If this past weekend had been my first trip to Seattle, I would be making plans to move there immediately. We had a fabulous time, and the weather was INCREDIBLE. Sunny and warm every single day, low humidity, barely a cloud in the sky. The light sparkled off the water of Puget Sound and off the glaciers of Mt. Rainier. It was awesome.
We spent Thursday hiking the Burroughs Mountain trail with Jen and many of her other friends and family in town for the wedding. My sister Katie was able to take both Thursday and Friday off work while we were in town (and staying at her house), so she came along too! The only downer was that my brother-in-law Joel couldn’t get off, so I just told him that the weather was bad and he wouldn’t have liked it anyway. Sorry Joel!
The first time I hiked at Mt. Rainier four years ago, it was so cloudy and overcast that you couldn’t even see the mountain despite standing on its slopes. This time, the mountain dominated the view for the entire hike, looming large in front of us. The glaciers looked particularly cool in the sunlight, and it felt so close that I wanted to reach out and touch it. The hike was fairly strenuous, and I have no more illusions of being in any kind of shape right now after huffing and puffing my way up those ridges. But the views and the company were both definitely worth it.
Friday was more relaxing, and we enjoyed a huge breakfast at a cafe in Auburn (the suburb where Katie and Joel live) followed by a leisurely ride on the Bainbridge Island Ferry to take advantage of the great weather and great views of downtown Seattle. After Katie caught the train back to Auburn, Jose and I even managed to squeeze in an hour at Pike Place Market where he picked up some spices and things to add to our new cooking repertoire! Since Jen was having a fairly small wedding, we were all invited to a welcome dinner that night. I had lobster chowder and mahi tacos and they were both delicious! I pretty much ate seafood all weekend.
Saturday was Jen’s wedding which was all sorts of fun. Jen looked beautiful, of course, and it was great to be able to be there. Her new husband Jonathan looked giddy the entire night — the smile never left his face. The reception gave us an opportunity to yet again soak up the evening sun and views of the sound, as well as catch up with some Georgia Tech people I hadn’t seen in years. It was especially fun to see my old friend Daniel again, and meet his adorable son Henry, who had just celebrated his first birthday! Almost all of my college friends are married now, so the “wedding phase” of our lives is really winding down. I think we should just start renewing vows or something, so that we all have an excuse to get together every few years!
The reception went late into the evening, so we didn’t do much yesterday other than grab a quick lunch with Katie and Joel before heading to the airport to catch our flight home. The airplane ride did nothing to help the low-level cold I started developing on Thursday night, probably a byproduct of my crazy overnight schedule during the shuttle mission followed by a pretty strenuous hike on Thursday. A cold is TOTALLY worth it though, in exchange for such a fun weekend.