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The Slow Lane

View from Golden Gardens

View from Golden Gardens

Dropped off the car today, after grabbing breakfast at a great diner in Ballard. Not sure why Ballard has become such a hot spot for us on this trip, as I had never really been there before while I lived in the area. I do believe it’s gotten more hip. But with a Sonic Boom right there to tempt me down… it’s inevitable I’d end up there sooner or later.  We also spent a few minutes checking out Golden Gardens Park past the Shilshole Marina.  It’s beautiful!

My sister picked us up from the rental shop and was late to get Zen fed and dropped off at school, so we took a hair raising Mister-Toads-Wild-Ride-esque jaunt across town to get those things accomplished. Yuck. I just can’t drive like my sister does, whether or not I “really know where my car is”. My life just does not accomodate that much adrenaline.

Luckily the rest of our day was really slow and relaxing. Lisa needed to stick around the Queen Anne Farmer’s Market to wait for someone, so we ended up driving Lonnie home since he was feeling sick. Came back to bring my sister the car and her rendez-vous hadn’t yet happened, so we had a few more hours to watch the market and hang out at the adjacent park and relax in the sunshine.

Lisa cooked us tasty Uli’s salmon sausages for dinner and we headed out pretty early so we could pack and such for the train. Turns out we bought just exactly enough stuff as is going to completely pack all the bags we brought. I had been hoping to buy a backpack while we were here that would accomdate our extra junk but I just never did find one I liked. Anyway, we’re all good to go for tomorrow! Seems a little crazy our trip is coming to such an abrupt end, but we’re also starting to drag a bit from all the sightseeing we’ve been up to. Time to get home to our kitty!

Gettin Crabs


Lewis at Saltwater State Park

Another fantastic day in beautiful Seattle.

Got up fairly early (9ish) compared to our late evening last night. Went out to breakfast at an excellent spot my sister suggested to us in Ballard and had tasty pancakes. Both were sort of strange types – mine flat and crepe-like, but not crepe-y, and Lewis’ thick and fluffy sourdough! Mucho bueno. We also somehow ended up with enough breakfast for four people, so we’ve got some chilling in the fridge waiting for our next quiet morning. Not tomorrow though – we’re having breakfast at my sister’s!

After packing away some pancakes we headed over to Laura Bee to see if the bag that won my heart yesterday would fit my laptop. Unfortunately not, but in the end I’m sure it’s all for the best since I didn’t really need to be spending that money right now. Though I do want pretty much one of everything she sells. Then we put a little time in at the shop with Lisa and watched the beehive of activity that is her staff in stocking mode. It’s rather intimidating!

Since we were gonna spend the night watching movies with Steeny in Federal Way, we made our way down the south end before it got too late. We had a few hours to kill, so I took Lewis to Saltwater State Park, which was a blast! We did all the great Saltwater things – we picked blackberries, walked to the big cliff, poked around the tiny bit of tidal flats, flipped over rocks, caught tiny crabs, skipped rocks and even floated sticks in the stream! I was really pleased that my little crab beach was even more crab-iful than I remembered. We even found a few that were big enough I was scared to pick them up because I thought they might pinch me hard! There was one of those crabs with the one huge pincer (and one tiny one) as well – I hadn’t seen one of those on a Washington beach before. Very neat!

Movie night was as great as always. We did a little Will Farrell themed night – Anchorman and Talladega Nights, followed by a few shorts from his Best of SNL DVD. Mostly Steeny and I just caught up on folks we know, and the usual stuff. It’s always so heartwarming to chat with my Steen! Sounds like we’ll have a few chances to hang out again before I go home, and that’s great. Might even go to the zoo or the fair! What fun! But first, another great day planned tomorrow – meeting Val in Issaquah for lunch, and maybe blueberry picking before hand. Num.

Built to Spill!

Gasworks Park

Gasworks Park

It’s been a few days since I’ve gotten to update, partially owing to our train having been old school enough to have no outlets to compute at, and also our days being rather travelly-long. Today was our first full day in Seattle, and it was most excellent!

We started off hanging out with my sister for a bit and trying out new baked goods she’s thinking of carrying in the store. We also got to see her new space! I’m really excited for her to work her magic on this, and to move in and all. I think with all the plans they have in mind, it’s going to be really beautiful when they’re done, and Lisa will have something to be really proud of. I sort of wish we had come up two months later to see all the finished product! It’ll certainly be a treat for next time, at any rate.

The afternoon was our pilgrimage to Ballard, since that’s where we needed to be to pick up our car anyway. After a very calm, very easy trip to Enterprise, we headed to main street Ballard and had some times. I love going to Sonic Boom here, since they have records I’ve been looking for in California with little to no success. It’s strange how productive the local scene can be here, and how distinct from elsewhere. I always feel a little like perhaps I’m crazy when I’m looking for stuff like “the band the 764-HERO guys were in before that band” when even Amoeba records doesn’t have a section for 764-HERO. Then I can walk into Sonic Boom and they’ve not only got a proper section (and signed 764-HERO poster on the wall!) but their info card tells me the names of the other bands with the same members in them, and even those bands have sections! Needless to say I’ve made a point now of coming to Sonic Boom every time I’m in town and going through the entire rock section by hand from A to Z. I bought several lovelies I’m very excited to check out!

We also went to Cupcake Royale and got a nice selection of comestibles to share with Lisa back at the store. On our way back to LIsa’s house we passed by Gasworks, which I suddenly realized I had to show Lewis!  We spent a few minutes walking about and it was wonderful as always.

Crashed a bit after that, so we ended up ordering delicious Chinese food in at her place before Lewis and I headed off to the Built to Spill show at the Showbox! It was really awesome to be back at the Showbox since it’s probably been five or six years since I last got a chance to go – and that was to see Elliott Smith, I think. Anyway, it’s always great to show Lewis another piece of my old life and live a little bit like I’m still in my glory days. Did see a few folks I recognized at the show, not to mention meeting up with Cerise! Cerise is the best. The show totally rocked, despite the crap-tastic second opening band (the first was alright), and I had an awesome time. Yay!

Now it’s almost 2 am and time for me to go to bed. I’ve got silly movies & pizza plans with Steeny tomorrow night, and before that Lewis and I are either going to head down to the Nisqually valley for a little nature walk, or we’ll go blueberry picking in Bellevue. Seattle! So great!