Day Five: And Back Again

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Seattle feels the same to me as it did the first time I was there, visiting my friend Pam in the summer of 1993. She and Jim lived in an apartment on Dexter, in a big pale-green duplex with a second-story wooden porch on the back. Each afternoon, Pam and I sat on the back porch overlooking Lake Union, in our cotton dresses, our bare feet up hanging over the railings, smoking candy-colored Sobranies, talking about things. I'd taken the train from Chicago, a three-day journey, and I remember taking a shower at their place the minute I arrived and thinking, "The water feels different. I can tell I'm near the ocean!" I had hiked the Grand Canyon, camped in the Florida Keys, wound my way through the Ozarks, and traveled all over Europe, but visiting Pam in Seattle was my first time so far west. I loved the Pacific Northwest right away.


When we first moved to Portland in 1997, I was a production editor at Graphic Arts Center Publishing. The company had recently purchased a Seattle-based company named Alaska Northwest Books, and ANWB became our new imprint. I loved my job. My boss, Ellen, who had been the senior editor at ANWB, lived on the Kitsap peninsula and occasionally I'd be sent to the Seattle office to work with her. Once I went to her beautiful house with her to spend the night, riding the ferry across the Sound, carrying our work papers and coffee with the rest of the commuters. I felt so independent then, so far from home, so grown-up. It didn't wear off for a long time.


Thank you so much for coming along on our vacation! Thank you for your kind words, your shared memories, your patience with my slideshow and my ramblings — you are a wonderfully generous audience. It's been a bit like traveling twice. Thank you for that.


When we stay in Seattle, if we aren't staying with friends, we frequently stay at the Inn at the Market, just steps away from Pike's Place. We've stayed there enough times now that it feels familiar. From our balcony, we look down on the market, out at the water, along Post Alley.


I like to be right in the middle of things. I like to be able to wake up and go right downstairs and get fantastic coffee and pain aux raisins while practically still in my pajamas.


I love traveling with Andy Paulson. He is so cheerful, so excited, so patient, always up for going anywhere, seeing anything. I like to take pictures of him sitting across from me at tables in different places. I think I must have dozens by now. It reminds me of what it's like to sit across from him, thinking of where we should go next. He loves clam chowder, and orders it at every ocean-side restaurant (this is the Athenian, located within the market) he goes to, no matter what else he's getting.


(View from the window of the Athenian.)


It was just a great little trip.


Oh, how I love that grown-up, independent feeling. I get it every time I step onto a train.

Thank you for sharing this trip. I have never had a better armchair travel experience. And I am *so* going to Victoria!

I need to pack my bags for a little many days would you say is right for a trip to Seattle?

What a lovely post, and your photos of Seattle are fantastic, capturing the essence of the Market especially. I am falling in love with portland, after only a few months here, but definitely feel like a trip back to seattle is in order this winter. We used to stay at the hostel down under the market, but now that it's gone, maybe we'll look into the Inn.

thank you for sharing the stories and pictures from your trip- now I feel as though I had a little mini-holiday. I have to say I love the way the two of you travel, the post about Andy buying fancy chocolates to eat in the hotel at bedtime,the needing to be familiar with things and in the heart of the place you are,that is how to truly soak up the essence of a place. You and Andy "get it".

This has been fun. Thank you.

Thanks so much for your travel log. I have looked forward to reading each day. I am a single mom and my daughter just turned four. It feels like ages since I've left New York City, where we live. I did live in Portland for three years in the 90's and travelled to Seattle many times. I really miss it and have never stopped feeling how special the Pacific Northwest is. Thanks for those beautiful thoughts and photos. One day, yes...some day...I will get out in the world again.

I love to hear you talk of your travels and the joy you feel while traveling with Andy. I know the wonder and excitement of exploring new places with the perfect companion. Thank you for sharing and helping me to remember.

oh I love this! My sister lived in Seattle for a very long time, and down the street from the market and I got to go on my own and walk down to get us coffee every morning the summer I stayed with her. I can almost smell the air from your photo's. Thanks for sharing :D

Thank you for sharing your journey. Lovely descriptions and beautiful photos! I have enjoyed your posts so much and one day would love to go to the places you visited!

You are such a special person, Alicia! I love reading the stories of your life.

Thank YOU for sharing, it felt like I was there...again.

Ah yes, the Athenian. Of "Sleepless in Seattle" fame. A personal favorite. Thanks for the walks down memory lane.

I like the pic of the sign with the little bird sitting on top of it. And Andy? May I have a bite of your clam chowder? :)

Thanks for taking us along on these wonderful little trips with you. Feels like I'm right there. xxoo

Thank you so much for opening up your travel diary to us, and the photos are perfect too.

PS. Great to see you feature in the new Sew Hip magazine - congratulations!

i loved being a part of your trip, the second part around!

i also love that your husband wears plaid a majority of the time and always looks cute as a button!

i just told a friend of mine that the next trip he takes with his girlfriend HAS to, HAS TO be to jennie's quarry! so jealous!

Loving, loving, loving your trip journal. I can't imagine all the time it took to load all this up and write about it... and it's much appreciated! Victoria is one of my favorite places on earth, and every time we've been, I like to be a dork and say, "it feels like we're in another country". One day I'll surprise my husband and say it feels like Europe.

I've just skimmed over posts looking at the photos, and am going to savor it all for the morning with my coffee and oatmeal - and have my own little mini vacation while in jammies.

PS... I made your sour cream apple pie (sans the crust). If you heard any rumbles coming from the west, that was just us moaning with delight. It is AMAZING and plan to make it again, and again, and again, and again...

Dearest dearest you... thank you so much for sharing your holiday. It was like being on the holiday I can't take right now. All the places I would love to see, too. Absolutely perfect. (^_^) Thank you.

Oh... you're making me homesick. I used to live in Tacoma, then in Portland. And now I live in Arkansas (the Ozarks that you mentioned). While it is beautiful here, there is nothing like the Pacific Northwest. Oh how I long for it. I miss the Sound (and the Mountains, and the Gorge).

I try not to envy people aspects of their lives, since I know that everyone's life has some good and some bad in it, but just this moment I must admit that I envy you your great traveling companion.

It's a rare gift, traveling well together, with anyone, much less a spouse.

Wow, thank you for sharing your trip! I have been traveling vicariously with you through your pictures and your descriptions! I can almost taste the food and drink, and smell the water!

Thanks so much for sharing your trip. I grew up there, but then moved to the midwest for a long time. I finally came back to the NW 2 years ago and have a completely newfound appreciation for everything I took advantage of when I first lived here. The NW is the best! The Inn at the Market is too!

You often say we are a generous audience, but you are the generous one, to write so well, and take such pretty photos, and to show us your world. I think you are perfectly wonderful for doing that. :)

ps I went to part of high school in Spokane, and all of college in Oregon. I haven't lived in the Pacific Northwest in over 20 years, but I get a little catch in my throat seeing photos of Seattle again, and Vancouver, where I had so many different and fun trips. And so memorable! :)

ps again: I mean Victoria. You know what I mean.

What a fun trip - thanks for sharing all this with us :-)

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at