37 Things You Know To Be True Growing Up In Bellingham
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37 Things You Know To Be True Growing Up In Bellingham

Quirks of The 'Ham

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37 Things You Know To Be True Growing Up In Bellingham
Kenni Merritt

If one was to measure distance based on time, you could say Bellingham is about 90 minutes North of Seattle and 90 minutes South of Vancouver, B.C. It's a perfect oasis known for surrounding hikes, Mt. Baker, Galbraith Mountain, Bellingham Bay, Puget Sound, and the San Juan Islands. With the vast amount of 'outdoorsy' things to do, there are also plenty of uncanny and quirky features that the actual city encompasses. If you grew up in Bellingham you know these 37 things to be true... it's just a B'ham thing.

So, growing up in Bellingham means…


1. Always knowing the Canadian exchange rate

2. Going to Fred Meyer between the hours of 3-7pm is a suicide mission

3. Having a half-naked picture on your Instagram of your Oysterdome hike

4. There is no point in shopping at the Costco in Bellingham, you might as well drive down to Burlington

5. If you do go to Costco, don’t plan on buying any milk

6. Seeing more British Columbia license plates than Washington ones in the Bellis Fair Mall parking lot

7. Thinking Starbucks isn’t local enough and is too big of a corporation—Woods Coffee is the answer

8. Finding out that The Woods Coffee owner is actually extremely conservative, so you have second thoughts about going, but you can't resist and go anyway

9. Being able to pick from five coffee stands on your way to school, the local coffee doesn’t stop at Woods Coffee

10. Attending to little summer camps at Western Washington University, and not realizing how remarkable of a school it is when you were a kid

11. Summer doesn’t start until July… but it continues until September

12. Boomuary is the best time of year. $2.99 all day, every day

13. Assuming that if it snowed, even if it was only an inch, you would have a snow-day

14. Jumping off the bridge at Bloedel Donovan, and on the last day of school jumping off the boardwalk at Boulevard Park

15. Remembering when Boundary Bay was the only big brewery in town

16. Spending more time figuring out which brewery to go to than the time you actually spend there

17. Drinking when you are 19, and casually telling the border patrol you are going to Vancouver for lunch when in actuality you are going day-drinking in White Rock

18. Spray-painting the big rock on I-5 northbound freeway at least once (or at least daydreaming about it)

19. Calling I-5 ‘the freeway’ because, well, there is only one

20. Pronouncing the word bag like ‘beg,’ then getting major crap about it anywhere else you go

21. Buying fireworks from the reservation for the 4th of July

22. Becoming used to saying your city is about ‘1.5 hours North of Seattle’… and then people think it is basically Seattle… NO

23. Mourning the loss of ‘Tube Time’

24. Enjoying your summers at Camp Firwood or The Firs

25. Never associating yourself with Lynden or Ferndale… unless it had to do with Jake Locker

26. Playing soccer in the mud at Northwest Soccer Fields

27. Puffing your chest out whenever Ken Griffey Jr. gets another award because he started with the Bellingham Mariners—the local minor league team (that no longer exists)

28. Flipping rocks and looking for crabs in tide pools at Larrabee

29. Scoffing at the wimps who use umbrellas

30. Counting more Subarus in a parking lot than all the other cars combined... and half of them sporting the classic 'co-exist' sticker

31. Never eating at Sadighi's on Lakeway and understanding that this is the biggest mystery in all of the 'ham

32. Absolutely loving Death Cab for Cutie's music, Hilary Swank's movie and being very confused about Glenn Beck

33. Driving just the right speed to hit all the lights on Holly and Chestnut (and getting pissed when the car in front of you doesn’t)

34. Learning every bit of information possible about the salmon cycle and the salmon species in the Pacific Northwest

35. Constantly having to pass bikers on the street

36. Snapping pictures with the giant heart of vines on Chestnut

37. And finally, always gushing with extraordinary pride and loyalty for your beautiful and quirky city

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