Olympic Sculpture Park, Space Needle with Calder’s Eagle

My siblings are a far-flung bunch, and I always enjoy their rare visits to Seattle.  Out-of-town guests give me an excuse to play tourist in my home town and to re-visit my favorite places. It’s no surprise that I’ve blogged about most of these excursions already (links to past posts included below).

Here’s a list of things I did with my sister and brother-in-law — what else would you have included?

Watching the sunset from Golden Gardens beach

Flowers at the Pike Place Market

Busker outside the original Starbucks store in the Pike Place Market

  • Savor the flavors of the Pacific Northwest.  We enjoyed lattes from Zoka’s Coffee Shop, salmon, steamed clams, fresh peaches and cherries from the Olympia Farmer’s Market, dinner at the Green Leaf Vietnamese Restaurant, Fran’s chocolate Gold Bars and truffles, homemade blackberry pie, and pizza at Tom Douglas’s Serious Pie (among other things).

Morning lattes from my neighborhood Zoka’s

“I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Two chairs for friendship

As much as Thoreau appreciated solitude, he said of himself, “I am naturally no hermit,” and he welcomed visitors.  I admire people for whom hospitality is an ingrained virtue.  Perhaps because I struggle feeling comfortable in large groups and among strangers, I greatly esteem those who can extend a warm welcome to visitors.

“If it were not for guests all houses would be graves.”
— Kahlil Gibran

“The ornaments of your house will be the guests who frequent it.”
— Author unknown

I find that I can take large gatherings, even of beloved family, in small doses.  I am a better friend in one-on-one situations.  I am afraid that the following quotes resonate too well with me:

“Fish and visitors smell after three days.”
— Benjamin Franklin

“Visitors are insatiable devourers of time, and fit only for those who, if they did not visit, would do nothing.”
—  William Cowper

“Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were.”
— Author unknown

Perhaps I should rid my house of all but three chairs, so that, like Thoreau, when I have visitors in larger numbers, they stay only as long as they can stand!  I’m joking, of course.  One of my tasks in this life is to learn to be more gracious, and this includes making more of an effort to become a better and more welcoming host to any future guests.

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
— Hebrews 13:2