July 26, 2010

Seattle: Day One

Hey kids! I'm back. Ready to hear what I did on my summer vacation?

Well, then, let's get to it!

We took a taxi to the airport from MGM. Our taxi driver mentioned she was from Seattle. We asked for a recommendation on a can't miss place to grab a bite. She couldn't remember much but it was a place on the water, she went for her birthday and a bird crapped on her. She didn't have much to say about the food, I can't say getting crapped on is a glowing review.

Flight on Southwest was uneventful we left on time, it was 102 at 6am when we left the house, by the way. We arrived just before 11am and it was 56 in Seattle. Brrr! We were digging out our jackets in the airport parking garage. We took the tram downtown. Easy enough, quick, too. In our car we met two couples that were originally from Chicago. One was in town for the White Sox and the other were going on a cruise. They had just drove in from Wyoming. Frank and I were surprised, we've never met anyone from Wyoming. Frank comes in contact with people from all over, we started to believe no one actually lived there. Well, this couple proved us wrong. They were from a small town with 800 people. I couldn't even imagine what that must be like.

We arrived at our stop. Rather than take the bus, Frank thought it would be nice to walk to the hotel and see the city. It was cool and only 1.5 mile walk. It seemed to take an eternity. Apparently, most of Seattle shuts down on the weekend. We passed empty and closed storefronts the entire way. About a block from the hotel, we caught our first glimpse of the Space Needle.

We finally made it to the hotel, the Mediterranean Inn. Our room was not ready, so we checked our bags and walked over to Seattle Center for the Bite of Seattle. We were starved so we wasted no time getting food.

We had a crab cake (ok) and jambalaya (yum).

Frank couldn't resist the smell of the corn on the cob, it was tasty!

Korean tacos and satay, both had good flavor.

Lamb steak, I didn't like it much.

Russian dumplings, a first for me. Wasn't crazy about them at first, but they grew on me.

Then, we found tastes of Chicago with a pizza puff and Italian beef, both were just like those back home.

It was wild to see kids running through this fountain like it was giant sprinkler. I was chilled in a jacket and jeans, but they acted like it was the warmest day of the year... little did I know, it just might have been.

We were beat and killed a few hours so we walked back to the hotel. Thankfully, our room was ready. We were informed it had no A/C. I wasn't aware... oh well, what can you do? She assured us the ceiling fan keeps it at a comfortable temp. It was the humidity more than anything I was concerned by. We made do with the dampness. Not sure that A/C would have helped anyhow. Before we were issued our keys the clerk proudly told us about the full service Starbucks located next door. It wasn't one of those satellite stores, she quipped. What a relief, I uttered... Doubtful she sensed my sarcasm. She happily turned over our keys and we were on our way.

The room was comfortable and as expected. It was nice to have the fridge. I unpacked and once settled in, we napped.

Refreshed, we headed out but first stopping at the grocery store around the corner for water and beer. We've learned to keep beer on hand, since last call always seems to come too soon. Especially when you're not used to such a thing. We also made a stop at the roof top deck to have a look around. By then the clouds cleared and we were even able to see Mount Rainier.

We walked over to Seattle Center and hopped on the monorail to head downtown. The station is right near the Space Needle.

The monorail terminates downtown a few blocks from Pike's Market.

I knew the vendors had closed up, but I thought there would still be shops, restaurants, bars. So we walked over. Everything was closed up except Kells bar.

We tried to stop in for a drink, but no one waited on us. We bailed and walked down to the park. Homeless greeted us by pissing out in the open. Lovely. We had a look around and bolted fairly quick.

The closer we got to downtown the tourists outnumbered the homeless so we decided to stay up that way. We walked up and down the streets looking for a place to grab dinner. We had no interest in Morton's, McCormick's, etc. We ended up at the Tap House Grill. 160 beers on tap, we had a winner! They had samplers, we ordered three. Pacific sampler: Leavenworth Dunkel, Maritime IPA, Georgetown Chopper Red, and Scuttlebutt Blonde. I went with the Pilsner sampler despite the funny looks from the waitress, I like Pilsners... I'm not ashamed. It had Baron Pilsner, Georgetown Rogers, Krusovice and Roslyn. Frank also had a Hefe Sampler with Leavenworth, Lazy Boy, Hacken Pschark, and Kreun.

Out of all of them I ended up ordering the Leavenworth Dunkel, it was a surprise how much I liked it. Still not a fan of IPA's. I just don't like hoppy, flowery or fruity beers. I sampled a few others later in the trip.

Before dinner we started with crab cakes. They were decent, but pretty unmemorable.

Then, I had the parmesan halibut (I should know better than to mix fish and cheese), again, decent and Frank had the Reuben with corned beef braised in Guinness. The highlight, I'd say.

We would've liked to stay and sample more beers but we were in a hurry to get back to the monorail. We knew the last train ran at 11:00. Based on what we had seen earlier, now was not the time to experiment with the busses. Walking back, it was eerily quiet aside from the bums so we knew we made the right call.

We made it back safe and sound, not ready to turn in, we went up to the roof to take in the view and try out Moose Drool.

Who knew I liked brown ales?

We hung out for awhile, but then I wussed out. It was just too cold. I bundled up best I could and I was still FREEZING!

Back at the room, I climbed under the covers and shivered endlessly trying to keep warm. It was hard to believe it was July. I was left to wonder why I left the desert?

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