Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Our trip to Seattle

I was hoping to write this while in Seattle but I didn’t end up with much spare time, which is usually the case when I’m out of town and yet it always surprises me. The trip was a good one, a few bumps along the way, but we dealt with them. I think the only major issue was the notebook computer not having MS Word installed, Jade needed to finish her college applications and was planning on using the flight time to write. For some reason Word wouldn’t load (of course its working fine now), so she took the flash drive with her documents on it, then we couldn’t find the flash drive! Our first objective when we got into Seattle, after getting the rental car was to find a computer. I thought the hotel might have one so we went straight there. They did, thank God.

The hotel staff was so helpful, they told me where Whole Foods was (2 blocks away) so I could go get us some water and some lunch. My two favorite things about Seattle were the people and Whole Foods, the place was half the size of Costco! It was awesome. Everyone we talked to, everywhere we went was super nice and very helpful.

Jade finally finished her applications about 3:00 pm on Friday, yay! The only bad part was that we didn’t have much daylight left to explore the city and SU. The weirdest thing about the weather up there is how dark it is. At 9:30 am when we landed it was as dark as it is here at 5:30 pm. The locals barely seem to notice the rain, its very different than here. Our rain will soak you in 2-3 minutes, not so there, its much softer and lighter. Friday afternoon we poked around Seattle University so we could get an idea of where we’d be going for the Sullivan Leaders Day on Saturday. I was getting wet, cold and hungry after wandering aimlessly around in the dark.

We wanted to eat at “local” places so we went to The Crab Pot for dinner, Friday night. There had been an ad in the Alaska Air magazine, along with a coupon (yay!) The food was good but the service was great. After dinner we went to downtown, where we couldn’t find any parking so we drove back to the hotel and walked a mile and a half or so. What’s amazing about Seattle is how pedestrian friendly it is. At 7:00 pm there are tons of people out walking. We had to go to Nordstrom store #1, it’s four stories! Jade got some really cute dove earrings. Then of course we had to go to the downtown Anthropologie, which is huge! Two stories and beautiful! We took some pictures at both places. Then back to Whole Foods for dessert, their bakery is amazing! (Mini-cheesecakes, cannolis, cookies, cupcakes...vegan options...heavenly!) Then it was time to turn in, I’d been up since 3:30am and was getting pretty tired.

Saturday morning we got up early so we could eat before leaving for SU. The hotel had breakfast downstairs, which was really nice. Jade went looking for hot sauce or salsa to put on her egg sandwich and was shocked that they didn’t have any...pretty funny. We found where we were supposed to be for the Sullivan day fairly easily. One of the counselors encouraged me to go explore Seattle since I’d never been there before, so I did after listening to the President of the University’s address. Honestly, I was really disappointed. He’s a priest and I thought/expected him to open the day in prayer and he didn’t. I thought he’d close his remarks in prayer and he didn’t.

After his speech, I skipped out for a couple of hours with my friend Janet. She took me to Pike’s Market, which was cool, but a little over-rated. We did go into the flagship Starbucks store, how they love their coffee up there. Tully’s, Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, they’re everywhere! I think its so they can stay warm, with all that rain! We walked through the market, tried a few things and watched the guys at the fish market throw fish (think Tom Cruise in Cocktail....I thought there was going to be real flying fish...haha). Janet wanted to take me to a chocolate place called Rose’s Chocolates; we eventually found it and had a little treat. Then it was back to SU to meet Jade for lunch, or not. Unfortunately, Jade and Janet didn’t get to meet this time. The parents and the students didn’t meet up for lunch together like I’d thought. At least Janet made her ferry so she could get to her dad’s retirement party. (Interestingly enough, my mom’s retirement party was the same day...congratulations to both of them!)

Back at SU, I was disappointed that Jade and I didn’t get to see the school together, I listened to most of the speakers in the afternoon and some of their programs sound amazing, others, not so much. The campus is absolutely beautiful and the security program they have is great. By the time 4:30 pm rolled around we were both pretty done, information overload! We stopped by a little cupcake place we’d seen and got 2 cupcakes to save for dessert, and we went back to the hotel. After having sack lunches, both of us wanted something healthy for dinner, so we asked the hotel what they recommended for Chinese food. They directed us to a little place called Shallot’s, which was very good! We drove around a bit in the rain so we could see the Space Needle and Jade wanted to see Pike’s Market but they were closed. I drove her by the flagship Starbucks, and then we headed back to Whole Foods (I told you I loved it!) for more water and kombucha. We sat in the hot tub for a few minutes, and then packed for the early flight home.

Sunday morning it was back up at 3:30 am! Jade has GPS on her phone and it was a lifesaver! It got us everywhere we needed to go, even when it whacked out on us a few times. After dropping off the rental car and getting through security (even the security people were nice!), it was literally time to board our flight. What a whirlwind! Oh, I almost forgot, on the flight up we met a great guy who is a professional photographer, Danny Mendoza: www.dannymendozaphoto.com. He was on our flight going home too. We hope to have him to Jade’s senior pictures in the spring. My mom picked us up from Ontario airport, where the sun was shining brightly. After visiting for a few minutes, I changed clothes, (I almost wore flip-flops just because I can) and we went to church. I was happy to make it back in time because my favorite worship leader, Chuck Jones, was playing...wooooo!

Anyway, its Tuesday evening and its been pouring off and on since Sunday at 3:30 pm. It rained so much, so fast this afternoon I thought the flood basin I was near was going to flood.....crazy. And there was a tornado warning! I thought this was Southern California! I was hoping to see a rainbow today but I didn’t, maybe tomorrow. We’re supposed to get lots more rain; I think it followed me home. =)

Have a beauty-filled day.