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The last few weeks have thrown me for a loop. My boyfriend, SeattleFlyerGuy, accepted a job offer in the San Francisco area. Later this summer I will pack my things as well. Alas, I’m already feeling saddened about leaving Seattle after over 5 years here. So, I better get to work on sharing some of my secret Seattle spots.

Hidden in the Rainier Beach neighborhood, the Kubota Garden is an impressive twenty acre park that has been thoughtfully cultivated by Japanese gardener Fujitaro Kubota and his family since the 1920s.  The Garden is just the right amount of everything–not too crowded and a balance of areas of simple natural beauty with areas of manmade awe.

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My next secret spot involves a bit of driving. Near Tacoma, Washington is the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. It’s about an hour drive from Seattle but the quiet, contemplative magic it offers is worth the trip. Walking the trails offers a glimpse at a this unique estuary ecosystem. The Nisqually Wildlife Refuge hosts over 200 species of birds each year. You will often see herons in the river delta. Wander further out from the visitor center and you will find two striking white barns on your way to an immense boardwalk.  So immense I actually have never made it to the end! I almost made it once but was stopped by a bee hive that had been disturbed and was swarming.

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My last secret spot to reveal, for now, is a diner in Seattle, just near Boeing airfield. Randy’s diner hasn’t changed a bit since the 60s (I presume). It is like stepping into a Twilight Zone. It’s no 5 star dining experience, but you can order classic diner pancakes, bacon, and toast a la carte to your hearts content. The waitresses will never let you see the bottom of your black coffee mug. And you can’t beat the wine…its 2.75 and your choice between red or white. If I ever had to hold a secret meeting Randy’s would be the spot.

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