It was Tina who found the marvelous house where we stayed in Seattle, on a trip spent exploring the city, with an emphasis on its culinary delights. The house was called the “Urban Oasis“, which seemed quite fitting for the role it would play over our holiday. The house itself was a large Craftsman-style heritage home, the kind of place with creaking wood floors and something still resembling a parlour at the front of the building. It had been thoughtfully updated, with a gorgeous modern kitchen and comfortable couches and chairs scattered throughout the main floor. There was a unique, twisting dining table that could seat a dozen and enough bedrooms and sleeping spaces that everyone could sleep comfortably. The eclectic decorating (the owners live there part time) gave the house a comfortable, familiar feel, so when everyone was home in the evening, hanging out in the living room, it felt like being at your best friend’s house.
The funniest thing about the house was its vaguely erotic vibe. There was sensual art hung everywhere, posters for Erotic Film Festivals, a large inviting hot tub, and, the icing on the cake, a shower that I swear was big enough to comfortably fit at least five people (everyone would have their own shower head too). The weird orgy vibe became a running joke and it became a game to see who could find the most erotic objet d’art in the house. We also really enjoyed reading aloud excerpts of a strange book we found called Sand and Foam.
After the hot tub, the front porch was our favourite hang out. Well sheltered from the rain, there was a comfortable couch, chairs and wide railings on which to recline. The house was slightly elevated from the street, lending the front yard a private feel, and we spent many hours wrapped in blankets, people watching from our high vantage point and exchanging easy, relaxed banter. Occasionally someone would wander home from some food adventure, bearing a box of doughnuts or treats, and everyone would grab a sample, then settle back into porch life to nibble and watch Seattle go by.
Here’s a travel tip for anyone deciding to rent a cabin or a house in the Pacific Northwest at any time of the year other than August or September: get a place with a hot tub. It rains so much and sometimes you just want to be outside but still be warm and still have a great place to hang with friends and chat. The beautiful sunken cedar hot tub was an indispensable part of the trip, as the weather we experienced varied from sunny blue skies to unrelenting downpours. When the skies opened up and the heavens poured down, we would simply grab a cold beer, slip into the tub, and let the rain cool our faces. When one tired of the steaming waters, there were thoughtfully provided robes and a sheltered area in which to cool down.