These Memorable Meals Prompted A Big Move Back To Seattle

These Memorable Meals Prompted A Big Move Back To Seattle

These Memorable Meals Prompted A Big Move Back To Seattle

After six years of roaming around the country in an RV, I suddenly find myself back in my old neighborhood. These meals helped convince me that Seattle was where I wanted to be.

The city in our rearview mirror

My husband and I have a long, sometimes rocky relationship with the Emerald City. We both grew up in the area, moved away for decades before returning to work at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2007. That print product went down in flames in early 2009 and the following years were spent running the exhausting and often exhilarating freelance hustle.

Then, I landed my dream job at Allrecipes.com and everything good seemed possible. That amazing gig was such a blast until it abruptly ended in late 2017. After the tears dried, the unemployment benefits ran out and no future employment was on the horizon, my main squeeze (also downsized) and I decided to sell our condo, buy a 23-foot motorhome and hit the road. Johnny entertainingly wrote about our early struggles to figure out that challenging/rewarding lifestyle for the Los Angeles Times.

The journey has taken us to so many incredible places, from the Grand Canyon and 50 more national parks to Willie Nelson’s ranch near Austin for the magical Luck Reunion. We’ve gone coast-to-coast and deep into the heart of beautiful British Columbia.

When a friend heard I was thinking about making Seattle home base again, he said: “After all the places you’ve been, I’m surprised you want to come back here.”

Well, yeah, but then…

ForbesDrift Feels Like The Hotel Of The Future, Putting Food Front And Center

Falling in love again

In February, I took a break from snowbird season in Palm Springs to fly back to the Northwest for Valentine’s Day with my husband. He spends winter months skiing at his favorite spots, including Mount Baker and Whistler.

We met up in Seattle and checked into the gorgeous Lotte Hotel, pumped about trying the menu at Charlotte, the signature restaurant. That dinner dramatically changed our direction.

While savoring every bite and gazing out onto Elliott Bay, I wistfully wondered if my sweetie pie could ever imagine moving back to the city. I don’t recall if he laughed or ordered a stiff drink, but eventually Johnny came around to the idea.

The next day brought more sweet and savory signs we needed to come back home starting with a knockout pastry from Dahlia Bakery, a lovely lunch at Chihuly Garden and Glass followed by Caffe Vita coffee at the KEXP Gathering Space while listening to a moving live performance by the Denver-based band DeVotchKa. Was my city-reluctant spouse warming up to the idea of a return to Seatown? Not exactly.

ForbesLooking For A Coffee-Fueled Pastry Tour Around Seattle?

Then, three months later, we bought a tiny place in a co-op that has a spectacular view of the city we never thought we’d return to.

So, here we are. While we’re still going to travel in our Thor Gemini, this new/old home base feels so comfortable and also so fresh. There are loads of new places to explore as well as plenty of familiar haunts to revisit. See y’all soon, Revel, Terra Plata, Lady Jaye, Li’l Woody’s, Yoroshiku and all those glorious neighborhood farmers markets.

It might sound corny, but this big deal decision was recently reinforced when I was shopping at Pike Place Market. After scoring some gorgeous morels at Franks’s Produce — thanks, Chaz! — picking up a “working man’s special” steak at Don and Joe’s, stocking up on staples at DeLaurenti and indulging in a feast at Pasta Casalinga, I heard a busker playing one of my favorite John Denver hits, “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Note perfect!

ForbesThese Tributes To 3 Late Seattle Food Legends Are Heartwarming