Odds are, when you think of Seattle, one of the first things that comes to mind is probably how often it rains there. In fact, on average, it rains about 152 days each year in Seattle, and a place known for its cloudiness and constant misting sounded like my own personal type of hell. Sure, I hate the negative temperatures typical of a Wisconsin winter, but in my opinion, that isn’t as bad as the day-in and day-out gloominess of a city lacking sunshine. Needless to say, heading into our week in Seattle I was prepared to be damp, cold and a bit seasonally depressed.
However, for the better part of our week in Seattle, I was able to leave my rain jacket at home. Maybe it was the time of year or just plain good luck (although I’ve never been known to be particularly lucky so probably not) but Seattle was downright sunny and pleasant, which was awesome because Elise and I had a full day of exploring planned for our first day in town. We started the morning by heading to Pike Place Market, which we walked around several times watching fresh fish being tossed through the air and sampling everything from dried fruit to cheese curds (all told, we repeated these sampling rounds at least 5 times over the rest of the week). Off to the side of the market was the legendary gum wall, which is covered in chewed gum wads of all colors, shapes and sizes, and is totally disgusting yet sort of beautiful and artistic. Before leaving the market area for the day, we stopped by the original Starbucks for a coffee from the shop that started it all (by “all” I mainly mean our coffee addiction and a huge reason we’re bad at saving money).
After our morning at the bustling market, we walked to the shore and hopped on a ferry to Bainbridge Island. Up to that point, I had traveled via planes, trains and NUTmobiles, but the ferry proved to be my favorite mode of transportation yet. I didn’t get to see any whales like I was hoping, but the views of the city from the water were amazing, and the bay itself was fascinating to watch as the voyage carried on. When we arrived on Bainbridge, we walked around the greater portion of the small island before checking out some shops and grabbing lunch at a cute cafe on the island’s main street. Upon returning back to the mainland, Elise and I rode the famous ferris wheel on the pier — which also provided great views of the city, ocean and islands — before heading back to the hotel after an exhausting, jam-packed day.
For our second day off, we decided to explore some of the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest by hiking Tiger Mountain to its highest peak: Poo Poo Point (a trail that is infinitely more beautiful than what its name suggests). Despite our luck with the sunshine during the week, the sky was overcast and the rain kicked in during our hike. However, instead of being gloomy, the cool mist was refreshing during the strenuous hike and the fog actually complemented the huge, lush trees making the whole trek to the top even more beautiful. When we finally reached Poo Poo Point, I was ready to take in the views that Elise had promised me would be waiting (she has done the hike before), but we were both extremely disappointed to find that the thick fog made it impossible to see even the edge of the mountain. However, during our long, well-deserved break at the top, the fog actually cleared allowing us to clearly see the whole city from above. Although I was absolutely miserable during it, looking back, Poo Poo Point was definitely the most beautiful and fulfilling hike I’ve ever completed.
After doing so much on our off days, the vast majority of the rest of the week was spent at our hotel watching Game of Thrones (a feat we actually started during this week) and attempting to get our lives together by working out regularly and eating healthier — which was nearly impossible due to the bomb Indian restaurant in the parking lot of our hotel that produced intoxicatingly delicious smells every day around dinner time.
There was nothing too notable about work that week other than one day when I was starting to set up a man on a bike came up to me and asked me what seemed like 100 questions about the NUTmobile. After all of his burning questions were finally satisfied, I gave him a megaphone (Planters memorabilia we give out as a prize) and he began to sing “Seattle,” into it for the whole parking lot to hear. It was slightly bizarre, but I appreciated his confidence and he also happened to have a great voice. Perhaps we were inspired by this performer or maybe it’s just the over-the-top, go-getter essence of our team, but when we were asked to create a short video for Tanaja — a Peanutter from another team’s — birthday, we decided it had to be a rap. I won’t share the video here as it was FTEO (for T’s eyes only), but I will say that this moment was when we found our sound as a rapping trio, which you’ll be hearing about again in future posts.
I can’t say that after my week in Seattle I like rainy weather more or sunshine any less, but I will say that I appreciate the cloudiness and fogginess that is characteristic of the Pacific Northwest for the beauty it creates. As I’ve commented on several times before, there’s something good and something bad about everywhere; I mean, I hate the winters at home yet I still find myself missing a lot about the Midwest. When all was said and done, Seattle was high up on my list of favorite places I’ve been to and I’d definitely put up with the rain to visit again.
Peace Out Homenuts!