Mar. 30: Spring break adventures

We went to Seattle for part of spring vacation this year. We go up there several times a year, actually, and Victor lived up there forEVER, but it had been a long time since we’d played for-realsies tourists. It was a quick, jam-packed trip. Here are the deets. (Most of the images are clickable.)

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale…

After leaving Portland, our first stop was the Nike Clearance Store in Centralia.
It’s different than the Nike stores at most outlet malls
—better deals, better selection—
and is always Jack’s favorite part of heading up I-5.
He even talked us into stopping again on the way home.

We drove on to Lacey and I got to visit Shipwreck Beads, the biggest bead store you ever did see,
while the rest of my family wandered a preferable (to them) bead-free shopping center.


The massive store was completely overwhelming, and I didn’t even spend much $$.
I can’t promise that the next time I go, though.

We had dinner at BBQ Pete’s, a Kent restaurant that’s been around for years.
You don’t think of Kent as being a city of good eateries, but WOW, Pete’s was fantastic.
I mean, ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, delicious sauces… it’s all good.
We might have had another meal there before we left for home.


Jake had a track meet in Woodinville one afternoon,
which was actually the event that led us to Seattle in the first place.
It was fun to see him compete, especially because he (and his team) won every dash and relay in which he ran.
We were a proud uncle, aunt, and cousins.

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We were grateful for rare nice weather, and spent as much time as we could out in it.
One day was all about Pike Place Market.

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We tried the world’s best macaroni and cheese,
saw a very long line at the original Starbucks,
watched those dudes toss fish until I couldn’t stand the stench anymore,
and spent way too much time searching for the Gum Wall.

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It was disgusting and funny.
(We didn’t create the “K & J” but couldn’t resist taking a pic of it.)
Katie tried to put a piece of her gum on the wall but it fell right off.
Oh well. At least we tried to play along.

We made a quick detour to Wallingford to shop at Archie McPhee,
where Katie got a handicorn and I bought a silly Jane Austen treat for Mother Mary.


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Jack and I visited the Seattle Aquarium.
I loves me some otters.
They have river otters and sea otters, and in case you don’t know the difference, here’s a pic of the sign.
(The only river otter I’ve seen before was at the High Desert Museum and he was a dick.)
The Seattle river otters wouldn’t sit still for a pic, but they sure did poop everywhere.
The sea otters were silly little goofballs and fun to watch.
I’m pretty sure they love putting on The Show.

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The jellyfish were mesmerizing,
and the harbor seals were cute.
Not sea otter-cute, but not I-want-to-club-them ugly.
Lucky for them.

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I thought the Seattle Great Wheel would be huge, like the wheels in London and Paris.
This thing was puny, like it was borrowed from a parking lot carnival.
Vic, who is not a fan of heights, thought it was pa-lenty big.


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We did the CenturyLink Field tour, and while the field was
disappointingly set up as a soccer pitch, the tour was still fascinating.
Our guide showed us how to see into the Seahawks’ locker room:
put a camera phone up to the crack in the door and zoom in.
Sure enough, it worked!

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“The State of Football” was a really cool display of all
the high school football helmets of Washington State.
My favorite moment of stadium-related things was being on Edgar Martinez Drive.
Edgar is my all-time favorite Mariner.
(“It’s a light bat!”)

Thoughts on Seattle:

  • OMG, the traffic sucks. It is soooo much worse than Portland, and at all times of day, and turned us into potty-mouths. Someday I want to make the trip by Amtrak.
  • Seattle kinda seems like Portland on steroids—the environmentalism, overall pride in its weird-ness, Starbucks saturation, weather. (I don’t hate that.)
  • There were “12”s everywhere, on everything. I like seeing the city band together as fans of their team. (No wonder Loveliest Lori hates Seattle!)
  • They sure do miss their NBA team. You make the mistake of mentioning it to the wrong person and get a lot of bitterness tossed back atcha. Jack got a Gary Payton jersey at one of the many, many team gear stores we visited. There’s still a LOT of Sonics stuff around. I don’t get that, but whatevs.
  • There are a lot of casinos in the outlying areas of Seattle. Just… a lot.
  • Mt. Rainier is beautiful and majestic, but nothing beats Portland’s beautiful peak. Mt. Hood was all aglow as we crossed the I-205 bridge, almost like she was welcoming us home by reminding us how pretty she is.


One of the best ways to end a vacation like this is to have your husband drop you off at Val’s house before you even get home. That way you don’t have to help unload the car AND you get to see your best girls and clink many glasses. Then the next day you’re reminded that vodka is your enemy but still don’t wish you’d gone straight home. And then the NEXT day, when your sides are still aching from Buddha-knows-what, you have to have someone drive you over to Val’s to pick up your eyeglasses and wonder if MAYBE you should’ve gone straight home from Seattle after all. In fact, how did you even get home from Val’s? You don’t want to know. (But some pathetic person might have puked in Vic’s car and Val’s driveway at the same time. Someone might have really bad aim. Someone might regret so many, many things.)

Happy spring! :)


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