1:16 PM

There are certain places on this earth that you can visit and only want to visit. They evoke in you no desire to live there. Good for vacations, but not your permanent address. And these places are often very different for each of us. Which is good, because frankly, we don't all need to live or want to live in the same place!

Then there are places that you visit and instantly think, I could so live here. Why don't I live here? I want to live here!

I know people who would kill to live in Florida. I'd kill myself if I lived in Florida - no offense to Floridians. I just can't take the constant heat, constant sunshine and lack of winter. I'm struggling as it is with Arkansas. For me, one of the places that immediately grabbed me upon my very first visit, YEARS ago, as a teenager, was Seattle. I know, that may be a place that would make YOU want to kill yourself. I hear you quoting Sleepless in Seattle, "It rains 9 months of the year in Seattle..." Yes, and therein lies part of its great appeal to me.

I love rain, clouds, the mysterious greyness that many classify as gloomy. To me, those days are beyond inspirational. I want to create great works of literature, knit an entire wardrobe, read a library full of books, cook up a storm, stick my head outside to take great big gulps of the rain-scented air, plant ferns and hostas and see lush greenery all around me. When it's sunny for too many days in a row ( it has been here lately) I get SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Fortunately for me, I married a man who feels exactly the same way.

Which brings up an interesting point. How is it that two people who feel that way deep down inside are instantly attracted to each other? At that moment of initial attraction, there's no way of knowing that you connect on an odd point like that...just a thought.

Often, however, it's difficult to just up and move to the place that captures your heart - whether it be Seattle, Chicago or Florida. (Seattle and Chicago are our top two places). You either have a job that it doesn't make sense to leave or a thousand other reasons. Many people can't or wouldn't ever leave the place where all their family is. I envy the people who DO just up and move. But realistically, I start thinking in terms of, house prices, proximity to cities, property taxes...things that are all overcomeable in terms of obstacles, but they do give one pause.
I'm not saying we wouldn't ever up and move, but in the meantime, sometimes it does a body good to just spend some quality time in one of those places. So, a week ago, Kyle and I took our 2 kids, hopped on a plane and spent a week in Seattle. Or, rather, outside Seattle in a tiny, quaint, exquisite town called Gig Harbor. We were celebrating our 10th anniversary together.

For our honeymoon, 10 years ago, we went to Bar Harbor, Maine. This time, we opted for the West Coast - a first for my husband. To his credit, he instantly fell in love with Seattle and the surrounding area.

I can't say enough good things about the town of Gig Harbor, Seattle, the house we rented on, the rain, the temperature, the solitude and sheer bliss of being able to relax for a solid week with just your husband and your two kids. If you don't make it a point at LEAST once a year to get away from everything for a good week and just relax, then you're doing yourself a disservice. It not only does a body good, but it mentally refreshes and recharges you in the most amazing way. Enjoy the pictures on this post and those that will follow. Maybe it will prompt you to head to the's breathtakingly beautiful.

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