This weekend I’m spent a little quality time by myself in Seattle. I have always loved the pacific northwest. It’s so wonderfully green and soft and wet and earthy. I was looking forward to the clouds and rain when I left Phoenix Saturday morning, but what I came to was more sunshine. Most of the time I have ever spent been here it has been sunny and beautiful. I think the whole “the sun doesn’t shine here” is a myth Washingtonians tell people so they won’t stay because why wouldn’t someone want to stay here!
After doing some research about hikes close to Seattle, I decided to hike the Jim Whittaker Wilderness Trail on Cougar Mountain (rawr!). This hike did not disappoint. Solo hiking used to freak me out. I was so afraid I was going to get lost or hurt myself and die out there. Extreme, I know but anxiety is a bitch sometimes. This is probably the first hike I’ve done that I didn’t have one single moment of fear. I took a map of the area from the trailhead, had a bottle of water with me, and my phone. Off I went into the green green green green woods.
Look it’s me on the trail! I hate taking selfies but a good friend of mine once said “if I don’t take my picture there how will anyone know I was there”. Well said, Abby! Mind you, she said this to me 15 years ago before selfies were a thing. So in an effort to a) get more comfortable with pictures of myself and b)prove that I was there, I’m taking more selfies. I’m sorry for all of you who hate selfie takers. I’m now one of them.
I am going to tell you all a little secret about my solo travel adventure. Saturday afternoon I checked into The Westin in downtown Seattle and I didn’t leave my hotel room for the rest of the night! It was so decadent. I ordered Indian food from Mirch Masala and watched Joe Dirt and researched some stuff online. Pure heaven. I tell you, after that hike where I walked 4 miles with 1200 feet elevation gain (1900 total according to my apple watch), I felt like I deserved to not move. I swear, it had nothing to do with my body telling me I CAN’T move.
Sunday was all about friends and family. I took the ferry, first time on my own, out to Bainbridge Island to have lunch with a mama friend who I hadn’t seen in over 12 years. Lunch at Hitchcock was divine! The Cuban B was a nice twist on the Cubano. After eating Kirsten headed home, and I wandered around Winslow for a bit. Such a cute downtown full of tourists but not overwhelmingly so. I managed to navigate my way to the waterfront trail and made my way back to the ferry just in time to take the 2:00pm back to Seattle. It’s a fun cheap excursion with the $8.20 round trip. It was such a clear day I could see Mt. Olympus, Mt. Rainer, and Mt. Baker! That alone was worth the ferry ride.
My evening was spent with family. I stayed at my cousin’s house were there just happened to be LOADS of cousins in town visiting. It was really special to get to spend a few hours with them before the weekend finally caught up with me and I went to bed.
While out running around and exploring on my own I thought a lot about the importance of solo travel. How learning to navigate on my own gives me so much confidence. I am more aware of my surroundings and can get to and from places much easier. I feel like I actually LEARN the city instead of just following along. It’s not that I don’t pay attention when I’m traveling with Iz or friends. It’s more that you have several people to help so there is less emphasis on being present. There’s also a lot of clarity in traveling sober. That’s a whole blog post that I need to visit next.
The weekend here was as perfect as it gets. I hiked, took the ferry to Bainbridge Island, ate, slept in late, drove all over the place. Perfect. I leave soon and I just don’t want to go. As much as I love Arizona, I love Washington more.