In Which We Skedaddle to Rattle Around Seattle

I’m going to the Emerald City, following Interstate-5 instead of a yellow brick road.

In mid-March, my fiancé, Richard, and I are driving to Seattle to explore the city and to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins for a couple of days. We’re also going to meet a friend who is going to help us find a good Mexican food restaurant.

I’ve been to Seattle several times to visit family. Richard has been there once for a Penny Arcade Expo, a popular gamers’ convention. This will be our first trip to the Emerald City together.

Despite the rain, I like Seattle. Because of the rain, Richard loves Seattle. It gives him a reason to wear a hat. It gives me a reason to appreciate my big, puffy coat.

I’m looking forward to our visit, but I’m not planning too much. Planning all the details takes the fun out of discovering new places. I don’t mind getting lost every now and then. Besides, we have a GPS system, so we can’t get too lost!

Seattle is a hoppin’ city. It’s the home of the original Starbucks, the Space Needle, Bill Gates and the grunge music scene.

During my previous trips to Seattle, I’ve eaten delicious Japanese and Vietnamese food. I’ve heard that Mexican restaurants are hard to find – unless you know where to look.

When I was 14, my aunt invited me to tour Microsoft’s Redmond campus, where she and my uncle worked at the time. It was “mothers bring their daughters to work day” and this was before my cousins were born. I remember being amazed at the size of the Microsoft campus, and impressed that my uncle had met Bill Gates.

Some of the more touristy things I’ve done in Seattle involve heights and music.

I’ve ridden an elevator to the top of the Space Needle, a 605-foot tower and Seattle landmark that provides a great view of the city. If you step onto the observation deck, you’ll see people the size of ants scurrying around on the streets below.

Near the Space Needle, you’ll find Experience Music Project, a museum that focuses on the history and exploration of popular music. Several years ago, I spent a few hours there learning about Jimi Hendrix and ogling guitars. In 2004, the building expanded to include the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. It’s devoted to science fiction literature and media. If it’s anything like Experience Music Project, it’s worth checking out.

Another fun place to visit in Seattle is the Pike Place Market. The market is peppered with fresh produce stands, small businesses and family-owned restaurants.

The Pike Place Market is the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers market. It celebrated its centennial in August 2007, according to The Seattle Times.

But more important than all the sites are the people we’re going to visit. I haven’t seen my cousins in about two years, and my aunt said they’ve grown a lot. I’m looking forward to spending time with them. We’ll also be there for my aunt’s birthday. Maybe I’ll bake a birthday pie! I’ll share some photos in my next column.

Journalist Lauren Brooks lives in Chico. She is the editor of the Chico Enterprise-Record’s weekly entertainment guide, The Buzz. She is a CSU, Chico alumna who graduated with a B.A. in journalism in spring 2006. She can be reached at

Lauren Brooks

lives in Bellevue, Washington. She is a CSU, Chico alumna who graduated with a B.A. in journalism in spring 2006. She can be reached at