Monday, February 22, 2010

February Air

Spring's arrived in Seattle! Playin' outside.

So, long time, no blog. And before I say anything else, I'd like to address my recent hiatus from Cup o' Joe Mondays...they will return, I promise. Perhaps not as regularly as every Monday, but know that I haven't given up on coffeeshop reviews altogether...just doing a lot of re-centering of my time and energy and priorities, I suppose. And I'm trying not to let my blog just devolve into coffee and running ramblings all the time :)

The past few weeks have been warm, lovely, adventure-filled, and brimming with good company. Ruth flew all the way from the Big Apple to visit Seattle for what she thought was the first time in her life (though learned once here that she'd, in fact, been here as a toddler before.) So, Seattle decided to reinforce all its stereotypes in Ruth's four days here - overcast and rainy every day, except for a few small windows here and there in which the clouds flirted with the sun and we managed to squeeze in some play time at Seward Park:

...and an afternoon hike up Tiger Mountain:


We also spent a day out on Bainbridge Island, which I hadn't been out to yet. My friend Zoe from Oberlin is doing a grad program out there, and her blog entries and photos have left me yearning to experience the beauty of Bainbridge firsthand, but somehow the fear of the unknown has kept me from hopping on the ferry. But Ruth and I had a grand time playing on the Island (albeit in the rain), visiting with some relatives of hers that live out here, and touring a co-housing community and Native American artwork of the Suquamish tribe.

A good majority of our other Seattle adventures centered around food, as I find that when people come to visit, the things I want to share with them foremost are the parks and mountains - but barring decent weather to do so, food comes next: Ethiopian delicacies, Himalayan (Indian/Nepali/Tibetan) cuisine at Annapurna Cafe on Broadway, sweet potato hashes and organic pancakes at Portage Bay Cafe, Mighty-O Vegan Donuts, other yummy pastries and Italian espresso at local coffeeshops, ice cream at Old School Frozen Custard or Blue Bird or Molly Moon's (notice my particular attention to quality ice cream in this city...), free samples of dark chocolate coated cherries and honey crisp apples and chocolate linguini at Pike Place Market...

Ruth and I experienced many of the above, as well as making some of our own! After shopping around Uwajimaya, a huge Asian specialty supermarket walkable distance from our apartment in Seattle's Chinatown/International District, we had all the ingredients for a rockin homemade sushi night (sans fish.) Aside from the vast majority of the friends I invited having previous plans/work/homework/a cold/misc, we made quick work of our rolls and cans of Sapporo.

Zanna and Wes joined us in the festivities, which concluded with a trek to the Garage to go bowling and play pool - to my New York friend's shock, for the pretty price of $5-10/hour. Apparently bowling costs $50-60/hour in the big city? Geez. Sometimes I miss the Midwest.

On the other hand, I spent yesterday driving with the windows down and basking in the blazing sunshine on a beach with a bunch of half-naked sunbathers and happy children and rollicking dogs, surrounded by towering, snowy peaks on the horizon.

(Not in the Midwest anymore.)

Seattle folk seem to be pleased with the Northwest's reputation for crappy weather because, as they say, "It keeps the rest of the world from realizing how perfect this place is and moving here, too." And so far, Seattle's certainly done its part to look wholly unappealing to any and all visitors who've come to see me. For Shari's, Ruth's, John's, and a good deal of my dad's visits to Seattle, it just poured and poured and poured. Mount Rainier stayed hidden behind a gray wall of clouds.

I guess Alan gets off the hook since he pretty much officially lives here now, too (hooray for both of our Washington-plated cars!) He came back into town the day after Ruth left, and arrived to 60+ degree sunshine, which has lasted the entire duration of his time in town so far. Although I've been working a lot, we've gotten out when we can to play in the sunshine.

Still can't believe this is a CITY park.

Olympic Mountains + Puget Sound + Sailboats = Beautiful Sunday

Mount Rainier, and the tide-washed sand in the foreground.

Playing in my Vibram Fivefingers.

We rounded out the day with cold microbrews and good food on the waterfront in Fremont and watching America kick Canada's butt in hockey. We also managed to finally get around to seeing Avatar last week - splendid! Yes, of course, the plot was trite and the characters hollow and predictable, and certain scenes felt emotionally on par with Disney movies - but the visuals, as promised, were stunning. The fact that we saw it in 3-D in a six-story Imax at the base of the Space Needle didn't hurt either.

Yup. 'Tis been a good couple weeks indeed.

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