Last week, the Husband and I celebrated 10 years of married life which is a BIG deal I think! I still really like him! He seems to like me too. So we went on a ‘Romantic Mini- Break’ to Seattle at the weekend. Well…it wasn’t that romantic because the Dude came along too and it rained the entire weekend. So it was just a ‘Mini-Break’.
We arrived in Seattle on Friday night in the rain. We ate in the hotel (don’t judge, we had an overtired and super-hungry 5-year-old with us) and hunkered down for the night. It was still raining in the morning but after years of drought, we were all quite excited about it. We dressed up in our rain gear and set out to explore. Our first stop (in howling gale and bucketing rain) was Pikes Place Market, which was full of amazing, super-cheap bouquets of flowers. We had brunch at the Crumpet Shop (marmalade and stilton, try it!) and walked all the way to the Space Needle as it was only spitting now.
At the Space Needle, we made a decision. It wasn’t cheap so the boys would go up the tower and I would go to the next-door Chihuly Museum. I’m not really into art but I really love his work. I wandered gleefully into the gift shop…and walked right into Jeremy Clarkson.
If you’re not British, you may not know this man but he’s about the most famous British TV presenter at the moment. He used to present Top Gear which is a brilliant show about cars that even I love, and Top Gear is my son’s favourite programme, to the point that he chose to dress up as the Stig (the racing car driver) for Halloween just the previous day. And the Husband and I wore Top Gear presenter masks to accompany him. So it was unbelievably surreal to bump into Clarkson the next day. I phoned the boys to hot-foot it over and then accosted poor Clarkson as he was heading out of the gift-shop to say hello. He was gracious, and also gracious when the boys arrived, over-excited. The Dude had eyes as big as saucers but managed to shake his hero’s hand and say hello. We then let the poor man go about his day, but I have to admit we were all a bit over excited. Which is embarrassing but true.
Once we’d all recovered, the boys finally went up the Space Needle and I got far too excited about glass.
After an afternoon break in the hotel pool (hint: always book a hotel with an indoor pool when having a Mini-Break in Seattle in October) we headed out in the evening to go on the Great Wheel which was a lot of fun.
Sunday dawned dry so I took advantage and went for a run. It was cold, compared to the Bay Area. Local runners wore everything from full-on winter gear to shorts and a t-shirt. I wished I’d worn gloves. I ran up to Lake Union and ran up the west shore. It wasn’t as pretty as I’d expected (I excepted something like the reservoir in Central Park or romantic houseboats from Sleepless in Seattle) but it was a good exploratory run.
We ubered up to Fremont for an excellent brunch and then walked in the fairly heavy rain to Fremont itself, stopping for some ingenious geocaches on the way. The goal of the mooring was to see the Troll, who was as wonderful as I’d hoped he’d be. And then it got very cold so we hot-footed it to the EMP museum in an amazing museum designed by Frank Gehry where we introduced the Dude to Daleks and actual light-sabers. And then, alas…it was home.
Things we noted about Seattle:
- it rains. Everything is so green.
- the autumn leaves are so beautiful.
- the locals know how to dress in the rain. SF-locals (including ex-pat Brits) don’t.
- the locals are a hardy bunch. We saw so many people out running and cycling in the cold and wet. We were inspired.
- it’s a really cool city. Even in the rain, we liked it. It felt very livable. People were very friendly.
- it’s a very walkable city, which we really appreciated.
- if you’re going there and you want to pick a local’s brain, try Biscuiterie!
Places we ate:
The Crumpet Shop. Delicious. Wonderful.
Saley’s Burgers. Cheap and good. Best chips/fries I’ve had for a long time. Salty.
Lola. Greek/Mediterranean. Liked it.
The Dish. Excellent brunch.
Pop Kitchen & Bar. In the EMP museum. Amazing sourdough grilled cheese sandwich.
Can’t wait to go back…on a dryer weekend!