Remember the trip to Seattle that we were thinking about? Well, we did it - just a quick weekend visit, but it was fun to go somewhere completely different to Los Angeles. I don't think I saw a single palm tree, but the horizon was a zig-zagging line of pine trees and more, in every direction.
As expected, it was cold and grey but the air was a divinely fresh contrast to the brown haze of L.A. Even the tap water tasted better. The trip made me realise just how superficial L.A.'s appearance can be. Sure, the sky is blue, blue, blue most the time, and there are holiday-vibes from the millions of palm trees, but beneath that veneer, she's a grimy city. We live in a fairly comfortable, middle-class area - hardly Beverly Hills, but not South Central either - and yet, I don't need to go far to see shabby buildings or dreary strip malls. They exist in abundance here (as I'm sure they do in all large American cities, but they were less on my radar in Seattle).
We stayed in the Eastside of Seattle and it struck me as shiny and clean. The blueprint in my head for the Pacific Northwest - based on time spent in Vancouver and Portland - seemed just as true to form as I remembered it, and there's a distinct architectural flavour that dominates. And those pine trees are everywhere. Seattle may be grey, but she's also incredibly green... with good coffee (let's ignore Starbucks, okay?).
I'm keen to see more of what Seattle has to offer - maybe a summer trip is on the cards?
Photos below (all iPhone):
1. Still over California (barely out of L.A.)
2. Mt Rainier, WA
3. Morning fog in Bellevue.
4. Tourist time at the Space Needle.
5. The Pie and the J.
6. Don't look down.
7. By the waterfront in Kirkland.
8. Happiness in a cup.