Updated: Jun 9, 2020
Looking out the car window I see the evergreen trees turned white, like a scene from Narnia rushing past as we speed by. My eyes are big, like a child on Christmas morning. Nothing can get more perfect than sitting in the passenger seat of Cam's car, looking at beautiful views, and listening to his voice. We are on our way to Seattle to celebrate my 21st birthday. Everyone from the lower mainland must go get a drink in the states when they become legal.
On our way down we stop at an outlet mall, and honestly that was my favorite part; because it is not about what you do but the company you are with. And here, with most of the stores closed due to the snow, my company was great. We were walking around talking about everything, dancing, joking, bumping each other, and killing time. Once we hit every store in the strip, some of them twice, we bounce back into the car and continue our drive to Pike Place.
I had never been to Seattle, only driven through on my way to bigger and better places. So it was interesting to see this place that I had never given too much thought, and to have it be the actual destination. I had seen Pike's Place in many Instagram photos from people at my school, and if you know me you know that I love a good Instagram photo, so it was a must see.
We walked through the market quickly because the snow stopped many vendors from coming out and Cam had something else to show me. We go down skinny slanted stairs covered in black ice and walk down a little isle way, just below Pike Place, and there it is. The bubblegum wall. It reminds me a lot of a tree that was on my road that I used to walk by with my daycare as a kid. The tree was covered in gum and all us kids would just look at it and laugh. This tree was also the perfect time to sneak some gum and tell the other kids that we got it off the tree, because our daycare lady had a rule that if a kid brought gum they had to share with everyone. That tree was mere child's play compared to this alleyway, every wall and crevasse covered in gum. Some gum pieces were just stuck on, some spell names, or shaped hearts, or held business cards. But behind each piece was a story. My eyes bounce around, unsure of where to land. Until I look at Cam, pulling a cardboard pack of gum out of his pocket and handing me a piece so that we can make our mark. I begin to chew.
Until this point I hadn't ate much. Just a hash brown and a strawberry banana smoothie from McDonald's on our way down. Luckily, Cam is always making sure that I am well fed so we stopped in a shop and got some hot chocolate and fudge before starting our trek to the Starbucks Roastery. It wasn't too long of a walk but the snow, and stopping in multiple stores such as Nordstrom Rack, made it seem like the Starbucks was farther than it was. The Starbucks Roastary was pretty cool. It had lots of unique products there and on the roof there were tubed which the beans ran through.
After a day full of shopping and walking around Seattle it was time to get something to eat. The only problem with trying to find dinner in a different town is that they have different restaurants than what I am normally used to. I don’t know where to go to get pasta in Seattle. Luckily, the info desk workers do and they send us to a wonderful little place called Vons, where all the pasta is made in house and the alcohol gets you tipsy real quick.
Once we are full, and I have drank enough to make it too hard to walk on snow anymore, Cam and I get back into the car. The entire drive home we sing to Sam Smith and Michael Bublé.
I think to myself on the way home: What does it mean to be 21? To me it does not mean much; I already had a crisis about age when I turned 20 and was no longer a teenager. But it did provide me some good space to reflect on the past year. I really had done a lot while 20 years old. I took a summer class with my friends, went to my first secular concerts, I worked as a barista and as a camp coordinator and as administrative assistant, I got my first PR assistant job, I went to Palm Springs, I did a road trip with my best friend, I ate hundreds of dollars worth of dirty fries, I did a photoshoot for a local jewelry company, I went to my first business networking conference, and I got my first boyfriend. A boy who is sitting to the left of me, after planning my entire birthday, singing all the songs with me.
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