Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Seattle

I want to make a few notes of the long weekend that Ed and I spent in Seattle this past weekend before weeks pass, and I forget. We had a really great time, and our going was a rather random decision fueled by my deciding that Seattle might be a cool place to visit, especially because I've never been to Washington state or the Pacific Northwest.

Ed decided we should rent a car, and this turned out to be a really good decision, since everything we wanted to do was spread out. We stayed at a beautiful old hotel that had a lot of history to it, and which came with its own kitchenette. We had late dinner reservations at the Space Needle restaurant, Sky City. We'd thought it would be a hokey thing to do - and it was - but it was also really cool. We had late dinner reservations (9:15 p.m.; our other option was something like 5:30 p.m.), but this turned out to be excellent timing because we saw the sun set over Seattle, so the city went from azure to blinky. We lucked out and even got a window seat, and after dinner we hung out at the Observation Deck, by which time it had cooled down considerably and there was a lovely temperate breeze; the day itself had been fairly warm, even by Seattle standards.

We happened to discover the existence of a Japanese Garden in the midst of Washington Park Arboretum, and contemplated going to one of the Chakais, but by the time we discovered their existence, we couldn't buy tickets online, and in retrospect we would have been underdressed. We did get to sit in on one of the Japanese tea demos, though, which was excellent timing; it was the park's 50th anniversary celebration. We did decide to go on a harbor cruise on Saturday afternoon, which was gorgeous (being on or even near the ocean makes me so, so happy), and settled in with a dozen oysters as part of dinner afterwards.

Sunday was fairly quiet. After Mass we drove 30 miles north of Seattle and went on a tour of the Boeing museum and factory, which was extremely awesome. (I managed to forget my wallet there, and didn't discover that until much later, but thanks to an early morning call and a shout out on Twitter, my wallet was found, with the only real inconvenience being a drive back to the museum to get it.) It's not difficult to get Ed to lapse into aviation geekery, which I like as much as the airplanes.

We also managed to get some shopping in at the Pike Place Market on both Friday and Monday. On Friday we discovered the Perennial Tea Room, where I managed to contain myself and only bought six teas: decaf English Breakfastdecaf Victorian Earl Grey; decaf Earl Grey Extra; organic Orange Spice; a house blend tulsi; and a cooling mint tulsi. They don't sell the tulsi teas online, but I was interested in trying this new type of tea I'd never heard of before. (I did find some information about their tulsi teas on their blog.) On Monday we stopped at World Spice Merchants, where I obtained some really interesting salts (Hawaiian sea salt and black lava sea salt) and tea (sweet chaipeppermint, and emerald mist).

But the big reason for our perusal through the Market had been due to one of the podcasters I follow, Grammar Girl, who had mentioned some time back that when she visits Seattle, she stops at this market, specifically at a store called Market Spice, for a fantastic orange spice tea. I've already brewed the iced tea version of the Market Spice blend (I bought iced tea bags specifically for the iced tea version, although it's caffeinated so I need to remember to limit my intake), and I was very happy with the results.

Picture slideshow



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