The urban forest

MOur unit in Bellevuey cellphone rang……………….it was HG. “I’m lost” he says. It was lunch time and he had spent his first morning at work but had decided to come home (our hotel) so that we could Uber into the Social Security office to get our social security numbers.  The SS number is needed to open a bank account so that my shopping money (just kidding), HG’s wage can be paid. I walk to the corner of the street so he can see me and I spot him in the distance walking towards me coming from the opposite direction of his office! He had overshot our hotel by 10 minutes’ walk or so.

Without a doubt it will take us a while to get our bearings – there are so many trees here (4.35 million in fact) the roads are lined with them so one street looks much like another in our neck of the woods. It’s an urban forest. Most common are Red Alders, Big Leaf Maple, and Beaked Hazelnut – all natives so it’s very beautiful. Amazingly they take 725 metric tons of pollution from the atmosphere annually!

We had arrived in Seattle the night before and had got lost at the airport too. We soon got familiar with the place though after spending half an hour trying to find our Uber ride which we had booked to take us to the hotel. The driver said he was waiting on level 2 but all that was on level two where locked and parked cars – no pick up point. We ran between floors, over road walkways, through pick up points, up lifts, down lifts, and around taxi stands looking for our Uber driver. Eventually I spotted a bloke looking like he might be needing an Uber too and followed him – sure enough he walked not more than 200 metres from where we were to the Uber stand! By that stage I had managed to lose HG and he had no idea where I had gone – I could see him though way in the distance looking around for me, and after a few minutes of waving my arms about he spotted me and wandered over. I felt quite clever and knew then that my first shopping spree was to be well earned.

Breakfast on our first morning was a challenge. Having gotten to our hotel so late the night before our kitchen cupboards where bare – literally.  Not only did we have no food (understandably) but we also had no jug, cutlery, bowls, pots, glasses, saucepans etc. – a quick visit to reception and hunter gatherer returned with the necessities.  We did have though an iron board (but without a cover), an iron, a fridge, a microwave, and 4 coat hangers. We also had a few “extras”. A plastic bag which I found between the duvet and the sheet when I hoped into bed, a plastic bag which I found in the drawer I put my clothes in, and a hair stuck to the blow dryer in the bathroom. I’m guessing cleaning is not big on their priority list. So anyway being breakfast time we set off at 7.30am to find somewhere that sold coffee and toast, alas what we found instead was that cafes don’t open much before 10am. Trader Joes looked inviting though (it was freezing) so we popped in and luckily over in the corner was a staff member with pots of coffee – yay! Still feeling clever from the night before I went over, money at the ready and asked how to purchase coffee – do I pay at the counter, or up at the checkout etc. She was so lovely and said no this is just a coffee sampling table, but please help yourself to a coffee. We must have looked cold and slightly homeless because she insisted. It was really good coffee; I must buy that brand……………………when I get a coffee pot.

10 Comments

  1. Loving your blog. Is it as exciting getting lost and being a stranger in a strange place as it was when we were a little younger on the big OE?

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    1. Sean says his lost experience was equally exciting! The thing is these days which we didn’t have 30 years ago when travelling is cellphones with HERE maps and the like! Quite often I’ve scoped the place out before visiting it on google maps. I feel like the little orange man whose been drop down to street level!! So maybe not as scary as it was 30 years ago. xx

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  2. Sounds like it’s going to be an awesome adventure Sha. It’s fun reading your blogs so keep them coming. Mums got the link on her home page now. I’ve got Seattle weather on my ph …….just another way of keeping in touch! looks like you’re having lovely spring weather. i guess it will take a few weeks to settle in to routine so imagine the 6 months will go in a blink. Melbourne was good but couldn’t wait to leave the concrete jungle. There’s only so much shopping and eating I could handle but did enjoy the rather long walks each day! We spent couple nights in Sorrento and hired bikes to get out to Fort Nepean on the Mornington peninsula. That was fun and really interesting but glad to be home. X

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    1. I’m so glad you had a great time in Melbourne – always good to get away and have a change of scenery! The shopping is AMAZING here, 7 – 10 days would be long enough for us to have a good look around if you are pressed for time 🙂 Weather has been really lovely today – we had a look through our apartment and walked through downtown Bellevue. Very pleasant! Hope to see you here one day soon! xxx

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  3. Hi Sharron, Great to hear about your “Big OE”, Fantastic. Sounds like your adventure started before you even left NZ. I too am new to Blogs, so hope you get this message 0K. Six months in the States sounds like a long time, but I bet you and Sean will really enjoy it and bring back lots of memories. I trust your health is good.
    Keep the news coming through, Sharron, really enjoying hearing all about your adventures.

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    1. Hi Rod – so sorry we didn’t catch up before we left. It was on my mind but organizing life to get here, and finish the house took a lot of my time. Health is quite good now, I saw Tim Anderson before I left so have some more meds to take 🙂 Hope you are not too bad too? Take care and keep smiling.

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  4. Enjoying the read Sha. Sounds like such an adventure. I can’t wait until you find the shops! I think it’s just lovely that they have so many trees. Looking forward to the next instalment 😀

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    1. I’m going to suss out the shops in downtown Bellevue tomorrow – I figure it’s best to look first and then strike later – this theory is best used when money is limited 🙂 xxx

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  5. Hi Sharron, just catching up on your blog to date and loving it. didn’t realise it had taken you so long to escape Auckland, what a bummer….. looking forward to hearing of more adventures in seattle.

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