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Kirkland – There are worse places to be!

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Confession: When I wrote my son Daniel’s baseball schedule on the calendar, I sat down and bawled like a baby for at least twenty minutes.

Even under the best circumstances, baseball is a huge inconvenience. Washing stained white pants several times per week, having to feed Daniel before and after the game and somehow cook dinner for everyone else without being home to cook it and, now that Daniel is 16-years-old and playing on a select team, driving to games in places I don’t ever want to drive, especially during rush hour traffic.

It was the location of the games that made me cry. All the games are in the city. The first few years Daniel played select his home field was at the park a mile from my house or in Snohomish or Monroe, two nearby towns that can be reached by taking scenic back roads. I don’t mind driving 15 miles through cow pastures and corn fields. Driving 15 miles on the freeway through urban areas, however, is another story. I hate it. So, so much. This year, Daniel’s home field is in Kirkland, a city about 19 miles south of where I live. Worst of all, it’s on the eastside of Lake Washington, which means driving on 405, which is horrible because it’s always under construction and is bumpy, chopped up and full of lanes that suddenly end, abruptly merge or jump to one side with unclearly marked lanes.

I traversed the treacherous 405 Monday night. I have to admit the traffic wasn’t bad but I still hated every bumpy, choppy, stressful minute of it. But then I was in Kirkland and Kirkland is really nice! I took a walk through the very clean, safe-feeling downtown area and discovered that the park on the shore of Lake Washington is really close to the field. I didn’t have my camera but I snapped a few photos with my iPhone. After a dark, gloomy day, the sun broke through the clouds and it was a beautiful evening.

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While I will always dread the drive to get there, I look forward to exploring Kirkland during warm-ups. There’s even an herb store somewhere between the field and the waterfront! The field is really nice too, with bleachers, nearby restrooms and even a concession stand. Kirkland is a nice place to spend time.

While my attitude about our home field has improved, my attitude about some of the other places we have go to hasn’t. Renton, way down on the other side of Seattle? Huh uh. No way. Not going. The tournament  on Mercer Island this weekend? Nope. Not gonna drive there. I’ll go on the weekend when Don can drive but I’m not driving there in Friday afternoon traffic. Daniel will have to find a ride with someone else.

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12 thoughts on “Kirkland – There are worse places to be!

  1. lol I completely understand how you feel trying to avoid specific roads at specific times! Living outside of Philadelphia is SO insane sometimes. It really drives me up a wall. I’ve mastered the art of avoiding all highways, though which has really helped. Even if it does take a little longer sometimes, at least the drive is moving and sometimes a lot more visually pleasing.

    My best advice for learning this is to go to mapquest.com and put in your destination. Click “route settings” and click the option “avoid highways”. Hopefully you can experiment with this and see if it helps at all.

    1. Knowing I can get there without taking the freeway definitely helps. It’s a little tricky in Seattle though because of all the water. The freeway is the only way onto Mercer Island where the tournament this weekend is. Thankfully, another family was willing to give Daniel a ride down there tonight.

  2. I don’t blame you for disliking 405. Even driving in the city I use the lesser arterials. I go a bit slower, but there’s less traffic and I keep moving with few stop signs or traffic lights. I carefully time my park trips to avoid traffic as much as possible. At least that looks like a nice park to de-stress in! Water and trees are soothing.

    1. I was probably a bit overly dramatic in my description of 405 but it really is a mess! I’ve been wanting to visit the botanical garden in Bellevue but I just can’t muster up the energy to brave 405 to do so.

      The park in Kirkland was a really nice place to de-stress. I could have sat there staring out at the water for hours.

  3. I never liked driving in my local area when I still had a car, but I have to admit now that I’m not working and can find more positive aspects from negative tasks, I can enjoy what others find distasteful. I can sometimes even find something good out of the most boring things in the world (like hours sitting in medical waiting rooms or MRI machines (like I did this past Monday for my knee).

    Can you put some nice music on in the car to pass the time? Perhaps you can alternate driving with some other parents so you (and them) don’t need to do it every week?

    The lake looks like a fabulous place to do some photography and I hope you’ll remember the camera next time.

    1. I’ll definitely take my camera one of the next times I go. I could have had a wonderful photo of a Great Blue Heron if I would have had it with me the other day.

  4. I don’t know how people do long commutes to and from work on a daily basis… I think my short 10 minute commute to Mecca is a pain (Though that’s helped by all of the broken stoplights we have in our town that bring traffic on the main roads to a screeching halt, even at 10 in the evening or at 7 on a Sunday morning). I can’t stand driving on the highway, especially now that I’m in the phase of babying my older car to keep it on the road for as long as possible… heaven forbid you only do the speed limit on a major interstate!

  5. I’m glad there’s some pleasant views to enjoy once you arrive, a bit of a silver lining/reward for the awful drive to and from.
    Am I the only one who thought your post was going to be about a theme park devoted to a certain Star Trek captain after reading your title? 🙂

  6. I used to listen to talking books when I drove a lot. Then I sold my car. I can’t drive anyone anymore because I don’t have a car! Not suggesting you do that but I just thought I would throw it in. ❤

    1. Selling my car would make better financial sense than the other extreme options I’ve been (jokingly) considering, like getting a DUI so I get my license taken away. I’m just so tired of being pressured to drive places I don’t feel comfortable driving. Such pressure should become less frequent in the not too distant future though because my youngest can get his license at the end of August.

      I wish I could listen to talking books! It’s like I have some kind of auditory attention deficit though. I’ve tried listening to talking books before and I just tune them out.

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