Thursday, March 13, 2008

Home State Lovin'

I've seen these memes that talk about a place someone has visited, or where they live, and was inspired to pay the Evergreen State and the Emerald city homage. Here are thirteen things you might not know about Seattle and Washington State.

1. It's green. Over half of Washington state is covered with forests. Our forests range from old growth pine, to temperate rain forests, to a mixture of valley deciduous growth. Throughout most of the state, it's green all year, punctuated by pastels in the spring, and golds and auburns in the fall.

2. It's clean. In 2007, 362/365 days in King County (Seattle) had an air quality index of Moderate-Good (298 Good/ 64 Moderate)*. * It's also a spearhead state on Clean Water, environmental and endangered species protection, and energy conservation. In a 2007 report by Forbes magazine, Washington ranked third in a list of America's 'Greenest' states - behind Vermont and Oregon.

3. It's natural. Our forests and coast provide the perfect habitat for some of the most majestic species to grace this continent.

4. It's smart. In the 2000 Educational Assesment by the US Census Bureau, 62% of people over 25 in Washington had at least some college. And in a report done by in 2006, Seattle was ranked the 'Smartest' city in the nation - with 47% of it's inhabitants holding at least a Bachelor's degree. (The national average was 24.4%).

5. *Gwen shamelessly plugs* . . . School Spirit. I has it. The University of Washington, Seattle (my alma mater) has more than ten top-ranking programs, including the #1 rated primary care medical school in the country for thirteen years running*. UW has received more research funding than any other public university every years since 1974 (more than $1 Billion in 2007). Six faculty members have won Nobel prizes since 1989 (5 in Physiology/Medicine).
*ranked by U.S. News & World Report (

The Huskies womens volleyball (my FAVORITE) team finally won their first NCAA championship after an undefeated season in 2005. They were the second team to ever sweep the tournament. It was an awesome season, and a documentary about it went on to final in the Billie Awards. Go Dawgs!!

6. It rocks. Seattle has been the birthplace of several popular rock bands, including Dave Matthews Band, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Heart, Soundgarden, Queensryche, Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, and let's not forget Mr. Hendrix. (Oh, and Kenny Loggins, and Kenny G - though they're not quite 'rock'.)

7. It writes. Seattle is the home of several well-known published authors, including Jayne Ann Krentz, Terry Brooks, and Tom Robbins.

8. It's cutting edge. Seattle has been the birthplace and hub of several of the nation's leading businesses, including Boeing, Microsoft,, Nintendo, Costco, REI, ATT&T Wireless,, Nordstrom and Starbucks.

9. It's got surf. Seattle is sandwiched between Lake Washington on one side, and the Puget Sound on the other. The San Juan Islands lay just off the Northern tip of the peninsula, and the Pacific Ocean laps against the other side. There are plenty of rivers that weave through the mountains, and many lakes, including glacier-fed Lake Chelan, 3 hours East of Seattle - the third deepest Lake in the US, and 55 miles long.

10. And turf. Living on the Western side of Washington, you find the Cascade Mountains to the East and the Olympics to the West, not to mention the active volcano, Mt. Rainier to the South. Hiking, biking, four-bying, horseback riding, camping and skiing are all within an hour's reach of Seattle.

11. It produces. Washington has a perfect farming environment, whether it's the apples and other fruits that put Washington on the map, our up and coming Columbia Valley wines, or our lavender farms on the penninsula. In the summer, I can buy all local, organic produce from streetside Farmer's Market. We also produce our own chicken, beef and dairy. And we're just a stone's throw away from those Idaho potatoes, and Oregon strawberries. Fresh fish also abounds - from salmon, to crab, to oysters - seafood is a Seattle staple. (Along with coffee, of course - though we don't grow that here. . . I don't think.)

12. Seattle Rain Festival: myth. In a recent ranking of US cities based on annual rainfall, Seattle didn't even make the top ten. Still, our coastal temperate climate does make for a heavy rainy season, and lots of overcast weather. However, for every two days like this . . .

We get one like this . . .

To me, it's worth it. *g*

13. The biggest downside of Seattle, WA? Too many people are discovering the things our state/city has to offer. Crowding and traffic worsen each year, and the cost of living is pretty steep.

So, you will now forget everything I just told you.

As far as you're concerned, Seattle = and a cute movie with Meg Ryan in it.

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Eden said...

Le cool. ^-^

Kaige said...

Great TT, Gwen! DH has a free frequent flier ticket burning a hole in his pocket... Lotsa Divas in the area or soon to be... Maybe we'll have to use it on a visit up that way. He's been before, but the kids and I haven't.

Chloe Devlin said...

Wow, almost makes me want to move there!


Jennifer McKenzie said...

I knew Washington was awesome. This is an awesome list.

A. Catherine Noon said...

Lovely! I like Seattle lots and lots, but it will never make me foresake Chicago! You should come here and check it out! A quid pro quo visit? Hmm...

Gwen said...

Oh, yes! It's a definite must-visit! Come between May and August if you can. You'll be *dazzled* by the natural beauty and activities abound!

Huh... Maybe I should be a travel agent. =P

~Liz~ said...

OOOOoooooo! I've never been there, but I would love to go! I wish I had the money to travel all the time. What do you think ... can I sleep on your couch?

Debbie Mumford said...

Hey! We're practically neighbors. I'm in Vancouver (WA, not BC *lol*)

Great post!

Eaton Bennett said...

Gwenny, I'm packing my bag, ticket in hand. I want to see your magnificent country for myself. I'll sleep standing up, any corner will do...... can't blame a girl for dreaming :)

Gwen Mitchell said...

I have couch, I have floorspace, I have lawn! =P

Heather said...

Great post, Gwen. Would love to visit Seattle some day!

Fey said...

aw! I like it a lot, and that picture of the university is very prettyful *huggles*

Tawny Taylor said...

OMG, I'd love to go to Washington. Soooo pretty!

verabear said...

I love your state already :) sounds like my kind of place.

Awesome TT :)

Shelley Munro said...

Woohoo, I'm visiting Washington State later this year after Nationals. I can't wait. I've driven through parts of it before and it's beautiful - almost as nice as New Zealand ;)

Unhinged said...

LOL, Gwen. Your last sentence almost made me fall off my chair.

Great TT, by the way. Wonderful photos and reasons.

I will now forget I ever saw this post.

Alice Audrey said...

I almost missed you this week, which would have been a pity since Washington state is one of my favorite places, especially in the Seattle area.

Gwen Mitchell said...

Shelly - that's exciting! It's a great time of year, as long (if it's not raining). Pack for cold, just in case. And I've heard it compared to NZ before too. Hope you enjoy your trip!

Andi - only almost? *pushes Andi off her chair* ... there. =D

Alice - I'm glad you stopped by!

Kathleen Oxley said...

Hey - I looked at this when it was posted and somehow didn't comment. *fails*

I love Seattle! I've only spent a few days there, but am looking forward to going back again sometime. We really love Vancouver, so both times we've been in Seattle it's been on our way up to BC. But, in general, I find that area to be totally gorgeous and awe-worthy.

Ciara said...

OH NOooooooossss! it's a lie. It rains ALL THE TIME HERE. You don't want to move here. Terrible place. People are uptight and unfriendly. We wear socks with our sandals for crying out loud! Stay away! Stay away!


Great list, but you really should remember #13. Are you a native?

Anonymous said...

LOL. I know, I know. But sometimes you can't resist glowing about how great it is here.

I am a native. WA born and raised. =)