Friday, January 16, 2015


Our first night in Seattle, we drove up and down the hills with eyes bleak- exhaustion gripping us by the bridge of our noses and nerves shot with the stress of travel. It was maybe 2am and we were searching frantically for a hotel, a motel, a somewhere that had a room, accepted pets and would take my apparently high maintenance VISA card.

It's true- we didn't plan ahead.

Up and down what I think was the university village, all the way to Lynnwood and back, through so many freeways and byways that our heads were spinning. We had no sense of direction- which direction are we facing? Is this west? Is that water or land? We lost ourselves there. We were angry and maybe scared too. Ian exclaimed we would sleep in the car. I peeked back at Kade, already snoozing,and let out a sob. But he deserves a bed.

 Finally a hotel will take us. They have a pet room for my grumpy dog and a covered parking garage.

Running back to the car to tell Ian, a bright flash goes off in a second story room followed by a POP! Ian stares at me and says bluntly, "Great. Someone just fucking offed themselves." I rolled my eyes at him because that's just the mood I was in. Those rolling eyes turned wide as we were surrounded by SWAT vehicles. We tried to drive off and were greeted by a squad car with two officers asking questions. "Did you guys hear that?" they asked, just as shocked as we were and maybe amused. That was your SWAT team. We sort of giggled, but were frightened. Would they pull us out, search our car? Memories flooded of Ian being thrown to the ground as a teenager, mistaken as a crime suspect while walking home.

They casually turned up the radio and nodded, "You're right! Cool, man. Have a good night!"

It was apparent we weren't in Utah anymore. We drove away in a fit of giggles, the stress rolling from our backs with the sweat.

We returned to the hotel, ready for sleep and a hot shower. The awkward boy at the front desk is playing electronic dance music and remarks that this is his last night, an exciting one at that! "Well, the pet rooms are on the second floor. And the second floor is kind of... police zone right now. So I'll move you to the third! And the parking garage is full. You'll have to park in the alley behind it."

I guess that should have been a red flag. We were just relieved to have a bed to heave into.

So we slept there, with a full-blown SWAT drug raid happening right below us. When we woke, we peeked out at an industrial part of town. From the thin window, homeless wandered the parking lot of Sams Club, cheap motels boasted super low nightly rates and bars littered the small spaces between Used Car dealerships and Office Depot. The night before, in the dark, it was hard to tell where we were; what kind of neighborhood had we landed in?


I later told a friend that we stayed on Aurora and she gasped, "What in the living hell were you doing in that part of Seattle? Like, holy shit man."

I guess we still had a lot to learn.

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