I don't often travel without my family, and frankly, I don't often feel the need to. But when an old and dear friend told me she was getting married, I didn't think twice about traveling 3,000 miles to be part of it, to my husband's occasional consternation. ("I'd never travel across the country for a wedding," he said. "Women have different relationships than men," I explained.)
It was my first visit to the Pacific Northwest; and though it was nothing but rain, fog, and unusually cool temperatures, it beat the record heatwave (102 degrees) that was simmering at home. The 50s temps gave me a taste for why America's coffee culture sprouted up in Seattle years ago. While I waited during my friend's salon appointment, I sipped Market Spice tea in a white ceramic cup and learned the meaning of the word "sunbreak." Sometimes, when the forecast calls for sunbreaks, people literally run outside and turn their heads up toward the sky for whatever fleeting benefit comes of it. It reminded me why I didn't move there when I had a chance in the 1990s. It simply rains so much that three consecutive sunny days is cause for celebration.
But as I told another friend, who I met at the Point Defiance Flower and Garden Show in Tacoma, putting up with the rain makes Washingtonians deserving of the lush beauty that results from it. Besides, even though the city was shrouded in rain and fog the whole time (and I never did get to see Mount Rainier, not even from the plane), the weather encouraged sheltered shopping at the famous Pike Place Market and a sumptuous lunch of Wild Salmon linguini at Cutters Bayhouse along Puget Sound. It was enough . . . for now.