A Seattle weekend

Seattle Travel Blog

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We started our Seattle weekend on Friday afternoon at Golden Gardens Park. After a miserable week of weather we expected Lifan's and Jared's farewell BBQ to be washed out, but we really got lucky ("lucked out" in American-talk) with the weather, which was perfect for a BBQ. Golden Gardens is just above Ballard on the edge of the Sound, so we got to sit out on the beach and drink beer in the sun and watch the sun slowly set over the Sound and the Olympics. I guess we are at that age now where people bring either a puppy or a baby to these type of events (except Jared, who showed off by bringing both), and it turns out I really like it. It is nice to be able to muck around and have fun with the dogs, relax with cherished friends, be able to bury a baby in sand (and not be the one to deal with the consequences) and generally have a great evening. One of our best evenings out in years. 

On Saturday afternoon we walked along 45th in Wallingford, browsing the travel book shop for books about Belgium, getting chocolate cupcakes from Trophy Cupcake and going to see Tropic Thunder at the movies (which was actually excellent, the Panda and Dingo scenes were magnificant, and Downey and Cruise were great actors).

In the evening we went to my first (and, hopefully, last) American football game, between the Huskies (University of Washington) and the Cardinals (Stanford). The Husky stadium is huge, it is just the college football stadium not a professional stadium yet it hold over 70 000 people, not that far off the capacity of the MCG (and since the field is a tiny 100m by 50m everything is up close and personal). It is claimed that the Husky stadium is the location of the first Mexican wave, on the 31st of October 1981, but it is more likely that the Mexican wave was invented in 1980 in Canada and the Husky stadium was merely the first American experience.

The game is weird. It is a bit like Rugby, except the players wear more body armour than the soldiers in Iraq and get to have a break every couple of minutes. Really bored me to tears, but then I'm not a sporting person. I can't understand why someone would teach their child to jump up and down and scream abuse at a bunch of footballers simply because they go to Stanford instead of the University of Washington (especially considering the home-town of the players is often neither Seattle nor San Francisco, and if any succeed in football they will just be sold off to a random team). How can someone be so upset at the Huskies letting a touch-down go past that they cry with regret that they just signed up to go to college at the University of Washington? The Huskies are one of the worst college football teams in the US, and the UW is one of the best medical research institutes in the US, yet "team spirit" means screaming abuse at a referee for doing their job rather than taking pride in the meaningful achievements of the university. I found the fans to be very ugly and it wasn't an enjoyable experience at all.

Then today we had a morning down at the Pike Place Markets. The Pike Place Markets are one of Seattle's most famous attractions, being built in 1908 to combat market speculation on the price of onions. The markets have a lot of tourist junk but also a lot of really good food. We went on a "Saviour Seattle" tour, which took us to a few different places to try the food - Daily Dozen Doughnuts, MarketSpice, Pike Place Fish (where Lydia got to catch a fish in the famous Pike Place fish toss), Frank's Quality Produce, Pike Place Chowder (which won the Rhode Island "best New England Clam Chowder" award three years in a row, before becoming inducted into the hall of fall and disqualified from future entries), Chuk'ar Cherries (we bought some dark chocolate carbinet cherries later), Beecher's Handmade Cheeses (their cheddar was magnificant), Piroshky-Piroshky and Etta's Seafood. It was a beautiful day to be outside, the food was excellent and the tour was actually very enjoyable.

A very Seattle weekend indeed.
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259 km (161 miles) traveled
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photo by: diisha392