The Queen of the Goose

I'm a Seattle native and I've lived in Seattle for most of my young life (41 is still young I think...but if it's not, keep your mouth shut). When we set out to travel the world a mere 18 months ago, I didn't expect to spend much time back here. Our original plan put us being somewhere around Costa Rica or maybe even the Galapagos Islands right about now. It's funny how things work out because we are currently enjoying gray skies, cold temperatures, and are soaking up the rain with the rest of you Seattle-ites. That's not a bad thing, it's just not what we had planned or expected.

Here we are. We are starting to remember what it's like to be depressed because of all the gloomy, dreary, and drizzly skies. We are quickly remembering what traffic is like, and if you are wondering, I think traffic has gotten a lot worse in the last 18 months of our absence. We are also remembering why we left. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Seattle is a bad place, because it's not, but it's hard to feel like you are on a big adventure when we are sitting in the same city that we left those short 18 months ago. We've been hanging around the area for almost a month now, and I hate to say it, but we are feeling stagnate. We are feeling like it's time to move on. Unfortunately we are somewhat stuck here for a couple more weeks due to some major boat repairs and some family medical stuff.

Sure, we've been working on the boat, we've been camping and fishing, catching up with friends, and we've been hanging around dealing with the family stuff. Even though all of that is important and for the most part fun, it still doesn't constitute an adventure, and this boy likes an adventure. What do you do when you need an adventure and can't quite leave to go and find that adventure? Of course you make your own adventure right where you are at.

One of the things that I didn't do enough when we were living here in real life was just roam around and explore the city. In the last 18 months we have gone on some serious hikes, we've explored 20 National Parks, we've conquered high peaks, we've sailed the mighty seas, and dove in the depths of the ocean. In all of those adventures we've needed the proper gear. An urban adventure through the city of Seattle is no different, although we are able to pack a little lighter. Ok, a lot lighter. No flashlights, emergency shelter, extra food, clothes, or climbing ropes would be needed for this. Nope, just our walking shoes (waterproof of course), our rain gear, and a good cup of coffee. Ready or not urban adventure, here we come.

We have been couch surfing at our good friends home on the shores of Lake Washington for the last couple of weeks (thanks Mik and Christina!!!). This urban adventure of ours would start at their doorstep and take us to one of our favorite places on earth...REI. Yes, the store. It's only about a 12 mile walk round trip in the pouring rain, but hey, what else are we going to do? 

The nice thing about hiking through the mean streets of Seattle is that when you are hungry, there is a good restaurant on just about every corner. When you get tired, there is a great cup of coffee within smelling distance that will give you a boost. When that delicious cup of coffee doesn't cut it and you just can't go on any further, there is always a taxi.

To get to REI from Lake Washington, there are 2 major obstacles. First, and arguably the easier of the 2 is the high peak of Capitol Hill. Unlike most of our conquered peaks, there weren't trails carved into the sides of mountains with steep drops, there weren't crevasse laden glaciers, and there wasn't a fresh and clean smell to the air. But there were honking cars, puddles the size of lakes, and stairs with handrails...lots and lots of stairs.

The 2nd and definitely more dangerous obstacle on our way to REI was the wildlife. I'm not talking about bears or even mountain lions, I'm talking about aggressive panhandlers. I've done my best to keep my political and social views off of this blog, and today is going to be no different, but I am going to state the obvious and say that Seattle has become a mecca for homelessness. If you roam through Ballard, there are scores of people living in the bushes and in dilapidated RV's. When you drive through downtown Seattle, there are tents and tarps and garbage that line the freeway. On just about every corner, freeway exit ramp, and in most grocery store parking lots, there is someone asking for some sort of handout. I am not even going to try to say that I have any kind of answer for the problem because I'm not even remotely qualified to attempt offering a solution. Brenda is however qualified due to her years in the social work field, but now that she isn't working anymore, I don't think she wants to get into it either. All I can say is that there is definitely a problem.

Well, we made it to REI relatively unscathed. We hiked the 6 miles to the store in the pouring rain and rewarded ourselves with one of the best cups of coffee in the city at Vivace which is right across the street from the store. On a side note, if you are more of a mocha drinking person, quite possibly the best mocha in the world is in the Greenwood area at a place called “Chocolati” (it is really the best mocha in the world...and don't skimp on the whipped cream, it's me...mmmmmmmmmm).

When we got to REI and started roaming through the store, a friendly salesperson noticed that I was soaking wet and wearing what was supposed to be a waterproof REI coat. “You should exchange that coat for a new one” he said. And with that, I got a new coat. Woo hoo! We went to the store just because we had nothing better to do and I left with a new coat. Jackpot. 12 miles of walking through the city in the rain with good company and good coffee in hand is a pretty good way to spend the day, especially when you get to walk home with a new coat that you had no intention of getting. Thanks REI, you're the best.

When we got back to our temporary home after our urban adventure (thanks again for having us Mik and Christina!!!), we were greeted by a goose. Not the kind of goose that flies through the air and leaves big turds all around your favorite lake, but a totally different kind of a goose.

What I didn't tell you about our good friends Mik and Christna, is that they have a couple of dogs...a beagle named Cheeno and a husky named Fjord. If you know us well, you may know that we aren't dog lovers. Don't get me wrong, we don't hate your dog and we aren't going to try to run it over when you aren't looking, we just aren't dog lovers. We can't quite understand why you would want to pick up your dog's poop in a plastic bag and then hold on to that bag like it's some sort of trophy. We just don't get it.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic. Where was I? Oh yeah, they have these dogs. Cheeno is pretty old and really only wants attention if you have food. Fjord, well that's a different story. She's a puppy and wants attention just about all the time. The best way she seems to know how to get that attention is to give a good old fashioned goose. You know what I mean...her nose firmly and quickly jammed up in your business...yep, a goose. When you get up in the morning, it's a good morning goose. Before bed, it's a good night goose. When you are on the phone, it's a don't forget about me goose. Sometimes it's even better and she'll give you a front side goose. It's just how she say's “Hi. Remember me?”

After our urban adventure, I stripped down to hop in a nice hot shower. It was cold, blustery, and rainy on our walk through the city and a hot shower sounded great. Just as I was about to jump into that hot shower, a friendly goose came my way...yep, a nose jammed up in between my bare cheeks. It was a sneak attack goose.  And just so we are perfectly clear, I don't like a sneak attack goose.
I was surprised how many flights of stairs there are to get up and over Capitol Hill from Lake Washington 

Yep, more stairs.

Brenda and Christina carving pumpkins.
I'm going to be honest here, mine turned out to be a masterpiece.
Definitely a masterpiece.

This is Fjord...the queen of the goose.  We are heading out for a little sail on Lake Washington.  She loves goosing and sailing.
Here is a picture of the Queen sailing a mighty ship (you have to guess which one the Queen is)


  1. We are left in suspense: ...did the new coat work better in the rain? This could be of lasting importance. How often do we need to exchange our coats?


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