Home > Misc. > Seattle: Day One

Seattle: Day One

A recent vacation week found me in Seattle for a few days, so I wanted to recap the experience here and show some photos taken along the way. Probably too much detail, probably overuse of the word “I,” but away we go.

Over the past two and half years or so, I’ve become friends with a lady named Lish, via the comments section of YT. She would turn up every once in awhile, then started popping up more often, and is a cool and interesting person. She left a couple of comments in regard to traveling with her or coming up to visit her, and initially I shrugged the idea off; I don’t get out very often in general, and have only left my state a handful of times in my life – the notion of leaving to visit a stranger from the internet seemed even more outlandish. But we exchanged info and started interacting outside of YT and things went from “this could be a serial killer pretending to be a neat person” to “well, but maybe I could go up there and see?” to “okay, I want this to happen and will be welcome to visit her, let’s do this.”

Once the idea was solidified as something that should happen, it was just a matter of scheduling a visit. A vacation week was drawing near, but would it conflict with anything Lish has going on? As it turned out, there was only an overlap on one day with a gathering she’d planned previously, but I was welcome to attend too. We got everything situated, I bought my plane ticket about a week shy of actual flight time, and all that was left was to wait and speculate how things would go. Most of my life has been spent working overnight and not socializing as much as most folks, so there are many things about being around people that feel foreign to me. In the past, this kind of uneasiness in my thought process has frustrated people I’ve been around, either because they didn’t get it or because they did and didn’t want to be a teacher, but Lish did her best to let me know everything would be just fine. She was right, of course, but prior to leaving, I was still filled with a ton of “what if” thinking that had me all wound up. Maybe just a fear of the unknown? I feel like this is all stuff I should’ve been past many years ago, but still, now was as good a time as any to catch up with where I feel like I should be, and I legitimately wanted to.

The day of the flight comes, and I’m up early. Double/triple/quadruple check all my luggage to make sure nothing is forgotten, and then it was time to head out.

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(above: view from my dash, about a block from my house)

Flight went at 11:50 am, so I figured 9 am was a good time to get to the airport. I’d reserved an off-site parking space in advance, with a 9 am arrival time. This is all roughly forty miles from the house, so account for morning traffic, 7:15ish am sounded like a good time to depart; plenty of time to account for traffic, and if parking happened early, that left plenty of time to walk to the airport. As it turned out, it was a particularly rough traffic morning with multiple collisions and bottlenecks, but living here forever also means knowing all the side streets, so avoiding most of the bad areas was a snap. Arrived around 8:45 to the parking place, and after they pointed out a parking space, a shuttle was waiting to take me to the airport. Riding in the shuttle illustrated just how long the walk to the airport would’ve been, so the fact that it was provided at all was greatly appreciated.

Having not been in an airport for a decade means not being hip to the process, but a lady from the airline was quite helpful in getting a boarding pass printed and luggage tags together; she also waived the luggage charge due to the size of my bag. Cool lady. Rolled through the security check and upon passing through the x-ray/scanner thing, the man on the other end asked if I had any medical devices in my leg. I don’t, so he said he needed to pat my leg down. Arguing with TSA staff sounds like a bad idea, so he did his overly friendly stroking of my leg and came up with nothing. What was the machine reading, then? Who knows. Aside from that, it went smoothly and it was time to find the gate.

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(above: gate 206, about two hours early)

Getting to the airport early in order to allow for any potential mishaps is wise, but when it goes off without a hitch, you’re left with oodles of time to wait. The seating area was mostly empty until about an hour shy of flight time, and trips through the gift shop and newsstand provided nothing of any real interest. I wound up finding an outlet directly in front of this window and camped out as the phone recharged.

Eventually, the time came to board the plane. Found my seat, stashed my carry-on into the overhead, and it appeared that the entire row was empty except for me; I was toying with the idea of stretching out across the seats for a few moments, then another passenger was moved into my row, he got the window seat while I had chosen the aisle. Quiet guy, which suited me just fine, and aside from having food and credit cards passed over me, zero disturbance during the entire flight. The flight itself was also decent aside from a landing that felt particularly rough, but again, it’s not as though I’ve been on that many planes, so it could just be me.

During the flight, the pilot came on and spoke of flight and weather details, then mentioned the wi-fi access on the plane. Attempted to tie in, but it wanted you to download an app or something and I wasn’t willing to jump through that extra hoop, so I just took the phone out of airplane mode and forgot about it. A little while later, I get a text from Lish asking if I’d landed yet. I replied and wondered how there could be service at 28,000 feet, to which she pointed out that I was in violation of FAA regulations, as you’re supposed to be in airplane mode the entire time the plane is moving. Oops.

Landed a few minutes early, but the plane took an extra lap or two due to the tunnel thing that connects to the plane malfunctioning. They got it going, we got off the plane, and I found myself in a completely different part of the country. The plane and airports were necessary parts of getting to Seattle, but in my mind, this trip had not actually started until I found Lish. Going through a new place, it’s easy to make mistakes, and I did: misreading a sign sent me down an escalator to the wrong place and required doubling back to the starting point in order to get back on track. My initial understanding was that the plane would land, I’d go get my luggage, and then wait for Lish, as she was working that day. As it turns out, she’d taken a short day and arrived to the airport ahead of my flight, so she was waiting for me. Walking through to where I think I’m supposed to be, getting texts saying, “I’m at security,” and “I’m not far away.” This had me looking around while walking through, since the layout of this place is new to me: where is security? Did I walk past her at some point and she’s waiting for me to notice? Finally decided that, while it would be rude to make her wait any longer, I should just go get my bag first, then find her. But, while turning to follow the signs to baggage claim, I see this person standing there smiling and sure enough, that was Lish. After a big hug and the sort-of once-over you give someone when you see them for the first time, and we were off to find my bag. Lish has tons of travel time logged, so she knew right where to go, and a couple of minutes later, we were off to the car. Now, the actual visit was underway.

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(above: the Lishmobile is pretty slick)

Months prior, Lish had left a comment saying that she’d bought a Porsche and I should come up and take a ride. At the time, I thought this would never happen, but now it actually was. It’s a nice car, a convertible 911, and under normal circumstances would just be a neat thing to ride in. But to be there and in this new place with this new person and trying to take it all in at once, was almost overwhelming. In a good way, mind you. We drove and I looked around at the landscape, the signs and things on the freeway, her, and it was all very intoxicating. There was some nervousness on my part during the initial few minutes of conversation, but we had discussed my lack of life experience prior to this trip even happening, so she was quite accommodating and I felt comfortable not long after. She seemed relaxed the entire time, so if she felt any of these things I did, it was not visibly apparent. We headed to the first destination, which, when asked if there was anything specific in Seattle that I wanted to see, I had only come up with one aside from her –

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(above: picked up the posse/on 23rd and Jackson/headin’ for the strip/yes, we’re lookin’ for some action)

The corner mentioned in the 1988 Sir Mix-a-Lot classic, “Posse on Broadway.” Tourist-trap places have their appeal, but going to see something like this is always interesting to me; how many people know that song and pass by this intersection every day without any idea that it is one and the same? She took a phone call while I took this photo and then listened to her handle business, and something about that reaffirmed in my mind that this trip was a good idea. At some point in these trip entries it will probably seem like I’m positively gushing about this person, but everyone has a different vibe and it’s rare to find one I want to stay around; she has that. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, but I know it’s a good thing and that is all I need to know. She asked if I wanted to do anything else there, and I didn’t as the goal was just a photo. Perhaps if Mr. Mix-a-Lot had come out of that Starbucks or something, but he did not, so we she wanted to take me to another place, and away we went.

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(above: Game Gurus, not my photo)

We arrived at Game Gurus, which is a fairly packed video game shop. The guys who worked there were all cool and didn’t mind chatting, which is a nice change from some of the shops I’ve visited in the past. As we went through the store looking at different titles and talking about things, she noted that it was taking her a minute to get used to seeing my voice come out of me, as I don’t put my face on YT at all and so you just hear commentary over gameplay. Seemed like she got used to it soon enough though, and I was glad because as good as she was being about making sure I was comfortable, I wanted to do the same. This was a good stop because it gave us a little more time to get used to each other, and I think by the time we were doing not buying any games, we both felt settled in, which was nice.

From here, she put the top down on the car and we headed to her place. Let me say at this point that, while I didn’t encounter any of the fabled Seattle rain during this trip, the weather there might be absolutely perfect. The weather where I live is one of my least favorite things about existing, because it’s dry desert heat and you’re far from the coast. There is no relief when you need it, outside of central air and repeated cold showers. Anywhere you are in Seattle, it’s cool out and you’re never too far from water. Something about being near the ocean always makes me feel better physically, which could just be a thing all humans have? I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. But with the top down in the afternoon, the air felt nice and it was just a pleasure to breathe. There was a slight bit of traffic, but nothing too bad, and it just made for more time to chat in the car, so zero complaints there.

Got to Lish’s apartment and it’s nice; I’d seen some of it in photos, so I was like, “hey, I saw this place on the internet!” She showed me her pets and laid out house rules, then we just talked for awhile. I told stories for a bit, until it was time to go eat. I had said I wanted to see how she lived, because to me, the trip was mainly to see her and anything Seattle was purely secondary, so she picked a few places she thought I should see while I was there. First night, new place, nerves still kind of a thing, I picked the burger place since that was least likely to impact my insides. So we walked, and it was nice to take a stroll with my friend in this place as she told me about the neighborhood. Where I live is fairly spread out, but I don’t usually mind because it isn’t claustrophobic that way; Seattle is more dense due to being a big city, but it avoids the feeling of being trapped that Los Angeles gives me. Not sure exactly how, maybe it’s all the hills? At any rate, I was instantly liking what I saw as we walked. Oh, we also saw this –

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(above: Dick’s is the place where the cool hang out/the swass like to play and the rich flaunt clout)

Dick’s may have, at some point in time, indeed been the place where rich rappers hung out. But on this night, it was a handful of people in line for a burger, and some gentlemen near the curb mumbling or singing or something. Looking it up later, apparently Dick’s is a great place to work as far as fast food places go, so considering that and Mix-a-Lot’s praise, I can’t bag on it too hard. But this wasn’t the destination in mind, as our place was a bit further down:

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(above: 8 oz. Burger, not my photo)

This place had a cool atmosphere and was loud, but not too loud. For my “this place is too loud” scale, see the Lucille’s in Rancho Cucamonga; I have no idea how anyone communicates in that place. Anyway, 8 oz was nice. We had our own little table in the window, and the food was quite tasty. I was fuzzy on what the order was, but got the same thing Lish did and she later confirmed it was a wild boar burger. It came out and it was a tall construction of food, but that was mostly meat. In other places, it’ll be a thin patty with a ton of lettuce or onions, but 8 oz is not other places. Eating in front of people is something I’ve always been self-conscious about, at least until I feel comfortable around them. But it’s either that I was already comfortable, or that I purposely hadn’t eaten pre-travel, or both, that allowed me to positively destroy my meal in short order in front of her. Long enough for me to recognize that it was definitely worth coming here again, not long enough for it to even think about cooling off. She didn’t make any faces or go, “slow down, hog,” so maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

After eating, we stopped off at a local comic shop, then a soda shop before going back home. We chatted a bit more, then watched “Safety not Guaranteed,” which I hadn’t seen before. It was a cool movie with an ending I didn’t expect, I’d watch it again sometime. Then we watched some YT stuff and just sat together and laughed, and it was cozy and nice. Finally, it was time to sleep, so I got situated on the couch and we said goodnight. Spent a bit of time thinking how neat this entire trip was, from her having the idea months prior to me being there now, and how I kinda couldn’t believe it despite it unfolding before my eyes, and then passed out for a few hours of very solid sleep. An awesome first day.

(note: I don’t know how many photos you can put in one entry or if there’s a text limit, so I’m just going to do one day per entry, so it should be four total? We’ll see.)

Day two recap here

Categories: Misc.
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