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Across the State of Washington and Back

I've lost track of the number of times I have been over and back across Washington state in the past seven years. (DD#1 started college at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma in 2010.) I am sure these road trips number well into the several dozens. DD#2 and I added to the total this past weekend with a trip to see DD#1 and her boyfriend in Seattle. 

I am spoiled having one kid in Spokane; it makes it easy to break up the trip. I worked Friday morning and left around 11 a.m. It had snowed about 4" Thursday night and was in the process of changing over to rain. By the time I got out of Flathead County, though, it cleared up and warmed up and getting to Spokane didn't take long. I took DD#2 and her boyfriend to dinner at a little place called Wisconsinburger. It's right around the corner from the hotel where I stay and is also where DD#1 waited tables when she was in grad school. They serve interesting things like cheese curds and fried pickles. The hamburgers are phenomenal. I had mine with a side of potato salad topped with bacon jam. That's a thing. Who knew?

DD#2 and I left bright and early Saturday morning. It took us about 4-1/2 hours to get to Seattle. DD#1 and her boyfriend are living in a tiny (500 sq ft tiny) apartment just a few blocks from the University of Washington, where Arne is in his second year of dentistry school. He did his first year in Spokane as part of a program to train doctors and dentists to work in rural areas. They would have preferred to stay in Spokane as it is much cheaper, but he has to do his second and third years of study back in Seattle.

Their apartment is in a wonderful little neighborhood—very walkable, with lots of shops and places to eat. Arne either bikes or takes the bus to school every day. DD#1 will be driving his car back and forth to work in Bellevue. Her car is still here at our house. It would have cost a ridiculous amount of money in insurance and parking for them to have two cars there. Also, her car is a stick shift and those are not fun to drive in Seattle (ask me how I know). 

The apartment is tiny, but recently renovated with an attentive landlord. I was intrigued with all the creative uses of space. Still, it's over $1000 a month. They only have to be there for a few years, though, and they're young. They will make it work. Fortunately, neither of them is a slob. 

We went to the nearby University Village to meet my cousin Lucy for lunch. She is a buyer for Nordstrom and lives not too far from DD#1 and Arne. Her mother and my father were sister and brother. I am the oldest of the grandchildren and I think she's the youngest. She's a lot of fun and we always like spending time with her and now I have an excuse to see her more often. 

The kids and I spent the afternoon wandering around the outdoor shopping area. It was raining, but that doesn't deter people in Seattle from being outside. The shopping center had bins of umbrellas strategically placed every couple hundred feet, too. Shoppers are welcome to use the umbrellas while they are shopping and leave them when they are done. 

I had to laugh at myself—this is what happens when a country bumpkin from Montana goes to the big city. I spent most of the time walking around the stores exclaiming about all the stuff that I didn't know existed (like bacon jam). Yes, I suppose I could order a lot of it online, but it's hard to find things online if you don't know that someone actually manufactures the thing you need. And there is something to be said for actually being able to pick up and examine a product. 

I didn't go overboard. I bought some garam masala seasoning and some smoky Earl Grey tea at Williams-Sonoma. (I really like W-S's garam masala.) I bought a tunic at H&M, which is not a store I usually frequent. On rare occasions, though, I can find something worth buying there, and this tunic got the DD#2 seal of approval. I picked up a tube of conditioner at Aveda. That was it. 

By late afternoon, I was tired and it was time to go check into the hotel. DD#2 and I stopped by Seattle Fabrics on the way there. I'd like to go back some time when I have a list of what I need and I am not so tired. It's a small store and while I am sure the owners know where everything is, it's one of those places where stuff is piled on stuff and the whole effect is disorganized and overwhelming. It reminded me a lot of Tioga Fabrics, in York, Pennsylvania. When the husband and I lived there right after we got married, my MIL and I used to go to Tioga fairly often. They carried mill ends of mostly home dec fabrics but also some garment fabrics. Unfortunately, they are no longer in business. I could have a field day in a place like that now. 

We found an authentic Asian noodle place for dinner. My kids are all fairly adventuresome when it comes to food, especially ethnic food. I must have raised them right. 

Speaking of food, DD#1 and Arne took us to one of their favorite places to eat for brunch on Sunday morning. It's called Portage Bay Cafe and it's just a few blocks from their apartment. The place is so popular that it requires reservations at all times. We got there at 9:00 and it was full. They source as many of their ingredients as they can from farms within 25 miles of Seattle. We eat good here (I use local ingredients from my own property) but I can safely say that the Dungeness crab omelette I ordered was the best thing I have eaten in quite a while. 

DD#2 and I got back on the road after brunch and headed back to Spokane. DD#1 starts her new job tomorrow. I know she's excited. It's good to see her so happy and settled. I don't think she and Arne will stay in Seattle—he grew up on Kodiak Island and they both prefer less populated areas, but for now, they are where they need to be. 

I spent Sunday night in Spokane again and drive home yesterday morning. The roads were clear until I hit Flathead County again. (It was 37 and sunny in Libby, Montana). It's still snowing here at our house and we're expecting another storm on Friday. I keep telling myself that we need the moisture. 


February's offering from the Bag of the Month Club is the Ravenwood Messenger Bag by Betz White:

It's made out of waxed canvas, so of course this went up to the top of the queue. I suspect it is going to be a long-term project, though, as it has lots of moving parts. It certainly won't be an instant gratification project like the Wool + Wax Tote. 

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Reader Comments (3)

That's a very serious bag!! It could easily be a weekender or a great carry-on bag!

February 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMarietta

When Tioga went out of business they sold bolts of fabric to other stores. I recognized a couple of prints when I was looking at upholstery fabric in a store in Federalsburg, MD. I talked to the owner and he still had some fabric that came from the Tioga store. I used to love going to Tioga. So many things to choose from and such bargains.

February 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterHusband's mom

Marietta, I think so, too!

Tioga was a fun place to poke around in for an afternoon. It's probably a good thing I don't have access to a store like that anymore. :-/

February 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Szabo

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