It is easy for me to get into a routine, to stop seeing the world around me other than through the tunnel vision that is chores and errands and to-do lists. It is a filter that I love to remove.
So when Brother Geoff came for a visit, I was more than happy to spend a couple of wonderful days playing tourist in Seattle. Seeing the city through fresh eyes, being in on the discoveries and the ‘ah’ moments reminds me why I fell in love with that city in the first place.
Mitch and Sharon were along for the ride, as always, playing tour guide for our willing adventures. The four of us set out to give Geoff a great birthday trip, ply him with seafood and even discover a few new things.
One of our first stops was the Fremont Troll. I am ashamed to say that for the amount of time I have lived in Seattle, I have never done more than drive past this landmark. Even then, it was more on accident than by design.
had the obligatory touristy photo taken standing in front of the Troll, waiting his turn among the other folks also playing tourist in Seattle. I have to admit, the thing is impressive. Tucked under the Aurora Bridge, keeping his one eye on all those who come to visit him, he is massive.
We wandered down Ballard Ave. having tasty drinks at Percy’s and later a wonderful dinner at Stoneburner. In between we browsed, talked, laughed, and people watched. I have to say that I am still bemused by the idea that Ballard is hip. I imagine my Danish Great-Grandfather would laugh at the notion of this Scandinavian enclave on the Pacific being a hot spot.
I love playing tourist.
I loved going to World Spice there at the base of Pike Place Market and sniffing all the wonderful blends. The sneezing afterward, not so much. But the spices? Heaven.
I loved wandering through the Spanish Table and looking at all the wonderful, exotic, weird and funny things they collect. A Luchador bottle opener was purchased as a gift for Joshua, bottles of red and white Rioja were obtained for dinner that evening, along with paper thin Serrano ham.
I loved hiking up the endless stairs and perusing Left Bank Books. I loved browsing the newsstand for foreign language papers and magazines. I really loved wandering through DeLaurenti’s for antipasti.
When you’re playing tourist – or at least when I’m playing tourist – I don’t mind the crowds as much. I actually like the bustle and the noise, the nearly overwhelming sensory attack of sight and sound and smell.
And I’ll even admit to it. I got a kick out of seeing the gum wall. Yes, it is indeed rather gross. Yes, it is really kind of…odd. But it was fun. It was something I had never done or even heard about before.
Seattle is my true home. I love that city, my heart is in that city even if I am currently not residing there. Playing tourist this last weekend reminded me of why I fell as hard and as fast as I did for the place. Being able to see it again through new eyes, being able to explore it with someone who was also falling under the city’s spell was just so incredible. Rejuvenating, really.
Which leads me to ask – what is your favorite touristy thing to do? In the Northwest or wherever you live.