We spent an evening and part of the next day in Seattle, so we didn’t see that much of the city. We met two locals: my friend Laura’s mom Roberta, who lives in neighboring Kirkland, met us for coffee; and a really nice waitress at the fun, 24-hour Hurricane Café. She gave us the lowdown on Seattle: its music heyday is over, but the city is still thriving – and Belltown, the neighborhood where we were staying: the main going-out area, and also lots of prostitutes. It seems like a really clean, outdoorsy city that enjoys views of water, islands and mountains. Kind of like Vancouver. The people look city-ish, like they’re rushing around and doing important things. Well, compared to us, everyone is generally doing important things, like work. Lots of girls have tattoos, everyone is really into coffee (in one place, I was refused a plain drip coffee: “we don’t serve dirt”) and Bill Gates sponsors stuff. Like the amphitheatre at Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park, which is basically a free, landscaped outdoor museum overlooking stunning Puget Sound and centering around a huge, ship-like Richard Serra piece called 'Wake'. Here's a link showing all the pieces. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/SAMcollection/code/emuseum.asp?style=browse¤trecord=19&page=collection&profile=objects&searchdesc=WEB.Olympic%20Sculpture%20Park&newvalues=1&newcurrentrecord=1
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.