Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Pacific Northwest

We walked here from the waterfront, but you couldn't
have convinced me to go up to the top for all the
tea in China!  (Or coffee in Seattle!)
I'm always amazed at the scenery when I travel to my husband's sometimes-childhood home in Central Washington State.  Typically, we fly into Seattle and then drive to the place his dad and step-mom currently live.

This is beautiful, downtown Leavonworth.
It's a medium-sized town called Wenatchee in the Columbia River basin.  In doing so, we pass through several distinct climates.  Seattle is uber wet, with the Puget Sound and Lake Washington to draw your attention.  Then you go from Big City to suburb to truly small town as you drive up and out of Western Washington.  The Cascade Mountains are even more wet and rich with evergreen and thick undergrowth, but sparsely populated with cabins and orchards and what we Southerners like to call Gentlemen's Farms.  Once across the mountain pass of your choice, you reach drier climes, until you are practically in the desert, if not for heavy use of irrigation. 

This is the front stoop of my in-laws' bed
and breakfast, and yes, that's an heirloom

We marvel at the unscreened doors, and antique porch furniture.  In the humidity of the South, you would never leave anything of value outdoors, for fear of moss growing up its North side.  Bugs are a given back home, but comparatively innocuous here.  Fall has already come here, in earnest.  There's a chill in the air and a hint of gold in the landscape. 

The famous Pike Street Market.
Whenever I come here, I feel that I stick out like a sore thumb.  There's a certain style among Seattleites, to be sure.  There's no nice way to say this, but it can very difficult to ascertain who is actually homeless and who is, uh, not.  [But I mean that in the nicest possible way!]  I find myself looking at the quality of the backpack and hiking shoe to decide whose Starbucks cup is meant for collecting coinage and who is actually just partaking of the nectar of the gods. 

My boys on a pier along the waterfront in Seattle.
I love that there are bicyclists everywhere.  I love that people are running and walking, in spite of inclement weather.  I love that the color of the water, even right here at the Waterfront, is azure blue and clear as a bell.  I love that the air smells fresh and pollution free.  I love the views of the far-off and not-so-far-off mountains and how, unlike other places I have lived, there isn't a barrier of smog between here and there.  Clearly, they are doing something right.

As my Grandpa "Benton" used to say, "There is more than one way to skin a cat."  They are skinning some mighty fine cats here in Seattle, but I'm glad I have East Tennessee to go home to.
Notice this neon sign near Pike Street Market 
says "Turkish Delight."  I took this photo because Madam
SmallWorld had been experimenting at making the stuff.
I know it reminds her of Edmund. :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment