My 5-day vacation started 2 hours ago and I still can’t believe it’s happened. Aside from buying a new mattress and going to IKEA tomorrow, I have no idea how I’m going to fill up the time and it. Feels. Amazing.
Every morning, my commute takes me over a bridge, down a really long street that takes forever because it’s only two lanes and everyone in goddamn North Seattle is taking it, it seems, through a tunnel, and then onto what’s called a viaduct here but would be called a raised highway everywhere else. This viaduct/raised highway has downtown Seattle on the left and Elliott Bay on the right. When I come up out of the tunnel, it’s like the whole thing is laid out before me, and if I’m lucky, if it’s a clear day, I can see Mount Rainier looming above the big ferris wheel and the cranes on Harbor Island (which Courtney says remind her of apatosaurii, and I have to agree).
It’s a gorgeous view and even on a gray, cloudy day, a decent part of my morning. The thing is, though, it’s also extremely tempting to take the first exit off the viaduct, make a little loop at the stadiums, and head over to the ferry dock because even though it costs forty fucking dollars to float your car over the bay and I still haven’t figured out if there’s anything to do on Bainbridge Island, that view makes me a little stir crazy and I just want to blow off work and go over there. Or maybe figure out a transfer system and just ride the ferry back and forth for a few hours. It’s nice being on a sturdy boat that someone else is driving.
(This is also why I like taking the bus. For one, I live in a city where no one is getting into fistfights on the bus over a dropped chicken nugget. For two, I’m in a substantial vehicle that takes me anywhere I need to go and I don’t have to drive it. And now that I’ve been here for awhile, I don’t have to remain alert like some kind of terrier for my stop. I can just check Twitter or read for 20 minutes and yank the cord whenever I’m ready to get off. It’s pretty great; if you don’t live in a city with reliable public transportation, I highly recommend moving.)
So maybe I will take the ferry. Maybe on Friday, when I can take the bus down there and pay $12 instead of $40, and before I get on I can stop at Piroshky Piroshky and get a potato-onion-cheese to start and a cinnamon-cardamom bread to eat on the way back. Or I could forget the ferry and finally check out the Seattle Art Museum, although I have been previously spoiled by a city where practically every attraction is free and this is why I still haven’t been to the zoo here even though it’s just a few blocks from my house. Pay for a zoo? A zoo that’s not even in the top 5 zoos in the country? Pfffft, Seattle, please.
This 5-day freedom reminds me of the two and a half months I spent not working when I first moved here. When I was describing it to someone the other day, I almost said I was spoiled by it. Then I corrected myself, because I wasn’t actually spoiled. I worked ahead of those two and a half months. I saved. I made sure that I had enough money set aside for 8 comfortable months as an unemployed person, and several more months of frugality before I had to start worrying. I earned those two and a half months, and now that I don’t have that luxury anymore, I earned these 5 days.
Tomorrow: new mattress and modular Swedish furnishings. Friday through Monday: the world.