Thursday, June 16, 2011

Seattle Washington 2011

Due to technical difficulties I cannot get the pictures to post, and it is very frustrating. I have spent hours today, Father's Day, trying to fix this. I hope to resolve the issue as I have some great pictures to post if I can get them to work. Stay tuned as we continue to work on this problem.

We arrived safely in Seattle on Friday evening, after a bumpy flight. Flying first class has its perks. We had fresh spinach salad and tomato bisque for lunch and it was very good. We also get a Digiplayer at no cost. I watched "Unknown" with Liam Neeson, it was a good movie.

We took the Seattle Link light rail from the airport to the Pioneer Square Station. It was very clean and was a nice ride, though it was a hike from the terminal to the station. We walked the two blocks from there to our hotel. The hotel is in a a building that was built in 1904 and has the original marble stair case on the lower two floors, which is worn in places from all the people climbing up and down over the last 107 years. It is a beautiful white marble.

The outside of the hotel has a carved granite facing as do many other buildings in Seattle. I loved looking at all the buildings as we walked along. I love the architecture in different cities.

We inspected the room very carefully for bed bugs, and found no signs on the mattress. I had flashlight so I could make sure I could see if there were any visitors. Just to be on the safe side I sprayed the mattress and closet with the bed bug pray I bought from Magellan's. We did not wake up with bits during our stay, so I am glad we will be returning to the same hotel when we return to Seattle at the end of our trip.

We went for a nice walk the first night in Seattle. It was beautiful out. We found a candy shop with sugar free chocolate covered toffee that Tom could have. It was really good. It is made with maldextrose, a sugar alcohol. We stopped at Starbucks so I could get a chai and to use the restroom. I had to have a code for the punch lock on the bathroom door. I that it was funny. We discovered that this is the way things work in Seattle now days, last year they had a huge wooden board attached to the key. It keeps people from coming in off the streets to use the restroom. You have to be a paying customer to get the code most places.

We also saw a kilt store, Tom says he will try one on for me to take a picture when we come back to Seattle on our way home.

Saturday in Seattle

After a good night's sleep we went out walking and found a Starbucks for me, after passing several that were closed due to it being the weekend, so we headed for Pike Public Market, where one was open. We walked by the Seattle War Memorial on the way.

Our hotel is in an area with several office buildings, so most of the coffee shops do not open on weekends as they do not get enough business. We found the original Starbucks.

After getting our morning drink fix we wandered around the market. We found a store with things made in Mexico. We bought Tom and Bryce t-shirts with skeleton prints on them, Bryce's has a guitar. We also bought hand-woven cotton blankets for each of the boys. They are being shipped home. I bought two cards with prints for me. The artist for the t-shirt prints and cards was Jose Guadalupe Posada. He is from the late 1800's and early 1900's and is the father of Mexican printmaking. They are Calaveras (Spanish for skulls or skeletons) and were often used as social messages, or political/social satire.

We wandered around the market for a couple of hours. In Post Alley we fund a cool store that sold kids clothing with the names of classic rock bands, like the Greatful Dead, Pink Floyd, Tommy Petty, and more. Almost bought one for my nephew, until Tom saw the prince and said NO WAY!

We headed out in search of food for lunch at the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. It was excellent. The decor, the atmosphere, and the food. I had a "little bit of this and which was a combo of tomato basil soup, apple stilton cheese honey roasted pecan and mixed greens salad, and half a veggie sandwich on a flat bread. Tom had the pan roasted chicken in a marsala cream sauce. Both were delicious. We also splurged and each tried a flight of wine. Mine was the "sweet flight" and it hard to say which was my favorite as all three wines were excellent. Tom tried the "hard to say" flight which was wines with names that are hard to pronounce. They were also good, though a little drier than I like on two of them. For dessert we had what they call "little bits." Mine was a red velvet cake with a rich creamy frosting. It was tiny about 4 or 5 bites, just the right amount. Tom had the barely buzzed cheese, which was served with bread chips and fig jelly. It was a really good cheese that was rolled in powdered expresso beans. they said you could buy it at the Whole Foods store, so plan to pick some up on the way home to Anchorage. It was an expensive lunch but it was worth every penny and I plan to go back for lunch or dinner on our way back to Anchorage.

After lunch we headed to Macy's were I got a mini facial/makeover at the Origins counter when I went to buy some things I needed. They guy who waited on me was a real piece of work. He over did the makeup, even doing my brows. I thought I looked like a tart when he was done and after we left wiped some of the makeup off. I am a simple girl when it comes to makeup. I had some stuff shipped home and kept the rest for the trip.

We headed back to the market and wandered around some more. When we found the restroom Tom had to take a picture as the ladies line was rather long and of course there was no line for the mens. He thought it was rather funny. (I will have to post that picture later when I can get the pictures from his camera downloaded. He forgot the camera cord.)

We bought cherries, and things for green juice and then went in search of the quilt store. We had to ask directions as there are so many different areas to the market.

Tom found a brewery down one level from the quilt store and left me alone in the store. I spent too much money of course and they are shipping my purchases of fabric, patterns, and a book home for me. (More on the specifics can be found on my quilting related blog at quilted-hearts.blogspot.com)

After the quilt store I met Tom down at the Pike Brewery Company. The owners ride a tandem and they have a tandem ale. Tom drank the beer, I bought the shirt. Tom bought a hat there with a monkey drinking a beer on it. Men! While there we met a nice couple from Spokane and a young man who is getting out of the Navy. He is currently at Bremerton and is planning to attend college to be a physical therapist. There is a quilt hanging in the brewery made from the brewery t-shirts.

They also have the following quote on the wall from Winston Churchill. I really liked it.
"I would give all my fame for a pot of ale and safety."
On the way out of the brewery Tom saw that they have cool growlers, so we plan to stop in when return to Seattle on our way home to Anchorage so he can get one.

We headed back to our hotel with a stop at Fontè for dinner. It is a cute little cafe and wine bar. We had Italian style pizza, which was very good. The cafe is inexpensive and the food was good.

We took a walk making our way back toward the hotel, with a stop to get orange juice for the green juice. It was a good day and very relaxing.

Sunday in Seattle

We slept in, made green juice and headed down to the pier area, stopping at Starbucks on the way. I have to have my morning chai. Walking along the pier we saw a cool fountain.

There was an artist set up on the street selling prints of his work. We stopped to chat with him and bought a print for my sister-in-law. I took a picture of him and his work and of his cool sign about art. I liked the sign.

We wandered farther down the pier and came to a woman who was doing henna tattoos. Now I do not have the guts to get a real tattoo, but have always wanted to get a henna tattoo so I did. I have a henna tattoo on the outside of my left calf. The lady who did it is from India and she did a good job. I have gotten multiple compliments on the tattoo. After the design had dried for about 15 minutes, she put a paste of lemon and sugar over it and said to keep the henna on for about 5 to 10 hours and to put more lemon and sugar paste on it after an hour. (She gave me the paste) After that she said to peel off the henna, wash it gently and put lotion on it. I had to be careful not to bump into anyone the rest of the day.

From there we wandered over to a piece of drift wood that looked like a whale and took pictures, then climbed what seemed like a million stairs to the market.

Along the way I took pictures of a brass pig which is representative of the fact that the market area use to be the sanitary market where they slaughtered pigs.

We also wandered by City Fish where they entertain the crowd by throwing fish. I looked at t-shirts and found one for an old 1930's movie called "Reefer Madness" that I almost bought. We went to "Crepe de France for lunch and shared a cheese crepe and a strawberry crepe, they were delicious.

We headed toward Macy's with a stop for postcards. We decided to go to Victoria Secret first, but ended up in the wrong building. It was beautiful inside and they had several pieces of Venetian Murano glass.

We found the right building and Victoria Secret, but it was in a temporary location because of construction and they only had lingerie, no yoga pants, so I will look in NY. We checked out the other stores on that level, where I bought three tops. Then headed down to the next and then headed back down to street level where I went in to Michael Kor's store just to look. I found a knit dress I liked, but it cost $1,300 dollars and I am not paying that for for a simple knit dress. I went in the store for the experience just to see his clothes. Not that big of a deal, people must buy for the label, or they did not have his best and brightest designs in that store.

These pictures are on Tom's camera, will post as soon as I can get them loaded.

Across the mall was Tiffany and Co. I had Tom take a picture of me at the entrance, and then we went in to just look. They have some gorgeous jewelry. As we were heading out a sales associate said that I needed to have the whole Tiffany's experience. She pulled out a ring and put it on my left ring finger. It was a 2 karat center stone with a total of one karat in small stones on either side and surrounding the center stone. It was a huge white diamond. It is categorized as a 1 in the D to G category, which is a top quality diamond. I asked if Tom could take a picture of it on my finger and she took us into a private viewing room. Tom took pictures of my hand with the ring on it. It was brilliant. The ring cost $19,700 dollars. It gave me chills. I am not sure I could ever wear a ring that expensive. I would be afraid of loosing it or being robbed.

PICTUREs on Tom's camera.

She also showed us another ring that cost $12,000. It was a circle of diamonds (elongated diamond shape with small diamonds between each). She showed us how much higher quality the diamonds are. SHe said most people think they sparkle because of the light, but high quality ones sparkle without light. She blocked the light to the ring and it still sparkled just as brightly. It was absolutely gorgeous. I liked it better than the first one. It brought tears to my eyes.

I found a heart shaped necklace, set with diamonds in rose gold, that was designed by Picasso's daughter. It is more in my price range and I really liked it. Tom said "That's a house payment, but at least it is not a new car." She also showed me a $200 sterling silver heart designed by Picasso's daughter.

I have to say that if you go to Tiffany's you definitely need to have the whole Tiffany experience, just looking at the jewelry through the glass is not enough. You need to try on a ring.

After Tiffany's we headed to Macy's so I could get some essentials. I also bought 3 new tops there.

For dinner we went to P.F. Chang's where we had several appetizers: Crispy Green Beans, Szechuan Asparagus, Snap Peas, and Cucumbers. We also split the Orange Chicken. All of them were excellent. We got the green beans for free because they took so long to get them out to us, and the cucumber dish was free also. They were out of cucumbers and had to send a server to the grocery store to get some. For dessert we had mini tiramisu and mini red velvet cake.

We wandered through a few other stores on our way back the hotel. We also stopped at the Diller Hotel bar. When we walked in I headed straight for the restroom and the bar tender told Tom this is not a public restroom. Tom said he knew that and ordered us drinks. THe bar tender obviously does not understand women, when we need to go, we go. Who needs to wait to order a drink first. After we left the Diller Hotel bar we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

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