Sleepy in Seattle
You know you have been living on the road for too long if you can identify with one of the following :
A) Your eyebrows have merged to form one eyebrow.
B) You stop touching your hair out of fear of what you might find hidden in the semi-dreads.
C) You stop changing clothes because heck, what's the point in changing out of dirty clothes into different dirty clothes?
My choice would have been D) All of the above. We had spent some wonderful nights in campgrounds eating our fill of s'mores and doing some competitive ghost story telling, but I was beginning to get desperate for clean sheets and shaved legs. Sure, we had showered at a few of the campgrounds along the way, but it was more of a "stand in frigid water while holding screaming children and press the button every 2 minutes when the water shut off" type of shower. After this so-called "shower" we were wet, cold, exhausted, and only mildly clean.
Our family of 4 crossed over the Oregon border into Washington and headed toward Seattle. I have always dreamed of going to Seattle, a big city that seemed so distant to us east-coasters. My lovely mama gifted us a stay in a Seattle hotel for my birthday and man-oh-man I felt like a kid on Christmas morning. We entered the hotel and were suddenly acutely aware of how we must have looked. I wanted to respond to their quizzical looks with explanations of our circumstances, defending our stance on proper hygiene and clothing for our children, but instead I just stood there staring back at them with my unibrow and my dirty faced children.
When we got to the room the girls spent an hour splashing in the bath. If your children ever fight bath time I have the perfect solution for you.. Simply deprive them of it for a week and then they will lunge their little naked booties into the welcoming ceramic tub. Even though we wanted to see the Seattle sights, we also just wanted to sprawl out on the tucked in sheets and watch America's Funniest Home Videos in a vegetative state... It was a tough decision.
Team Herlocker ended up tearing their weary bodies away from the hotel and walking down Pikes Place Market. We grabbed a gyro and some giant blueberries then ate them picnic style on the park grass taking in the breathtaking scenery.
We had enough time in Seattle to hit the major tourist attractions and enjoyed visiting the Troll under the Bridge, the Ferris Wheel, the Space Needle, and the Pacific Science Center. The parents binge drank espresso drinks while the little nomads ate enough doughnuts to last them a lifetime. What a wonderful city, with so much to see and do. We only scraped the surface but can't wait to go visit again soon!
The Herlocker Clan finished out the visit strong with a fifth shower, one last bed sprawling session, and checked out of the hotel, surely leaving a lasting impression on the hotel concierge. As we drove out of the city I got the familiar itch to get away from the hustle and bustle, the freeways, and the fast-paced people. Seattle was a much needed respite from camping life but I longed for the smokey smell of campfire, little faces illuminated by fire-light in the darkness, the taste of burnt marshmallows delivered by sticky fingers, and most of all the sounds of nature. Nothing beats falling asleep to the light pitter-patter of Washington rainfall at night, and waking up to chirping birds and sunlight speckled woods.
Unfortunately the little nomads were not headed back into the wilderness, instead we were making our way south toward Olympia to find a semi-permanent home before Alex started work.
The travel-nursing company offers housing, but it is corporate housing usually in an extended stay hotel. We wanted something a little more homey, and also I just like to make things more difficult! We explored Olympia's neighborhoods acquainting ourselves with the area and calling for-rent sign numbers. Shockingly, trying to find a furnished, pet-friendly, kid-friendy, month-to-month rental a week in advance is nearly impossible. Who would have thunk it? We were starting to feel defeated when Alex dialed a rental agency, and although she did not have anything available, she so-happened to own a lake house that was partly furnished and could be offered to us last minute. As a bonus it was discounted because who wants to stay in a lake house during the off-season? Umm.. We do!!
Home sweet home. Complete with crumb-nibbling ducks and running water. Pretty darn luxurious.
So here we are, everything worked out just as it was supposed to. Our home is perfectly positioned with Portland to the South, Seattle in the North, the Olympic Peninsula to the west, and the Cascades in the east. Lesson learned... Good things happen to those who wait. Or in other words, good things happen to those who procrastinate and stress to the brink of being institutionalized.