Let me be the first to admit it. I have big city envy. Whenever I travel to a metropolitan area, I almost always come to the conclusion that it would be the perfect place to live. Cities I have wanted to move to include, but are not limited to, New York, San Diego, Portland, San Francisco, Chiang Mai, Paris, Ka’anapali….do you see where I’m going with this? Every time I visit a big city I’m ready to move out of my lovely little Ashland, Oregon. I know what you’re thinking – the grass is always greener. And I know that to be true. Big cities have more traffic, more hassles, more pollution, etc. I also couldn’t raise my daughters in a small, nurturing environment where just about everyone knows them. (Do you hear me Emily and Sarah? Everyone knows you, so don’t even think about it!) But nevertheless, I return from a big city and have some big city envy.
Case in point, we just returned from a long weekend in Seattle, and following are a few reasons I came home itching to relocate.
- The Puget Sound. My sister and brother in law live within walking distance of Carkeek Park, a 216-acre park on the Sound in the Broadview neighborhood of Seattle. The park has a beautiful rocky beach and great views of Puget Sound, its parade of incoming and outgoing ships and the Olympic Mountain Range in the distance. There’s something about living near a large body of water that I find appealing.
- An amazing variety of eateries, in all prices, categories, and interests. We were lucky enough to eat at the delightful Tilth Restaurant, a certified organic New American style restaurant, recommended by my friend and co-worker Matt Walker. Our meal was outstanding. For a full review click here. We also sampled authentic Mexican food at Taqueria Tequila (301 NW 85th St., in the Greenwood neighborhood), and great cupcakes at Trophy Cupcake. Another favorite lunch spot is Red Mill Burgers. Great burgers and shakes.
- Distinctive neighborhoods. We spent Sunday morning browsing and walking in Ballard, the traditionally Scandinavian and seafaring community of Seattle. You can still see Scandinavian influences in Ballard, including delicious Danish and Scandinavian baked goods at Larsen’s Danish Bakery. The Ballard Sunday Farmers Market on Ballard Avenue is an excellent place to sample a variety of local goods including produce, meat and fish, artisan cheeses, jams, sauces, homemade candy, pastries and pies, and more
- Trader Joe’s. Need I say more?
- Archie McPhee’s. The best way to describe this store is that it is a one stop shop for weird and unusual items. Want a bacon tie? Or perhaps an inflatable pink flamingo? Or maybe a set of manly press on mustaches? Archie McPhee’s is your place. Supplying gifts and toys to Seattle since 1983.