The only place in Seattle that has absolutely no weed
It took us two attempts, but we made it to the conservatory in Volunteer Park.
The first time we tried to display our pride as plant parents, and head to the massive greenhouse full of brilliantly curated greenery from around the world, there was a wedding on, and the conservatory was closed to the public. The nerve of them to have a great idea for a venue and not want the general public tramping through, taking photos.
We tried our luck again a few weeks later, and despite getting nervous about a large group of people all dressed in middle eastern garb as we approached — because we thought they may be another wedding party, not for racist reasons — we paid our $4 entrance fee, and set about gawking.
There were four or five different chambers, each with their own climate suitable for the theme of the room. The main entrance chamber had some impressive, massive leafies that stretched all the way up to the high glass ceiling. Wasn't quite holding them back though, the metaphor isn't that succinct.
We have pretty clean air in our apartment thanks to our own 19 plant babies, but if you ever need an oxygen boost, this is definitely the prettiest way to get it. The freshest air you'll find, and obtaining it is far less strenuous and expensive than climbing a mountain. You can take pretty pictures and not have to worry about being back in time for tea, too!
Our favorite room was the arid plants, filled with cactuses of all shapes and sizes, and various length prickles. Lia pointed out that they looked like coral on the ocean floor, which was far more astute and thoughtful than my exclamation: "They look alien!" Spotting the symmetry of nature is always astonishing to me.
We followed some guy around the last few rooms of the conservatory who would not shut up about his screenplay idea to the two women he was with. The other two could hardly get a word in edgeways that wasn't just them agreeing with him that yes, a semi-biographic movie about Picasso stealing art and dealing in the black market was a great premise.
We had to listen to him for ages too, because he wasn't shy about the idea, so here's his punishment: anybody who reads this is welcome to nick his idea, and he'll have no idea how it happened. Because it was a good idea. V Oscar bait.
We were just trying to enjoy the insanely large air plants.
Another thing you don't get on a mountain hike: eavesdropping. Or skinny hipster screenplay-pluggers. Jeez, it's like I never graduated Emerson.
The whole thing was so lush, and immaculately curated. It's funny for me to think how just a few years ago, doing something like this would've been the most boring activity. But now I marvel at the planet's creations, and the wonder of it all. What a bloody hippie I am.
Bearing in mind the entertaining conversation, the controlled climate, and shelter from the elements, it would seem that the best way to get some fresh air is to go inside.