Seeing Seattle. Again.

Well…Bellevue, really.

In another life, I was a short-term resident of Bellevue, Washington. I lived in the Pacific Northwest a whopping 364 days! While I have been back to Seattle on a few occasions for business, there was never a reason to go over the bridge to the “Eastside.” Then came an important meeting and I was booking a flight and hotel to visit a place that I never thought I’d get back to. One that holds 364 days of memories.

I left Anaheim (where I was for another event) on Tuesday or was it Wednesday? After some flight time, the plane descended into the Sea Tac International Airport and I looked out of the window remembering what it was like to do the same when I was in my early 20’s. Back then my reasons for visiting the Emerald City were much different. I didn’t remember this area of the country to be so beautiful. The sun was actually shining and Fall was showing herself in the utter glory of foliage painted yellow, orange and red along the landscape. Majestic as it ever was, Mt. Rainier stood tall and strong. I was back to where “growing up” started for me. I was back in Seattle.

I grabbed my Harley duffel, took off to grab my rental SUV and made my way to Bellevue. As I pulled off the highway and looked at the skyline I could not believe my eyes. I moved away in early 2000. It is amazing what over thirteen years will do to a place. The skyline rivaled other large metropolitan areas of the country! The traffic was heavier and strewn about the sky were buildings all new to me.

Finally…the hotel was around the bend. I parked and got myself checked in. I had to laugh when the guys said, “OH YOU ARE HEATHER! Yeah, we have twenty-three boxes for you.” They weren’t kidding. And actually, it was twenty-five.

A couple of shots from my balcony. I was on the 5th floor – the penthouse LOL!

I met my coworkers in the hotel lobby and we hopped in a cab aimlessly wandering about for a sushi place. We laughed as we stumbled upon one and had the poor cab driver pull over to let us out. We enjoyed a night out at Sushi Maru, where most of the fare delivers itself to you on a conveyor belt. Not the best sushi ever, but it did the trick for some very hungry people. After feeding ourselves, we made a pit stop at Fed Ex Kinkos and made our way back to our hotel.

It was an anxious night and I stayed up quite awhile playing catch up on emails and expense reports. I didn’t sleep that night; just wanting the next day to arrive so we could accomplish what we were there to do. It was important. I kept going over everything in my head.

The set-up and meeting came and went. It was pretty great, too. After the attendees cleared, we spent a lot of time loading up the SUV then making a drop off at the Fed Ex Kinkos again (glamorous part of the job)! We celebrated our accomplishment at The Tap House Grill. I was seriously saddened my co-worker was carded and I wasn’t. Of course, the server caught her snafu and carded the rest of us. Ouch! I definitely needed some sleep LOL. After enjoying some libations and appetizers we headed to the hotel. They grabbed their luggage and were off to the airport. We hugged and congratulated each other on a job well done. I thanked them profusely for all of their help and one said to me, “Of course. We’re a team.” THAT is why I love my job.

I went back to my room and checked emails. I was nodding off and texted the hubs. It was time for sleep. By 2000 (8:00pm) I was in bed! At 2002 I think I was asleep.

When I got up I had an alert my flight was canceled. I worked with the airline and then made some stops around town before I headed to the airport.

As I drove down the road it was a little odd to recall that I lived in Bellevue with my ex-husband. He hails from this area of the country and we did the long distance thing. It was I who decided to move.

On the way to pick up pins and a poker chip (and a shirt for the hubs) I drove just past where he and I used to live. It is literally around the corner from the Harley Dealership in Bellevue.

This is when $600 a month for rent felt like a whole lot of money…

I made it to the Harley Davidson dealership, got a shirt and some pins. They had no poker chips, so of course…I had to make another stop on the way to the airport.

Harley Davidson Bellevue

I called the Harley Dealership in Downtown Renton (which is an oxymoron in itself). Poker chips? Yes! So off I went south on the 405 to the 167 and got my stash.

A very bad selfie:

Then off to gas up and return the rental. Finally the shuttle dropped me off. After hanging out in the airline’s lounge for about four hours, I (finally) boarded my flight and now I write to you from Portland International Airport where I just had some chicken schnitzel for dinner. I take off to San Diego in about an hour and I cannot wait to get home.

When I moved to Bellevue in 1999, I was a Miami girl who was used to 300 days of sunshine a year. I awoke to sunrises and runs along the beach. Sand volleyball was a daily staple. Moving to the Pacific Northwest was a bit of a shock and I didn’t last long. The weather affected me more than I ever thought it would. My ex-husband and I left and moved to Florida and set up life there for awhile. Hindsight is 20/20. I am happy for the lessons I received all those years ago, but I do wish I had appreciated my time in the Seattle area more. The hubs and I will definitely have to ride through. I saw Seattle with new eyes these last few days and I love what I saw.
Vendor Links:

Courtyard Seattle Bellevue 
Sushi Maru
Tap House Grill
Bellevue Harley Davidson
Downtown Harley Davidson of Renton
Gustav’s Bier Stube -Portland International Airport