My job took me to Seattle for meetings a few weeks ago and I extended the trip for a couple of days so Lane and I could visit some of our favorite indoor spots (Seattle isn’t know for its balmy winter weather) and spend some time with friends.
Day 1: Arrival in Seattle (February 22)
There’s Almost a Light Rail Stop at the Airport
I’ve never come to Seattle without either renting a car at the airport or having friends pick me up. Of course, until very recently, there really weren’t any other good options for getting from the airport to the city itself. Now there is. . . or, at least that is what I’ve been told.I start wonder though when the signs for the light rail station lead me into a very large, open parkingcan’t be right.
But, sure enough, there does appear to be a transit station beyond the ramp, far off in the distance. I mean way, way off in the distance. And did I mention that it is really cold and wet and windy? That I’m dressed for waiting around inside airports and not for circumnavigating them?
I feel like a jerk, griping in my mind (and muttering aloud to myself like a crazy lady) about who would be stupid enough to locate the transit station that serves the airport so far from the airport? I mean, shouldn’t I be grateful that there is finally a decent transit option at all? But then I wonder, if I were with my dad, could we get a wheelchair assist all the way to train?
I am freezing and crabby when I finally reach the station and start searching for the ticket machines (there are only two, so don’t arrive during a busy time), still fuming over the incompetence and idiocy of our auto-centric culture.
The station itself is ok though – industrial feeling, but clean and tidy with art that pays homage to the area’s native people.
The sun makes an appearance on the trip into town, briefly illuminating the familiar skyline and making me glad to be back here again.
Because I have friends here, in all my visits I’ve never stayed in a hotel here. I’ve been looking forward to staying downtown and, while I would have preferred a hotel nearer the waterfront, my room at the Hilton is well-enough located and provides a view that, on a clear day, just might include a glimpse of Mount Rainer.
I’m sure it’s back there somewhere. . .
If I lean way over in one corner I can even get a glimpse of the waterfront between the buildings.
My window also provides a view of a geometric concrete garden. It reminds me of one we wandered through the time we ate at Salumi. It’s late for lunch, nearly 4 p.m., but I haven’t eaten all day and should have something before a business dinner at 7 tonight. Salumi would be perfect. But when I ask the concierge, she says it is quite far away, too far to walk.
Does she have any suggestions?
She looks up and immediately asks if I like sushi.
Is it possible that Hilton has that in a file somewhere, right along with my preference for “view” rooms and free internet? Or do I simply have “sushi eater” tattooed on my forehead?
It’s a good thought though, so I follow her directions down the street (literally DOWN the street) to Japonessa where I have a lovely light meal while flirting a little with the sushi chef and trading shopping notes with an accessories buyer from Toronto.
It snows a little while I’m eating, but returns to simply being cold and blustery by the time I am ready to hike back up the hill to the hotel.
Day 2: Meetings in the field (February 23)
Day 3: Meetings
Day 4: Time to explore (February 25)
The mountains of the Olympic Peninsula are gleaming purple-pink in the early morning light. It is unbelievably beautiful.
I don’t have any pictures of them though because I don’t dare use my camera. I only have one card with me and last night when I went to download the day’s pictures I accidentally deleted them. Now I don’t dare use the card again just in case I can salvage the lost photos. Lane has offered to buy another card for me today while I’m in my meeting, but until then I can’t take any pictures.
(I’ve been shooting digital since 2004 and this is the first time I’ve lost my photos while transferring them and I’m still puzzling over how it happened.)
Lane doesn’t have much trouble finding a card (16 gigs to replace the 2 gig card I was using) and he immediately puts it to use documenting the fact that it is a gorgeous, cold, clear day.
Day 5: Downtown (February 26)
Back at the Market
Day 6: Native Culture and more (February 27)
Native Cultures at the Burke Museum
The Burke Museum is the museum of natural history and culture for the state of Washington.
While we are here mostly to check out the native art, we are pleased to discover a wonderful textile show and a tiny, but lovely show of Arctic photography by Subhankar Banerjee. There is a lot packed into this little place!
Day 7: Searching for Spring (February 28)
Usually we stay with friends when we are in Seattle, but this time I spent part of the trip downtown at the Seattle Hilton. It’s not right down by the market, which would have been my preference, but the location is good and it is a pretty easy walk to most of downtown and waterfront area – at least when it isn’t snowing or pouring rain. The top-floor breakfast room has giant windows with sweeping views off to the Olympics, but there are decent views to be found throughout the hotel.
Besides Japonessa, we also had a really lovely meal at the West Seattle location of Cactus – which is a favorite spot of mine anyway and was perfect on a cold, rainy day. (If the pear margarita is available, order it. A more perfect drink may not exist.)