I spent the weekend in Seattle with a friend. We did it on the cheap, which I found oddly refreshing.
Rather than fly or rent a car, we took a bus. Rather than book a swanky hotel, we stayed at what turned out to be an oversized bed and breakfast. Ahh, but we ate well!
I'd been to Seattle before, but always just passing through. This was the first time the trip was just for the sake of exploring the city. I was surprised by what I saw.
With few exceptions, everything reminded me of something - or somewhere - else.
Pike Place Market smells like Portland's Saturday Market - but with fish. Many of Seattle's buildings were designed by the same people who designed ours here in Portland, not to mention those in Dallas and Houston and probably everywhere else. The cute little shops in Seattle's Freemont neighborhood sell the same stuff as the cute little shops in our Northwest 23rd Avenue.
It's all the same - and yet, it isn't.
What matters most isn't what a city has but rather how the city pulls it all together into one livable place that becomes a home.
I went to Seattle secretly hoping it would feel like a place that I'd want to call home. Seattle is definitely a special city, but, to me, Portland feels like home. I suppose that's a good thing.