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Why I love Seattle: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Journey Home
It was love at first sight. I have traveled, trekked, and traversed across most of the country and much of the world. I scuba dived with endangered sea turtles off the colorful coral reefs of Fiji, I zip lined across the verdant rainforests of Costa Rica, I peered off the Willis Tower with awe, I marveled at the majestic sunsets off Shi Shi beach, I saw the Olympic torch paraded with pride towards Vancouver and I have experienced the terrible traffic of Athens. In short, I have seen many of the beautiful cities and natural wonders of the country, of the world and despite all that I have seen, and all that I will, I always love returning home because that means I get to see the jewel of the Pacific Northwest (PNW). As my flight descends through the clouds my window turns on as the landing pattern offers a tantalizing taste of what Seattle offers- from my perch in the clouds I see the Cascade mountains recede away while the city skyline grows, distant first but soon dominating my pressurized window. Blue specks become majestic Lake Washington, a grey streak transforms into the Puget Sound and all the while I am inexorably moving with subsonic velocity towards a ribbon of pavement otherwise known as Seatac airport.
Before that ribbon becomes a runway I see a composition that would awe Renaissance masters; Mt. Rainier with a glaciated crown and deep green cape of untouched forests lords over a city that sweeps beneath my window as the construction cranes of Lake Union and the skyscrapers of downtown reach up, as if to invite me, no to beckon me home. I feel special as the glistening sun turns the beautiful waters of the region into a mesmerizing sparkles that seems ethereal. It is as if nature herself is throwing me a parade. Anyone else of the flight can peer outside and bear witness to this casual spectacle but it has been a long flight. The faces tell stories of exciting travels, stressful business trips, of adventures just beginning or bear the somber realization that a magical vacation is coming to a swift end, and I alone seem to appreciate that I am coming home. Perhaps it is the smug realization that my home is a magnet city for a booming tech sector, or that Seattle is the closest mainland city to Asia, or that our Progressive roots have gifted generations with national parks and forests. Perhaps I am just happy to see an upcoming Mariner's game or catch a fish the Pike Place Market or stroll through the Quad on the University of Washington campus while the cherry blossoms are in bloom.
I am about to land and I am reminded why I am so lucky to call this region home. It truly was love at first sight.