In mid-August, I flew to Seattle to visit David and Lisa, and my cousin and her family. The last time I visited, I took a bus downtown from the airport, but now there is the LINK light rail system, which is fantastic. It’s easy to use and costs just $2.75 for the 45-minute ride from Sea-Tac to the last stop downtown. From there, it was a walk of 10 minutes or so to my hotel. From the train windows, one can see green in every direction, not the lush, bright green of a Michigan summer, but a deep, dark, almost forbidding green. Sort of a Twilight green. Beautiful, in a serious sort of way.
I also noticed again how the colors of buildings are often more saturated than they would be in San Francisco. I discussed this with Lisa and she theorized that San Francisco’s light and pastel colors are a nice fit with the Mediterranean light, whereas Seattle’s gloomier weather calls forth cheerier, more vigorous shades.
After I went to my hotel room, I walked over to David and Lisa’s, which involved crossing a four-lane street at an intersection with no traffic controls. As I was deciding whether to try to do this or not, an old lady with a walker came up behind me and yelled, “Go! Go!” “OK,” I said doubtfully, and stepped into the street, holding up my hand, the old lady in my wake. I made it across pretty quickly, but had to go back and retrieve the old lady. David and Lisa advised against employing this procedure in the future. There’s an intersection near the hotel where this street can be crossed safely.
The three of us sat on David and Lisa’s new deck—they moved to a different unit in their building since my last visit—which has a great view of the Space Needle, and of part of Amazon’s massive headquarters, which fills a series of buildings. That area is booming due to tech, as in San Francisco. I admired their garden, which consists of a tomato plant and a basil plant, both thriving. We ate some freshly harvested tomatoes and they were delicious. Lisa shared fantastic news: she has been selected for a poetry on the bus program, one of 365 poets whose work will be featured on one of the area’s bus systems. But, even better, she is going to be one of 52 poets who will be interviewed and photographed and appear on a related website.
Then we walked to I Love Sushi of South Lake Union and had a marvelous sushi dinner, sharing an order of pumpkin maki for “dessert.” I had maki made with Copper River salmon and avocado, and a small order of shiitake tempura.
On Saturday, my cousin A. fetched me from my hotel and she and I and her darling one-year-old daughter, whom I was meeting in person for the first time, walked around near the waterfront and Pike Place Market. We stopped at a little café for light refreshments and the baby drank through a straw for the first time! Then we went to my cousin’s house in a town just north of the city and hung out while the baby “napped,” though we could hear via the monitor that she was mostly chatting animatedly to herself about this and that. I met their two dogs (Checkers and Belle) and three cats and my cousin and I got all caught up.
Her husband came home from work—he is a really sweet fellow; I was meeting him for the first time, as well—and we went to a lake not far off to visit his parents, who are absolutely lovely, too. A.’s husband grilled us all veggie burgers and we had a fine dinner together. The day featured a second milestone when the baby rode the rocking horse at her grandparents’ house all by herself. A. took me back to my hotel after dinner. It was a really nice visit, and it was good of her to schlep into town twice on the same day on my behalf.
By Sunday, David had left for a challenging multi-day bike trip, so Lisa and I had breakfast at Row House Cafe and walked down to the Center for Wooden Boats to see about going for a boat ride, but they had been on NPR in the past week, so there were a lot of aspiring passengers. (Note to the King: maybe next time we should go down to CWB just before 9 a.m., sign up for a ride at maybe 11 a.m., and then go have a leisurely brunch followed by a walk and/or tea.) Lisa recently went on a mostly women sailing trip and spotted a couple of the crew. We briefly boarded a pretty sailboat so Lisa could get a flyer from one of her friends, and even just sitting on the boat for a few minutes as it bobbed gently on the tranquil water, of which there is much around Seattle, was highly agreeable.
Next we went to REI’s flagship store, which is enormous, and I bought a hat. We had tea at a café not far from my hotel, and then I collected my stuff and took LINK back to the airport. It was very sunny. One doesn’t think of walking around Seattle sweating, but such was the situation that day.
At the airport, I had fish and chips for lunch, and got three grease splotches on my pants, which is good, because now they match the pair I got three grease splotches on eating a salmon burger in Ann Arbor in July.
(Click photos to enlarge.)