Saturday, September 17, 2011

Seattle in September

 Sept 11, 2011
It's hard to imagine that 10 years ago our nation faced such a tremendous tragedy.  I was 23 years old and at the hospital in Pine Bluff doing one of my last physical therapy clinicals.  I had just finished some wound treatments when the other therapists were saying we needed to watch TV to see what was happening.  I remember that it was so confusing at the time - nobody understood why there were planes crashing into the towers.  I was so worried about my mom who was supposed to be flying into New York sometime that day from India.  I remember trying to get a hold of my dad who happened to be working at the same hospital and by the time I reached him I was hysterical.  He assured me that Mom was OK and the plane had been grounded in Europe since planes were not getting into the US at the time.  I was so relieved.  We were all glued to the TV for the rest of the day.   I remember this day and honor all those that lost their lives especially the brave firefighters of FDNY.

Last week we were able to travel to Seattle for Labor Day weekend.  It was the perfect weekend to get away from the hot Texas weather.  While temps here reached 104 the high in Seattle was 70 and the low was 52. 
We left Joshua for only the 2nd time since he was born but we knew Grandma and Grandpa would take great care of him.  I had a harder time leaving him this time around maybe because he's getting so vocal and expressive and we have such a great time playing with him.

We left Friday morning with a connection in KC and finally reached Seatlle around 4:00.  After much convincing, we rode the Light Rail to downtown Seattle and  walked the two blocks to our hotel.  Our room at the Sheraton was on the 31st floor and the hotel is one of the largest in Seattle.  There were many conventions going on that weekend along with Bumbershoot, their equivalent of ACL.  We settled in and had appetizers in the lounge and rested before our dinner at Wild Ginger (Pan-Asian restaurant).  Dave and Siji weren't flying in till later that evening so we ended up meeting up with them in the morning.  We killed a couple of hours by walking through the Pike's Place Market and onto the waterfront where we caught another glimpse of Mt. Ranier.  We walked around watching all the boats and cruiseships on the water.  So beautiful and again the weather was perfect.  Couldn't believe I was wearing a cardigan!  Of course, we had to have a crazy, mentally ill man shouting at some woman to briefly ruin our picturesque evening.  But we quickly got away from that scene :)

We met up with Dave and Siji at our hotel after breakfast and we all walked to the Pike's Market.  Right as we entered, a large crowd had gathered in front of the fish throwing vendors.   So whenever someone would buy fish, one guy would throw the fish to another guy standing on the opposite side of the counter.  We were amazed at all the fresh flowers including dahlias, roses, daisies, and how many bouquets with the smaller ones being $5 and the larger ones $10.  Couldn't believe how affordable they were and so sad that we had no reason to buy them.  We tasted so much walking through the market; I was able to buy a bag of Rainier cherries - never had them before.  Now I don't know if I can eat any other cherry.  Steve bought some chocolate pasta which he plans to serve with ice cream one day :)  We also tasted different dips, oils, nuts, and so much more.

We took pictures of the original Starbucks coffee shop in the market and ate "the best mac and cheese"  at Beecher's Cheese Shop, which is actually true.  I could only eat a quarter of it because it was so rich and creamy.  We then had fresh juice at the Juice Emporium and Dave couldn't resist cheesecake at a specialty shop.

After our eating fest, we dropped our goodies off at the hotel and then walked to Westlake Center where we tried to purchase tickets for the Duck Tour.  I had no idea how quickly they sell out so we had to push our tour to 3:00.  We decided to go eat pizza before our tour at Serious Pie Co. which was good but overpriced.  We thought Home Slice was better.

The Duck Tour was pretty fun and relaxing.  Our tour guide was quite funny and he had lots of catchy music to go along with his interesting facts about the city.  We were all instructed to say "lattes" every time we passed a Starbucks and there had to be at least 25 on the tour alone.  The tour also included going into Lake Union, so it was nice to be on the water and looking at the Seattle skyline.

We rode the monorail back to Westlake Center and met back there again for the ride back to the Space Needle for our 7:15 dinner reservation.  For me, definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip. We went to the Observation Deck and took pics before we settled in for dinner.  Comfy seating and a slowly revolving view of the skyline made this night very memorable.  We tried to go for dessert at Tango(which was a long walk) but I had to fake being sick because the menu was horrible.  Then we ended up being at Cheesecake Factory - go figure. 

On Sunday we went down to the waterfront and caught the ferry to Bainbridge Island.  It was a nice, relaxing ride where we took lots of pics.  The weather was beautiful - 70s and the wind was blowing and I just felt like there wasn't a care in the world.  We got off the ferry at the island but never actually stepped onto the island since we loaded back on within 10 minutes.  We sat inside the ferry on the return trip and mapped out what we would do for the rest of the day. 
Dave and Siji had a friend recommend Six Seven Restaurant at the Edgewater Hotel which was a pretty long walk but I convinced my worrying husband that as long as we walked slowly I would be OK.  We had a pretty decent brunch and then took pics in front of their outdoor fireplace.
We walked through Pike's Place Market again and sampled some things and I had some of the best mango juice - watched her make it with fresh mangos.  Then we walked through H&M and rested at the hotel till dinner.
We had dinner at a "casual seafood restaurant" which would have been classified as upscale in Austin.  It wasn't the best but we had a good time just talking and summarizing our trip.  We ended up going to Fox Sports Bar afterwards which was kind of dead by the time we got there.  We stayed till about 11:00 and then walked home.
Couldn't believe our trip had come to an end.  We had a great time with our friends.  We ended up seeing them at the airport and sitting with them for 15 minutes before our flight boarded.
Steve's 36th B-day was on Labor Day, the last day of our trip which we spent mostly on the plane.  When we got to Mom and Dad's house, Joshua was waiting to wish Daddy a Happy B-day!