Thursday, December 3, 2015

Seattle Part 2 - Eat Like a Roman, Laugh Like a Maniac

Part 2 of my Seattle series will focus on all of our touristy adventures there, so it's going to have a "your Nana pulling out all her cruise vacation photos" feel to it.  If you're not down, you're better off skipping it.  ;)

Thursday (Thanksgiving Day, Turkey Trot, Travel)

We left for Seattle on Thursday, but not before I participated in my friend Meg's "Screw the Crowds" virtual Turkey Trot early that morning.  Molly and I headed out in the toasty 30 degree weather and got our 5k walk in (well Molly got more like 1.5 miles in then hung out in the car while I finished)  It was a great way to start the day!

Once I got back to the house, things got busy.  Luckily I'd packed the day before so I had all of that straight, but I had to take Molly to the kennel, and then once that was done I made and packed our dinners for the train.  I wanted dinner to be special since it was Thanksgiving, so I made all of us turkey sandwiches, but not on bread, on waffles made out of stuffing.  Oh yes, I am that outrageous.

It was actually pretty easy and it was SUPER delicious.  I took about 6 cups of stuffing (works best if it's basic and doesn't have sausage in it), 3 eggs and enough broth to make things slightly softer than a paste, but not at a liquid point.  I measured each waffle with a 1/3 cup scoop so the waffles would be uniform for sandwiches.  I loaded all of our sandwiches with turkey, homemade cranberry sauce, sliced baked sweet potatoes and a dab of cream cheese.  We were definitely getting some jealous looks on the train, and it was nice to have all the elements of a Thanksgiving dinner in a very portable way!

The train ride was fine although our train was THREE hours late.  It was my first time on a train since I was 10 years old, I went on two disastrous train trips as a kid and had vowed never to get on an Amtrak again, so it was definitely a big deal that Eric was able to convince me to do it.  Lucky we did too, apparently the I5 was a hot mess of accidents and black ice on Thanksgiving and on our return date!  The train ride was fine, and I begrudgingly agreed that it would be a decent way to get to and from Seattle.  We all checked into our AirBnB late that night and went to bed immediately.

Friday  (Experience Music Project, Packet Pickup, Toulouse Petit, Pesos, Mecca)

Friday was our action packed day since I wanted to somewhat rest my legs on Saturday before the race.  Upon a recommendation from someone on Reddit (plus research on Eric's part), we decided to have breakfast at Toulouse Petit, which was only a couple of blocks from our rental.  It was billed as a Louisiana place which always makes me do a side eye, but OMG.  It was literally one of the best breakfasts I've ever had in my life.  I got grits with this gorgeous and spicy Creole sauce that had crawfish, shrimp and andouille sausage in it.  It was so savory and absolutely heavenly.  We also shared an order of the beignets, which were only lightly powdered with sugar and came with this chicory creme anglais that was to die for.  The best part was that the portions were exactly right, and we all left feeling full but not gross.

Afterwards we went to the Experience Music Project (henceforth referred to as EMP), which I was pretty excited about since I hadn't been since 2007.  It happened to be Jimi Hendrix's birthday, so they had a bunch of special exhibits going on in his honor, as well as a super cool fantasy/sci fi/horror exhibit.  Before we went in I got up close and personal with the Space Needle.

For whatever reason they had a video game/Hello Kitty thing going on.  I don't get the Hello Kitty obsession, I mean if you like it keep doing your thang, but it just seemed like an absolutely bizarre thing to have in a music museum.  I did gravitate towards the Super Mario mural though.  ;)

After the EMP we hopped on the tram to make it down to the Westin for packet pickup.  I was really pleased with the Seattle expo, it was super organized, there were tons of cool booths (and tons of cool food samples to pilfer).  I was really happy that they let me try on the tech shirt they gave out, it was the first time I've ever had race people offer to do that.  (The large fit perfectly BTW, first time that's ever happened!) The baggie of stuff they gave us was pretty great, tons of granola bars, hemp seeds, corn cakes and other fun stuff.  Some races are so stingy with what they will give you, but the Seattle folks were pretty generous!

Oh, another thing they gave out at the packet pickup were these coupons for a free ride with Lyft.  More on that in a bit, because Lyft was the hero of Seattle!

After the packet pickup we decided to chill back at the AirBnB for a bit, then go out to dinner at this Mexican restaurant called Pesos.  It was super loud in there, but the food was so delicious.  We got some stuff to share, specifically queso  and nachos.  I also got a shrimp taco and it was absolutely to die for.  So delicious!

Afterwards, because having a bazillion margaritas is never enough right, we decided to go to this dive bar/cafe called Cafe Mecca for one last beer.  Oh man, Mecca is the very type of place I love:  unfussy, dark, quiet and not pretentious.  We had a hilarious and foul mouthed server who convinced my aunt, uncle and I to split a pitcher of beer.  By the way, the two on the left there are my wonderful aunt and uncle who I talk about all the time.  Everyone say hi to them because they are awesome!

Saturday (Seattle Underground Tour, Shunning Pike's Place Market, T.S. McHugh's) 

The plan for Saturday was to not wander around quite as much since I wanted to make sure my legs were nice and rested before the race.  We were drawn back to Toulouse Petit for breakfast (shrimp and grits this time!), then decided to do the Seattle Underground Tour, which I cannot recommend enough if you are in Seattle.  It was my first time doing it, and it was so interesting and I learned way more about Seattle than I could have ever hoped.  For instance, basically there would have been no Seattle after the great fire had it not been for a prostitute named Madame Lou.  She had great business sense and a ton of money, and she had full approval over and gave loans to businesses who otherwise could not have rebuilt after the fire.  Of course she was mostly written out of Seattle history because I guess no city wants to be the city that hookers built, but recent historians have started giving Madame Lou her due.  If you'd like to read more about her, this blog post summed her story up pretty well.

After the Underground Tour we took a Lyft to Pike's Place to have a look around and maybe get a light snack but dear God....I have never seen that many people at Pike's before.  Y'all know how I get with crowds and my anxiety, so I lasted about 5 minutes inside of Pike's.  Not only did every restaurant have over an hour wait, but I was getting enraged by women using their kid's strollers as a battering ram against my ankles.  Life tip moms, don't do that, because it's an asshole move.  When I get in those situations and my anxiety/irritation gets out of control I develop temporary Tourette's, so the lady in question who was ramming my legs got to hear exactly in great detail how I felt about it much to her wide eyed surprise.  ;)  My aunt is similar in personality and was also getting to a Tourette's place, so we decided that there was nothing in Pike's we needed that badly and that we'd be best served going to a bar.

After walking as far away as we could from the madness, we stumbled into a very dark, awesome Mexican bar that I knew I'd never remember the name of so I took a picture of the sign.  Indeed, I had no idea what the name of the place was until I inserted the picture in the post just now.  We shared a thing of queso and chips and had some of the best margaritas I've had in awhile.  My aunt and I got ridiculously giggly and my uncle threatened to cut us off.  Plot twist though, we're that giggly together whether it's margaritas or coffee.  ;)

We went back to the rental and took naps (poor Eric was starting to get a cold and was a bit wiped out), then afterwards we went to this great Irish bar named T.S. McHugh's.  Totally awesome place though it was slammed in there due to a show that was going on at Key Arena.  The fish and chips were pretty legit though and worth the wait, but the Bailey's ice cream pie was ABSOLUTELY worth the wait!

Sunday (Race Day, Pain and the Elliot Bay Oyster House)

So obviously you guys know all about my race and that it went well.  What I didn't write about was that I've been in quite a bit of pain afterwards.  I really messed up my left foot, and while it is getting better slowly, I honestly thought it was fractured after the race was done.  Not fun!  I just think I severely tweaked it.  Anyway, Sunday was pretty horrible afterwards from that standpoint, I could barely walk.  Of course that didn't stop us from walking to find brunch and Bloody Mary's....

We tried to go back to Mecca for a post race brunch but it was packed, so we ended up back at T.S. McHugh's.  I got a pretty tasty Rueben and a nice Bloody Mary, then we shuffled back to the rental to watch some football. guys know how much I hate the Seahawks with everything in my being, right?  If you're newer and not aware, you can read about my justified hatred here.  In a nutshell, Seattle is a wonderful city, their football team and the fans of said team are another matter. Anyway, I found it really amusing....Eric and I had our honeymoon in Seattle in 2007, and I swear on every religious text there is that I didn't even know who the Seattle football team was hardly because no one talked about it.  Not a single shirt, sign or an anything around the city about the Seahawks.  This trip, couldn't turn around without seeing a Seahawks shirt, headbands, jackets...the works.  But you know, no bandwagon fans there....everyone has been a fan from day one right....

Anyways, my point in saying all of that is that the jerks played the Steelers on the day of my race in Seattle, so things were crazy and so many people were in Seahawks gear that it made me want to barf.  I pretty much demanded we go back to the rental when the game started around lunchtime so that I didn't have to listen to crazy people hooting and hollering over the game.  Of course the assholes won, but oddly enough the normal people on the streets were less obnoxious about it than most Oregon people I know.  I don't even pretend to understand it.  Not all was lost in the NFL since the Patriots got beaten by the Broncos, and Tom Brady's tears sustain me.  The Bills and Saints loss because they're just one big old "bless your hearts".  No one can accuse me of being a bandwagon fan, that's for sure.

For dinner I asked for seafood and an "opulent dessert", so we went to the Elliot Bay Oyster House.  I got the most amazing salad topped with grilled scallops, shrimp, salmon and crab.  It was so fresh and delicious!  For my dessert I picked...well, something opulent.

Afterwards we walked on the pier a bit and admired the ferris wheel.  It was foggy outside and the ferris wheel looked so pretty against it!

We got cold and wandered into a random building that had these most random wooden statues of the Rat Pack, who I absolutely love.  Who doesn't want to spend the evening hanging out with these guys?

That is really about it for all the activities we did, but I did want to circle back to my experience with Lyft.  I had never used one of the ride share things before, but we knew we were going to need to take cabs or Uber around Seattle.  I honestly forgot Lyft existed until I got that coupon code at the expo.  I figured it was a free ride, so I downloaded the app, and as a reward they gave me $50 worth of ride credit on top of the 1 free ride from the expo!  We literally rode around Seattle 6 times for free (barring tips, because I would feel gross about not tipping), it was really amazing.  I definitely was a bit sold on the ride share thing, though I would never take one by myself, but you couldn't beat the convenience.  You would summon one and literally 2 minutes later one would be there.  Even if we'd had to pay for rides, they were no more than $8-10 a piece.  All of the drivers were very professional and nice, the cars were clean and it was a good experience.  Totally recommend it if you guys go there!

Well, that is pretty much the end of my very lengthy vacation photo journal.  My next post is basically just going to be a wrap up about feelings and thoughts on the half, plus information about what I"m doing next.


  1. Totally just lived vicariously through you. And OMG, the WAFFLES! Got to try that! All the food sounded so yummy, though. I'm like you about the crowds, they make me cringe outwardly. I'd much rather find a quiet hole in the wall....and that has just gotten worse with age, lol, so I shudder to think how I'll be in another ten years.

  2. Okay, I admit I have scrolled back a couple times to look at your breakfast while my stomach growls. (It even made me forget about the stuffing sandwich - temporarily). I honestly don't know much about Louisiana food, but if it looks like that I would be in serious trouble. I am not a fan of the crowds either - why can't I be one of those celebrities they clear a venue for so they can enjoy in peace?? How fun that you got to share the adventure with your aunt and uncle!

  3. I love Lyft and Uber! So convenient.

    And I need you to come to FL and make those sandwhiches for me like now. Please?

  4. That sandwich is killer. That's definitely on my list if Darrell gets me the waffle plates for my Griddler that I've asked for. :)

    I did the underground tour and loved it. I love learning the seedy underbelly of towns.

  5. "Tom Brady's tears sustain me" true story!!! I am a Detroit Lions fan, trust me, no bandwagon here.

    I love this post. Love how much fun you had. And to make our connection even stronger, my husband and I honeymooned on the West Coast, as well, including Seattle. Did we just become best friends?!?!

    1. Watching Brady pout while sitting on his hiney in the middle of the field NEVER gets old.