Someone asked me recently if we were home for the summer.
“No”, I replied, “we were in Seattle.”
“Right, isn’t that home?” they asked.
I laughed. “Oh, yeah. THAT home.”
I suppose it depends how you define home. Usually, I do think of Seattle as my home, but the longer we spend away, the less familiar it feels.
“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Currently, home is where my kids’ drawings hang on the refrigerator, and where my slippers are tucked away. It’s the familiar taste of the coffee from our neighbourhood café and running to the butcher before they close on the weekends.
The only part of Seattle that truly felt like home were the warm, familiar hugs, and easy conversation and laughter with those we love so dearly. Everything else felt more like nostalgia. Some places had hardly changed, while others had changed so much we found ourselves lost. Home or not, I appreciate the Pacific Northwest so much. Perhaps more than I ever have.
To most Europeans, Seattle is quite an unknown place, tucked away in the upper left of the USA. People usually associate it with Starbucks, Amazon and Bill Gates. Brits never ask about the rain, since they believe that nowhere in the world rains more than the UK. When I’m asked to describe it, I ramble on about evergreens, mountains and sunshiny islands reached by ferry boat. Sometimes I mention the quaint neighborhoods and great coffee and seafood. I usually also mention the rain and horrible traffic problems, because otherwise it would simply sound too good to be true.
But Seattle on a good day…it really is too good to be true. And we had a lot of good days this past August.
“You will never be completely at home again. Because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney
On this last trip, we decided that we are pretty darn lucky. We love living in the UK, just a hop-skip-and-jump away from continental Europe. Without going into too much (political) detail, we don’t feel a major pull to return to the US at present, but we are grateful to have such a great place to go back to.
We managed to fit a lot into 4 weeks and it still didn’t seem like enough time. I’ve captioned most photos to create a visual list of some of the fabulous Washington spots we visited. You can find a written list at the end of this post.
If you’re heading to Seattle, you might put these places on your list:
- Space Needle
- Chihuly Garden
- Ride a ferry boat (Bainbridge Island is a short ride away)
- Alki Beach
- Snoqualmie Falls
- Olympic Peninsula
- Kerry Park on Queen Anne (for a stunning view of the city)
- Mt. Rainier National Park
- Seattle waterfront (the aquarium)
- Pioneer Square (Seattle underground tour is here)
- Pike Place Market (Original Starbucks and Gum Wall are here)
- Greenlake / Phinney Ridge (Woodland Park Zoo)
- Mariners Game (spring/summer)
- Seafair activities (August)
- Seattle Center and the Experience Music Project (EMP)