It was a stressful week with the US elections taking over everything and everywhere. For some reason, not in my worst nightmares, did I ever think Donald Trump would become the next president. I followed the elections a little bit (because how could you not), and after the second debate I just decided that there was no way this bully was going to win. I guess I am still an optimist inside, but sometimes you just fall on your face.
We still decided to go ahead with our plans to go to Seattle for the long weekend. So the atmosphere on the streets wouldn’t be as cheerful as we hoped, but maybe it was our last chance to visit the States before things go really crazy over there?
It turned out that there was no lack of Canadians trying to cross the border with us, so we ended up waiting for two hours. After we crossed, it was already getting late enough for lunch, so we decided we’d at least stop in Bellingham for some good old Mexican food. Of course, just as we were about to take the exit from the highway, Neil fell asleep. So we continued driving, hitting rush hour in Seattle at around 1:30pm (what’s wrong with this country?!), and by then Neil woke up and wasn’t the happiest camper after being on the road for over 5 hours.
So we finally made our way to Seward Park, a nice park not too far from our hosts’ place, had a picnic, and then let Neil burn off some energy which he desperately needed. Then we drove towards our hosts’ house, realizing that the area looked somewhat familiar.
We’ve been to Seattle a few times, and on our first visit we made a point of visiting Beer Sheva Park, which had a special meaning for us as we used to live right by Seattle Garden in Beer Sheva for three years. So it was quite a surprise when we realized our hosts live a coin throw away from that park! What a coincidence. I guess Beer Sheva is always there with us.
Steven and Bethany, our Warmshowers hosts, had generously agreed to host us last minute in their beautiful new home. Not only that, they also gave us the entire second floor of their house, which included a private bathroom and a huge king size bed. On the corner of their street there was a family Mexican restaurant called Maya’s, where we had a nice dinner. Then we fell asleep when Neil went to sleep at 9pm and slept like rocks. Sometimes all you need is a little getaway, even not too far away, to feel all relaxed and well rested.
On Saturday, following the recommendation of our hosts, we cycled the South Lake Washington Loop. It was a beautiful ride around the lake with orange fall colors all around. Some of it was alongside busy highways but all on separated bike lanes, which was awesome. We took a long lunch and play break at a very windy park, but Neil still had a good time. Then we continued our ride, managing to complete the 40km loop before 2:30pm. Since it was still early we stopped at Beer Sheva Park of course, which was like a dream come true – seeing our son play in Beer Sheva Park.
On that evening friends of our hosts showed up from Oregon for one evening. They drove eight hours each way just to be with good friends in the harsh days post the traumatic elections. It felt like they were mourning, and it really hit them very hard. We went out to a very authentic Ethiopian restaurant and then there was a full house that night, but we were very comfortable in the spacious attic.
Sunday looked a bit wet, so we decided to give up the original plan of cycling the Centennial trail and head to Fremont, our favourite neighbourhood in Seattle. Since it wasn’t raining when we arrived, we hopped on our bikes for a 40km there-and-back on the Burke-Gilman Trail. We were quite impressed with the bike trails in Seattle, which were completely separated and very scenic.
When we got back, the rain just started, and it was time for some chocolate tasting at Theo Chocolate. Before the chocolate extravaganza, we visited the Sunday market that had many food trucks and delicious food – we had freshly made nan with butter chicken and bibimbap (a Korean rice dish). After we were done it was time to start heading back, with a not so quick stop at Trader Joe’s in Bellingham. The border wasn’t all that bad and we were quickly back in Canada.
We didn’t feel any major changes in the US just yet, except for the grim atmosphere. Hopefully things won’t get too bad for our neighbours to the south. All we can do is hope.