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The Gang’s All Here - Baltimore to Seattle (Part 2 of 2)

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Our first stop was Seattle proper. It was the stereotypical rainy! This was my first time to the state of Washington. I made a request to visit the iconic Pikes Market, even if only briefly. Completely overwhelmed by the market items, specifically the abundance and variety of flowers and seafood, I was distracted. Being from the east coast, I thought I had one up on the seafood game. No. Here, some of the seafood was the size of your hand. The scallops and shrimp were gargantuan. Xmas gifts consideration for real, because they deliver. Since there was tons to see, the group staggered a bit while we browsed the stalls we were attracted to individually. While I was waiting for Sarah and Thomas to make a purchase, I texted my dear friend Anna. Before I left, she mentioned that she could make a personal introduction to a college friend Kyle that has had a stall at the Pike’s Market for some time and would be a great resource for things to do and anything Seattle.

I hadn’t been able to get back to her before that moment. She just happened to answer my text when I decided to get that info, at least providing his full name. No kidding, she gave me his last name and I was literally a few feet away from the stall. I walked up, asked the man behind the display table if he happened to be Kyle. Indeed, he was. I told him about our mutual acquaintance. He was delighted, so was I. From what I remembered Anna telling me about his stall, Kyle learned how to make infused glass jewelry from his grandmother. He has continued the tradition and has been a staple at the Pike’s Market for 15 years. Kyle kindly suggested that there was now a friend’s and family discount available. I took a few peaks at the display of elaborate jewelry. There were a few things that caught my eye. All sparkle and shimmer. I decided on a pair of Coca-Cola brown round earrings. They might be a gift for a sister… or maybe a gift for me.

There was a lot to look at in the market, but for the sake of time, our oncoming “hangriness,” and our parking meter, it was time to go and find something to eat. We decided to get out of the market mix and crowd and found a Mexican restaurant, El Borracho on the main drag. Win-win for us. It was Sunday, and they had the Ravens game on for Thomas (and I), and we were all excited about the food, especially the guacamole and chips. Plus, it was close to where we parked. Sadly, on the way back, the route underscored the reality of their homeless population. On the way into town, we passed the Seahawks football stadium. We could see the Seahawk fans tailgating and the fans in the restaurant were rooting for them once their game replaced the Ravens on the tv screen.

As you may (or may not) recall, during this process of retracing the travels of my grandparents, my priority is to 1). visit an exact location identified as a place they visited 2). if the location is a state/national park, stay overnight 3). if the location is not a state/national park, choose a state/national park for accommodations closest to the location. With that in mind, after diligent research, I calculated that Cape Disappointment State Park would be the closest park accommodation to our first official stop of Olympia, Washington. The drive to Cape Disappointment was pretty serene along the 101. Tall, green trees. Everything you associate with the Pacific Northwest.

Arrival at Cape Disappointment State Park fell on the creepiest possible elements. It was raining (the rain never stopped from when we landed), foggy, isolated and dark. I think my crew was starting to wonder what the hell did they get themselves into. I was too. The home didn’t look scary on the website. It looked bright and cheery on the Long Beach Peninsula, fronted by the Pacific Ocean, looking into the mouth of the Columbia River. The creepy factor may have been due to the heavy, white fog, or the fact that it was getting dark, and that it was completely isolated. Oddly enough, there were people milling about in the cold, rainy day that was quickly coming to a close, with the hoods of their rain jackets pulled over their heads. It was difficult to figure out from whence the people were coming and going. Or why.

Inside the house was not as creepy (well kind of), but we did check out every closed door and nook in the 3 stories. Even I checked out the door at the bottom of the basement steps - with the feeling of my eyes being closed, not wanting the door to be unlocked. After the full inspection, we finally settled in. A quick three bears bed check ensued and we ended up switching rooms, based on bed firmness preferences. I wanted our first day to be low-key and only non-business, since our first flight was so early today. We headed back out to find a grocery store for some food for the house. None of us seemed like we were ready for the grocery store, as far as knowing what we wanted. But we made a few decisions on what to purchase for at least the night.

We went to bed at 8:30 pm pacific time, 11:30 pm eastern time. Honestly, it took a while before I felt comfortable enough to relax and close my eyes for sleep. I was a little freaked out. Picture a house in a horror movie, sitting alone in the distance, blanketed by fog and silence. Now picture yourself in that house, trying to go to sleep. One more note - there were no curtains in the kitchen, which is where you had to pass to go to the one bathroom, on the first floor, right at the entrance to the house, facing the other house with open curtains, that is empty - or so we thought. Scared bladder syndrome but for new reasons.


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