Two weekends ago (that is how far behind I am. Procrastinator!), I went to Seattle with Janet and Marigold to visit our friend Amy. It was a surprise for Janet's birthday (the trip, she thought we were going camping), and a great weekend get together for the rest of us (a little selfish for a gift, no?). Since Amy moved to Washington one year ago, none of us had been to visit, so it was long over due, and I couldn't have been more delighted to see her in her Seattle environment.
I picked up Janet on Thursday afternoon from work (Goldie's flight had left earlier), and Andrew dropped us off at the airport, where, not without incident, we scrambled onto our flight. If Janet and I thought our brainlessness traveling was limited to road trips, we were mistaken. We arrived in Seattle way past Amy's work-night bed time, and Goldie' s flight got in even later, so she cabbed it to Amy's condo. Which, for the record, is awesome and in a perfect location. I would buy the place based on the rooftop view alone:
Friday, Janet, Goldie and I woke up to Amy already being at work, so we took to exploring downtown using our own devices for the morning. The weather was cold and foggy (it had SNOWED that week, IN JUNE - that goes against all the laws of weather), so we bundled up (HAH! Janet thought she wouldn't need that fleece I forced her to pack!), and visited the coffee shop downstairs for some breakfast. What is Seattle with out coffee?
We walked through Olympic Statue Park, made our way up to the Space Needle, and wouldn't you know it? All that walking up hill, slipping into shops, (NOTE: Seattle's hills are steeper and more down-played than San Francisco. I did not know this. My calves do now.) made beer and pizza sounds like a lovely option. We stopped at Zeek's Pizza to enjoy lunch, and then made our way towards Pike's Place Market to meet Amy.
The market has energy, people bustling around, all the fresh food and fish and flowers! I kept thinking that being in there would be like food-porn for Andrew. We also got to see the original Starbucks, which really, I would have missed if someone hadn't pointed it out, because it looked like every other Starbucks you see.
After walking around for a while longer, we went back to the condo to change for Janet's birthday dinner at Peso's. Very trendy and pretty delicious, we enjoyed our margaritas and Mexican food (I know, going THAT FAR for Mexican food? It's kind of like going to France to eat BBQ). After Peso's, we made a stop at Cupcake Royale, which ended up disappointing, because they sold out of cupcakes with the customer RIGHT IN FRONT of us. None of Janet's pleas of "it's my birthday!" made any difference.
We left and went to Ballard Loft Bar to meet some of Amy's friends and enjoy a couple beers outside on the patio [read: all the Texans snuggled around the patio heater]. It was nice to put faces with names of people we would hear about occasionally. Amy has nice friends :)
Saturday morning Amy got us yummy bagels for breakfast to energize. There was a lot to do! We met with Amy's friend Jessica, our unofficial guide to all things Washington, and headed out to Snoqualmie Falls. It was beautiful, and misting, so while the sun was trying to decide whether to grace us with it's presence or not, we hiked down to the base of the falls and took lots of photos. When the sun did come out, I wanted nothing more than to lay on a warm rock near the river and bake myself all day.
We reluctantly left Snoqualmie and made the hike back to the car in order to make an appointment for a tasting at Chateau Ste. Michelle winery. It was pretty busy for a Saturday, which I think is to be expected on a weekend when the weather is so great, but over all, we weren't quite impressed, mostly because of a lack-luster tour guide ("And over here, we have some posters." I am not kidding). But for only $10, we got to try 7 different wines, so I really have no complaints there. Next we went across the street to Redhook Brewery which was a very different experience indeed. With no pretension of educating us beyond the basics, we tried several beers, and enjoyed them all. We even stayed at the brewery to eat dinner, where, in our state of giddiness, we ordered the most random assortment of nachos, edamame, sandwiches, salads, and who knows what, ever. And then, not discouraged from the previous day's denial of cupcakes, we decided to add to the gastro-intestinal fun by going back to Cupcake Royale for treats. This time, successfully.
By the time we got back to the condo, we needed to shower and change in order to meet Amy's friend Amanda and go to a karaoke bar in Queen Anne (I think? Amy correct me if I'm wrong). However, the worn off buzz and full bellies with strange combinations of food gurgling inside made for a rather fun-vacuum-esque group. We trodded up to the bar, meanwhile I'm feeling really bad for Amanda because we are so lethargic, and found a table to people watch. It was difficult to will yourself to drink anything, let alone alcohol in this state. I still have never been able to actually participate in karaoke in a karaoke bar, so that is still to be checked off the "life list", however, that Saturday night was not going to be the night! When clothing began to get too tight and it seemed completely logical to unzip your pants and pull your shirt down over it in public, we decided to quit while we were ahead (although "ahead" is a debatable term here) and jumped in a cab to go home. That night, some passed out and some sat up talking for hours. It was nice to have discussion time, without the pressure of telephones or the a short time table to squeeze it all in.
Sunday, Goldie had to catch her return flight, so before heading to the airport, we had brunch at Alki Cafe and then absorbed more sun, taking naps on a blanket near the water at Alki Beach.
After dropping off Goldie, we headed back to Pike's Place in order to buy fresh food to grill that evening on the adored rooftop. We picked up some Salmon, shrimp, orzo for salad, asparagus, and berries for dessert. Some how, the three of us were able concoct a pretty damn good meal, which felt like the perfect way to top off our long weekend. Monday morning was our good bye to the west coast and hello, familiar heat of home.