Posts tagged seattle
Finding Peace in the Open Sound

My feet trembled as the engines turned on, slowly pushing back from the city above us. Seattle is glorious in October, the bright midday sun hanging above the hulk of buildings, cranes, and tourists. "This isn't how it usually is," my friend Katie said. No rain or fog, Rainier looming large in the distance, she'd outdone herself.

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The wind whipped my hair into a slight frenzy as we made our way from the port dock and into Puget Sound. I grew up avoiding open water. My first sea experience was a 25-foot fishing boat in the Gulf of Mexico during high school. We set sail early in the morning to rig hop in search of fish that I still don't know the names of. Even though I got seasick, the feeling stuck with me. Openness. Vastness. Freedom.

The ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge is hardly open sea, but for a soul stuck in cities and cars the feeling was therapeutic. The wind mixed with passing boats, gulls, and gripped hands on railings.

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As the city sunk into the horizon, we made our way to the front of the ferry. Mothers held their children close as they cooed at the passing birds, looking desperately for the sight of seals. For barely eight dollars, the trip across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island felt like alien territory to me. The concrete jungle of Houston has conditioned me to endless strip malls, traffic, and constant alertness. Here, the water beckoned you to slow down, breathe deep, and feel the life inside your lungs.

After a summer of heat, humidity, loss, and change, the biting air coursed through my body. I donned a bright red beanie low across my ears and stood westward. This deck was my sofa for the afternoon, and I intended to empty myself and begin again. Breathe in change, breathe out life.

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The waves beneath cast fresh blue into our eyes. People filed back into their cars beneath. Children accounted for, friends made. The island opened up before us. I walked down the ramp, leaving a piece of me behind, mixed in the wind and water.

The engines rumbled in the distance as life moved on, slower, weightless. I grabbed my wife's hand tightly, as she smiled back at me. We didn't just make it to shore, we made it through the summer, together. Sometimes that's all you need.

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A Waltz Around Seattle

In this first of many posts about Seattle, I wanted to just give a glimpse at how we spent three days in the Emerald City. After not taking a real vacation all year, Kim and I desperately needed some good, relaxing fun. Our friends in Seattle didn't disappoint.

Being Kim's first time in Seattle, no trip would've been complete without a stop at Pike Place Market. One of the best people watching spots I've ever encountered, Pike Place has something for everyone. Definitely sample some of the fresh seafood, we chose oyster shooters for a little snack, and take your time strolling around. It could easily be an all day destination if you let it. 

We even managed to run into a wedding party taking photos before heading off down 1st Ave. to the Goorin Bros. Hat Shop. More of a personal pilgrimage since they don't have stores here in Houston. When heading to the Pike Place area, consider taking public transit as parking is scarce and can be pretty expensive. 

After picking up some wine, goat cheese, fresh baked bread, falafel and donuts, we jumped on the nearest bus and headed over to the Seattle Center for a little downtime. 

At the Seattle Center you'll get an up close and personal look at the Space Needle, enjoy some lovely park area and even get to see the coolest radio station, KEXP Seattle. Add this to any Seattle itinerary for an easy, relaxing day. 

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Of course I had to make a quick stop into Emerald City Guitars to sample one of the best vintage guitar collections anywhere. Above you can see my friend Daniel J. Wood trying out an early 60's Fender Jaguar. The staff are awesome and love to talk about the collection. It's a must see if you're a music nerd like me. 

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Heading up north, the Fremont area is full of eclectic and fun shops, including the Sunday Market where you can feast on lots of different types of cuisines, find that perfect vintage t-shirt and then sit along the Fremont Cut that connects Lake Union with Shilshole Bay. 

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And last but not least, no trip to Fremont is complete without a visit to the Troll. Quite possibly the quirkiest thing in an already quirky part of town, the Troll is about as random as you can get. A great picture spot, especially if you have kids. 

That's it for now, but there'll definitely be more to come covering the different places to eat, parks to sit at and more. Easily one of my favorite cities in the US, Seattle is always worth another visit. 

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