sleepy in Seattle
Sandwiched between the dazzling snow-capped peaks of the Cascades on one side and the Olympia Mountains on the other, Seattle was definitely more our speed than Connecticut suburbia, where D’s parents live.
S had spent the better part of a year living in Seattle before moving to Chicago, and was surprised at how quickly she fell in love with the city. After living in half a dozen different places, Seattle remains the one city she would like to live long term. In particular, Seattle is eminently walkable, which marks a nice contrast to Nairobi, where we had to drive everywhere. S was excited to return – to revisit old haunts and catch up with friends, though some of those friends were quick to remind her that spending less than a year in the Emerald City did not qualify her as a bona fide Seattleite.
Our visit coincided with the opening of boating season, which is a huge deal in Seattle. We missed the crew regatta so that S could take a yoga class, but we did make it out to the Ballard Locks to watch the slow parade of boats crossing the channel. That was pretty much the only touristy thing we did all weekend, however, as we dedicated most of our time to seeing friends and eating ridiculously good seafood.
Seattle has always had amazing restaurants, but the scene has exploded in the last five years into a foodie haven. The popularity comes with a price, however. For example, Capitol Hill – where S used to live – is so overrun that it is nearly impossible to get a table for more than four people unless one eats early or super late. And some of the best restaurants won’t take reservations. The bar scene is even worse, with most places requiring at least a 30 minute wait for a table.
In addition to S’s friends, a few of D’s college friends had also moved to Seattle, so we tried to squeeze a week’s worth of reunions into our two-day stay, making morning, brunch, afternoon, dinner, and drinks plans. S even called up a friend who met us in one of the city’s numerous parks just to say hello.
While Seattle’s bustling nightlife and great restaurants helped take the edge off our culture shock, they did little to ameliorate our jet lag, and adding three extra time zones just days after returning from Kenya did not help in this respect. Whereas in Connecticut we had had an early bedtime, in Seattle we stayed out late which, coupled with our inability to sleep in, made for a fun, but somewhat groggy weekend.