Part 1: Seattle
My friend, Merlot, sent me an e-mail one day saying that she had been wanting to go to Seattle for a long time. Ticket prices had been outrageous, but she found a round-trip airfare that was too good to pass up. Had her request come a day earlier or three days later, I would not have been able to commit. But with Monkey's full support and certain resources made available to us, I was able to go.
Merlot and I had 4 grand days of seeing this amazing city. We visited Chuhuly Garden, the Space Needle, the Public Market. We did a wine tasting, took a ferry to Bainbridge Island, ate delicious food, rode the Monorail, and of course, drank lots of coffee all while driving a Fiat! This trip was the perfect balance of seeing the sites and relaxing. When I think of Seattle, I now think of coffee, yoga, and music. Seattle is the home of the first Starbucks and is also home of the "velvet foam." There was a little coffee house we found called Uptown Espresso. The coffee, more specifically the foam, was so delicious that Merlot and I were licking the inside of the cups (classy, I know!). As for the yoga, well there are studios all over the city and everyday we saw countless people walking around in their yoga pants, carrying their mats. So much so, that it obviously had an impact on me. We also saw many musicians on various street corners and all over the Public Market. They have collection boxes throughout the city where one can contribute to independent artists. Downtown they have pictures of Jimi Hendrix, Alice In Chains, Pearl Jam and Foo Fighters, to name a few. The people were very friendly and willing to direct us. Both Merlot and I agreed that it felt like home. Few of the folks we met were born and raised in Washington. Most were transplants who simply fell in love with the city.
My favorite part of the trip was visiting Chuhuly Garden. Here is a link to learn more. It was the fist stop on our trip and the most memorable. I had goosebumps the entire time we walked through the museum. I had never seen anything like it before and I was in awe. In one area as I sat on a bench, taking in the beauty surrounding me, I reflected on how God has blessed this world with amazing artists who share their talent and vision with others. No matter the genre, whether glass, painting, music, etc, their art has the ability to transcend.
|A 15 foot sculpture, inspired by the sea|
I loved this exhibit and how he found inspiration from his mom's garden.
A few more pictures from around the city.
|The Gum Wall|
|View from our ferry|
Merlot and I have been friends for over 20 years. We met our freshman year in college and truth be told, we didn't like each other very much. My first impression of her was that she was loud, abrupt and a bit abrasive. She thought I was meek and ignorant. When she asked me what my plans were for the future, I told her I wanted to someday be a high school religion teacher. She smirked and thought that the kids would crush me. She told me she was going to be a nurse and my first thought was, "Good Lord help those poor patients." But then we continued to hang out due to mutual friends. I started to see a side of her that wasn't so bad. Our friendship bloomed and today, she is one of my best friends. We mutually decided on the nickname "Merlot" for the purpose of my blog. The name is really quite fitting. My thoughts on a merlot wine is that it is full flavored, has depth and after some time with it, I get happy. By definition, merlot is from a thin-skinned variety of grape. Because of this, it is prone to ailments. It is adaptable to cool climates and is best enjoyed with simplicity. If you know Merlot (my friend), I think this describes her well.
Thank you to my husband who supported me in my travels. Thank you to my kids who cried until they pulled my heart strings as I was trying to walk out the door. It's nice to know that I was missed. Thank you to my Mom who helped to tie up loose ends in meal prep and helping with child care. And lastly, to Merlot who made this one of the best trips I've taken. Happy 40th Birthday Girlfriend. Here's to cold McDonald's, lounge wear by 4 PM, lots of delicious coffee and of course, red wine. Love you!