The rain makes me happy and I don't mind the perpetual grey clouds, and I also love the winter attire of boots, tights, and coats. But here in San Diego, well I just can't remember the last time it rained and if I wear my favorite, boots, tights, and skirt combination here in sunny San Diego by afternoon I'm overheated and have to go home and change anyway. Forget about getting J.Crew's wool-blend ribbed tights because their is no use for it around here.
(And just to let you know, living here in sunny Southern Cal I only own one pair of shorts and I don't enjoy wearing sun dresses. I feel so exposed. I'm not a summer-weather-attire type of girl, but oddly enough, can withstand high temperatures without feeling miserable - the very reason people think I could not survive any other place. )
So last weekend I finally got to experience Seattle on a surprise trip. As you might have read in my last post, my husband swept me off my feet and took me on a celebratory weekend away to an unknown place. The place? Yes, he took me to Seattle. I have, after all, been moaning about not being able to go to that far north western city for quite sometime now and I think he thought it was high time to take me there.
And we went. Arrived on a sunny day. There are a few details I observed about this grand city just south Canada:
- When it is sunny, it looks different than a sunny day down here just north of Mexico. One does not need sunglasses and the rays are a tint of orange-red, and sparkles from glimmer of water fresh from a recent rain.
- There is not much fashion and I only saw one person wearing the tights, boots, skirt combo. Come on people. Perfect weather opportunity. The North Face jacket and the Nike running shoe seems to be the attire for the city. We went to see an evening movie and only observed the above combo and reflected that in San Diego tennis shoes are mostly only worn when running or playing a sport. Oh, and we were there on a Friday night - date night and chance to wear your best gigs.
- Department stores and hotels have their thermometers set at a high temp. Yes, it's cold outside, but the minute you walk inside it's take outer layer off time (seriously concerned about their heating bills). Observation: in San Diego there is not much of a temperature change from outside to inside. Many stores don't even have air conditioning and if they have a heater, it is set low enough so that people can keep on their sweaters or jackets.
- Where are the 7-11 and five-and-dimes stores? This ain't no New York City folks. No joking around here. There are no billboards or flashing lights on buildings and later I figured out why there is not those conveniences stores on every corner.
- Speaking of every corner, on one street corner my husband and I saw three different Starbucks from one vantage point. There are so many coffee shops. Unlike New York City where cafe's can claim they have "NYC Best Coffee," Seattle is vying for the title, "The Best Coffee In the Entire World." No messing around with their lattes.
- Not that I observed so many of them, it is just that the homeless were really bad off. I live in an area of freely roaming homeless and I'm rather familiar with who hangs out where. But those who are on the streets in Seattle looked seriously destitute. One lady had a sign that said something like, "I have two small kids and I just got laid off. Please help me." She was actually sobbing with big tear drops coming down and her face contorted in desperation as she shakingly held up her sign up. One evening we saw a homeless sleeping in the a door entry in a down- sleeping bag. He looked scared. Would he make it through the night? On the news, it said that shelters were running low on food. There was such a need.
- Those Seattleians are not only proud of their coffee, but also of their ferry system.
- The city keeps going on - not like Beijing or anything, but it is much bigger than I ever expected.
- We were both very surprised to observe quite a few smokers! I thought this city was one of the healthiest in the US so we were both amazed that smokers were abundant. We conclude that it might be because it was cold outside and smoking kept a person warm - around here most smokers were the young rebellious types.
On our way out, we hurried to the airport only to find we were seven hours early (uh, a bit of my easy-going husband's oversight) so we signed up for stand-by on a flight in two hours. We went through inspections and I was pulled aside for a jar of jam we bought at Pike's Place. I put it in my larger bag and went back to check in as baggage. When I came back through the line, I took off my belt, boots, coat, scarf, and, after the instruction of the baggage inspection person, took off my precious necklace.
The necklace was a large glass heart hanging from a silver circle band that was given to me as a mother's day gift last year. I set it on top of all my things and pushed it along on the conveyor belt only to watch it fall off the stack onto the belt and then through the rollers to the tiled floored into shattered pieces. The manager came over, wrote up the report and handed me the paper to file for a claim. I told the manager that my heart was broken in Seattle.
Who knows if I will ever get the chance to go back to the beautiful city with the greener than green lands and the nice down-to-earth people, but now that I'm back here in Southern Cal I'm trying my very best to embrace what I have here and enjoy the sunny, warmer weather. My tights, boots, and skirt attire, well I can appreciate them from afar and save them for another trip to another place. Until then, here’s to the perpetual sunny days and 70 degree weather here and I will continue to love and admire Seattle from a distance. Until the next visit, thanks Seattle for your lattes, breathtaking aerial views, comfortable attire, and beautiful city. You should be proud.
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