Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Weekend in Seattle

Ugh. Vacations are draining. I woke up yesterday morning to a vision of Seattle covered in a light blanket of snow. Nope. Not dreaming. It was snowing, and traffic was snarled all over the city. They're accustomed to rain there, not the white stuff.

Still, I thought it was pretty until the cabbie informed us there was an accident ahead, and MaryLou and I sat looking at bumper-to-bumper stalled gridlock, and then it wasn't so lovely. (Look at those flakes falling through the back window. And no making fun of my hair. I'd had my head covered with my scarf since I didn't think to bring a hat.)

A couple hours later, I thought the snow was even less pretty when my plane got delayed as they de-iced the wings.

When I finally got back to San Francisco, I unpacked my suitcase when I got home, threw my dirty clothes into the hamper, crawled into bed, and struggled to keep my eyes open. At 8pm, I failed miserably and went to sleep. Slept straight through until the alarm went off at 6am. Oddly, I am still tired. As I write this, I am drinking a cup of Pike Place Special Reserve, a bag of which I purchased at the original Starbucks, and I still just want to lie down and take a nap.

Speaking of which, here is a photo of the lovely head barista (manager, maybe? tres chic) at that Starbucks, informing everybody waiting in line about what makes the original store so special. One, you can't get any souvenir Starbucks gear anywhere except HERE that has the original naked Siren (two-tailed mermaid) logo on it (you want boobs, you gotta go to Seattle--or, you can just zoom in on the photo to the left to look at the logo in the upper left hand corner). Two, you can get Pike Place roast anywhere, but not the Special Reserve (you want it, you gotta go to Seattle). Three, they use super-de-duper-woweee-amazing-machines at the original store--the ones that make better coffee via a much slower but much improved process, unlike most other Starbucks, where, apparently, the baristas are all unskilled and merely have to push a button. Fast, but nowhere near as technical and tasty. At least, this is the gist of what she was telling us. (Frankly, I didn't care so much; I was cold and just wanted my damn peppermint mocha.)

Other things I did in Seattle--well, there's the Brandi Carlile concert I mentioned in my last post. We went to the second Seattle Symphony concert on Sunday night (the first was on Friday), and it was good too, but I preferred the first night's. That could be because it was my first Brandi show, but I think I also liked the song selection that night better. We also went to the "secret" show at Neumos Bar that turned out to be not-so-secret. MaryLou did have a friend get to the show early and hold a place in line for us in exchange for a ticket (and then MaryLou also bought her a ticket to the next night's show as well), so we only had to wait, shivering, in the cold for about a half hour before doors opened. We managed to get a good viewing spot crammed up against the balcony overlooking the stage. The sound quality wasn't great, but some fun things did happen during the Neumos show; namely, not only did Brandi drag her sister Tiffany onstage at one point to sing, she was telling the audience about how she grew up in a home full of country music because her mother sings--and then, snap! She called her mother up to the stage for a version of Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man," and there is just nothing more hilarious than watching a cute little lesbian singing that with her mother. View below and see for yourself.

Other Seattle 'haps: we stayed at the Fairmont Olympic, which was a lovely hotel, all decked out in Christmas decorations (seriously, we came in late Friday night after the concert, walked through the usual lobby, and Saturday morning, the lobby had been transformed into a magical Christmas land). I don't know how that many trees went up in the span of about six hours, but it happened. Here's the main tree, and there were probably twenty more little (6 foot) trees circling the entire lobby.

Downstairs, by the front door where the valets are, there was also a faux fireplace, a tree, gifts, and a Santa checking his list. Ever the prankster, I had to get in on the action and mimic Santa. I have quite the "Bad List" going, let me tell you.

We also visited the Seattle Museum of Art to see the Picasso exhibit, where I furtively snapped a couple iPhone photos of some paintings, including the one to the left which I dubbed "Something I Ate and Lost."

And that's about it. There was the requisite walk along the waterfront and a visit to the Public Market at Pike Place where they tossed fish around, and a fabulous birthday dinner for MaryLou at Metropolitan Grill, which was recommended by Cathy the concierge, who, when she made the reservation for us, bought us a nice beef carpaccio appetizer compliments of the Fairmont. If I was still drinking, the wine list at the Met was drool-worthy--but we settled for steaks and the fixin's and a slice of 9-layer chocolate cake that the two of us could only eat half of.

All in all, a whirlwind trip and a fun weekend, but it's always nice to return to sunny California, hugs from Chelle, and happy meows from the kitties. Jerry is snoozing on my lap as I type.

And now it's time to get back to grading essays.

Better get a refill on that coffee . . . .


Krissy said...

Sounds like you had a good time. Well, besides the rain.. and ice.. and being tired. But we always need to recuperate after a trip don't we?


Krissy said...

Oh, and I soooo agree with your name for the Picasso! LOL

Joyce said...

LOL! Picasso was so prolific... some of his work I like, but I don't like that particular one. It kinda made my skin crawl.

The trip WAS fun! Next time I'd better plan something after which I'll have a day to recuperate before jumping back into a classroom at 8am. I'm pretty sure I babbled a lot yesterday. ;-)

Krissy said...

Babbling teachers (or professors) are fun. :)

Joyce said...

Then I must've been hella fun ;-)