I am so very new to Seattle and I have found that people to go out of their way to be friendly. I think the secret to connecting in a new place is to be genuinely interested in the area. When I thought that I was only coming to Seattle for just a few months, I read travel books and magazine articles, asked friends for recommendations and made myself a notebook of restaurants, parks and the must see aspects of Seattle, as they were mentioned to me. If you read my blog posts from April, June and September 2014, you can tell that really experienced a lot in a short amount of time. You can also tell that I loved it out in the Pacific Northwest.
I always have a local person, place or thing "up my sleeve" to discuss when I meet someone new. I was lucky enough to sit next to a lifelong resident at a charity dinner last spring and when I mentioned I was hoping to see starfish on the beach, he leapt into action. He not only directed me to this section of Alki Beach, but he opened up a maritime tide chart (an app he had on his phone!) and told me exactly what day and time I needed to visit.
I found this speckled tan starfish blending into the damp rock. Naively, I was looking for them in perfect starfish formation. A class of 25 university students (some are shown above) was spread out across the newly exposed surface of Puget Sound armed with cameras and clipboards. After a few minutes of fruitless searching, I called to one of the students for help to find a live starfish and they all came over to show me.
What a lush scene. Can you spot the starfish? A red starfish is clinging to the rock in the foreground. I zoomed in (below) to show him basking in the sun.
This was such a cool experience. Trouping along the shoreline looking for sea life was really fun and not something I would normally do on a weekday. I have another resource for planning your trip, this tide chart includes water temperatures and the weather forecast.
This is the beauty of everyday life. Be interested in the world around you and be open to spending a little time in someone else's world.