Yes. You read that title right. This weekend was … SEATTLE.
I’m tired and if I don’t go to bed now … well I’ll already have less than six hours of sleep at this point but maybe I can have more than five. I wrote down thoughts on Saturday and Sunday, thank god because right now I can’t really remember what I did Saturday. I basically tried to cram in everything I loved about Seattle into a weekend and it feels like I’ve been gone for a week when it’s only been three days.
– Paseo sandwich!
– Staying with Antoinette and being able to experience a mere three days of her crazy life
– New lantern!
– Thai Tom
– Brunch at Revel, the restaurant Antoinette works at
– Driving back and forth across bridges for no reason other than to listen to c89.5
– Running around Greenlake when I would have otherwise been working in Moraga
Will update later. One of these days … when I’m not bogged down with work.
– Not having the stomach capacity to eat more food
– Failing to bring back food for lunch tomorrow
– Discovering the house I lived in last year is now for sale
– Not impulsively staying permanently in Seattle
Listening to: The Wanted – Glad You Came (Alex Gaudino remix)
I wrote most of the following on scratch paper each night. The italics are afterthoughts…
Written on the couch Friday night before falling asleep
I’m in Seattle! Yes this is another one of Mel’s Random Ass Adventures. I booked the flights back in May when Southwest was having a sale. $202 to come roundtrip! Then another $105 for a rental car and $19.73 to pay for gas. 3 days – I took the Monday off. I’m staying at Antoinette’s, who I met while roadtripping in US, specifically, Ohio. In my brief stay there, she mentioned possibly moving to Seattle, but when I was there last year, she hadn’t moved yet. Now she lives in Greenwood and I am paying her a visit! And who are we kidding – I’m also paying Paseo, Molly Moon and Salumi a visit too. I ended up not eating Molly Moon or Salumi *cries*
It’s weird how much Seattle feels like home. My GPS was having difficulty locating satellites so I just hopped on the freeway and drove. I wouldn’t even know how to get around San Jose without guidance, but here I was like – ok. Greeenwood. I-5 North. Go.
I made it home from work on Friday with 20 minutes to pack. After I’d decided I was pretty much done with packing, I got an email saying my flight had been delayed by 45 minutes. Well then! Relaxed a little and reconsidered my clothing choices. Then my housemate Jessica took me to the airport. Thank god for non-auditing friends who are regularly home before 5! God I’m exhausted but I want to write while I have my “I’m in freaking Seattle!” euphoria.
So many things went wrong today
1) In my mad rush to the airport, left my laptop bag (and thus, my laptop, scratch paper, and book) at home
2) In my mad rush to get through check-in, left my bag of salad by the Southwest luggage check-in terminal
3) While trying to kill time and reading a tourbook about Seattle, nearly missed boarding for the plane and ended up lining up with the tailend of the B section and could not sit window
4) Rental car fiasco, which requires subsections
a) Forgot that I had reserved under National Car Rental not Enterprise and,
b) Waited for the Enterprise shuttle to take me to their off-site location and then,
c) Discovered that I had not only gone to the wrong company, but I had reserved under my dad’s name, not my own so,
d) Took the shuttle back to the airport and walked around the huge parking level in search of the National terminal, then
e) Spent the next hour trying to change my reservation to my name or creating a new reservation, including
f) Calling my brother, only to find that his internet was out so he couldn’t help me,
g) Calling my parents to ask what my dad’s employee ID number was, only causing my mom to freak out and,
h) Continue to call me back to make sure that I was ok, when I did not have time for any of that and
i) Calling the VIP number to make a new reservation, only to find out that he could not give me the employee discount via the number I had called, so he made me a completely new reservation which,
j) Never came through the database.
But in the end, all of these were outweighed by the fact that I am in SEATTLE!!!
I think my super chipper mood made all three rental car company employees not mind helping me out. Either that, or people in Seattle are just plain awesome. Clarence, the guy who helped me the longest, was super nice, and in between us just waiting for something to happen I’d be like “… SO! How is YOUR night going?!” and any time anyone asked me “what are you in Seattle for?” I would respond “FOR FUN. I LOVE Seattle. I’m going to move here one day!” By the end of the night, I had spoken to 1) the Enterprise employee, 2) the Enterprise shuttle driver 3) an Enterprise employee sitting on the shuttle, 4) Clarence, and 5) the man who had to check my documentation before I left the airport parking, and told them all about how much I love Seattle.
In the end, Clarence managed to keep my dad’s employee discount rate AND waive my Under 25 fee AND waive the cost of insurance and it ended up being even cheaper than my initial reservation. While profusely thanking him he was like “I’m going to make your night even better” and said I could take my choice of any car, even though I’d requested and paid for a Compact.
Unfortunately, I didn’t see any Lamborghini’s or Aston Martins on hand … I ended up choosing a VW CC
I think it looks like a ripoff of the CLK
I had ended up taking nearly two hours just to get this rental car so once I finally got the keys, I just started up the car (with help from Clarence) and started driving. I was about 30 seconds out of the airport parking lot before realizing that my GPS had not yet located where I was (SOOOOO weird to have to change the GPS to search within a new state – haven’t done that in months!), nor had I figured out how to turn on the lights on my dashboard so I couldn’t see how fast I was going, nor had I figured out how to turn on the AC and it was kind of humid, nor did I know how to use the blinkers, nor had I figured out how to turn on the radio. Of course, first priority: radio. Figured out how to get to C89.5 and figured that I could suffer a few minutes without AC and that I didn’t REALLY need to know how fast I was going…
The car is way too advanced for me – I drive a Corolla that doesn’t have power locks or windows. This was the kind of car without a turn ignition … I never figured out where the emergency parking brake was in those three days … I didn’t even know how to adjust the side mirrors but luckily they were already positioned well. In my attempt to turn on the AC, I ended up hitting the seat warmer, and realized that my legs were getting SUPER WARM. I fiddled around and tried to drive without really touching my legs on the seat. What a freaking shitshow.
Well, I finally found my way to Greenwood, then was very confused because I walked into to the wrong apartment complex. FINALLY found the right one … and YAY!!!
Written on the couch on Saturday night right before I fell asleep
As many of my blogs are, I am writing this while feeling very exhausted. Except, unlike the usual exhaustion of a 9 hr workday combined with a 2 hr roundtrip commute, today’s exhaustion stems from exploration and constant exposure to sun. My Moraga client has unfortunately trained me to wake up at 6am, which is what happened this morning. I stayed in “bed” read: couch until 8am, then got ready for brunch with Antoinette at Glo’s in Capitol Hill. People in Capitol Hill don’t start waking up until afternoon, so parking was easy to find. Capitol Hill, per Antoinette, used to be very clearly the gay part of Seattle, but now it’s less of a “gayboy” area and more of a hipster area. Which I think is a similar situation to most major cities with a gay enclave.
Brunch was yum and somehow made both me and Antoinette incredibly full for the rest of the day. We split an omelette and coffee cake so I have no idea what made it so filling. After this, we drove to U District, and it was so weird to feel so … normal walking down the Ave. Today did not feel like I was visiting a city at all – I feel way more familiar here than when I go back to SoCal, and all of Bay Area feels foreign to me all the time. I met Antoinette’s friend Karen at the farmer’s market. It was unfortunately warm in Seattle – 80! We ended up going to a cafe and just sitting around, chatting, avoiding the sun, and enjoying the AC. Which was a perfect change from my previous experience of going to cafes just to do work.
Around 2 we drove back to Greenwood to decide what to do next. I was feeling really wishy washy and didn’t know what to do next, since my plans to walk around neighborhoods was made a little less appealing due to the sun. Finally, I decided Antoinette should drive me to Queen Anne and I would walk around myself and cross the 99 bridge and rejoin her for dinner. So I got dropped off near Kerry Park, walked around the Upper Queen Anne and Queen Anne Ave which houses Queen Anne Books and El Diablo Coffee, before crossing over to Fremont. I made the mistake of blindly following my GPS, and I kept thinking “that’s odd … the bridge I want to cross is over there but the GPS wants me to go here?” and I didn’t realize until too late that my GPS had led me to the less interesting Fremont Bridge. I could very clearly see the 99 bridge though, so I just found the steepest hill to climb up and figured I’d be led to the bridge. When I was in Seattle last year, the east side of the bridge was closed off for repairs, which made me really sad because the east side has the better view. But this time I got the bridge all to myself! East side is better because you can see Downtown, Gas Works Park, U-District area, whereas west side you see just a lot of shipping cargo and Fremont and Ballard, which is not too gorgeous.
Antoinette picked me up and we drove the Paseo’s second location by Golden Gardens, which thankfully had not yet run out of sandwiches. If we had gone to the normal Fremont location, I don’t think they have any sandwich bread left by 6pm on a Saturday. We attempted to find parking at Golden Gardens but I guess the sun drove all of Seattle out to the beach, so we decided to drive to the more secluded but just as gorgeous Carkeek Park, which was the first Seattle park/destination I had ever gone to. We ate our sandwiches on the beach, talked, then finally packed up when the last rays of light were leaving.
I just got incredibly distracted and spent thirty minutes cleaning out the dust under my laptop keys. Feeling accomplished!
We sat in the car and Antoinette started driving before we realized we had not actually agreed on a destination. I asked if she would mind just driving … around … and she was like “sure where to?” and I was like “um … let’s just go across the bridges and freeways” so she drove me down the 5 and back. HAHA Every time I drive down the 5 there, I really want to stare out the window, but I had never been the passenger so I couldn’t. Along the way, I ended up hearing the amazing story of the time Antoinette ended up driving her drunk date’s car and picked up a pimp and a few of his hoes at a gas station and dropped them off at a party. Surprisingly, that entire sentence was literal. Then we went to Gas Works Park for a night-time view but I stupidly forgot to bring my camera from the car. I don’t think it could capture even a fraction of what you see in real life though, so it’s just as well. Then we went back home and agreed that even though it was only 11:30 or so, we were both exhausted and ready for bed
Written in a cafe late Sunday night
Now it’s Sunday. But my weekend is not yet over. Craziness! Yet also – exhaustion. Sitting at Trabant now, I sort of just walked onto a random street off the Ave and would like to think that something in my subconscious led me to one of the few cafes open until midnight, but that’s highly doubtful. I came here last year and they’re known for their chais but I got a chai the last time I was here and tonight I really feel like a mocha. I got an Omanhene mocha which I think means “mocha made of Ghana dark chocolate”
Once again, I woke up at 6:10 am today, but was very happy to think “fuck that!” and continue sleeping. When I finally got up, it was gloriously misty and overcast. Alas, the sun burned through the marine layer by 10am.
Antoinette took me to Revel where she works and it was AMAZING. Seattle is a city that seems to wake up later, kind of like LA. She introduced me to the chefs and people working there and they gave us a ton of comp food that left me holding my stomach in fullness for about two hours after. The restaurant itself was very cool looking, like exposed industrial feel with an really cool open kitchen bar that we sat at. Some of the food we got:
Everything was amazingggg. I was skeptical about the pudding but that ended up being one of my favorites that I really want to learn how to make.
I left to go to Ballard’s Farmers Market while Antoinette worked. Spent the next two hours thinking I was going to implode.
So right now it’s 10:45pm and I am at a window seat looking out at a rather isolate street with cars and buses zooming by and it’s all oddly calming.
I had the next few hours to myself so I just hit all the little things I missed about Seattle but would not want to drag people to: the farmer’s market, the Ballard library, walking around aimlessly… I checked out Stone Gardens climbing gym, which is one of very few indoor climbing gyms in Seattle. I was kind of disappointed in it: PG is much better and the routes are clearer and I think more appropriately graded. Whenever I leave the Bay Area, that will be one of the few things I actually miss … good and numerous climbing gyms. I stuck it out at the gym for a while before I finally accepted that I was only staying there to get my $17 day fees worth, when there were so many other things to do. So I jumped in the car and headed to Alki Beach, hoping to browse Easy Street Records but that ended up being a disaster because I think they were loading trucks at the port so they stop traffic and after sitting without moving for six minutes, I just turned the car around and headed back across the 5. I made a VERY brief stop at University Village. It would have been nice to shop longer, but I just popped into Ravenna Gardens, found another awesome lantern and bought it. YAY LANTENRS!!!
I knew I had to be back at Antoinette’s by 4:30 and I made it there at like 4:22 and ran up the stairs and was like “I JUST NEED TO CHANGE” and, done. We headed to Capitol Hill and picked up her friend Kate and then went to get food at Marination Station which is like a Korean/Hawaiian mix. Although we went to the restaurant, apparently the food truck was voted best food truck in the nation by Good Morning America. Or so their site says. It was really good – I got two tacos (Kalbi and Tofu), Spam slider, and macaroni salad. Then we headed to the KeyArena to watch a Seattle Storm WNBA basketball game. I had to warn them beforehand “I may look like I am having the most miserable time of my life, but that’s just my face when I am in huge crowds.”
The game went by wayyy faster than any other sports game I’ve been to, so that was nice. I’m thinking WNBA games have shorter quarters than NBA. Also, I keep writing NBC instead of NBA. Probably because I type NBC way more than I have ever typed NBA.
After the game we drove around, found a good view of the sunset near Ray’s, some stuffy looking restaurant that looks like it’s only good for the view and not for the food, then to Safeway for random groceries, then back to Antoinette’s. I decided I wanted to sit in a cafe so I drove off and here I am.
After the cafe I decided to just drive around Seattle at night and listen to c89.5 so I drove to Alki Beach and stared at the view then back.
This I’m writing from memory on this Sunday afternoon, which is basically a week after it happened. My strongest memory of Monday is running around Greenlake at 9am in the morning and feeling like life was complete again and feeling awesome because instead of sitting and working in Moraga, I was in my favorite everyday place in Seattle. The next Tuesday when I was back at work felt like a VERY long day. So yeah, I ran/walked two laps around Greenlake which is where I used to live. Walked around random streets of Greenwood and then walked back to my old house and was REALLY sad to find out that it was for sale! I definitely want to live in Greenlake/Greenwood/Phinney Ridge when I find a house here, but I don’t want a 4 bedroom, which is what that house was. I later talked to my mom about it and was like “I don’t want it though – I want a 2 bedroom” and she said “2 bedroom is too small! Where am I going to sleep when I visit? You need a 3 bedroom” *rolls eyes*
I told Amy the same yesterday when I went over to her house and she looked it up on this site that I think I am going to get very addicted to. So this is my house. Currently selling for $494K. I don’t think I want to buy a house in Seattle for more than $400K.
Anyway … after that I went to Gas Works Park and since it was a Monday, I was only one of a handful of people there. I could sit there all day long but finally decided to move on and went to downtown Seattle to get a sandwich from Salumi…
BUT they were closed! Devastated. Driving into downtown Seattle for a sandwich is like me driving into downtown SF on the weekday for a quick bite. Kind of dumb. But I’d paid for my metered parking already so I just wandered around Pioneer Square and made it back at the exact minute my time expired. Woot. Since Paseo was closed on Mondays as well (I would have totally wanted another sandwich) I decided to go to University District for Thai Tom. I got takeout and brought it back to Antoinette where we had a very nice and relaxing takeout lunch in her living room. I asked to use her computer to check-in to my flight and saw that she had Joy the Baker’s site up and was like “oh I love reading her blog too!” and she stared at me and was like “funny thing … Joy the Baker is Lauren’s sister” (Lauren is one of her friends who I unfortunately did not meet this weekend). I was like “WHAT?! OMG! SHE’S Joy the Baker’s sister?!?! OMG She is the reason Joy the Baker goes to Seattle! THIS IS ALL MAKING SENSE NOW” and I spent the next few hours, and possibly the next day, being very amazed at how small the world is sometimes.
In an effort to skip horrendous Seattle traffic, I left really early to the airport … TOO early. I had like more than an hour of free time to kill. Wah. But oh well, I wandered around the airport for a very long time before finally boarding. Magically got a window seat despite being in the B section (yay!) and basically stared out the window for two hours. Almost cried when the pilot said “welcome to San Jose!” and then Laura picked me up and then here I am back in South Bay.