An Emerald City in an Evergreen State. And I'm feeling a little blue.

So...Seattle. The two most pleasantly disorienting things have been the weather - cool, cool, cool and overcast-ish; and the flora - plants that thrive in the aforementioned climate. The city has done a fine job of planting flowers and creating lots of green space - and then, there are evergreens everywhere. On my first day in training, I described them to my captive audience as "straight out of Dr. Seuss" - hopefully, they took that as the intended compliment that it was. Even the flowers that people buy at the market for $15 a bunch are incredible. Had I gotten married in Seattle, I'd have gone to the Market the morning of the wedding and picked out flowers then and there.

The food here is top notch. I get a healthy per diem - I have to pick up the bar tab, which is never more than a few bucks, given that I'm a lush. I've had two completely different Italian meals - both excellent - I may hit up one of them again tonight - I never tire of Italian. Last night, fish and chips on the pier - again, very, very good - you can't get seafood of this caliber in a landlocked state. And really, when you get right down to it - fish and chips are really just a kid's meal of fish sticks and french fries. I went to Ivar's which has been on the pier since the 30's and is something of a Seattle institution - their specialty is clam chowder. I'm not a clam lover, so I made do with my fish sticks. But they were great - washed them down with a Seattle microbrew.

As far as cultural pursuits in my leisure time - mostly I've just walked around the neighborhood - I'm right near the Market, and that was fun. No, I haven't seen the guys that throw the fish - though like anyone in my industry, I've read the book that was based on their work ethic. I'll probably hit the Market again tonight and find a bite to eat nearby. My colleague who lived here has suggested a few activities - a tour of the Underground, Space Needle, etc. I can't say I'll do those - because I'm fundamentally lazy and don't want to drive any more than I have to.

I did the one "must" thing on my agenda - a 25 minute drive to Archie McPhee - a gigantic store which sells all kinds of novelty items - birdwhistles, fake bugs, propeller beanies and so on. I spent two hours (and $40) there. There's also a great toy store across the street from my hotel - I bought my parents' pug a Karl Rove chew toy, and got a book for young Henry.

I made time to get a pedicure next door at the T&T Salon & Spa - too many ampersands in the name, but otherwise, the best pedi I've had in several years. And at $20, a bargain. My color this time is OPI's I'm India Mood for Love - a nice peppy hot pink. It probably looks silly, but I'm OK with that.

Today, I'm taking a quick break away from the training center for some lunch at a place called Calamity Jane's - I had some pasta from there yesterday, but I'm told that the meatloaf sandwich (served only on Thursday) is a reason to return. And I'm a fan of meatloaf, so if I can find the place again, I'll hit it up for a sandwich.

The people at the hotel are super nice - I've gotten 2 parking tickets in the parking garage because I wasn't properly displaying my placard - which, given that I didn't get a placard, is ridiculous. In fact, I just double checked to see if I was mistaken. No, I definitely didn't get a placard.

So. The hotel is going to get me one. Also, it's a good thing I called - they thought I was checking out tomorrow, when in fact, I'm leaving Saturday morning. So - I have a more expensive room for that last day. My credit card company loves me right now. Good thing I have a $5000 limit. And that I'm getting reimbursed.

That said, it's been nice and all, but I'm ready to come home. I miss my husband, my dog, my own bed, my own car, and my nice little town with traffic patterns I understand.

That's it for now...I'm a little worried I'm coming down with something, so let's think positively, shall we?


PS - Lest you think my time here has been a total pleasure cruise, I've also spent each day at the facility, running sessions and at least an hour a night catching up on work after training is done. So, yeah, it's a business trip - but all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.


Unknown said…
Miss you at the office! If you get a chance check out Ray's - I even eat their seafood - and I don't like seafood. It is so beautiful there...glad you are getting to enjoy yourself some. Also - try Icon Grill - such a neat atmosphere and great food - and desserts to die for! Talk to you soon!
Unknown said…
The last post was from me - I was logged in under my brother's account..
Anonymous said…
You are my new best friend! I am going to Seattle in a week, and my one "must see" for Seattle is Archie McPhee!!!!! I order their jumbo mystery box every year for my birthday!