Today we ventured to the other side of the city and found ourselves in the home territory of the Dawgs. As a Coug, I wasn’t altogether thrilled about the idea of spending the morning on my rival school’s home-base, but I’ve never really understood the extent of the animosity between our schools and we took my brother around to explore since he has a few more years before he’ll be enrolling in a college of his own.
It’s an insanely beautiful campus, one that makes my college look like a tiny house in comparison to a Victorian style mansion. Everything on the site looks like it was ripped straight out of Beauty and the Beast, or even better, Harry Potter. The buildings seemed to have been created for the sheer pleasure of their aesthetics. The library houses a massive grand staircase and grand windows and soaring ceilings – I kept waiting to see the floating candles. Spoiler: I didn’t see any.
I did, however, see their Cherry Blossom trees and an assortment of awesome looking buildings.
It was a beautiful school… but being there made me realize how thankful I am to be a Coug. Not because the University of Washington is a terrible school, but because I realize that Washington State University is a great one.
We headed back down to the city from there, headed to the Market once again for a hearty lunch above the water. We found our way to Lowell’s diner inside the market which was outstanding – definitely a must if you’re on this side of the state. I had their famous fish tacos – let me tell you, I can understand why they’re so famous!
After getting our fill (more than our fill – I think I’ gaining my Freshman fifteen in this one week), we headed to the Gum Wall before our paths separated as my Mom and brother headed up to the Seattle Art Museum and I opted out in favor of the shops here in downtown – Forever 21, H&M, Old Navy. I wove my way between stacks of clothes and throngs of people, taking on the city all on my own. It was fun, and as lame as it may sound, it was an empowering experience. I was able to navigate my way around town for a few hours before we all met up again to take the Underground tour together.
That, the whole tour in the streets beneath the streets, was utterly breathtaking – especially for a history buff such as myself. We learned about the founders of Seattle and the foundations of the city. It was cool to walk in places where countless others have come before me in their puffy dresses and horse drawn carriages. Truly an amazing thing.
By the time we were out of the tour we were hungry enough to eat ten horses, and we wound our way back up the streets and Mom treated us to the Cheesecake Factory. It being the city and all, we found ourselves in a fifteen minute wait for a table. As we waited outside we found ourselves directly across from a homeless couple.
My heart breaks for them. I feel so helpless, I don’t know what to give them other than my prayers and a shy smile, and I still feel like that isn’t enough. If I could I would take them out to eat, and give them a place to rest their heads, and clothe them – but the truth is that I don’t have the resources for that. And it sucks. The woman who sat across from us was crying as her sign read “Pregnant and homeless.” She and her partner were looking for fare for a bus, all that we had was two dollars – so we gave it to them, the man said that that was the most money that he had made all day. We bought them a piece of cheesecake when we went inside, they were unbelievably thankful, and the man was so sweet – all the while, the woman continued to cry.
In front of them, she crafted a piece sign out of plastic mardi-gras beads and pennies, and my heart continued to break. We ate a wonderful dinner, but my heart went out to them, it seemed unfair to be eating such good food when it was uncertain if these people were even eating at all.
When we left the restaurant they had at least four other Cheesecake Factory bags in front of them – I wonder if others took the hint and gave them some food too. Sometimes it feels like that’s all you can do, and one must wonder if food goes farther than money – I can almost garnet that it does.
What do you do in a situation like that?
My heart breaks for the people of this city even as I am enjoying every second of my adventures. As we move into our fourth day filled with adventures at the EMP and the Space Needle, I find myself praying for the people of Seattle with everything in me. This is an amazing city, but it is heartbreaking all the same. As I draw the parallels between this city and the other capital cities of the third world countries I’ve been in my heart aches, and yet, I am all the while more excited to spend my summer on mission!
God is good, just as vacation. And, without getting super sappy, I’m incredibly stoked to be in this city, even if it is heartbreaking.