18 days later

We woke up in Seattle, a place we’d only been thinking about in the far off distance instead of it being only two and some weeks away, and I was home. I’d been planning this day for a while, because I knew there were a lot of things that I wanted Mike to see. After we showered we started walking towards Pike Place Market were we would be stopping for breakfast. On our way over we both realized how tired we were, and how far we had to walk, so luckily the streetcar was pulling up at a nearby stop so we quickly hopped on and rode “Desire” to downtown. We went to this small french bakery called Le Panier, got some sandwiches and went to a small park to eat them. Pike Place was bustling, sow e walked around the market for a while, stopping at a few vendors to try out different foods and samples that were available. Mike ended up buying some beef jerky, which he later told me was pretty damn good jerky.
Since I wanted to rehear the story of how Seattle was founded, I walked us both down 1st Ave to Pioneer Square where the Underground Tour takes place. We were just in time for the 12pm tour, so we bought our tickets and sat down, waiting for the show to start. I remembered a lot of the joked from the last time I was there, and even recognized some of the tour guides; it’s funny how some things just keep on staying the same even after you’ve been gone for a while. It was a great time, the underground tunnels were super stuffy and smelly, but it was nice to be able to relive the history that you don’t often hear about. Those are the things I love, going and listening to someone tell me about the history of a town or a city. When I go back to Boston I have to do a tour of the Freedom Trail; I’m still surprised that I lived there for five years and never took the time to do that.

After an hour and some long tour, we walked back up to Pike Place market and got a quick bite to eat before heading to our next destination, the Space Needle. We walked up 5th, following the monorail the whole way, until we arrived at the base. We bought our tickets for the 4:30 liftoff, and since it was only 3:30, we walked around Seattle Center for a bit, hanging out and talking about the trip, and what we were going to do now that we both had to start facing the reality of adulthood in just a few days.

The Space Needle was, as always, crowded, beautiful, and pretty entertaining. They had a brand new exhibit featuring how it was build and engineered back in the 1960s, which was super interesting. There was also a quote on the wall somewhere from the architect that said “I knew I was making it hard on the engineers.” Mike immediately took a picture and grumbled for a bit before sending it to his fellow engineers. When we got to the top we walked around for a bit, took a ton of pictures, and took in the sights. Unfortunately it was pretty overcast and a little bit drizzly when we were at the top so we couldn’t see anything, but it was still so cool to have that birds eye view of the entire city. Soon we went back down and began walking towards our next stop, Kerry Park on Queen Anne.

If you’ve ever seen a picture of Seattle where you have the Space Needle in the foreground, Downtown in the middle, and Rainier towering above everything at the back of the photo, all of those are taken from Kerry Park. Definitely one of the best views of the city on a clear day. As we walked up the hill, both of us huffed a puffed before finally arriving at our destination. It had started clearing up so it was a bit sunnier, but you still couldn’t see too much of the mountains that I knew were there in the distance somewhere. We started feeling the grumble in our stomachs and walked to the top of the hill to see what places there were to eat, we walked past a sushi place and we were both sold.

The meal was very good and left us full, now all we needed was some ice cream or chocolate, just to hold us over. We went to the nearby Trader Joe’s and bought some ice cream sandwiches which we quickly devoured on our walk back down to the lake. We were taking our time down the Galer steps, and when we got to the Center for Wooden Boats right next to MOHAI, we took a quick break to take in the scenery and all of the beautiful boats that were in the water.

It was time to go home and go to bed for the last time on this roadtrip. I was driving Mike to the airport the next morning, and neither of us wanted the trip to end. There was so much that we were able to see, but even more that we didn’t get a chance to explore.

This trip was one of the most amazing I’ve ever been on, and one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done. Everything about it met or exceeded my expectations. I’ve never had my breath blown away so many times, or smiled so hard, or laughed so much. I’d also never driven that much in a 17 day period. We calculated afterwards, we figured we’d driven somewhere around 5,400 miles over the course of the trip. I am so glad that Mike was able to come with me for the whole thing, and I can’t imagine doing that trip with anyone else. There were times where we argued, and there were times when we were frustrated, but those times were far and few in between. We’re both so good at being able to go with the flow and try new things, which made the trip so much more spontaneous. I can’t thank him enough for taking 2+ weeks out of his summer vacation to spend with me driving across the country.

Final State Count: 15 (not including DC)

Shot Glass Count: 16 (Mike got an extra one in LA)

Number of miles driven: ~5,400 (ish)

Number of Whole Foods stopped at: 4 (TX x2, NM, CA)

Number of times we heard the song “Huntin, Fishin, Lovin everyday“: too many to count, but enough to know all the lyrics

I can’t wait to do this again.

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