seattle, where the daughter I'm not supposed to blog about and I have enjoyed this week. With us came a friend and her daughter, and during the day the daughters took a class at UW while we worked. In the late afternoons and evenings we played. This being the third week in June, it did not get dark until 10pm. This picture is of our pop up office here in Seattle, the very place I sit right now.

I really like it here. I wonder if Dave would like it. We've started talking about what to do once The Pinks are out of the house. Travel is the highest priority to us. Could we live here? It's obvious why so many Californians have migrated here. Mountains. Water. Great food. Biking. Hiking. Skiing. Environmentally conscious. A lower cost of living.

Our rental apartment is two blocks from Pike Place Market, the tourist hub of the city and location of all things edible. We're ten floors up with floor-to-ceiling windows on two sides. There's a pool and gym and library here, and a 24-hour concierge, which we've not used. The wifi speed is acceptable.

Yesterday my friend and I took a biking tour in the afternoon. My goal was just to survive. I'm not much of a biker. It seemed like a good way to see the city and get some exercise, too. Our tour took us 16 miles on streets, through city parks and on bike trails from downtown past the Seattle Center and Space Needle, and up along the Puget Sound to the Ballard Locks. There we saw a few pleasure craft go through the locks and a lot of commercial fishing boats docked for the summer, including a former Deadliest Catch one which is now a museum. The salmon finish the last leg of their migration here on a fish ladder (who knew?!).  These are the same locks my family went through on our 28' Bayliner nearly three decades ago when we moved from Alaska back to Lower 48. I texted my dad a picture of the locks and he, of nearly photographic memory, knew exactly where I was. The picture above is from an art installation at the locks. The Ballard neighborhood was where the Scandinavian people first settled in the Seattle area. Today it's quite trendy and we came back for dinner at Delancey, of Orangette fame, the next night.

We followed the Lake Washington ship canal across the Fremont Bridge into the Fremont neighborhood and stopped for a snack at the artisanal chocolatier Theo. It's a bummer that my bike had no basket or I would have done some serious damage there. From there we headed south back downtown and past the (only 600, no more no less our guide told us) houseboats and Amazonia, the part of the city that is home to Amazon.com and some biotech companies. We stopped again to watch the seaplanes land on Lake Union. I didn't fall off the bike and for that I am proud. It was a long ride and a scary one once we got back into the rush hour traffic! I find that as I get older I like to push myself out of my comfort zone.

On another night the four of us took the ferry 35 minutes across the sound to Bainbridge Island. The cute little town was a ten minute walk from the ferry terminal and we had dinner at a mediocre restaurant with a Chamber-of-Commerce view. And then ferried back, jealous of the people who commute to work this way. I could so live there.

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