March 6, 2013

the grey house of dreams

Blogger's Note: During my travels the past few years, I had the opportunity to visit various booked-related hot spots. Originally posted on my now-defunct blog, Lit Adventures, this is one of my Literary Adventures. Enjoy.

Gates guard a home surely Grey-worthy in a north Seattle neighborhood.

Christian Grey wants to give Anastasia Steele the world. Though she attempts to rebuff most of his gifts in E L James' Fifty Shades series, she does not put up much of a fight when he offers to buy a place for them to build a new home, together.

In north Seattle, Ana and Christian's house overlooks Puget Sound. It features a movie theater, plenty of space for a family and -- after they make their mark -- is environmentally efficient.

Though we do not know the Grey's exact address, you can still get a good idea of where they lived based on the directions and description in Fifty Shades Darker.
Key clue: Take I-5 Exit 172.

As directed in the book, drive north from downtown Seattle on I-5. Take exit 172, and follow N. 80th St. Head east on it, which will take you by homes and businesses on the way to the coast. You will drive for several minutes -- Ana said it took a while -- until eventually the road ends and you can go left or right. Seeing it looked more residential, I turned right for this exploration.

Trees line both sides of the road, which eventually leads to Golden Garden Parks. The greenery hides gated homes, creating the privacy and exclusivity described in the books. Though you cannot go into the homes, because they are personal residence, you certainly get the idea of what Ana must have been thinking as she went for that ride the first time Christian took her to the house.

Though you could end there, I suggest following the road. You will first come to a parking lot, which has walking paths. If you look up toward the homes from this vantage point, you will not be able to see them, further illustrating the privacy the trees create.

I decided to check out one of the pathways in the woods, and found this steep set of stairs, which leads you down to the coast level. A waterfall followed along the case, making it a peaceful walk on the way down. The walk up is another story. In short, the steep stairs were hell and give an incredible workout.

These stairs gave me a workout so painful
Christian would surely approve.

Back in your car, continue down the road to Golden Gardens Park. Directly on the coast, this gives a glimpse of the view the Greys likely had from their home. In addition to the marina and Puget Sound, they also saw the Olympic Mountains leading into the National Forest.

Shilshole Bay Marina is next to the park, which would give Christian a good place to keep his boat, The Grace. This would be another perk for them to live there.

Sadly a little overcast and washed out on this day, my camera
failed to capture how lovely this view of Puget Sound, the
trees and Olympic Mountains really looks.

From this vantage point, if you look up, you can catch a glimpse of a few homes that outlook Puget Sound, but barely.

Dot marks the spot.
As near as I can tell, this is the approximate location of their home. Driving downtown in Seattle traffic might not be a joy every morning, but it would be doable. You can either return to I-5 and head south, or you can follow the coastal roads, which is what I did. On a Monday morning, it took me about 15 to 20 minutes to arrive at Pike Pace Market, and took me through the beautiful and historical Queen Anne neighborhood.

Though not the most exact of sites from the books, it was worth it to me. I fell in love with Puget Sound during my trip to Seattle. Beautiful during the day, the view at sunset was indescribably beautiful and worth the money a billionaire mogul might shell out for it.

Look closely in the upper left portion of the photo for the roof of a house to
peak over those trees. Talk about privacy.

Related Links
City of Seattle
Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau
Pike Place Market
Port of Seattle

Book Reviews
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Darker
Fifty Shades Freed

Reading in the Kitchen Recipes
Pan-Seared Pacific Cod with Asparagus Dipped in Hollandaise Sauce and Sauteed Potatoes from Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker
Ana's Spanish Omelet from Fifty Shades Darker
Poached Salmon and Sour Cream Dip Salad from Fifty Shades Darker
Christian's Birthday Cake from Fifty Shades Darker
Carrick Grey's Lemondrop Martini from Fifty Shades Darker

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