Sorry! I intended to keep writing, but as it sometimes can, life just got away from me. I took a quick trip to Seattle to see my Mom on Mother’s Day, stayed with my best friend from college, ummm . . . when I count the number of years we have been friends, I am shocked!
Flying out of Pensacola, we flew over Bayou Texar:
I had a great seat, but the lady next to me sounded like she had terminal pneumonia, so I kept my face toward the window. Everything went smoothly, arrived a little early. Two hassles: I had decided for just a short trip I would use a shoulder bag/suitcase, and even though it was light, it gets heavy lugging it from gate to gate. On the good news side, it sure is a lot easier to travel with just cabin baggage, easy on – easy off.
Second, I just hate it that Seattle has relocated all the rental cars to an off-site location. The buses only stop at one end of the terminal or the other so again, there is a lot of lugging, whether it is wheeled or shoulder. You have no control over when the bus will come or when it will leave. It used to be so easy, just dropping the car off and walking directly into the terminal; now I have to calculate extra time for unknowns in the rental return process, oh aarrgh.
Traffic to north Seattle was horrible, even on a Saturday, it was like a normal work day when all the workers are streaming out of the city. On work days, there are windows when traffic is less, but a Saturday! Aarrgh!
It was not raining, or not much. That was a really good thing. Temperatures were lower than Pensacola. That was a good thing. We had a great Mother’s Day brunch, with my sisters and their hubbies, and Mom and I did some shopping. The next day, more errands and catching up on banking and bureaucracies. Those were all good things.
My good friend and I had time to catch up and – as we are wont to do – analyze and strategize. We spent a good amount of time laughing at ourselves and our dilemmas. We laughed at the problems of aging. We laughed at who we thought we would be (who ever thinks they will get old??) and who we have become. Here is what sunrise over Lake Washington looks like from my friend’s house:
Flight home uneventful; arrived in Atlanta a few minutes early and I was out the door in a flash, running running running down one concourse and up the other to see if I could get on the earlier flight to Pensacola which was leaving in MINUTES! “No, no, not possible” the gate clerk said without even looking up; she was already working on two other women, I am guessing flight attendants trying to get back home. I waited a minute, bushed from the long run and lugging the shoulder luggage, then said “I think I will just go find a barbecue” and the gate attendant said “Wait!” and I thought she was going to tell me where to find the best barbecue, because I had like three hours, but no . . . she was printing me out a ticket! I got the last seat, back, back, way back in between two great big United States Marines, but it was a fun 45 minutes and I was home three hours earlier. All that is really good!
Even though it is not Seattle to Kuwait, I still like to shower after a long flight, I just feel germy! AdventureMan made me a beautiful salad with sauteed Portobello mushrooms on top, oh yummmmm and we delighted to be together again. Woooo HOOOOO, home again Sorry to be out of the loop, but when you are one day out, one day back with two days in between, time just swooshes by.
My best friend from University flew in from Hawaii the day before I was leaving Seattle, so we grabbed time for a visit and early dinner.
“What are you interested in?” she asked.
“Good Chinese or BBQ” I answered.
“I know just the place, close to home!” she crowed.
When we get there, I recognize the place, it used to be Alligator Ribs, or something like that, and it was also VERY good. My Mom and I had eaten there, and it was really, really good. This is looking pretty good, too – there is a long line of customers, both eating in and taking out. You order at the counter, then either wait (taking out) or go sit down until they bring you your dinner in a picnic table kind of area.
My friend ordered the dry ribs and green beans. Both were out-of-this-world:
I am not supposed to eat ribs, but I did eat one of hers, and they were awesome. Not fatty. Very smokey and very tender. Oh, YUmmmmmmmmmm.
I had the Danza sandwich, tri-tips, and it was also very good, with sweet potato fries. No matter how good they were, I did not eat them all. I did eat a few
Very yummy. Very. And still, the ribs were awesome . . .
They have several sauces, including VooDoo Sauce, which they don’t offer in a squeeze bottle, you tell the waitress you want some and she brings you a little bowl of it. It is good, and it does not blow your brains out.
The best bets in our humble opinion – The ribs. The sandwich was good, but the ribs are to die for. The green beans are superlative. The sweet potato fries are superlative. I’d love to try their Brunswick Stew. I dream of the BBQ at Rainin Ribs, it is that good. Who knew they did BBQ this good in Seattle??
I remember when I was a little girl, flying out of Alaska, PanAm, it was all so glamorous. We all dressed up, the stewardesses gave us wings to wear and we dreamed of growing up to live their adventurous life. The bathrooms were lounges, with a sitting area. Some of the seats faced others, like in a train. There was actually a lounge area, maybe where people would drink (I was too young to remember.)
That was long ago.
First, security took a lot of fun out of flying. Just having to take off your shoes is so degrading, so undignified, and when you are also taking out your computer and your little bag of liquids or make up or whatever, pulling off belts or jackets – it is just a big degrading drag. I totally get it. I don’t want to be sitting next to the underwear bomber, or the disgruntled hijacker, and at the same time, it is an annoyance.
Delta sent me a survey, how did I like my flight? What’s to like? I don’t pay the extra to fly business or first class when I am not flying from Qatar or Kuwait to Seattle – it’s a lot of money and for what? You don’t get more privacy, the food is still airplane food, and it’s just not a good value for the money.
I know about booking my seat when I book my flight, so I usually get a good selection, but now it is further back, now with the new “economy plus.” Economy plus doesn’t give you much, just maybe a few more inches between you and the seat in front of you. It doesn’t give you a wider seat, or more privacy, or more space in the overhead bin. It’s still cattle class, just at the front of the cattle car.
Since the airlines started charging for bags, more and more people are trundling their barely-meets-the-standard bags onto the plane, some people take TWO bags on the plane, I guess they are claiming one bag is their purse. I’ve been there; when I lived overseas and was checking two big bags through and still needed a carry-on (and once, when someone bumped me just outside the Starbucks and knocked my coffee all over my entire outfit, I was glad to be able to go into the restroom, clean off and change.)
But most of the time, all these bags just make getting through the airport more competitive and obstructive. People worry about getting space in the overhead bins; it makes them less nice. We are all competing for a scarce resource, and people can get nasty.
The restaurants in the airports are a minefield as you head for your table, dodging giant carry-ons and the glares of their owners. I can guess they are tired of schlepping those monstrosities; but get them out of the aisles! Entire families stride down the gateways, rolling their bags here and there, dropping their jackets and sweaters, holding up traffic as they stop to pick up or to console the whining child who can’t keep up, or is tired of wheeling their own oversized carry-on. It isn’t pretty.
And now, too, all the rental cars in Seattle have been consolidated to an offsite location with complimentary bus transportation. I am lucky, going to Seattle I can manage fine with one bag (checked) but going to an offsite location adds about half an hour to the time it takes to get out of the airport and on the way to my destination. I have no control over when the buses will come or go, and I imagine myself coming in from Kuwait or Qatar or Germany with my two big bags and a purse and how on earth does one manage? You have to take an escalator up or down when you pick up or drop off your car! How do you manage if you need to use the rest room? It used to be so easy – get one of those carts, truck your bags over to your rental car, deposit, run to the ladies room, depart. Not so, anymore.
So I told Delta the truth. There is no glamour. There is no adventure. It is grim. There is no graciousness; the flight attendants are harried, overworked, dealing with stressed and unhappy customers crowded, too crowded, onto flights which are flying totally full; we are packed together like sardines. We are not happy.
It’s not that I don’t like Arnies. The food is good, and Arnie’s offers a good variety. There is a lot of fresh seafood. Their seafood bisque is very good. Mom loves this place, where you can sit by the window and watch the Edmonds ferry come in and out of port.
It’s just not my favorite place. I like the liveliness of Anthony’s Beach Cafe, or Chanterelle’s, the little Pho 5 place up at 5 Corners. When I go to Arnie’s, most of the customers are – it seems to me – females in their 80′s. Well groomed and hanging in there, but older. Different tastes. It’s a generational thing.
But Mom likes Arnie’s, so I suggest we go there between bursts of rain, and she grins in agreement.
Lunch is pretty good. Mom has her favorite, soup and sandwich, and the soup is the Seafood Bisque and the sandwich is seafood melt:
I have the Seafood Bisque – it really is good – and the Seafood Louis. This Louis even has a small salmon steak topping it, and I love salmon. Pensacola has all the fresh seafood in the world, but you don’t see Crab or Shrimp Louis on the menu . . . LOL, maybe it is another one of those generational things.
It rained while we were there, but as we were readying to brave the rain, it stopped, just enough of a window to get back into the car and to get her back home. Did I mention it rained the entire time I was in Seattle?
“If anything happened to me, do you think you would move to Seattle?” AdventureMan asked, knowing the heat and long humid summers in Pensacola are hard on me. What are the clues? Maybe my grumbling and complaining, maybe that I won’t walk in the garden with him because of the heat and humidity, the snakes, the mosquitoes, the red ants, LOL.
I really love Seattle. I love it that women of all ages can wear jeans and look comfortable in their own skin. So many of those stoic Scandinavian women don’t even bother with make-up anymore, so secure are they. They don’t color their hair. They are comfortable to be exactly who they are. They walk. They are like the French; they get their exercise in their daily life by walking and keeping active. They read books and discuss them. They make interesting political choices. Yes, I really like Seattle.
On the other hand . . . this is one of only two times I saw the sun when I was in Seattle:
It rained. Sometimes it rained more lightly, sometimes it drizzled, and now and then it poured. It rained particularly hard and cold one night as I was trying to get my Mom into a restaurant and we had to park far away. And here is the weather forecast for Seattle today from Weather Underground:
Weather Underground Forecast for Tuesday, December 04, 2012. Another strong Pacific storm will slam into the West Coast Tuesday, renewing rain and high elevation snow for areas that were hit hard by three storms in the past week. This storm will be slightly farther north than the previous storms, bringing areas of heavy rain and high elevation snow from Washington through the San Francisco Bay Area. The heaviest precipitation is expected to fall in Washington and Oregon, but heavy rain is possible in the far northern part of California.
Pensacola is truly lovely from October to March . . . yesterday was in the 70′s. It was wonderful to see the sun
In Seattle, which was not so much cold as grim and grey and rainy rainy rainy, there were flannel sheets everywhere. In the cold draftiness and the winter damp cold of Seattle, flannel sheets are definitely useful.
We thought we would retire in Seattle, and one trip in the middle of winter when I was back in Seattle, I stocked up on flannel sheets. Just months later, everything changed, a grandchild was coming, and suddenly, Pensacola sounded like just where we wanted to be.
The Qatari Cat is delighted we have those flannel sheets. He thinks Pensacola gets cold sometimes, compared to his birth country, Qatar (although the desert in Qatar can also be VERY cold in January) and he snuggles right down during a Pensacola cool spell.
Woodinville Couple Caught Speeding with 3 Children in Trunk, State Patrol Says
A Woodinville couple was arrested Sunday after they were allegedly caught speeding on Interstate 405 with the woman’s three children and a small dog locked in the trunk, according to The Herald.
By Lisa Baumann
OUTSIDE SEATTLE — A local couple was arrested Sunday after they were allegedly caught speeding with the woman’s three children and a small dog locked in the trunk, according to The Herald.
The Woodinville woman was pulled over by a Washington State Patrol trooper just before 11 a.m. in Bothell going 77 mph in a 60-mph zone on Interstate 405, trooper Keith Leary said.
She didn’t say anything about the children until about 30 minutes into the roadside stop when the trooper heard thumping coming from the trunk and asked about the noise, the report said.
The children, an 8-year-old girl, and two boys, 5 and 7, were taken into protective custody – and reportedly fed lunch by troopers after the kids said they hadn’t eaten since the day before.
A guitar and a snowboard filled up the backseat, the report said. A search of the car reportedly turned up heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription pills in the car.
The woman, 28, and her fiancé, 27, were taken to the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of drug charges. The dog was taken to a shelter. The couple is expected to be criminally charged sometime before Wednesday afternoon.
It’s enough to make you wish people had to have a license to have kids . . .
From the bone chilliing 47 degrees mid-day on my arrival, the temperatures in Seattle flew up up and up. By Sunday, the American Mother’s Day, the temperatures were up 30 something degrees, in the mid to high 70′s, and Monday and Tuesday were the same. Good thing we got most of the heavy sorting and tossing andhauling done during the beautiful, but cooler weather before the weekend.
We had a lovely Mother’s Day, Mom got to sit out in the sun, under a huge umbrella, got to play with her great grandchildren, had all her children surrounding her. It was a gorgeous sunny day in a beautiful setting. We all had a lot of fun.
To add icing to the cake, I had the great luxury of time with my best friend from college, time to sit around and catch up, philosophize, all the things we did before husbands and children came along. Now we have as much to talk about as ever, and the great luxury of time in this trip to get to know all the little things, too. What a great blessing. Back to Pensacola, and gearing up for the next big trip!
When I travel, I check with Weather Underground so I will know what to pack. While I barely had time to unpack and do mammoth piles of laundry to repack for the next trip, I did have time to check the weather. Lovely weather, highs in the high 50′s and 60′s, going up to 80 on Mother’s Day this coming Sunday.
So when we landed, and the pilot said “Welcome to Seattle, it is 47° out, my only possible response was “That can’t be right.” But as soon as I stepped out of the plane, I knew it was. I was wearing a little sleeveless silk and linen weave, with a lightweight cotton jacket over it. Not enough!
Arriving in Seattle mid-day is perfectl; traffic going north is calm and – for Seattle – light. I’m in an SUV; when I got to the rental pick up it’s all he had – that, or a Tundra or Yukon, which are just WAAYY too big for me. The car is a Captiva, not a large SUV, but one drive from the airport to Edmonds and I am down about an eighth of a tank, a far cry from my modest little Rav4. On our tip across the US, that sweet little car averaged 30.3 miles per gallon. In Seattle, where the gas prices are substantially higher, I am driving a gas hog. Aargh.
I am staying with my best friend from college. I’ve stayed in this house before, but it has been entirely renovated since then, and it is like staying in a boutique hotel – entirely lovely.
Here is the view just before dark from her house:
My friend has always been an inspirational gardener, and plants these gorgeous big pots:
When I arrive, she is struggling with a connectivity problem, which gives me some time to gather myself from my early rising to my long flights. Every time, I still thank God it is only two timezones and half a day, as opposed to two long flights and about 24 hours travel time from Kuwait and Qatar.
We run out to buy a new wireless modem, and look for a spot for dinner. This is what I love about my old friend, she’s always up for something new. I spot a restaurant I read a review for a long time ago, and she is game to try it.
The prices were unbelievable. This is Seattle. How can you have a simple and serenely lovely interior, full of quietly and happily dining customers, and still charge these low prices? For dinner? I had the Tic Tac combo rice vermicelli dish, and my friend had a different combo. It was delicious! They are on Aurora / Highway 99, and have a steady stream of customers, families, couples, singles, take-out – there are a lot of people love this restaurant, including us. Sorry there are no photos of the meal, but old friends always have so much to talk about, and it never even crossed my mind. Sorry!
This is my lovely ‘hotel’ room, where I quickly fell into bed and was soon fast asleep
Looking at this weeks weather forecasts in Pensacola – fog and rain? Except for the high temperatures, this looks like Seattle!