The movie "Singles" was released in 1992 and it was around that time, when grunge was the thing and you couldn't go, like, five minutes without hearing "Teen Spirit" by Nirvana, around the time that we were freshmen in high school, that my friend Martha (who was a big Pearl Jam fan) and I sat down at the lunch table one day and drew a map of the United States on a paper napkin. We mapped out the route we'd take to Seattle and talked about how we'd hit the road, drive to the city that spurned all that awesomeness, and live there. Since then I've been sort of obsessed with the place. Not only was it the home of so many cool people, and so much great music, and the best trends ever - like flannel shirts - but Seattle, I knew, had tons of coffee shops and lots of rain and I love both coffee and rain (when I tell people this they inevitably say something like "You don't really love rain. You'd get depressed if it rained all the time," which annoys me in the same way that it annoys me when I tell people I can't snap or whistle, and they immediately start snapping and whistling and say, "Come on. It's easy," because seriously, I do love the rain, and for real, I can't snap or whistle).

I just knew I'd feel at home there.

I finally got to visit Seattle one summer during college and, as I knew I would, I thought it was the greatest place. Not so much any one thing about the city. Not the space needle or Pike's Place or any of the neighborhood hangouts we visited, just the general feel. Seattle felt really good to me.

So naturally I've been getting really excited about our visit here, telling J, who's never been, how much he's going to love it and continually asking him if he's "excited about going to Seattle?!" Even, and please don't judge me for this, busting out Paul Westerburg's "Dyslexic Heart" and playing it loud during the first few minutes of our drive leaving northern Idaho to cross Washington. I mean, honestly, I can't help it, we wanted to go so bad we drew a route on a paper napkin. The point being that I've been really looking forward to this stop on the trip, and I know it's not the early nineties anymore, I know that, but for me, Seattle will always be a reminder of those simpler times when I sort of wanted to rebel but mostly just wanted to be part of a movement that brought us bands like Soundgarden and fashions like lace-up boots with skirts.