After a silly, fun-filled day “Riding the Ducks” in Seattle, my friends and I decided to check out nearby Bainbridge Island. My old pals had just moved from New York, so it was fun that all of us were doing these activities for the first time. (After living in Vegas for more than five years, I know a thing or two about re-visiting the same tourist attractions with out-of-town friends!) Three adults and two kids under the age of five: We were a little late driving to the docks to make the ferry, so we ended up just driving our car right onboard. It was so cool! And very easy. You just drive up, tell them what you want to do, pay accordingly, and drive to where they tell you. It’s quite an experience to watch all of the bicyclists ride on the massive ferry, and then car after car parade on after them.
As my social media streams load up on snow pictures from the big blizzard in the northeast (what a winter!), I was home in sunny (but still chilly) California — and I happened to come across some photos from this summer that never saw the light of the day. It’s no secret that I prefer hot, sticky tropical weather to winter wonderland snowstorms. So I thought I’d skip down memory lane as an ode to all the fun I had last summer in the carefree months after I decided it was time to leave Las Vegas for the California coast. This picture is from underneath the Seattle Ferris Wheel, taken during a long weekend I spent there last July. After jumping onboard the off-the-wall “Ride the Ducks” tour and a day on Bainbridge Island, my two pint-sized friends (ages 2 and 4) caught a second wind and ran towards the big wheel, willing to wait in line as long as it took. As the tourists in front of us started to load up one enclosed cabin after another, I couldn’t help but wonder how the little kids in my party were so fearless. We were getting ready to go sky-high — even I was getting a little nervous! But once we climbed in, all of that was forgotten. We were so excited! Slowly, we rose higher and higher, in our own car with plenty of room to move around as we each tried to see everything. What a view… The wheel increased to some pretty impressive speeds once it was full and could really get going. We looked for our car, pointed out interesting people along the boardwalk and took a ton of photos. The water was gorgeous with a smattering of sailboats.
Winter is cozy, but I am already looking forward to the lazy days of summer!
I love guided tours. Yes, you read that right… Honestly, I don’t understand why they get such a bad rap, when they provide an excellent way to see all the sites in one tidy go (they’re tourist traps for a reason, right?). Then I can spend the rest of my time in cafes, wandering, or visiting with friends — like I did during my long weekend in Seattle this summer. After quitting my job to move to the San Francisco area this summer, I was determined to visit as many people as I could, starting in Austin, Victoria, and Vancouver. I met my friend Nicole when she interviewed me as a potential roommate for an East Village apartment 13 years ago. She was tough, but (obviously) I made it in! In Seattle, she cools her heels with her husband and two little girls. So on our first day, we were on the search for a kid-friendly, fun-for-adults activity. Luckily, Nicole had her eye on the “duck boats.”
After deciding to move to San Francisco, a huge decision that included my leaving my beloved dream job living in Las Vegas as the editor-in-chief of Vegas magazine, I knew I needed to clear my head. And for me, that means one thing — getting out of town! My first trip? Seattle Washington, to visit an old friend from my East Village days. I had just graduated from Columbia University Journalism School, and my new roommate, a bubbly redhead, took me under her wing. To kick things off, she bought me nachos from Burritoville to cheer me up after a disastrous move downtown. I should have known right then that a lifelong friendship was born. Now married with the cutest daughters, her four-year-old and I especially bonded, first on the famous Duck Tour, and later on the ferry to Bainbridge Island. My secret weapon? I let her take photos with my iPhone. This one is pretty good, right? She was determined to take the perfect photo of the ferris wheel, promising me we’d ride it. It had been a chilly July day, and we were dead tired after so much activity. So I just nodded my head and promised we would.