Day Five: And Back Again

comments: 72


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.


Esther Sunday says: October 23, 2008 at 02:07 PM

So glad you and your wonderful Hubby had such a good time - well deserved! 19 more "book" days! And counting!

Sounds like a great trip indeed; it's been lovely to have a share in it

Now Victoria is on my list of places that I'd love to go see! Thanks for sharing your vacation with us.
Isn't it a wonderful delight to be married to your best friend? I'm so thankful for mine.

Thanks for all the lovely photos - I have been to Seattle many times but not Victoria and it is so tempting to go now! How lucky you are to have a good traveling companion - even if the trip is a dud, someone upbeat and fun can make it an adventure and if it's a great trip, well then, nothing is better than someone to share it with. Happy autumn!

Love your pics.

Now I wanna keep reading this blog I've just arrived to for the first time.


thank you for sharing...i live in vancouver bc and loved seeing victoria through your eyes.

i also have had a love affair with seattle. 3 years in a long distance relationship...going back and forth alternating weekends...thank gosh he decided to marry me and moved to vancouver...i have many photos of my love across from me at wonderful!

Oh, I love Seattle! My husband and I went there a couple of years ago (we live in New Zealand)before we got married, and it was such a fantastic trip. We've been to a few places in the States now, but Seattle is my favourite city - good coffee, interesting people, quality bookshops, great independent press, cool music and style, lots of colour and life and energy. It's great to see your photos and read about your travels - makes me want to go back!

(I take lots of photos of my husband sitting at cafe tables too). :)

I've loved this trip - your dreamy photos - and your evocative writing. they go together so well.

by the way - I live right between the B and the L in that top photo - can you see me waving hello?!

Melissa Thornton says: October 23, 2008 at 09:20 PM

"I love traveling with Andy Paulson. He is so cheerful, so excited, so patient, always up for going anywhere, seeing anything."

Oh so cute. I feel the same way about traveling with my boyfriend. We just returned from a vacation to New England and we both appreciate the other as a traveler so much! We both love to do "tourist" things and we're not worried about whether anything we want to do is "cool."

And I am exactly the same way about clam chowder. I never thought it possible, but I actually was a teensy bit tired of it by the time we left (Maine, Rhode Island and Boston).

these look amazing!!! i love pike's place and i live in the ozarks!

Your photos are just rocking my socks. The more you're learning the better it gets (and I didn't think that was possible!).

I traveled all over and lived all over the United States. When I arrived in Seattle I knew I had arrived home. It took me falling in love with a French man to get me to leave there. I love the south west of France immensely but I still miss the crisp snap of the sea air there, the green, the freshness after the rain...and on and on and on.

Alicia, talk about your reading list soon! I have read some and am about to read others and would like to know your thoughts and next shortlist. X

What a wonderful walk down Memory Lane for me, a little over ten years ago my husband won us a trip to Seattle to visit Microsoft (I went shopping and sat in loads of cafes...) the city stole our hearts, so friendly and a wonderful artistic vibe, I still remember it vividly and have so enjoyed your photos. Thank you!

Oh, Seattle. I was there in august ´80 and when I got of the bus, the first thing I noticed was the salty smell of the sea. I had spent the summer in Michigan and didn´t even know how much I longed for the sea. Great city by the way !

Looks like a terrific trip. Love those photos.

What a fun trip we had! I had. Dang. I just remembered...I wasn't there.

Thanks for sharing your beautiful photographs and your witty commentary. I really enjoyed seeing what you've been up to in the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you so much Alicia for sharing your trip with us! It has been ages since I have left this little farm to do any sort of sight-seeing past these beautiful mountains, but that's the best thing about can go anywhere anytime you want.

a virtual trip from my cubicle. Oh how wonderful the real thing must have been! I went to the Buchart gardens when I was 10 and now I must go back and take my person who sits across the table from me!
thanks for sharing your lovely trip.

Love your Seattle pictures! My son lives there and my only request when visiting is "take me to the Market"!! Love the flowers, love the artists, love the food!! Thanks for sharing!

Hi hi! Love your photos, I keep coming back for more and more and more. But I do just have to point out - it's not "Pike's Place". It's Pike Place. :) I've heard other visitors say that, too, I wonder where folks pick that up...

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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