Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Seattle Shopping Spree!

Steve and I took a weekend to get away from all the house chores and escaped to Seattle for our 17th anniversary. I have lived in Portland my whole life (except for the college years) and had never been to Seattle... to see Seattle. We've been up there for band stuff and business, but never as tourists.

My previous experience with the Emerald City has been gawking at The Space Needle while speeding by on I-5, trying to make sense of MapQuest directions to a club I should have been at 1/2 hour ago, playing music, then either looking for a cheap but clean hotel (or crashing at Sweet Pea's Rockabilly Hotel!) or driving back to Portland in the early morning hours all hopped up on Pepsi & frosted sugar cookies. There has got to be a better way to check out Seattle than that! -S

So we packed a bag, threw it in the GTI and headed north—sans kids! We stayed at the Westin in Bellevue. I know what you're thinking... you go to Seattle and stay in Bellevue?

The Bellevue Westin is practically attached to Trader Vics, so we'd thought we do some research for our August trip to Tiki Oasis!

There were two of these guys guarding the Trader Vic's entrance. It's the swankiest Tiki restaurant/bar I've ever been in. The day we got there there were a bunch of limos and a Ferarri Testarossa parked in the front. Nice. -S

I love the menu design at Trader Vic's... wanted to steal it.

The restaurant area was really sparsely decorated. Some nautical stuff, a few tikis, but not really crammed with tiki stuff like I expected. The bar area was more tiki-fied (lots of tikis, hanging globes & traps & baskets, a carved-out canoe was hanging there, too.) BUT it still had an air of something being carefully askew and very modern, y'know? The food was amazing. Go to your nearest Trader Vic's and order the pork. Do it now... I'll wait. YUMMMM!! -S

We did the typical tourist attractions (Pike Place and the Space Needle) but then what? We drove up Aurora (nearly to Edmonds) looking for thrift shops and antique stores.

Haley deftly observed that we are officially off the normalcy grid.

At Pike Street Market there were hundreds of people perfectly content to wander, look at dead fish & over-priced produce (who buys artichokes when they're on vacation?!!) & tables and tables of shiny $50 trinkets (I noticed that $50 is the new $20). But we were totally underwhelmed and wanted nothing more than to get away from the throngs of shuffling zombies.

Our boy has a fascination with impressive architecture (Hoover Dam, Chrysler & Empire State buildings, State Capitol buildings, Claude Oakland homes... ) so a picture of The Space Needle was a must! We originally planned to scope it out for a future family Seattle day-trip, but sheesh.... the line looped around the thing at least three times! And there wasn't any parking either. I took that pic from the McDonald's parking lot.

We felt much more comfortable thrifting, browsing antiques and chatting with regular joe's on the street. Are we really that removed from "normal culture?!" ...and is that a bad thing or a good thing? We were a bit unsettled. Quick... back to Trader Vic's!!! -S


Steve found 9 Trader Vics coconut mugs for 79¢/ea. That's easy to transport home, but then I spotted two Danish modern chairs with chartreuse cushions... $10/ea. Excellent! BUT it gets better. At check out the chairs were half price!!!! We WILL fit these in the car! Took some creative "master packer" techniques, but finally got all our treasures in the car... and our luggage! The chairs will work great in the pool house.

We had tons of fun, laughed a lot and plan to go back sometime soon as tourists with the kids. Seattle is a cool town. -S

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