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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Back from Seattle

Well, it was whirlwind and I think I need a vacation to recover from my vacation, but it was also the greatest weekend trip ever. I had no idea that Seattle was so cool, and it made it glaringly clear to me that I should never attempt to write a story set in a place I’ve never been. There was so much about it that I’d never have known, but that anyone who had so much as visited would have picked on. So glad I went!

A research trip is vastly different from your average vacation. We squeezed in a few tourist things, but for the most part we parked downtown and walked around. We went to the public library. We drove two and a half hours (one-way) to visit a beach to make sure it would be an acceptable setting, then turned around and went back without even leaving the car. (Beautiful white-sand beach, by the way. Totally visit the Grayland State Park. Totally doesn’t work as the setting, though.)

Seattle’s history is fascinating. The construction and the conception, the architecture, everything. Our visit was absolutely jam-packed. The day we got in, we visited Pike’s Place Market (an experience unto itself) before we even checked into our B&B. To get there we took a shuttle, then the water taxi. It was 92° and humid as Satan’s armpit, and I was wearing long pants (of course)—I finally nearly had a panic attack because I felt like I couldn’t breathe and at that point we went back (via water taxi and shuttle, which we took in the wrong direction and had to walk back to the stop and wait another half hour sweating and frothing and generally wishing we were dead) to the B&B and tried to reform our melted forms into human shapes, using such tools as The Shower and Fans and Air Conditioned Rooms.

Sunday we had brunch at SkyCity in the Space Needle, which was breathtaking. The food was well above-average, but I’ve had better, but that’s not why you eat there—you eat there because the restaurant is walled with glass and rotates for a 360° view of the city and the Sound. We went to the Chihuly museum and there was a street fair and then we went to see the Fremont Troll, a public sculpture under a bridge in the suburbs.

Monday was the Library, the 5-hour drive and, ultimately, sushi. We stopped on the way back from the beach in a tiny town with no cell service called Westport for lunch; we ate at The Original House of Pizza, and it was really good. Hit that up while you’re in the area for Grayland beach.

The final adventure came on Tuesday, when we slid into the airplane five minutes before they stopped boarding and were breathing sighs of unmitigated relief and disbelief that we’d managed to check our bag and return the car in time—when apparently the plane broke off its tow bar and we had to disembark and find a new way to get home.

This was probably all our fault—a balance between the luck it took to get to the gate on time and the twisted whims of fate.

Phone calls, runnings back and forth in the airport, hungriness, exhaustion, and finally we got a flight on Delta at 7:35pm that was delayed to 8:40 and got to DIA barely before midnight. We caught the bus with ease and were in bed by 1:40am.

I took a bunch of notes, both digital and mental, and I’ve apparently discovered a place I’d be willing to live in the US that is outside of Colorado. If you ever visit Seattle, don’t miss the library. Or the tour of the underground.

Happy Thursday, all!

1 comment:

Becky Munyon said...

You're really working hard on your book, and it's going to pay off. The fact that you realized you needed to visit your setting says you know what needs to be done. A lot of people are unwilling to recognize the things that aren't the writing itself. So, yay!