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ONCE upon a time

I still think about Seattle a lot. I've told so many bits and pieces of it to a lot of people, and I don't feel like it's even been told in order, all together. I don't know why I need the experience to be validated so bad. I think everyone is tired of hearing about it, and I totally get it. But I wish I could sit a stranger down, have coffee with them, and tell them the entire story. That's probably weird but idk, maybe it's my way of trying to relive the experience. I mean it was such a great one, why wouldn't I?

The main thing is just how much of a wake up call it was. My trip was great, but that doesn't mean it went smoothly or that I didn't panic multiple times.

When I got out of the car at the airport, I was so so so excited and felt like such a big girl, at the airport alone, about to embark on a fucking journey. I had zero idea what was ahead, beyond a few planned details.

My plane ride was super enjoyable. It was a 6.5 hour trip (my longest) to San Francisco, California. I watched Into the Wild, which wasn't a great movie, but Eddie Vedder goes a little softer with the soundtrack, and it's really wonderful. It shouldve just been shots of wild alaska, snow, mountains, wildlife, lakes, with Eddie Vedder's singing over it. Anyhow, now I can't listen to Pearl Jam or Eddie Vedder otherwise without smelling pine, being chilly, and thinking of mountains. I often joke that that mans voice is like a great redwood forrest, or an oak barrell.

Then I watched a few episodes of It's Always Sunny and Fresh Prince, and then Singin' in the Rain. I wish all planes had TV's in them, no matter how long the flight. So I land in California. The landscape was unlike anything I've ever seen. Big, brown, sandy mountains or dunes, I don't even know. I go outside, and it smells like the ocean. Not like, low tide, but fresh ocean air. And it was sunny and nuetral out! I talked to my brother briefly, told him I was in California, and he couldn't have been more underwhelmed. To be fair, I don't think he knows where California is.

I go back inside and get Burger King, the finest West Coast cuisine. When I'm finished, I call Devin. Suddenly, I break down. I don't even know what we were talking about, but I started bawling my eyes out. I was having a really great time already, and all I could feel when I talked to him was guilt. He wasn't at all trying to make me feel guilty, but I felt it anyway. He was happy for me, though wasn't thrilled about me going alone (fear for my safety or whatever). So I spent the rest of my time in Californina crying infront of a giant sand dune.

I land in Seattle a few hours later, pretty exhausted from crying and sleeping on and off all day. This was not helped by the fact that Seattle is so overwhelmingly populated and fast paced that I felt like the world was moving past me. I check into my hostel, climb up my bunk, draw my curtain, and try to take a nap. I didn't want to leave my room, I just wanted to sleep the rest of my trip. I took a short nap, which brought me back to sudden clarity somehow, and I decided that I would absolutely not ruin this trip for myself. I had a goal, I was here, and I'm doing this. I put my shoes back on and walked around Pikes Place Market. After surviving on plane snacks for 13 hours, I wanted a nice meal. I stumbled into a Bolivian restaurant, where I was the only patron, the wait staff boredly folding napkins. I ordered the only vegetarian option. It came with rice and cold black beans, a fresh ass salad, a lot of avocado, salsa, and a hot roll. And bolivian espresso! The food was so, so fresh and the waiter talked to me about how he had just moved there from somewhere else, and how much he loved it. That, on top of having just eaten a wonderful meal, was caffienated, and freshly napped, was the start of what I decided would be a once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy the fuck out of myself, alone, for once.

Thanks to the time difference, I actually went back on my biological clock by three hours. So, I naturally woke up at 6 am, after going to bed around 8 pm the previous night. I got ready in a jiff, and was out. I went back to Pikes Place Market and nothing was open yet. So I walked down the Gum Alley, which smelled very sweet in a very off-putting way. I walked all up and down the pier, looking at the mountains, staring hard into the water to see if there was anything down there. I stumbled into a little breakfast place, the only place open that early. I ordered a mushroom breakfast wrap. The cashier told me he likes to put hashbrowns on his, so that's what I asked for. It was sooooo good.

So I walk and walk and walk and walk. I went to the aquarium, then to the Space Needle, then to the MoPop Museum. All were so wonderful. I think MoPop was my favorite. There was an entire Nirvana section, part of their permanent collection. Then there was an entire part dedicated to Pearl Jam and Andy Wood from MotherLoveBone. They had a horror movie exhibit, a fantasy movie exhibit, and a science fiction exhibit. I'll finish this later.

11:44 p.m. - 2019-12-02


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