Friday, August 16, 2013

Adventures in Seattle- Part Three

Ok, so Part 3 came Friday instead of Thursday. My bad.

So, the last day of our trip had us deciding to go to the Woodland Zoo, but first, we were hungry, and we wanted to check out this Beth's place, which one of our cab drivers had told us was amazing. So, we walked for about a mile to get to this place only to wait about 20 minutes--in which hubs played the most ridiculous hunting video game I have ever seen and I bashed my forehead with the bathroom door--but it was worth it, because this breakfast was off the chain. SO GOOD! I highly recommend this place to anyone.

After breakfast, we decided to hoof it the rest of the way to the zoo, which was cool because we saw some beautiful flowers, and sucked because we were both in flip-flops and it was another mile to get to the zoo. If nothing else, we were working off all the food and alcohol we had stuffed into our bodies over the last couple days.

Now, I have to say, I have been to some zoos in my day. This zoo...was remarkable. It is 9 city blocks long and 9 city blocks wide. All the animal enclosures look like real habitats. And there is an insanely diverse amount of animals. It took us 3 1/2 hours to get through it. I would highly recommend this zoo to anyone.

After the zoo, we got Dom to come get us and we headed back to Pike's Market to get me a couple of things before it closed. That was insane, but mission accomplished. Then we ran about 6 blocks back up to this place Dom had recommended called 360 for dinner, which was all supposed to be local, which we loved.

Sadly, it was highly disappointing. The drinks were heavy flavored on the alcohol, but not actually strong, and blended badly. And the food was less than inspiring. Under-seasoned and mediocre for the cost, but hey, the wine was good!

Hubs and I were headed to an improv comedy show after that, but we had some time, so we popped into this place that had caught or eye earlier--it looked like a tiki lounge. We went to the bar and ordered 2 zombies.

Oh dear lord, was it a zombie.

I still felt like a zombie after the comedy show!!

We wandered our way back to Fado Irish Pub and got some after-show food and drinks. Meanwhile, my friend--who lived near the airport by the way--texted me and told me if we wanted to come and stay with her for the night, we could.

Um...YES! Our flight was at 7:45 and our cab driver stopped working at 5 am. So, it was either go to the airport at 4:30 am or stay at my friend's and maybe get some sleep.

Sleep won out. As well as good conversation, laughter, and sleeping with Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp blankets.

We boarded the plane back to Reno much too soon, with a random cab driver who was playing "Rock Lobster" very loudly...and who didn't look at all like a person who would listen to "Rock Lobster."

We wandered our sleep-deprived selves through security, and passed out before the plane even took off. Hubs' foot got run over by the drink cart, but it was all-in-all an uneventful flight. Took us probably 3 days to recover, but it was worth it.

Seattle was an experience, a good one. I hope to go back soon, and in the meantime, who knows...? Maybe something I have written will end up in one of my novels in the future. :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Adventures in Seattle--Part Two (Part Three coming Thursday)


For two days I slept terribly, partly because I think I had taken too many B-Vitamins and partly because the window in our hotel room didn't actually have a curtain. And having some weird dude shouting "F*** YOU!" at 6 am on Day Two didn't help any. I tried to sleep on the floor, the bed, upside down, it didn't matter. Insomnia was my constant companion for the first two nights we were there, but I have had insomnia off and on most of my life so I could deal. I was on vacation so no way was I gonna whine about it.... Well, I whined a little.

Day Two was spent hanging out at the Aquarium and wandering around the waterfront.

We had great lunch at this place I forget the name of now--Cafe 56 or something like that. My husband got some very rich and filling seafood cakes while I got these really awesome scallop and brisket sliders. They also had some great peach sangria.

We headed to what Seattleites refer to as the "U" District--AKA the college district--after that because that was where the venue was for the show we were going to see. As we got out of our cab and started walking around, my husband noticed a guy who was nonchalantly hanging out around the corner from the venue. Turned out to be the lead singer of the band--my husband's FAVORITE band, mind you. A brief conversation and a picture later, hubs was flying high and we were looking for a place to light until the show.

We went into the first place we saw, which was an Irish pub called Finn MacCool's. How could you go wrong with a name like that? Especially when the sign out front had a Scottsman in full regalia with a bagpipe? We had to give it a shot. Hubs is Scotts-Irish, after all. 

Best coconut shrimp--EVER. Hubs got some Irish nachos, which were a little icky after the first half, and he kept trying to steal my shrimp, but I was guarding them like a mother lion protecting her cubs. I let him have a couple, but mainly I flaunted how good they were by making "mmm" and "omg" sounds while I was stuffing my face. 

So, thumbs up for that place, and we headed over to the venue after we had finished, where we continued to be impressed by the amazingly cheap prices for liquor. I guess that's what happens when you live in a 24-hr casino town and are used to going to shows in San Francisco--both places price gouge like none other. 

After a great performance from the band Gogol Bordello--great gypsy rock for anyone who is interested--we headed back to Finn MacCool's for karaoke, but it was overrun with frat boys and their girls so we only sang one song, got our nom on with some mediocre gyros across the street, and went back to the hotel, where I continued to not sleep.

Day Three had me ironically on only 3 hours of sleep. 

I was meeting a friend of mine today who I hadn't seen since high school and the first part of my first year of college. I wasn't really nervous, per se, but you never know how things like that are gonna go. When you haven't seen someone after ten years, most of the time the only thing you have to talk about is your past. Considering I had only been in patchy theatre workshops with her over the years and was basically only her Facebook friend now, I was wondering. But she had actually made the effort to see me, which no one ever does, so I was also hopeful. 

Hubs and I got on a ferry to the island of Bainbridge to see what we could see, but what we saw was absolutely nothing but giant houses, so we turned around and went right back. Which was fine, since we had to meet my friend anyway--after hiking up like six years of stairs. 

So, I met my friend who I hadn't seen in a decade wheezing, and sweating, and maybe saying some mild curse words, because I cannot breathe in air that has moisture in it. I. Am. From. The. Desert.  On a side note, my face was also hating me, as my skin goes into lockdown freakout mode when in humid or moist climates and decides to melt off any makeup I have and generally make me look like a transient drug addict.

Luckily, my friend recognized me and wasn't like, "Who is that crazy wild-haired beast lumbering towards me?" We all hugged, introduced, and headed off to the famous Pike's Market and Pike's Market Chowder place, where I was overwhelmed by how many choices of chowder I had. I ended up settling for the old faithful clam because I am picky about my clam chowder and I was curious. I give it about a 9, honestly. The only place I may have had better was San Francisco, but then again, I am very partial to my city by the bay.

After lunch, we wandered the market, which was stuffed to bursting with people on all 6 levels. That's right--6 levels of shops, fun things, fresh fish, and the most amazing produce I have ever seen in my life. Like, ever. There was even a creeptastic guy who looked like a hardened criminal walking by with a live snake coiled around his neck! 

...Yeah, my friend had a very violent and adverse reaction to that one. 

Speaking of my friend, we were all getting along really well and it wasn't awkward at all. Probably the most casual I have ever felt with a person I used to know other than my husband, who I had also grown up with and lost contact with for ten years. Apparently, I like to see how things go after decades of time have passed. Seems to be a thing with me.

At any rate, we got horribly lost and finally ended up at Pike's Brewery where good beer and conversation commenced. We finally had to go due to the fact we were seeing Gogol Bordello again, but my friend told us #1. where she would be later if we wanted to meet up and #2. the name of a cab driver who was a friend of hers--Dom "the Stache" who was flat rate and could be helpful to us. 

So, as we headed to the show, hubs texted this Dom character, excited because he loves "The Fast and the Furious" movies and anyone named Dom was cool in his book, and we hit up a place called Kai's Bistro for dinner. 



That's pretty much the way that went down.

We got three appetizers: calamari (which was so fried I couldn't tell where the bread ended and the squid began) thai chili shrimp (which was actually just shrimp with like 18 tons of tomato sauce and googobs of garlic on top of it) and marinated mushrooms (which were actually pretty ok.) Hubs also ordered a Manhattan, which came complete with dead flies bobbing around in it. When approaching the bartender about this, she merely dumped it, didn't bat an eye, and said "K, I'll make another one."


I don't even want to think about what we ate. Not to mention, at the show, we were both burping up that gross shrimp crap and my husband had his intestines reject all food about 3/4 of the way through the second encore--they played 4 by the way. Amazing. And we also got to meet two other members of the band.

However, aside from the terribleness of our dinner, Dom "the Stache" had texted back, and a personal cab driver was born. We headed over to where my friend was at and spent the next few hours shooting the breeze in a very mellow and chill Hillside Bar on Capitol Hill. We got caught in a freak thunderstorm on the way home, and ended up seeking refuge under a tree for about 45 minutes while our cab driver dealt with a difficult fare, but we didn't care. We love the rain, and it was beautiful and invigorating. I have always found there to be something magical about the rain.

But despite the difficulties, Dom pulled through and got us home. 

That night, I slept like the dead...

Monday, August 12, 2013

Adventures in Seattle--Part One (Part Two to Follow Tomorrow)

Husband and i just came back from a four-day trip to Seattle. The reason? Going to see a rock band of course. Why? Because we could!

So, anyone who doesn't know the hubs and I...we turn the most basic of trips into a food and drink excursion to rival Anthony Bourdain. We love to experience as much local culture, food, and drink as we can while we are wherever we are...but we do it on the fly. Spontaneity is usually key for us. It's more fun to randomly find a seedy tavern in an alley than it is to Google to death the "best places to eat" where we are traveling. We want to see the dives and the hovels, the rare jewels, the terrible grossness, all of it. We want the whole experience, even if our colons and livers say otherwise.

So, it was awesome when our rickety, propeller-plane flight to Seattle served complementary wine and beer!

Too bad I was nauseous as heck and could only manage a ginger ale because I get airsick.

And too bad hubs was so passed out asleep that he missed it.

Oh well.

Armed with pizza/sleep breath from our earlier meal and subsequent flight, we immediately hopped a train--that took a millennium-- to get downtown...where we waited for a bus that never came... Oh the joys of the Seattle public transit.


That was a word we became well acquainted with.

When we finally landed at our hovel of a hotel, which was right in the midst of the ghetto where the prostitutes frequented--joy--we immediately headed out again to hit up downtown and find some great grub. We were starving, after all. Like, really starving, having been on some form of public transportation--or not--for the last few hours after a two hour flight.

Ironically, while we had been waiting for our bus that never came, we had seen a...thing...called The Third Door. Now, we didn't know what it was, but it sounded interesting, and as we got let off downtown from our bus, which HAD come, we only knew one intersection and that was it, so we decided The Third Door was the place to go.

Turns out intuition was right because it was a music venue/theatre/restaurant. How can you get better than that?

Oh, we were there during happy hour. That's how you get better than that.

We ordered half the menu--chicken satay, boar satay, green papaya salad, prawns, duck sliders--not to mention a multitude of cocktails. All were rather exceptional, aside from the papaya salad, which was sour and bizarre and tasted like coleslaw on crack. The drinks weren't amazingly strong, but for the price we were getting them, not bad.

After satiating ourselves, we headed down to the waterfront, meandered, and ended up randomly running--they were boarding when we bought our tickets--onto a cruise that went around the bay. Hey, why not? Cruises are fun, and we had never been in Seattle before. Hubs had been there once, but only for a day. Why not experience the sights?

It was happy hour on the boat too.

And the beer was good.

After an hour long sunset cruise, we ended up at the only place my husband had gone to on his previous trip to Seattle--an Irish Pub called Fado.

And let me tell you...

The food....


I got fish and chips, which people think are generally easy to master, but they are not. These were amazing. And hubs got a lamb sandwich served with some beefy au jus sauce.

Now...I am not a fan of lamb...but holy crap. I could have bathed in this sandwich. Not to mention, the drink on special that night was a Crabbie's ginger beer (REAL beer) with a shot of Jameson. Best meal we had all day.

We ended up back at the Third Door later for a live jazz band that was playing, but it almost put me to sleep in the booth--and I came to realize later than NO ONE in Seattle knew how to make a proper Dark N Stormy, but this place took the cake for THE WORST. It was like a rum and coke gone wrong and tasted like coke and olive juice. But over all, I enjoyed the place, and any place catering to local music is OK in my book. Just jazz is not my cup of tea, especially when I have been traveling all day and am exhausted beyond measure.

When we finally collapsed into our gross bed on Prostitute Row later, I thought I would sleep like the dead.
Little did I know, my insomnia was just kicking in...