My heart fairly pounded as the van rolled past the greenish sign. “Welcome to Washington, The Evergreen State” it read in cheerful looping font. As quickly as it had appeared, a dark spec on the horizon, it vanished into the rear-view mirrors. I scanned the horizon, determined that the skyline would be the first thing for me to see. I was fairly disappointed as the van continued to drive into what looked like a network of corporate buildings and steep streets.
The five of us – my parents, my father’s parents, and I – were headed to Seattle to stay in some sort of fancy hotel. The Edgewater, it was called; a suitable name for something built on the ocean. Its foundation was a pier over the water, with a stunning view of the sea from its lobby and the most expensive rooms. Coming from the landlocked side, though, it was a dingy sight to behold. It looked old and worn, its paint seeming faded, and I hardly considered it worth the trouble we’d gone through to get the rooms or, for that matter, to pay for it.
“That’s our hotel?” I asked, a question directed at the general public.
“Shhh,” my mother scolded. “It’s a very nice hotel. It has a lovely view of the water.” This comment gave me some hope, but I was loath to admit it. I crossed my arms and leaned back in my seat with a huff. This, I believed, was absolutely ridiculous, but I had to remind myself to be amiable because we were there for my parents’ twentieth wedding anniversary and my grandparents’ fiftieth.
When the car stopped in front of the entrance, I immediately stepped out and headed for the water. As I leaned over the wooden railings of the pier, waiting for the valets to be done with the van and for our rooms to be ready, I was content to breathe in the salty air and remember how much I loved the sea. I reminisced of bonfires on Oregon’s coast and crab fishing in New Jersey. Oh, I could get used to that smell and those memories.
“Caitlyn!” my mother called from the shaded area before the entrance doors. “Come help with the baggage!” I jerked away from the rail, startled from my fond memories. I smoothed out the jolt as best as I could, turning it to a walk toward my suitcase, which I hauled off the ground before entering the hotel.
The entrance area, I believed, left something to be desired. It was lovely, but with the revenue this hotel had to be making, I had expected something better. The lobby was to the left, with the employees’ stations pressed up against the wall immediately before you as you entered the area. I made my way toward the reception desk, where my family was trying to get their rooms sorted out. Bored and annoyed, I occupied myself with examining the lobby. The ceiling was high, the furniture lovely, a thin strip of floor was dedicated to tables with benches and chairs and game boards on their tops, and a large fireplace. And there, on the far wall, was clear glass.
My breath caught. Water sparkled merrily, winking in the sunlight and whitecaps broke on the horizon. I wandered to the glass, resisting the temptation to press my nose to it, and watched the shimmering water shifting in the breeze. Ships moved lazily in the distance, and the sun poured in through the window, and it was spectacular. For this, I thought, I would come back to Seattle.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.