There are a lot of reasons to appreciate October: crisp fall leaves, warm apple cider, cozy sweaters and all the other obvious identifiers of fall. For me, October has always been a month of transition, a month of physical and metaphorical change in nature and in our lives. This year is no different. As my amazing internship nears its end, I'm faced with the daunting realization that I do in fact have to get a job and transition into the real the world. I'm feeling just like I did back in April: excited, afraid and anxious about what I'll be doing next. As the leaves change color and the weather cools down, I find myself transforming as well. The carefree summer version of myself has transformed into a less naïve version of myself that's braced for the winter chills and the life lessons it brings with them.
Admiring the simple things is a quality that always heightens during October. In the summer, you take for granted every gorgeous sun-splashed day you have to be outdoors. Each day after the next an egregious opportunity to explore. But during October in the Pacific Northwest, beautiful days are scattered among torrential downpours, making those calm moments even more special. I took advantage of those moments in downtown Seattle and in its rural counterparts. Hunter Farms was the idyllic place to find a bright orange pumpkin while Storyville in Pike Place was an indoor retreat to enjoy a coffee.
Even in enjoying the simplest of things, you can find bigger unexpected happiness. Somehow tweeting about a Pumpkin Spice Latte, an October essential, resulted in a compliment from an inanimate object. Don't even get me started on Pumpkin Spice Oreo cookies. I should really just eat everything pumpkin-flavored there is because this is the only month I can get away with it.
Last weekend, my family and I headed to Portland, Oregon where I had a job interview between shopping trips and dining out. Retail therapy and fine dining are some of my favorite (if not counter-intuitive) ways to relieve the never-ending stress of finding the perfect position of employment. Like selecting a job, I can be pretty picky when it comes to my food. Pizzicato Pizza claims to be Portland's best, and I have to concede to that statement. Their Greek salad is just as flavorful and filling as their pizza too. Later that weekend, we went to La Provence for quiche, French onion soup and macarons. Even the most critical of foodies will find a good restaurant in Portland.
Back in Seattle, Oddfellows on Capitol Hill became my favorite brunch destination. My friend Heaven and I delighted in the restaurant's massive French toast and exposed brick ambiance. Under the momentarily pleasant October sky, we enjoyed our lazy brunch with a view.
Going to Portland this month made me realize something I never had before: I really love Seattle. As much as I would love to explore someplace new, Seattle still has my heart. This city still has its own secret hideaways for me to discover. Whatever opportunities may come my way and whatever transitions I go through, Seattle will always be my home.