Hello, Seattle–Day 1

“Hello, Seattle,
I am a mountaineer
In the hills and highlands…”

~Owl City, “Hello Seattle”

You’re going to hear more of that song.

Two weekends ago I had the awesome opportunity to visit Seattle, Washington!  My Dad had two separate business trips on the West Coast, one ending Friday afternoon and the other starting the following Monday morning.  So instead of him flying home on Saturday and flying out again on Sunday, he chose to just go straight from one destination to the next.  And I flew out to spend the weekend with him!

So, let’s dive right in.

This was my first time flying by myself.  I was nervous – particularly about taking off and landing.  I get a little nervous about that, and when I flew previously, I had someone’s hand to hold – usually my mom’s or my brother’s.  And unless I had some super nice person sitting next to me, I wouldn’t have anyone to freak out to.  But I did fine, and now taking off doesn’t scare me, but landing still does.  Just a little. 😉

So I flew out on Friday, at 11 in the morning.  I arrived in Seattle at 2-ish Seattle time.  Which put me at almost six hours since my last meal. (I had forgotten to grab some cheese sticks to take on the plane, and so had only had a banana.  And all the snacks that they had on the plane contained grains.  So no luck there.)

My first order of business after getting off the plane was food.  As I walked down the B terminal, I looked at all the restaurants:  Quizno’s.  A Mexican place that was rather small and had a bar – not somewhere I wanted to be.  McDonald’s.  As I walked by each place, I new that there wasn’t a whole lot that I could get at any of them.  So I continued to the main area of the airport, where there was a whole collection of restaurants.  And there they had a directory of all the restaurants in the whole airport.  I spotted, way at the other end of the C terminal, a restaurant that looked pretty promising – Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express.  The distance I had already traversed, from my gate to this directory, was about the same as the distance from this directory to the restaurant.  Which wouldn’t have been bad at all if I wasn’t hauling a camera bag and my on board bag, which was a backpack, holding my purse, three books (one of them over 1400 pages long), and my sweater.  So pretty heavy.  So I hauled all the way over to the restaurant, stopping on the way to look another restaurant that I was hoping I could get something at (they had local cheese), but all they had were awesome-sounding sandwiches with that local cheese.  I finally made it down to the Wolfgang Puck Gourmet Express, where I got a Greek salad, and then hauled all the way back to the main area of the airport.

Only to then realize that I left my 1 liter water bottle at the restaurant.

And I didn’t realize that until I had sat down, mixed my salad, and gotten all settled in to eat.  So I packed everything back up and hauled back to the restaurant, where they had my water bottle.

*Sigh*

Once I had actually started eating, a young lady right around my age came over and asked if she could sit with me.  I said, “Sure!”  She sat down, and we started chatting.  Turns out she is in the army and was just stationed there, as she had graduated the day before.

After we had both finished eating and she had gone her way, I purchased me a White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks.  It was pretty good.  I bummed later that I had had it, as I wish I had waited and gotten some more local tasty Seattle coffee.  Oh well.

I sat and read for awhile, drinking my coffee, until it was time to go meet Dad.

Once Dad and I had met up, collected our luggage, and picked up our rental car, we drove out to Bellevue.  (Dad would be staying here for his business trip, so that’s where we stayed.  It’s about a 20 minute drive outside of Seattle.  And beautiful!)

After checking in at our lovely hotel, unpacking, and video-calling Mom and the rest of my siblings, it was time for dinner.  Dad had made reservations at a seafood place, Seastar, that he and Drake had visited when they were in Seattle several years ago.

Dinner. Was. Amazing.

First we had an heirloom tomato salad, which had heirloom tomatoes, pine nuts, Walla Walla onions, buffalo mozzarella, greens, and an awesome pesto vinaigrette.  Dad had a Thai lemongrass shrimp soup, which he really liked, but I didn’t care for.

But that salad.  Oh, that salad.  It was out of this world.  The flavors blended perfectly, and it was the right balance of everything.  That was probably the best mozzarella cheese I had ever had, or at least the best that I had for awhile.  I believe it was actually made from buffalo milk (traditionally, that’s what mozzarella is made with, or so I’ve heard).

For my main course I had pancetta-wrapped grilled white shrimp with garlic aioli and this awesome bacon-y salad.  Again, awesome.  And that’s about all I can say. 🙂

Dad had prosciutto-wrapped grilled scallops with thinly-sliced melon (the melon had a fancy name, which I can’t remember – it was watermelon and cantaloupe, if I remember correctly).  He really liked it, but, again, I didn’t care for his so much.  Which was great.

For dessert, Dad had black and white crème brulee.  He said the chocolate part wasn’t that good, but I believe the vanilla part was great.

I had sorbet – a scoop of lemon and one of guava passion fruit, I think.  It was GOOOOOD.  The lemon was OUT OF THIS WORLD.

And they gave use some caramels, one for each of us.  I ate mine, and it was really good.

(Do I sound like a broken record?  It was really good.  It was awesome.  *Sigh*)

And that was Day 1.  Tune back (hopefully) soon for day 2!

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My Greek salad

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In Seattle!

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With Dad on the way to Bellevue

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Bellevue straight ahead!

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In Bellevue

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There were several walkways like this one across the streets in Bellevue (I saw maybe two or three)

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Dad and I were going to walk to Seastar, but it was pouring rain (we WERE in Seattle), so we ended up having to go back and get the car.  But I did get a few cool pictures!

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(Remember the sign to this restaurant)

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A (cool) walkway

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Remember the sign to the Chinese restaurant?  These guys were making dumplings or wontons.  The man with the rolling pin the left corner would throw each wrapper up as he finished it.  (You can forget the sign now.)

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Chihuly glass sculpture

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Dinner at Seastar – the heirloom tomato salad

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(Excuse the bad pictures – it was dark.)

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My entrée

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Dad’s entrée

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My sorbet (Mmmm…)

By the way, check out Cowgirl Dirt for a cool giveaway!  http://www.cowgirldirt.com/  (I don’t know how to do a hyperlink in WordPress).

Of Family, Fun, and (Slightly Less) Exhaustion

Sorry it has taken me this long to get a post about the rest of our trip up!  We’ve been busy.  Really busy.   Doing a bunch of things that will become later posts.  Really.

Anyways.

On Monday we said (a rather sad) goodbye to the L. family, and headed to the airport to get Dad (he went to a different conference over the weekend).  But first, we stopped at a Polish deli.

Actually, we stopped and got gas at a gas station first.

But that isn’t all that important.

Unless it’s in real life, and you forget to get gas, and you run out of gas, and are left on the side of the road.

Enough of that.

So we stopped at a Polish deli.  This was the deli that my grandparents would go to to pick up delicious lunch meats.  We purchased some bologna (which is nothing like the stuff you get at your regular grocery store), the garlic sausage that my dad always liked, another white sausage (made with veal), and some German ham.  That ham was delicious.  It was sliced paper thin.  Mmmm….

We also picked up some chocolates (tiramisu filled), some buns (the kind that my grandmother always had and would make me little open-faced sandwiches with butter and bologna on – sniff), and some Prince Polos. Prince Polos are a wafer and chocolate bar.  We got the extra extra large size, since they were 2 for $1.  They are probably about 9” long.

Then we were on our way to the airport to get Dad.  I took a bunch of photos of my toes on the way.  You’ll see them later.

After getting Dad, we headed to my aunt and uncle’s home.  They weren’t home when we arrived, so we unpacked and just chilled.

When my aunt got home, we all went over to the tennis courts to – you guessed it – play tennis.  I had a great time taking pictures, and even hit a few balls there at the end (I think one actually made it over the net!).

That evening we went over to my cousin’s apartment to see her and her new apartment.  We all went out to dinner to a favorite German restaurant, Schnitzel Platz.  We used to go to The Platz every time we went up north, but it has been several years since we’ve been there.  It was just as wonderful as I remember (pictures of all the food to follow).

The next day my grandparents came over to my aunt’s home, and we just visited and played games until the early afternoon.

In the afternoon we drove up to my other aunt and uncle’s home for dinner.  My cousin had just passed her boards, so we went up to celebrate!  Again, we did a lot of visiting and had a simple dinner – pizza.  After dinner we went to the park.  We almost always played at this park when we went to their home. 🙂  It was so nice to see them, but, as always, it could have been longer.

On Wednesday we went out to breakfast with my grandparents and my aunt and two of my cousins.  After breakfast, we went back to my aunt’s home to pack. Before hitting the road, we went over to my grandparents’ condo.  We chatted and played another game of Rummikub (my grandma and I love this game, and we always try to play it when we go up there.  Last time we didn’t get to play, so I was glad that we got a game in this time).

Then we headed home.

And that’s that.

Our trip, in a nutshell.

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Look!  Cute toes!

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Aren’t they just adorable?!

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I love ‘em.

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The skyline

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Chillin’

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Drake, with a mouthful of Tic-tacs

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Playing tennis

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Love this

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Look!  Cute toes!

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Tennis

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Drake

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Wow!  They are cute!

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Noah playing tennis

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My Cuteness

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Wow!  Just lovin’ them!

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Blue sky

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AHHHH!  UFO  landing!  (Just kidding.  It’s the sun.)

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At Schnitzel Platz:  The pretzel bread

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The salad – a marinated bean salad, marinated beets, a cole slaw type salad, and marinated carrots

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Root beer (NOT mine)

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The Rahm Schnitzel (Schnitzel in a cream gravy)

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They brought each of us our own, personal extra gravy boat.  Yum.

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Chocolate Lover’s Cake (actually, this is Mom’s and my cousin Sarah’s piece.  Noah and I ate ours before I got a picture.)

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See?  It’s all gone!

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Tuesday: Swinging

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Playing ladder ball

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I love panning

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Cousins in the hammock

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Bologna

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A lovely sunset

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Playing tag at the park

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David, being it (I think), strikes a contemplative pose.

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RUN!

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Isn’t he funny?

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The uncles join in

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David’s it (that’s why everybody’s running)

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Balancing act

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Wednesday – coloring while waiting for breakfast

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Look what kind of coffee creamer they had – White Chocolate Mocha!

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Cousins

The “I Don’t Know” Restaurant

Today I went to I Don’t Know, a restaurant not too far from here.  In fact, it is located just in our family room.  My sister is the owner, chef, and waitress all wrapped into one.  They serve soup (any kind), pizza, hardboiled eggs, strawberries (plain or chocolate dipped), and breakfast.  It was quite good.  I and the other customers only had a minor food fight (just throwing strawberries and a cup across the room), which caused the waitress to threaten to send a few people to “yale” (jail).  No one was quite bad enough to merit the trip, though.  I think I may be back for breakfast tomorrow.

And the name?  Well, I asked the waitress, and she told me that it was just I Don’ Know.

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My soup (I don’t know what kind it was – never asked) and hardboiled eggs

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The kitchen – note the black-rimmed paper in the background.  It is Meiling’s iPad.  It is actually an add that Dad got in the mail, but since Meiling likes iPads and it looks like an iPad, she got to keep it.  Oh, and the eggplant sticking out of the couch is her cutting board.

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My fellow customers

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The waitress, who kept giving me odd looks

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What did I tell you?

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Giving Meiling a kiss before they left – Meiling protested