Just like the time when I text my father en route to Alaska to see the Northern Lights at the height of winter. I was once again texted him from the San Francisco airport en route to Seattle to let him know I was going to be visiting his old stomping grounds. I get my zest for life and “CAN DO” attitude from my mother but I’m very much like my father when it comes to wanting to explore every corner of the world. I text my father some pics I took the night before then I set out to start my day.
The Seattle rain drizzled as I tucked the bottle of orange juice I purchased from the Woods coffee shop next to the hotel. I stayed in Bellevue, a suburb of Seattle near the Microsoft headquarters where their 3 large skyscrapers towered overhead. My plan was to spend the day exploring and I was even looking forward to driving over the floating bridge that had given me a tiny fright the night before.
Let me explain my encounter with Mr. Bridge over Lake Washington the night before. I’ve done some traveling but I was born and raised in the desert. Not literally by coyotes or anything but our rivers have no water. I drove to downtown Seattle the night before in a VW Passat. The car felt foreign to drive but it picked up speed quickly so that I could blend in with native commuters. I was just starting to think about the numerous cities I’ve driven in and how I always do it fearlessly. Freeways, traffic, inclement weather none of those ever scared me away from wanting to get behind the wheel. Heck! I even rode a bicycle like the Dutch amongst the insane Amsterdam traffic last month. And even when I crashed I got back up to continue riding.
My moment of glory and confidence vanished the moment I whizzed passed the toll entrance at over 60 mph. The roadway had a quick incline then just like a roller coaster reveals the terror ahead to its passengers during that fraction of second that it teeters between incline and descent, I found myself teetering between Lake Washington and its floating bridge in fright. There was no turning back, I had to continue and cross. At 8 pm the sun had set leaving the ominous water looking black and choppy. It was a bit of sensory overload for me; the scenic water, the terrifying floating bridge, the music playing and my British accented male Siri navigating me to where I needed to go. If only sexy U.K. Siri would have said something comforting it would have made the situation a little better.
This morning though I crossed the bridge like a pro, parked the car in a parking garage then ventured out to Pike Place Market. I personally didn’t see any fish getting tossed around but there was plenty of fresh seafood for purchase. I perused the aisles of fresh flowers, seafood and trinkets until I made my way out to the outdoor area overlooking Elliot Bay.
Out on the observation deck sat a well dressed man on a simple chair. He was typing away on an old fashioned typewriter. The clanking of his keys is what made me notice he was even there. The lovely gent was there to write poetry. A little propped sign read “One Topic, One Poem, Your Price”. I very much wanted him to write me a poem but I didn’t have cash on hand.
I was on a journey to find an ATM to withdraw some cash so that he could write me a poem. Getting to an ATM took a little longer considering I was distracted by totem poles, art, puppies and seagulls just to name a few. With cash in hand I made it back to the poet who was now busy an older couple. It looked like the 3 of them were having a nice conversation that didn’t appear to be ending soon. I opted to move on instead and keep exploring. I divvied what was to be the poet’s payment between a street performer and homeless man.
I relaxed over lunch at a seaside restaurant with a gorgeous view. Before I knew it the afternoon was getting away from me and I still needed to head to the hotel to get ready for the concert so I made my way to the parking garage to retrieve my rental car.
Of course there wasn’t nearly enough time to scratch the surface of Seattle so I’m sure I’ll make another visit in the future. I don’t know where I’ll be off to next. I was playing with the idea of spending Halloween in New Orleans but Halloween falls on Wednesday and I don’t want to be away from work. Germany is also in the background but as of right now I don’t have any concrete plans for when. Who knows though I may surprise even myself and go somewhere I didn’t plan on.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go”