I spent a couple of wonderful days in Seattle hanging out with an old friend, a new friend, and a baby.
We met up a few times at my friend's house for dinner and board games. The place was usually brimming with family and friends (great folks, the lot of them) as well as their children, who ran around and did whatever it is that children do. Looking back, I've spent a surprisingly small amount of time around kids ever since I was a kid myself, and it was inspiring to once again experience the kind of unreserved enthusiasm and curiosity that tends to fade as you get older. (One of them even asked if my camera was a Nikon!) I was also happy to see that the next generation of gamers was being raised by people with impeccable taste: Rayman Legends, Duck Tales, Fez.
My friend's 1-year-old was particularly interesting to watch. I never realized how quickly toddlers picked up on things! You showed him how to use the shutter release on your camera, and suddenly he was almost snapping photos all by himself. One time, I poked his finger when he was pointing at me; a second later, he was touching his own two fingers together, seemingly fascinated by the concept. Having recently spent about 5 minutes trying to turn off a hostel TV set, I was clearly outclassed. Kids and their pliable brains.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun. As a souvenir, I even managed to pick up some arcane knowledge, including how to shuffle cards the cool flippy way and how to play mahjong just like an old Japanese lady. (I say Japanese because the rules my friend taught me were for the Japanese variety of the game, which I didn't even know was a thing. Also, mahjong is really fun!)
The four of us also took a short day trip to Fremont.
This charming little neighborhood is located on the north shore of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, crossed by the Aurora and Fremont Bridges. The feeling here is a lot more laid-back than in lower Seattle, brought on in part by the tree-lined streets and the calming waterfront. (Of course, it also helps to have a few bearded guardians watching over you.)
After stopping by a parking lot coffee shack, we crossed the Fremont Bridge and walked along the shore in hopes that the bridge would salute for a passing ship. Sure enough, we weren't disappointed.
Up close, the bridge revealed its beautiful geometry and faded colors.
We also stopped by a neat little music store. They had everything from electric bass ukuleles to wooden dulcimers. I briefly considered buying a harmonica to round out my hobo-nouveaux lifestyle, but ultimately decided against it.
A huge thanks to my friend for the warm welcome! I couldn't have asked for a better way to start my journey.
Next: more Seattle, Vancouver, and a bunch of other things that have been on the backburner for a while. (I promise the next article won't take nearly as long as this one.)