While most of you poor saps are back to work today after Memorial Day Weekend, my girlfriend and I have taken an extra day off work to recover from hosting our two good friends who visited from Minneapolis. We’re splayed out in our Seattle hotel room, trying to muster the energy to drive three hours back to Portland.
In reality, we don’t want to leave.
Seattle is everything I hoped it would be. It’s like a Portland that grew up, took a shower and got a job. The architecture is jaw-dropping, the food is achingly good and the people are absolutely some of the warmest you’ll ever meet. As cities go, I’ve got a massive crush on Seattle. And I won’t even get into the coffee.
Here’s one thing that needs to be known about Seattle: Safeco Field is an absolute gem. Now, granted, I spent most of my childhood watching the Minnesota Twins play in a big silo, I’ve seen games at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Camden Yards in Baltimore and Rosemblatt Stadium in Omaha for the College World Series. Trust me — Safeco Field is one of the most intimate ballparks you’ll ever visit. Plus, the fans – faithful to their 19-31 Seattle Mariners — are some of the friendliest I’ve ever met in any sport. Period.
My girlfriend and our friends each wore Minnesota Twins gear, and even while the Twins won 5-4, there was nary a playful poke from a Mariners fan. No heckling at all. We sat near a Mariners fan who acted like an ambassador to the stadium, pointing us in the direction of the best concession stands, speaking to random Safeco Field trivia. I can’t say enough how great it is to have fans who respect the game and experience for fans of both sides.
Before I cut this blubbering blog post short, leaving out our experience on the Space Needle and our ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, I must admit I went to the original Starbucks nearby Pike Place Market. Now I can die happily. It wasn’t an entirely unique Starbucks experience. (Imagine the typical 7:45 a.m. line, take away the seating, and throw in a few dozen tourists walking aimlessly.) It’s amazing to think the world’s biggest coffee brand came from such humble beginnings.
Back to life, back to reality. We’ll take the I-5 South, begrudgingly, back to Portland and kick off our two-month homestretch until we move back to the motherland. Here’s hoping Minneapolis is something like Seattle.