Monday, October 10, 2011

Visitor


Hey, happy Monday everyone. I hope you're taking a coffee break at work with your feet up at your desk and you plan to read this blog top to bottom. Today's post is going to be short and sweet- I'm writing a fun piece right now that I'm excited to debut on The Wilder Coast...when it's ready. For now, enjoy this little guy and check out the sweet Patagonia giveaway at the end.

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Last year around this time I was sitting over at Top Pot donuts in Wedgewood filling out applications for exciting jobs that didn't exist. (Thanks for nothing, Craigslist.) I looked out the window and there was Colleen, this girl I grew up with in Vermont, just standing there outside the donut shop in this small neighborhood in North Seattle.

Colleen has been a good friend since middle school, when we affectionately called her The Muffin because of her adorable hair cut. To be fair, I wore stirruped stretch pants back then. Things have changed though, Colleen doesn't resemble a muffin anymore and my stretch pants don't have stirrups. (My skinny jeans do though!)

I was surprised to see her because she lives in Portland Maine, I had no idea she was visiting, and Wedgewood is most definitely not a destination neighborhood. Nobody says, "Seattle? You've just GOT to visit Wedgewood above 75th, they've got everything up there. " Colleen was equally surprised when I suddenly appeared outside the donut place, hobbling towards her in the parking lot in these ridiculous high healed boots my mom made me buy that I've never worn since. Colleen thought I still lived in Chile.

I had my camera with me that day.
Well, Colleen is back. She was originally going to spend a few days in Seattle and then drive down to San Fransisco with her roommate, Kara. But then Kara tripped on a broken stair in a dive bar in Portland and hurt herself so bad she couldn't travel. So we get The Muffin for two whole weeks.

It's pretty great to have a visitor. She's thinking very seriously about moving here, so I'm taking her around and showing her all the best parts. It's like those first few weeks of dating when you can tell all your good stories for the first time, and wear all your cute outfits for the first time, and he doesn't have to find out right away that you can't sleep without your dog and a fun Friday night means reading alone in the bath. Colleen will find out about the dreary weather and the passive aggression soon enough, but right now, we're in the honeymoon phase. Seattle is all public markets, alternative book stores, huge parks, bungalows and trees.  

Here are Colleen's super hip hipstamatic shots from her phone. Does it bug me that people can take cooler photos on their phone than I can with my expensive camera and photo editing software? Shit yeah it does. But here they are anyway. As you can see, my city knows how to deliver.

Here are Colleen's photos with a few of Lisa's in there as well:

The truth is, even nine years into this relationship (with a two year trial separation), I'm still in love with this place. 

Speaking of being in love, Colleen joined the club. She got the state outline of Vermont tattooed on her foot while I waited in the front of the tattoo place and took hipstamatic shots of my painted fingernails. She added Shasta daisies, her favorite flower, as a personal touch. Our friend So has the VT state as well, with a giant cheese knife across it. 
 I've got one, too.

With that said, here's the giveaway. And if you just scrolled down and jumped right to this part, you'll never win because there are secrets sprinkled into the story above.

Here it is: I want to know where you live, and what you love about it right now. It's fall, my favorite season, and if my weird, rainy town is delivering I bet yours is too. A randomly selected commenter will get a brand new Patagonia Lined Beanie, worth 35$. I love Patagonia, it's a great and ethical company and their clothes last forever. I thought this hat was seasonally appropriate, with a cute design you could wear with a fitted coat (lady) or a burly fleece vest (man of my dreams.) It's lined so it will keep you really warm. 

You readers have been incredibly supportive lately, so thank you. Thanks for all the comments, all the link sharing, and all the cheering at the Film Festival. I've got a line up of cool things to give away in the next few weeks.
So what you got? What are you loving right now where you are? The winner will be announced on my next post, so stay tuned.

33 comments:

Niki said...

I'm currently living in Switzerland, more specifically, Z├╝rich. While it isn't a perfect city, there are so many things to enjoy. My most recent moment of appreciation for the area was when I was on a hike with my boyfriend, and it was early evening and we come upon a field of cows. The cows have these large bells on their necks, and when they graze the bell rings in a slow rhythm. With a backdrop of the alps, fall-colored trees, the deep green of the fields, and the gentle toll of 20 cow bells, it was a beautiful "I love life" moment.

Heather Ann said...

Nothing beats Seattle in the fall, or anytime of year. I don't think I have ever been so in love in my life. I am on my 2-4 year separation, hoping to keep it closer to 2. That said. North Carolina has some charm. There is this new Indian restaurant that opened in this quiet little courtyard in the heart of Chapel Hill. http://www.curryblossom.com/ It is owned by an adorable indian women who used to host dinners at her house. It is sustainable and brilliant and delicious. Besides the beer and wine festivals popping up around town this time of year, this has got to be my favorite fall find in Chapel Hill.

Sabertoothali said...

Things I love about Ann Arbor:
It's not New York City.
I could say more, but it pretty much all boils down to that.

Hat, please.

kimkircher.com said...

Since I live at a ski area in the winter and on a lake at sea level in the summer, I'm entering that in-between phase when my husband and I drive a lot. It's shoulder season, and his job is in full gear (he's the GM at Crystal Mt) and I'm still waiting for the snow to fall. My job as a ski patroller doesn't start until the snow flies. So the answer: I love the first snowfall of the season. I love scooping up the wet snow and making my first snowball and letting it fly on a wet tree trunk taking it's last unencumbered breaths of the season.

Erin B. said...

I think Sabertoothali is going to win it all, and should!

Seattle is wack right now - I wish I was back in Vermont, driving down I-89 and taking in all of the beautiful colors that define New England Fall.

But, my mom always says if you can't say something nice then don't say it all, so I will sort of follow that rule of thumb with a compliment to compensate for my insult above. Seattle has one billion Stahbucks, and Pumpkin Spice lattes are the bomb!!

Mika G said...

I live in Asheville, NC and I have to say my favorite part about living there is everything. The Appalachians in the fall and the back roads and the chocolate lounge cannot be beat.
-Mika

Melina said...

Erin, I have to respond to your comment. I'd rather be flying down 89 than just about anywhere on the planet, and that's always true except for the months of Feb-April.

This comment doesn't count towards the hat. I can't win it.

VT love,
Lina

Katie P said...

I just moved to Eugene, OR with incredibly low expectations. Everyone says, "Oh Eugene, that's such a great town . . . just a great town," when I tell them I am moving there. I roll my eyes and think, "not better than Seattle." It's now been about a month, and I've made the easy trip to Smith Rock 3 times, the drive over the Oregon Cascades is something incredible all on its own. Washington is special, but there is nothing in the Evergreen state like Highway 242 in the fall. Eugene is surrounded by peaceful, forested trails and criss-crossed by miles of luxurious bike routes. There is a real life outside crag right in the middle of town! Even as I bike in the spitting rain cursing the northwest weather with every pedal stroke, missing Seattle, the city that I love, I couldn't be more stoked to live in such an incredible place. I LOVE OREGON!

Alex said...

I want that hat.

What can I say about Boston. It's got the New England thing going. You get it.

I want that hat.

Alex

Chris Burke said...

I live in the Lake City neighborhood of Seattle. It's pretty nice, but I aspire to live in the Wedgwood neighborhood, north of 75th.

kirida said...

Oh I love Seattle at this time. It's cold enough for tights and coffee and soup but not too cold. Yet.

kirida said...

I love Seattle in the fall--soup, coffee, tights weather. I love it.

Cassandra said...

Don't send me the hat. I'm all the way in New Zealand (and I'm plenty warm). Just had to respond to this question anyway. :)

Because for the first time I won't be in the States for Fall season. New Zealand is in its Spring. And while reading friends' Facebook updates on the season changing, I get a little homesick and I start to reminisce about Fall in New England. The distinctive smell of leaves falling, apple-picking (pie making) parties, mulled wine, mulled cider, layers and layers of comfy sweaters, and the bright red, orange, yellows and browns that never disappoint. Miss that I-89!

SJJ said...

Seattle and I have a tumultuous relationship. You see, there's nothing better than a bunch of great girl friends sharing fall colored clothes (bring your boots tonight), and local organic food, conscious people aware of their impact on this earth, people striving to be better athletes, musicians, professionals, friends, yogis. But it's no secret that I really don't like Seattle in the fall. The tomato plants are begging to be pulled because the fruit will never turn red, and the basil is yellow, the clouds are as so thick you forget there is anything else, and my hair is constantly a rats nest because there is no need to dry it or straighten it or even wash it. But.. I do love mushrooms, and even more than eating them, I love hunting them, and they only come with the rain. So, I love the Pacific Northwest right now because it is the world's epi-center for wild mushrooms, and the mycelia are pushing up the dirt somewhere right now.

quarterlifevictory said...

Yesterday I woke up to wet pavement and what looked like another downpour to come.
It was a nice welcome though. Yes, I love sunshine and warm weather but I love the grey misty Pacific Northwest fall — optimal running weather.
I ran the trails at the Redmond Watershed and there wasn't anything else I would have rather been doing that morning than kicking up mud and being surrounded by the tall trees. It's that fall-running feeling. Everything (seems) calm. The leaves are changing colors. And it can't get any better than here.

Sabertoothali said...

Erin B is right-I should win it all. In everything, not just the blog hat contest.

Melina said...

SJJ...I think fall colored clothings swaps are the best reason to stay in the NW ever. Stay with me forever.

Michu said...

Revelstoke isn't the most inspiring place to be come October. Being the only inland temperate rain forest in the world... well it rains a lot!! But I love living here because when the sun does peak through the clouds you can see the snow starting to accumulate high up in the mountains with the promise of winter right around the corner. The air is crisp, clean and clear. You can go out for a mountain bike ride and come home with fresh chantrelle's for dinner. And finally, I love living where I do because today is Thanksgiving and I spent the weekend eating turkey with friends and family and I didn't have to wait all the way til November :)

Erin B. said...

LOL Lina!! When I was at UVM, I remember it snowing as I stumbled home from a Halloween party. Perhaps I-89 should just be avoided as soon as the leaves fall until they reappear.

We should have an ILOVERMONT party soon. We can all wear ten layers under our snowsuits, drink maple syrup and listen to Phish. FTW!!

akpavlick said...

Ah, man. Cincinnati in the fall just makes me pine for Vermont (get it? get it?). The colors are pretty but limited and the weather is far too warm at the moment (70s-80s) to think about proper fall activities like maple sugaring and unpacking the sweaters. Cincinnati's major season is spring, especially early spring - the entire city is planted with gorgeous flowering trees that all seem to bloom at once and change the entire place colors of white, pink, and light purple. But: wrong season!

Hat to Erin B for evoking 1-89 (though I'd take Route 4 over 98 any day - 4 leads to Sugar & Spice!).

Adriane said...

Also don't send me the hat. But I must say there is little better than a warm bright blue fall sky and the contrast of the bright orange trees. Eating an apple picked only moments before. The crunching underfoot. the smell just after the sun has gone down. that first magical snowfall.

Fall is indeed a feast for the senses.

Anonymous said...

I live in Washington DC and damn proud of it, any season!

Okay, that's not entirely true....I miss the West Coast.

That's why I read your blog.

T-Dubya said...

Well, truth be told, I don't have a great use for that hat. I live in Maui - 5 years now. But I grew in Montana. (I lived a year in Vermont too! LOVED IT!)
I fiercely miss fall though; every year around this time my heart yearns for home, for football season, for fleece and a good pumpkin beer.
What I love right now in Maui is the North Shore swell picking up and all the buzz around that, that there are no gardening seasons and maybe, just maybe, it will be cold enough to wear a hoodie at night soon!

photohydraulicturbine said...

Although I live in Seattle, fall is one of the best seasons to head for the east side of the Cascades as the storms don't quite have the umph to fully saturate your weekend plans. I love land of larches, the rocky alpine regions, such as the Enchantement lakes. This past weekend while running through this beautiful string of lakes surrounded by precipitous granite and small alpine glaciers, I found myself fascinated by the small larches precariously perched on Dragontail's cliffs, imagining the small bird that carried seed many years ago that somehow managed to survive in this beautiful, but harsh landscape. Now these few dispersed trees are bright yellow--their final hurrah before winter's ferocity returns.

Lindsay said...

I love Spokane in the fall in part because I thought that I could never love Spokane ever. I've lived in much cooler cities (Seattle!!) and thought that Spokane was just that conservative stepchild of Washington. It turns out that there are many great things about this city that I love, which makes me love living here. The best part about the fall in Spokane is dusting off my ski gear and the anticipation that ski season is only a month away!

nick said...

I live in Baltimore, MD. I grew up here. For a long time it was home. Now it has become more of a base, but still a home base -- like in capture the flag! My exciting forays into the world might always be punctuated by a dead sprint back to Baltimore. Right now we're lazily drifting through an Indian summer. At the end of summer proper the air was abuzz with the kind of energy that comes from trying to get the last of something. Every minute had to be spent, purposefully, on something summery. Now kids are back in school and the weather is a treat, not an expectation. I really like that. I've been all around the world and I'm back here, but I don't know why. I'm getting ready to move to Jackson, WY and what I do know is that I'm going to miss knowing the rhythm of the year.

Emery said...

I currently live in Middlebury, Vermont, and I have to say coming from New Orleans, I almost hated it actually I did intill this year, but it is growing on me. There is something about waking up to a crisp chilly sunny morning. The mosquitos have gone away, and every day there is a flying-v of birds heading south. The leaves are starting to change, its pretty magical to look at a mountain and have specks of color especially when you are driving past it on a windy road. Its perfect weather to go apple picking, or just eating apples and drinking cider. Or just be outside. I never grew up with this, I grew up with no seasons and they are wonderful. I am just realizing I like it. A lot.

Megan O'Brien said...

I have 2 days left in Washington, DC and I think the only thing I love about it is the freedom to buy injera in the corner stores. Not because I love injera, but because it brings back sweet memories of food sickness in Ethiopia. In about 12 days I'll be in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and I think my favorite thing about that place will be the mockery--or is it envy?--of people who wear cowboy hats. And snowmen armies, of course.

Jaim said...

I live in the mountains outside of Choteau, MT. I have two daughters and today the youngest(3) and I, while the 5 yr old was in kindergarten, went up the road and collected all different colored leaves for our fall mobile. Also, yesterday while driving said older daughter to school we had to stop and watch a herd of cow Elk being fought over by two bulls about 25 feet from the road. Migratory birds are stopping by as well and it's always fun to try and find different species with the help of the littlest.

Also, I think I'm as far away from New York as one can be...at least in terms of surrounding population.

Love your blog by the way...

Jeff in Oregon said...

So, don't necessarily need another hat, but I'm always up for commenting. I've lived all over the Western states, desert SouthWest, Alaska, and Texas, but my family "center" has always been Oregon and Washington. When I ended up in the Willamette Valley after bouncing around every year or so, it just felt like home. Granted, after getting back into mountaineering its a bit of a drive to anything over 5,000', but it is very centralized for everything I love to do outdoors. It's also close enough to Seattle, Portland, or my friends to the South in Northern Cali and Nevada. I still holds the small town feel here, but within a comfortable distance to city life.

Syria said...

I have lived in the same 20 miles radius in southwest Iowa my entire life. Iowa is in the "amber waves of grain" phase now. The corn fields and soybeans are really pretty in just the right sunlight. To make up for the fact I've always lived here and never flown anywhere, I pretend I'm a visitor and try to see my world with "new eyes." I also like to pretend the ocean is just a couple blocks away. I can also imagine the mountains at a distance by looking at the clouds. I know it sounds silly but in the winter I imagine I'm Laura Ingalls Wilder snuggled up in a log cabin in the Wisconsin forest. So, I'm in Iowa and wherever else I choose to be which is why I love this blog. It is food for the imagination. I think tonight I'll fall asleep on a mountain in a tent.

Syria said...

I have lived in the same 20 miles radius in southwest Iowa my entire life. Iowa is in the "amber waves of grain" phase now. The corn fields and soybeans are really pretty in just the right sunlight. To make up for the fact I've always lived here and never flown anywhere, I pretend I'm a visitor and try to see my world with "new eyes." I also like to pretend the ocean is just a couple blocks away. I can also imagine the mountains at a distance by looking at the clouds. I know it sounds silly but in the winter I imagine I'm Laura Ingalls Wilder snuggled up in a log cabin in the Wisconsin forest. So, I'm in Iowa and wherever else I choose to be which is why I love this blog. It is food for the imagination. I think tonight I'll fall asleep on a mountain in a tent.

Lindsey said...

There aren't many things in this world prettier than Central Park in the fall.