*I started writing this on April 1. For real. Here I am, finally posting. Enjoy!
Every few weeks at the end of the last quarter of 2017, I'd get an email from corporate. Make sure to use your 2017 PTO! It expires in April! I'd read these emails and promptly delete them. Then I looked at my carryover PTO and I was like "oh wow. I need to go somewhere". I had about a week's worth of days to take off! I started emailing my friend C about a potential trip to Seattle, where she lives.
Last February, C was diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma and was given 12 months to live. She did the requisite surgery, radiation, and chemo, and overhauled her lifestyle to reduce her stress and changed her diet. She has had no evidence of cancer ever since! The week before I went to Seattle, she had yet another clean MRI, a huge cause for celebration.
So this trip was part vacay, part celebration of my friend making it past her bleak prognosis.
Seattle is one of my most favorite cities. I came to know it via a YoungLife camp in British Columbia, Malibu Club. Malibu is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure to see. Every time I went to Malibu, I first had to make my way to Seattle. Every time I am in the PNW, I want to move there. This time was no different!
Day 1, March 28- arrived in Seattle around lunchtime. I took an Uber to C's house in Fremont. We spent the afternoon walking around town, going to a fabric shop and a grocery store, then headed to the house for a snack. We then went on another walk to her son's preschool to pick him up. After that, it was time for dinner prep, done to the sounds of a great playlist. We then did a little something that became a nightly routine- as C and her husband put the kids to bed, I would foam roll (I've been doing physical therapy again...for my hamstring this time). Then, C would come down with cups of tea for us and we'd craft and watch 2 episodes of Queer Eye as I iced my poor little glutes and hamstrings. At that point, it was about 9:15pm and time for C to take her chemo pill. Then we'd call it a night!
Day 2, March 29- Thursday morning we got going pretty early and found ourselves in Downtown Seattle. We walked around for a bit, then headed to Drygoods Design. Ever since I have been feeling better, I have been knitting away, so it should come as no surprise that instead of finding fabric and a dress pattern, I ended up with a skein of Manos in a colorway (Wedgwood) that reminds me of Seattle, and a beautiful pair of Lykke knitting needles. I am determined to become a sock knitter once and for all. We then went to The London Plane for a little tea/croissant/kombucha break, then headed down to Pike Place to look at all the gorgeous tulips. From there, we literally ran to catch a bus back to Fremont, where we enjoyed a lunch at home and then we walked to "old lady yoga". Old lady yoga is just a restorative class, which is absolutely my favorite kind of yoga class. Afterward, we walked home, just in time for the littlest boy to come home. Shortly thereafter, we walked to pick up C's older son from preschool, then headed back for dinner prep. A thing about C- she is a fantastic cook, so all of our meals were SO good! This night's meal in particular was amazing- some kind of grain (we had a different grain every night I was there- it's hard to keep them all straight), broccoli with a Spiral Diner-inspired sauce, roasted yellow cherry tomatoes, topped with a large, warm chunk of feta cheese. After dinner, I brought out Tenzi and Uno and we played a few rounds of each. Then, it was time for our nightly routine. So far, the socks were going well.
Day 3, March 30- C has been wanting to try her hand at garment sewing, so I told her while I visited, I would help her with that task. Originally, she wanted to make herself a dress, but given our time constraints and my inability to commit to a fabric or a pattern, we settled on making Wiksten Harem Pants for a few babies in our lives. The pattern is super easy and great for a first-time garment sewist. Our pants turned out SO cute!! By the time we were done sewing, it was time for 2 little boys to make their way home. We loaded them up in the stroller and ventured down to a salad restaurant in Fremont. On the way home we passed by the Fremont Troll, as did every other tourist in town. We then made our way to The Book Larder, which is every cook and baker's dream come true- a whole store dedicated to cook books!! It was overwhelming in the very best way. After that, we went back to the house and crafted for a bit. I turned the heel on the sock I brought with me (not my new sock...don't worry, I am not THAT fast!) and it went perfectly well! Then, back to dinner prep and the nightly routine.
Day 4, March 31- This will go in history as the most gorgeous day that has ever existed in Seattle, and possibly the whole world. It was a gorgeously sunny day and the temp was utter perfection. My friend K picked me up and we drove down to the ferry terminal. A quick aside about K- we met in 2015 when she was still living in Dallas...we met at a weaving class (of course). It turned out that we also went to the same church and knew several of the same people. We never saw each other in Dallas again, so hanging out in Seattle was literally only the 2nd time I've ever seen her! Luckily she is cool so spending the whole day with her was awesome! We got on the Bainbridge ferry and walked around the sun deck and took photos. Once we arrived in Bainbridge, we went to Cafe Nola for lunch. K had this amazing squash pancake thing. I don't remember what it was exactly, but it was so delicious. We then walked down to Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, aka the best store ever. I have been trying to buy yarn only if I have a project in mind for it, so I did not buy any yarn (shocking), however, I ended up with a beautiful shawl pin and some much needed blocking pins. Then we went to a bakery for some coffee and cookies. We then drove down to Bay Hay and Feed, where there were soooo many beautiful plants in bloom! The air smelled strongly of lavender, which is exactly what Malibu Club smells like, and I found myself feeling incredibly nostalgic. Like, I would look up at the conifer trees and almost start crying ahaha. What can I say, I am sentimental! We found some cute baby chicks and took tons of photos and videos for our instagram stories ha! We drove back to the ferry terminal after stopping at a grocery store, then we enjoyed THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FERRY RIDE THAT HAS EVER EXISTED. I took around 5 million of the exact same photo. The view of downtown was RIDICULOUS. It was so pretty! AND WE COULD SEE MOUNT RAINIER!!! All caps and exclamations points necessary. A better day for a ferry ride DOES NOT EXIST. I came home in time for one last home-cooked dinner, many, many rounds of Uno, and our nightly routine.
Day 5, April 1- This morning was the first that was stereotypically Seattle- it was cold and rainy. But alas, the children had an Easter egg hunt to get to, so we bundled up and walked to the neighbor's house. One of my favorite things about Seattle is that Seattlites don't let the rain ruin their plans. Everyone has the appropriate clothing and just carries on in their rain gear. Having been to the PNW several times, I knew this and packed my raincoat :) Saying goodbye was very bittersweet, as goodbyes tend to be. I was so happy to have gotten to spend several days with C. We picked up right where we left off and it was like old times when we would watch Scandal and knit together while her little one napped. How special it was to do that again and be hopeful that we will get to do it again in the future.