In 1967 my father bought a Pontiac Catalina and a dingy old travel trailer and took his girlfriend, my brother and me on a road trip. Over the next 8 weeks we drove 13,498 miles, visited 51 parks, and saw wonders like geysers, redwoods, grizzlies, and the Summer of Love in San Francisco. The trip made an indelible impression, cementing my appreciation for the natural world and the American landscape. This summer Pamela and I hope to repeat the experience for our family.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dave: A Few Impressions of Seattle

Good to see Andy Davidson. Haven't seen him in ten years or so. Searching our memories, we weren't sure when. He looks like Steve Jobs these days. Just finished a 200 mile bike ride from Seattle to Portland. Andy is excited because he is trying to engineer a career change. In September he starts teaching high school--web design and related IT issues. I believe he said he's trying to get the necessary certification to teach math in the future.

We met Andy outside the Pike Place Market. Stopped at Lowell's for an expensive breakfast. Only the view across the Seattle harbor was worth the price.

After Andy went on his way, we strolled around the market a bit, grazing from all the good food options, watching the fish-tossing fish mongers, appreciating a good dose of city life after weeks in the outback.

After Pike Place we walked to the Seattle Public Library, a Rem Koolhaus building, I believe. It was pretty interesting, although I thought the exterior rather harsh. Inside, though, it really worked.

Next we did a quick drive around downtown Seattle, checking out the Frank Gehry EMP building, which was was cool, driving along the edge of the houseboat community, where they filmed Sleepless in Seattle, and then an obligatory stop at the REI headquarters. We stopped there 12-13 years ago and were impressed. I think LL Bean has one-upped them because it wasn't so impressive this time.

All in all, it was a short but nice trip to Seattle.

The night before we stopped at Cafe Bizarro in the Wallingford neighborhood for a fantastic Italian meal in a cafe with amusingly strange decor. When you combine the Bizarro trip with our quick tour of the central city, I got a different, and better, impression of Seattle. On previous trips there, I had concluded it was "LA with trees." That impression may well be somewhat accurate, but on this trip we saw several intersting neighborhoods and in general the city seemed more appealing.

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