Seattle

The thing is, we have a lot of Stuff. This makes it hard for us to think of new Stuff either of us needs, when birthdays and hoiday rolls around. So a few years ago, Ted remembered how much we’d enjoyed going to London for my 40th birthday, and surprised me with a trip to Venice. That went so well that we did a trip to Lisbon for another of my birthdays. This year, being in the Pac NW, we went to Seattle. As far as I’m concerned, this is a huge win: he does all the trip planning, because the trip is a present, and I don’t have to find a place for more stuff. (Also, it’s always the right size and color.)

We took two days off and made it a long weekend trip: we drove up Friday night after work and came back Tuesday, which gave us a full three days there – and I do mean a FULL three days. We stayed at Hotel 5 in Belltown, which was comfortable stylish, reasonably priced, and convenient for pretty much everything, being halfway between the Space Needle and Pioneer Square. . On Saturday, we walked out to the Space Needle area – had breakfast on the way at a Cherry Street Coffeehouse, which turned out to be a chain but didn’t feel like one. After that we went to the Chihuly Gardens and Glass, one of my favorite parts of the trip. Here’s why:

I’ve never seen a museum so well set up for photography; the walls were black and the lights were focused to bring out the colors of the glass. I was less fond of the EMP project, where we went next: Gehry designs beautiful buildings, but I don’t feel like they work as well as they’re supposed to as museums – all the exhibits are crammed into corners and niches, while the center of the museum has soaring spaces with nothing much in it. Still, the tower of guitars was cool:

guitars

I also liked the exhibit on archetypes in fantasy, which had lots of interactive stuff. Here’s their rendition of me as a warrior maid:

warrior_girl

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a great day for the Space Needle, due to rain:

On the second day, we got to try some glassblowing ourselves. I made a paperweight and Ted made a hanging ornament:

Paula_tweaking

Ted_gloryhole

After that we took a hotel shuttle down to Pioneer Square and toured the underground city of old Seattle. No photos, because honoestly there’s not much to see there but a lot of old tunnels and cellars. It’s worth doing the tour, though, because the history and stories from the guides make it all come alive. We ate that night at Spur, not far from our hotel; after seeing the prices and hearing that the portions were quite small, we worried that it was the kind of nouvelle cuisine that leaves you feeling vaguely cheated, but the food turned out to be great.

On the third day, we took the tour of Boeing – actually, I’ve seen the 737 factory and a warehouse on the business trip (the warehouse was actually pretty incredible, like something out of Santa’s workshop) but the public tour let us see 747s, 777s and 787s being built, as well as a small exhibit center. That night was our only planned dinner and the other highlight of the weekend – Ted had gotten us a reservation at Canlis, which has apparently been one of Seattle’s top restaurants since the 1950s. I think it was the most incredible combination of food, wine, view and service I’ve ever experience – but one warning: it’s priced accordingly. It was a really spectacular finish to a great weekend, especially because the sun came up just in time to give us a dramatic sunset view over Seattle.

So all in all a great weekend; it could only have been better if we’d had some of the perfect weather during our trip that we had for the drives there and back. But then again, it wouldn’t really be Seattle if we hadn’t gotten rained on.

2 Responses to “Seattle”

  1. Jane Says:

    Oh, even more Chihuly than I’ve seen! Glorious! There is some at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis; some in the Visitors’ Center in Columbus, Indiana; & there was a traveling exhibit in the Garfield Park Conservatory here in Chi.

    Also sounds like you ate well .

  2. Peg Says:

    It just struck me why the name “Canlis” sounded familiar — it’s because the print copy of their salad recipe is sitting in my recipes binder: http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/1014572/canlis-salad.html

    So glad to read about the fun you had! 🙂

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