marie goes to seattle

Not too long ago, for no real reason at all, I got on a plane to Seattle. I told my dad I was heading over there and I don't think he thought I was serious -- and I don't think I took myself seriously either -- until the very last minute. The night before, 8 hours before the flight, I booked a room and car for under $150 for a 2 day stay.

It turned out to be exactly what I needed. A short getaway from life. And now I'm wondering why I didn't do this more often, or ever, when here I am -- still young enough with no responsibilities tied down to anyone except for my own self. I know this is going to sound entirely cheesy but the reality of turning 29 in just a few short months really opened my mind about how I spent my twenties. The only thing I regret is not doing more of the things I love.

So Seattle. There's so much to do and see. I guess it depends on what you're looking for but this city had everything I liked; culture, art [lots of it!], and character. On my first day, I spent a good amount of time at Pike Place Market. I went straight to Beecher's because they are known for having the worlds best mac and cheese. Not at all disappointing. You can also sit and watch them make their cheese and no exaggeration, there is so. much. cheese. I then found Rachel the Pig and had to get a picture with her. She's a famous piggy-bank named after an actual pig that won the state fair back in the 80s. It's only cool because the pig that won weighed some ridiculous 750lbs! And if you go to Pike Place, you can't leave without visiting the Gum Wall. I think I was most excited about this more than anything else. If you can get over how gross it actually is, you'll love it. Its colorful, it's fun, you get to leave your own wad of history, it's just kind of hilarious. You know what else I think is hilarious? That all the gum is taken off by hand when the walls are cleaned. How crazy is that?

I gave up coffee after nursing school but I had to go see the very first Starbucks. Even if you're not a lover of coffee, you'll get sucked in all the coffee hype. It's the city with the highest coffee consumption in the U.S. I thought DC had a lot of coffee shops because it feels like there is one on every block but Seattle -- they have it everywhere you turn. I tried the coffee at Seattle's Best and Tully's and I can't honestly tell you which one I prefer. They are all that good.

Of course you can't get the entire Seattle experience if you don't make your way to the Space Needle. It's some 40 second elevator ride to the top and once you get to the observation deck, it's a whole new world. If you're a wimp like me, you might feel really dizzy the entire time you're up there. I felt like I was fighting vertigo but the view was so worth it. It was worth every single minute of torture when I thought for sure I would throw up. Mount Rainier was my favorite thing to see. It's easy to spot anywhere from the ground but it looked much more regal from above. By the way, there's a bridge that literally sits on top of the water [so you feel like you're actually on the water, much like a boat I suppose] that you should drive across, if you ever find yourself in Seattle, with the coolest view of Mount Rainier.

The next day, I went to as many museums as I could. And let it be known that there's a plethora of museums to choose from. Museum enthusiasts, take note. I took a drive to Fremont in the afternoon to visit the troll under the bridge. If you can climb it, do it. It's neat to see this work of public art up close. Before I headed back to the airport to catch my flight, I walked around Olympic Sculpture Park. That was the spot for me, personally. I don't know what it was because it was an overcast day and standing at the top of the hill overlooking the water and mountains, it just seemed like for a few minutes, everything made sense. I think those realizations are important -- it's a good reassurance that no matter what we're trying to get away from, everything is going to turn out ok.

I think its safe to say that Seattle was good to me.

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