Letters from Me, Day 5: Jessica Beckwith, Seattle, WA

Dear Jessica,

Oh cousin of mine, who lives across the mountains and valleys, the rivers and lakes, the counties and cities and states and provinces...how art thou?

I know things have been pretty sweet, from what I've seen on Facebook. Trips south to the tropics, doing yoga with babies, hanging out with friends galore...the fun is running rampant in your life.

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I was lucky enough to be a part of the fun last year when we came to visit you and your family in the great state of Washington. Our trip there was such an adventure, and it really gave me the chance to see - and truly get - the space between our houses. Because there's so much of it! Driving through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho....we saw so much! So many things that you miss when you hop in an airplane in Philadelphia and zone out to your iTunes in the sky while playing Angry Birds or reading the New Yorker. Even if you watch out the window, and it's a clear day and you can see the land and the hills and the lakes, sailing by below you, you really don't get a true feeling of how far you're really going. If we really wanted to know, we'd be like that guy who walked across the United States on foot! But I don't think I have good enough shoes for that.

But after our trip, after all of the miles we put on that rental car, we made it to Enumclaw. I know the farm is not where you grew up, but it is still your home, or your home away from home, where your parents live - where all of their animals (cats, pigs, chickens, steers, oh my!) live - where the love is for the Washington Beckwiths. It was so wonderful to experience your mom's cooking, your dad's man cave, their senses of humor and easy going attitutudes, to see where you came from, and what made you the cool chick you are today.

Because you are a such cool chick!

When we explored Seattle with you, and you took us on adventures with Danielle and Jake, I felt like we really got to know the true Jessica Beckwith. I'm jealous of people that grow up close to their cousins, and get to live near them as adults, because I had so much fun spending time with you, and wished we got to do it more often.

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Pike Place where we ate berries and sausages on a stick, Post Alley where we posed for those quintessential Seattle gum wall photos, the waterfront where we saw Johnny Galecki and bought tasty chocolate, across the sound where we ate fries and drank beers with the aunts, and then off to West Seattle to see your cool apartment!

I loved seeing your place, and kicking it in your hood. The beer shop was so amazing, and I know if we'd had a couple more hours, we'd have probably all been hugging or crying or singing at the top of our lungs...because that just seems like something we'd all do. Though, I'd never give up our incredible dinner at Salty's where we ordered half the menu and all the fancy cocktails they were offering. And the baked Alaska! It was like dinner AND a show.

What I'm saying is...I had the most wonderful time getting to know you and your town. I loved that you got to meet Dylan and find out why I think he's such a cool fella. I love your enthusiasm for life, for any and all aspects of interacting with people, young and old alike. I love the joy you bring to people, with your humor, your kindness, your infectious laugh. I admire how you take care of people - I saw it when we were together, and I see it from afar all the time. I really dig your sense of style - your nails, your hair, your sweet tats.

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I've always felt like we were connected, by a hard to explain cousin-y up-in-the-ether bond, but I knew it was true when we hung out last year.

Maybe when they invent instantaneous transportation, we can make those hangouts a regular thing. 

[thought] I'd like to hang out with Jessica now. 
[text] You free? Want a beer?
[text] Yup! Come on over!
[thought] Beam me to Seattle!
***POOF!!!***

Let's make that happen, huh? Let's start getting some investors and engineers now!

Lots and lots of love,

Amanda