Next month you and I will have been together for three years, though I fell in love with you in the lovely summer of 2015 during a college tour of Western Washington University with my daughter. I loved your big trees, your cool breeze, and Western’s campus. The trails I saw throughout the city, and the walk on Taylor Dock made me happy . I pined for you, planned for you, and dreamed of you for almost three more years before I was able to move to be with you.
I started Bellingham Living on Facebook, an act of love, almost as soon as I decided it was time for me to relocate, a full two months before I moved to be with you Bellingham. The friendliness of the people, and the helpfulness I experienced right off in the group was amazing. I felt like I had friends before I even moved into town. Meeting people online and see pictures of the places they had gone and things they had done had me more than ready to make you my home. As I arrived here in Bellingham I met many people that recognized me from Bellingham Living, and I knew you were still a small town Bellingham, no matter how much you’ve grown.
Home in Sudden Valley
I fell in love with Sudden Valley online. It is outside of the city, my love, but it is close enough that I can visit you every day. I love the trees, and thought I could feel like I was in my “tree house”. I also liked that the prices were more affordable than Bellingham proper. My love for Sudden Valley has only grown over the years I have lived here too. As I discovered all it has to offer, (the marina, the beaches and parks, the trails, and the community center in the Dance Barn) I felt like I had moved into a storybook neighborhood. Another bonus, as of November 2020 a new HOA board has taken majority control. Everything is looking even better for Sudden Valley’s future. Also, I truly have the best neighbors I have ever had, and I hear this from all over Sudden Valley.
As Time Passes
As time passed my first year I just kept on falling more and more deeply in love with you. I got to experience the trails myself and each one brought me to places I never would have found on my own. Walking the neighborhoods I couldn’t stop taking pictures of all of the different charming houses. I got to see seasons for the first time in my life. The changing blooms at different times of the year were magical to witness.
I have gone out more and done more than I had in decades before I came to be with you Bellingham. Before COVID there was never a lack of events or shows to attend. Exploring restaurants from the advice given in Bellingham Living has been fun and delicious. Finding the true gems of Bellingham like the Bellingham Circus Guild and Good Time Girls Tours is magical. Getting to hear Ira Glass speak at Mount Baker Theater, seeing moving documentaries at The Pickford Film Center has made this place feel like home. The long summer days allow time to do so much more, so it is you that I love almost the best.
Downtown Bellingham, your heart, is one of my favorites places to spend an afternoon or evening. I love walking the street, shopping at the boutique shops, and stopping for a bite to eat at any restaurant and knowing that I will get a great meal. Your buildings, built around the turn of the 20th century show me what things were like back in that era. Wandering your streets I wonder what each building is like inside and out, what have those buildings seen in their time, and how much more will we show them?
It’s a treat to go to a live concert at The Wild Buffalo, play pool at Bellingham Bar & Grill, and darts and shuffleboard at The Local Public House. I love that I feel safe walking around downtown day or night. Ending an evening with a treat at Pure Bliss Desserts, or an ice cream from Mallard’s is perfect. Shopping at Third Planet or Fringe is always fun, and my new favorite sidewalk cafe is Locus.
Bellingham you’re not like most towns. You’re special. Originally you were made up of four towns coming together to make Bellingham Bellingham, Fairhaven, Whatcom, and Sehome. This is why your streets don’t make sense and learning how to get from place to place takes time. It is also why you have a SECOND downtown called Fairhaven. Fairhaven wins the awards for cuteness. Cute brick buildings with boutiques and restaurants make Fairhaven a wonderful place to wander. Cool buildings like the one The Black Cat resides in are fun to explore. If you follow Harris down towards the water you will find Fairhaven’s stone plaques with bits of history at your feet. These stones range from funny to serious, and shed a tiny light on what Fairhaven was like back in the early days.
Living near the bay in new to me. Commercial fishing is not something I have seen a lot of before moving to Bellingham. Hours can be passed walking the docks and checking out the enormous fishing boats next to the ridiculously huge yachts. Zuanich Park is right next to the harbor. This is a great place to fly a kite, learn to skateboard, and to watch boats come in and out of the harbor. Another wonderful bonus of is often times you can find fish, shrimp, crab, being sold off of a fishing boat.
Love of the Lakes
Besides Bellingham Bay, which is awesome, you also have such lovely lakes Bellingham. I found Lake Padden on one of my first trips to Bellingham, and love the low fog over the water and watching kayakers make their way across the water. The circumference of the lake is around 2.25 miles and circling it makes for a nice walk. Lake Whatcom is Lake Padden’s big sister that you can also walk next to on the Hertz Trail. I love visiting your lakes Bellingham especially in the summer when I can jump in and swim! Kayaking works all year long on the lakes.
The Dark Side
You’re not all perfect Bellingham. You know your winters are dark and the days are short. Your roads aren’t in the best shape, and there are many people living on the streets. Homes are hard to buy or rent, and they are more expensive than I’d like, but I do understand that I am not the only one to fall in love with you. We can work together to change the things we can change. The dark winters bring us beautiful Spring, Summer, and Fall. Nothing is perfect Bellingham, including you, but I love you anyway.
Thank you Bellingham
You have given so much to me, Bellingham. I have a thriving business selling homes all over Whatcom and Skagit counties. My friendships here are better than I have had in decades. Bellingham you shared with me an extraordinary man, and we got married on Bellingham’s own sailing vessel the Zodiac Schooner. Moving to Bellingham has changed my life for the good in so many ways. I hope to continue our relationship for the rest of my life, Bellingham. I know there is no better place for me.
If you think Bellingham or the surrounding areas might be the place for you too please don’t hesitate to reach out and give me a call. I almost always answer my phone, but I respond to texts and emails too! 360-325-9076