Wow, I can’t believe it’s September already! I’ve been in Seattle for five or six days now and so far everything has been great. I have yet to experience the infamous Seattle weather; instead, the days have been bright and sunny with highs in the upper 70’s- a pleasant change from the heat and humidity of Columbia and eastern NC.
I’ve spent the last few days getting to know the family I am nannying for and finding my way around Seattle. I’ll admit I have been lost a time or two… not in the sense that I didn’t know where I was as much as I didn’t know exactly how to get where I wanted to be. However, I’m carrying my EasyFinder map and guidebook with me everywhere I go and, slowly but surely, I’m learning how to get around the city.
I’m not actually living in downtown Seattle; instead I’m in a small incorporated “village” just south of Bellevue, Seattle’s largest suburb. Initially I really wanted to live right in the middle of downtown Seattle instead of just across the lake, but I’m actually enjoying being here quite a bit. The village has its own private beach access on Lake Washington and the family I’m living with has a small sailboat. I’ve been to the lake twice now and am looking forward to spending more time there.
My trips to Europe have made me a fan of public transportation in cities where it actually works efficiently. I had heard the Seattle Metro System was great, so two days ago I decided to give it a try. I drove to Queen Anne (an area of Seattle located just north of downtown) and parked in the free parking at my university. I walked to the correct bus stop to get downtown but couldn’t find anywhere to buy a bus ticket. A lady waiting at the stop told me that you buy tickets from the driver as you enter the bus. Just then the bus pulled up and I got on and bought my ticket.
As I was sitting on the bus I realized I didn’t know the name of the stop I was heading to (I had decided to venture towards Pioneer Square, one of Seattle’s tourist spots). I knew the bus was supposed to stop at the intersection of 2nd Avenue and James St. so I leaned forward, watching intently through the windows for street names as we passed. (Eventually I realized that the stops don’t have proper names the way stops in Bratislava do, but are instead indicated by the intersecting streets… at least, I think that’s how it works).
Finally I saw 2nd and James, and exited the bus- I was pretty proud to successfully make it there without any mishaps! As I stepped off the bus and walked toward Pioneer Square, I immediately fell in love with what I saw! The streets were lined with old buildings, innumerable cafes, pubs, restaurants, cute stores, and there were people everywhere… I felt like I was back in Europe! I walked up and down the streets just to see what I could see. The Seahawks were playing the Oakland Raiders that night (a huge rivalry) and there were fans for each team everywhere. It reminded me of being in Knoxville for the SC/UT game two years ago as fans cheered and booed as their fellow fans or rivals walked by. I was pleased too when two businessmen who were waiting to cross the same intersection as me asked me who the Seahawks were playing and I could answer, “The Raiders,” like I actually knew what I was talking about. After eating a gyro while watching the ferries, I walked back to the bus and headed back to SPU.
I took a few pictures while I was downtown but I’m not going to post them because they were all terrible and failed to capture any of what I saw. My Dad is sending me his Nikon F SLR that he doesn’t use anymore; once it gets here maybe I’ll be able to get some better pictures. Until then, here are some pictures of my new room, enjoy!