guess where we are this fine night? in seattle! star husband’s new company has flown us out to do some house hunting, and we are staying in a swanky swank hotel in downtown seattle. (don’t worry, the dogs and the garden are left in the capable hands of my oldest son.)

in star hubby’s previous job, he did way too much travelling. once in a while i was able to go with him, and since almost all companies want their employees to be in downtown areas for some reason, we have seen several supposedly wow downtown areas. we can probably agree that downtown detroit is a 9+ on the blah scale (sorry kwame kilpatrick- whatever renovations you did may be nice, but downtown detroit is still -sadly- downtown detroit.) downtown cleveland was ok, but underwhelming. downtown chicago was a bit better, but unless you were willing to drive from place to place and pay like $98,000 to park, you were kind of outta luck.

but downtown seattle is -gasp! no, not gasp, and then something- just gasp! like when you watch vidoes of tourists at the grand canyon or you see certain people at niagara falls, and they are just standing around with their mouths hanging open- that’s how downtown seattle is!

it might help that we are up high is a ritzy hotel. but we have been up high before, and mostly it just let us hear the echos of police cars and ambulances bouncing off of the too-tall buildings. but here, there is a wow! sight in every direction. we were hoping (that translates that the kids were hoping) to have a view of the water from our hotel room. but what we got was even better. in every window, there is something to look at. and then we notice something that we didn’t see the first time. so, we keep going from window to window and calling each other over to look.

“oh my gosh! did anyone notice the big flower pot thing on the corner? oh my gosh- the sunflower is actually spinning around!”

“whoa! did you see this building with the green glass? there are stores inside! and there are plants on the roof! can you see that?!?!”

“hey- that building has a roof garden! and so does that one! and so does that other one! can you believe it?!?!?!”

we were even insanely excited by the birds on the balcony below us. by the way, we would like to extend formal apologies to whoever lives in that apartment with the balcony. yes, it was us who threw 33,000 small bits of pizza all over your manicured flowers and your topiary and your patio set. but we were trying to feed the cool birds who were perched on your castle-like ramparts. they kept doing that cute sideways head tilt thing that dogs do sometimes and it makes them look like they are trying so hard to understand what you are saying. and when we made decidedly un-birdlike bird noises at them, they bird-noised us back! even the birds here are cool!

it was actually around the time that i was snaking my arm out the window and sideways whipping the pizza globs into the general vicinity of the birds (read: onto some poor rich person’s teek table and upholstered chairs and whatnot) that i realized: we are like the beverly hillbillies with their “cement pond”.

we are so giddy about the sights and sounds of seattle that we have become completely uncivilized country bumpkins.

another plus: everyone here seems to be mellow to the point of being medicated. my internist, whose wife is from seattle, says that everyone here is high all the time. i haven’t smelled any wayward substances, but i can kind of see what he’s getting at. in the midwest we are sort of in-your-face friendly. “HI! ARE YOU FROM AROUND HERE???” all said, rather loudly, and with a big ole smile. seattle folks seem to give a lazy wide grin and sort of drawl, “sooooooooooo. are you allllllllll nnnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeewww here?????” it’s charming and sweet and we’ve only been here for a few hours!

so, we are walking around, excited that our hotel room has different flavors of creme for the coffee, and there are absorbant robes in the closet (not the voluptious cloudy-sofy ones you see in movies, but they are robes nonetheless). the TV in the room is about the size of our bathroom at home, and the beds have more pillows than we own for all of our 8 family members. the lights of downtown are colorful without being gaudy. the people are friendly without being overwhelming. and we are excited that they have indoor plumbing- JUST LIKE HOME!

i’m not sure what we expected from seattle. why we should be just tickled pink that they have hot running water and you can buy pizza here and we have heard that they have both walmart and target- well, that’s just plum pudding! every single thing that we should reasonably expect in a first world country is a pleasant surprise here in seattle.

we haven’t looked at houses yet- that will be tomorrow. we haven’t had to pay for gas in our rental car (i’m thinking that will be a shock), or buy groceries (who needs groceries when you can expense pizza?), or figure out how to pay a mortgage that will knock us flat. we haven’t had the smack-in-the-face reality of real life.

but so far in seattle, life is good.

and we are still looking at the world like it’s black gold. texas tea. and whatever else the say in the opening song for the beverly hillbillies.

and now we are off to watch an extremely funny movie (hop) on an extremely large TV on the extremely large beds with an extreme number of pillows. and shortly i may get up just to go run some hot water in the sink.

just for the fun of it!