Typically when Veronica and I head to Seattle these days we always go downtown. We use Priceline, get a fancy hotel, spend too much money on parking and wander around that small portion of the city.
Recently we went to a birthday party in the Wedgewood neighborhood, which is north Seattle near Lake City. Rather than try to figure out how to get from downtown to the party and back, we used Airbnb and rented an apartment nearby.
I’ve done the Bed and Breakfast thing in the past and didn’t really like it. Too much forced interaction with people I didn’t really want to interact with. Airbnb was nice, though, in the sense that you got the comforts of a home, but with none of that forced interaction. This place was a bit pricey ($120), but was big and with free parking was cheaper than staying in a hotel.
If you are in the Seattle area, make sure and check out Alison’s home. It is near the University of Washington and is a delightful setup.
Anyway, we got to Seattle in the early afternoon and had about six hours to kill. After spending a quick moment heading down memory lane by driving by Seattle Children’s Hospital – not exactly a fun trip down memory lane – we decided to go check out Green Lake.
I haven’t been to Green Lake in more than 10 years, but it really hasn’t changed much. The water is still green, toxic and filled with dead fish. There are still a bunch of folks exercising in various stages of undress. There are still peddle boats, row boats, canoes, paddle boarders and more enjoying the water. There are still hippies doing their thing, people playing basketball, softball and baseball. There are definitely more hipsters than I remember, but that is to be expected.
So much has been made recently about the city of Seattle changing, and not necessarily for the better. The tech boom underway has certainly brought in a lot of outsiders, but Green Lake was refreshing for the oddities that make up Seattle, but also the tremendous multicultural presence. It is just a great city park. So much going on in all directions.
We spent some time walking along the shore and enjoying some fresh water for a change. Most places we visit in Tacoma tend to be centered around the Puget Sound, so it was almost a bit strange to see the different flora and fauna associated with freshwater.
After doing our outdoor thing and people watching, we decided to wander one of the nearby neighborhoods, checking out the Tudor houses, Mockingbird Books (bought a funny book for Catarina about using the potty), then ate a wonderful dinner at the Shelter Lounge (which had a very Austin feel to it).
The next day, we made sure to head over to Mighty O’s, a vegan donut shop a little bit south of Green Lake. It is so fun to eat donuts, drink coffee and just hang out in an urban neighborhood – so much different than where we live in University Place.
Next time you are in Seattle, consider skipping the downtown corridor and exploring one of the neighborhoods like Green Lake. It is worth your time.
– Craig Craker