Originally published August 20, 2008

I’m going to Seattle on Sunday and I’m so excited. I’ll be a guest on Ichabod and the Waking Crew, which is the morning show on KMPS radio. They interviewed me when I was in Baghdad the first time, and we’ve kept in touch over the past two years. I was hoping to end up in Seattle working for them, but now that I’m going back to Iraq those plans are on hold. Hopefully I’ll make a good impression on them and they’ll want me when I get back.

I hope I like Seattle. I hear it’s wonderful and perfect for anyone that likes the outdoors. I’ve always heard it rains a lot, but when I researched it I found out it’s more like a light mist and it’s great for gardening… not that I garden, but I bet everyone else’s yards are pretty.

Ichabod and crew aren’t only flying me up to Seattle, they’re also flying my mom up and putting us both in a hotel. I’m so excited my mom gets to go. This will be a great mother/daughter trip before I leave. I’ve been so stressed lately, not just with Iraq but with a lot of things. It’s like some sort of depression is taking over and I hate feeling this way. I either want to cry or bite someone’s head off or both. This isn’t me at all, and I’m praying that God will pull me out of whatever hole I’m slowing sinking into. Maybe Seattle will help me climb out of this thing.

Originally published August 24, 2008

We brought the rain to Seattle, if that’s possible. Ichabod drove us around after picking us up from the airport and I LOVE this place. There are quaint, charming stores and restaurants along the bay road in West Seattle. In Seattle Seattle, there are great restaurants along the water and even when it rains, people are out and about… running, biking, shopping. Rain doesn’t phase them at all.  Imagine that.. what a concept! That doesn’t happen in Shreveport. We’re all too worried about the humidity frizzing our hair.

People are so active here and I love it. I love this town and I’ve only been here for 5 hours! I can’t imagine if I got to be here all the time. Oh, and I met my first true ‘Seattleite” (my new word). She works at our front desk and has the craziest coolest name, I think it’s Zameera. She’s got a tattoo around her wrists that says something to the effect of “count it a blessing you’re such a failure because your second chance might not have come.” We were impressed. Oh, and she loves the rain! She says she loves for it to rain and cut out the electricity so she can curl up with a good book. Her face literally lit up talking about the rain. 

Tomorrow we’re going to the studio and the Lost Trailers will come in for a visit! Yay!

Originally published August 31, 2008

I left Seattle 3 days ago and I miss it terribly! I love the city. The second day, after being on the air with the fabulous Scallops, Ichabod, Randy, Stephen and Cola, Mom and I set out to explore more of the amazing city. We started with a 3-hour “Show Me Seattle” tour:

Kerry Park at Queen Anne Hill offers this amazing view of the city. We stayed here for about 10 minutes taking pictures. It’s such a great place to sit, relax and read a book.

We visited Ballard Locks. The salmon are born in freshwater and once they’re a certain age they travel to saltwater. When they’re ready to spawn, they come back to freshwater, sometimes within a meter of where they were born. The locks have a system in place to help them go back and forth.

We drove through Pike Place Market to see the original Starbucks and the famous Pike Place Market where they throw the fish

We also saw the Sleepless in Seattle floating house, Cement Troll under a bridge, Chinatown, Athletic Stadiums, etc. After the Show Me Seattle Tour, we went on an underground tour that was a lot of fun.

On the Underground Tour, we learned that Seattle was originally built on mud (which didn’t work so well), then improved (?) by putting sawdust in the land to pack it down (that didn’t work either), then walled in to keep the water and sewer system under control, etc. Anyway, the city had to be built on top of the original city, so there’s this underground world of old banks, hardware stores, and pharmacies. We walked under the city through these stores and heard lots of great stories.

On a random side note: After boarding the Show Me Seattle bus, I saw a guy who looked A LOT like my friend, Ryan. Once I realized it was Ryan, the only person I’ve ever known from Seattle until meeting Ichabod and the crew, I made the bus driver stop and ran off the bus like a crazy person (happiness, anxiousness, shock) and ran towards him saying “Ryan, Ryan.” Ryan stopped dead in his tracks, like a deer in headlights. I said Hey! He continued to stare. “Ryan, It’s Kristen.” Still, nothing… work with me, Ryan. “From Fort Meade… Kristen!” Light bulb! (Ryan and I were at Fort Meade for Army training together in 2004). Ryan was in shock, so I gave him my number for him to call when he came out of his coma. We got together that night and ate at his restaurant the next morning. Funny how life works in such random ways.  So glad I got to see an old friend.