from the road

Day 33: A beautiful day in Seattle!

We woke up to this view this morning:

Elliott Bay, Seattle

And then to this:Steggy with Top Pot doughnuts

Andrew was the perfect host. He walked down the street and brought back a dozen Top Pot doughnuts. They were, as expected, delicious!

Then he took us around Seattle Center and pointed out all the cool things.

Fountain in Seattle Center


Fountain in Seattle Center

I really liked this little park garden. There are so many lavender bushes around Seattle, and they are all in bloom right now!

Lavender in Seattle CenterWe also saw a superhero!

Woman in Superhero costumeIn the afternoon, we drove down to the Ballard area to visit the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks.

Chittenden Locks, boats

It’s summer, and the Cohoe (salmon) are running. Okay, swimming, but it’s called running. A very opportunistic seal was waiting on the other side of the locks for some free and easy lunch.

Seal at Chittenden locksYou can watch the salmon swimming up the ladder through big observation windows. It was surprisingly fun to watch the salmon struggling against the intense current, trying to get upstream to SPAWN. Every time one made it through the little opening, we cheered loudly and without shame. Go, salmon, go get some!

Salmon on salmon ladder

Also, I squealed with delight about this pug going on a standup paddle boarding adventure:

Stand-up paddle boarding

After the locks, we walked around a seafood festival and had lunch in the Ballard district.

Selfie with Steggy

On the way back to his apartment, Steggy pointed out the Lenin statue in Freeport.

Lenin Statue, FreeportThis evening, we met up with my great aunt (I think? My grandmother’s sister-in-law…) Susie and her son Jimmy for a tour of the “UW” (“You-Dub”) campus:

Husky statue at UW


While the mascot is now the Huskies, it used to be a “sunny” gnome. Less fierce, to be sure….

I really liked the little glimpse we had of the UW campus. The view of Mt. Rainier is amazing, but Jimmy said that Seattle residents just take it for granted.

UW campus

Check out where we ate dinner! (Ivar’s.) I loved all the Northwest coast art and decorations!

Ivars, Seattle


I kept saying how much I love Seattle weather. Jimmie and Susie insisted that the nice weather we experienced today is not the norm. I’m not sure how I would do with nine months of gray drizzle, but I LOOOOOOVE the low humidity. We walked all around in mid-July, and I barely broke a sweat! By comparison to hot, stinky city summers (New York, I’m looking at you!), this seems like paradise.with Jimmie and SusieJimmy also really wanted us to see the famous troll under the bridge, but we are sworn to “secrecy” as to its exact whereabouts.

Giant Gnome, Seattle

Another thing we really like about Seattle is how casual everything is. (“I once heard rumor of a restaurant that required a tie. I don’t think it exists,” says Steggy.) It’s such a nice, walk-able place with a relaxed atmosphere. I feel like we’d really fit into Seattle in this respect.

Thanks to our wonderful hosts in Seattle! We really enjoyed staying here and catching up with friends AND family! It was a memorable and impressive first visit, and we hope to come back soon!

WVT, SeattleAnd we could not have asked for better weather! Thanks, Seattle, for delivering!

from the road

Day 32: Across Washington to Seattle!

Greetings from Seattle, WA! Wedding Victory Tour has officially made it to the west coast, and it is AWESOME. I am so relieved to see a coast again; I was not a fan of the brown mountains and scrubby terrain of the last few states.

Today, we drove to the Grand Coulee (pronounced “Coolie”) dam. We recently watched a TV special about how all dams are dangerous (Johnstown Flood, anyone?), but fortunately, this one did not break.

Grand Coulee Dam

Harrison at Coulee Dam

There is actually nothing around the Coulee dam. I do not recommend going there hungry. A few hours later, we had lunch in Wenatchee, WA, Apple Capital of the World.

Wenatchee, WA


We also passed through Leavenworth, WA, a former mining town which has now rebranded as a Bavarian Village. Everything is old German-themed! I saw “Der Heidelburger,” and the Bank of America had a charming wooden sign.

Leavenworth sign


And now we’re in Seattle, WA, staying with our high school friend Andrew/”Steggy.” He has an amazing apartment.

view from Andrew's apartmentLook at the view. LOOK AT IT!!!

We did a short walk around Steggy’s neighborhood before dinner.

Hey, look, the original Starbucks! I didn’t realize that the original mermaid logo was so, uh, breast-ful.

original StarbucksAnd we saw Pike’s place, which wasn’t open at 8:00pm.

Pikes Place market


Wow, Steggy is tall. I forgot about that!

Harrison & SteggyHarrison wants to drink a lot of coffee while we’re here, for good reason. Steggy’s girlfriend Megan assures me that there is lots of good tea in Seattle, so I will also go hunting for tasty beverages.

coffee at Uptown Espresso


Okay, I have to say something: So far, I love Seattle! Granted, I have only been here for a few hours, and it could just be that the Pacific Northwest is a welcome relief after the seemingly unending stretches of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming. It’s just so nice to see water again, and the lack of humidity is awesome. AWESOME, I TELL YOU!

clotheslines, SeattleI’m excited to see some of the city tomorrow. We can walk all around, and I won’t get all sweaty and cranky!!!! Seattle is awesome.