Seattle Soiree 2009 - Installment 1

Los Angeles Travel Blog

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I recently returned from Seattle and a fun and retrospection/self-realization-filled trip to my home town. These were the e-mails (slightly abridged) which I sent to someone very special to me who stayed behind for various reasons;


I am in Seattle! After 1 very long flight from Sydney (and 1 not-so-long flight from LA), 1 beautiful listening experience, several movies, lots of sleep, delicious wine, champagne and food (which I will go into tantalizing detail about in future correspondence) I got into LA yesterday. My cousin picked me up approximately 3 hours after my flight arrived so I was treated to the best the "International Food Court" at LAX has to offer *insert vomiting smiley here*. *shudder* I think whatever I ate most likely used to bark..or at least meow.

My cousin Katisse had thrown his back out so I forced him to stop at a physio on the way home and while he went in for treatment from a Hawaiian shirt-clad orange-coloured sort of person named Bob (whose second question immediately following "what's your name?" was inevitably "are you married?". *sigh* that's LA for you..) I meandered down el Camino Drive and received multiple "mmmmmmm hmm you work those boots grrrrl!!* and "damn suga' you got great hair" from large females of the African-American persuasion. I chuckled and went into a petrol ("gas") station and paid $2.72 for a coke. Who on earth prices a drink at two dollars and seventy-two cents, it's inane, I almost paid them $3.00 just to accentuate my disapproving thoughts on the matter. Unfortunately when they added on the lesser-publicised "government taxes not included" it came to $3.13 so I rolled my eyes and gave them lots and lots of pennies, just to prove my point.

Post back-adjustment we went to Katisse and Sue (his girlfriend of 6 years)'s house in Culver City and ate the most enormous salad in the history of time at the local Mexican cafe. I then immediately passed out on the couch.

I woke up with an enormous amount of energy and very itchy feet so I asked if I could borrow Kat's bike for a cruise down the Marina del Ray pier since he had other things to do that evening before the gig. It was a surreal and fantastic time biking along the harbour for the next 2 hours, I have some great photos.

The most amazing thing happened on the way back - I finally got to experience "the Santa Annas" - those unannounced gusts of piping hot wind which whip up from nowhere and make you feel as if the world has turned into an enormous blow dryer and some one's aimed it at your face. One minute my nose was slightly pink from wind chill and the next I was sweating in 40 degree heat. It was the hottest night on record for the past 2 years - 34 degrees Celsius!

Katisse's gig at The Baked Potato was awesome, he played flute and saxophone (with a bit of beat boxing thrown in for shits and/or. The guy on piano was absolutely phenomenal, I bought his CD. I got chills listening to the stuff he'd written, and I'm not even that crazy about jazz!

I ate a Teriyaki Chicken Baked Potato with Broccoli and Sauteed Mushrooms the size of most small children in Africa, it was delicious. To my great amusement I was poured a glass of Jacob's Creek Cab Merlot to wash it down! Just can't seem to escape Australia wherever I go..

The amusingly disgruntled crew on Virgin America flew me up to Seattle this afternoon (the safety-demo is a gas, YouTube "virgin america safety demo vid" - you'll piss yourself, it's very clever) and mum snuck up on me at baggage claim - she would've been easy to miss, somehow she's shrunk to about 4 feet! I'm a full head taller than her!! I keep kissing her on the top of the head and chuckling.
We had dinner at Blue C Sushi Train (chilli lobster with avocado, omlette and edamade rolls were absurdly good, as was the unagi and melt-in-your-mouth salmon and abalone sashimi), did a bit of shopping (I bought a kick-ass little camera) and came home.

I can't believe I'm here, it's half-odd because things have changed a little (rooms rearranged, walls painted, that sort of thing) but also comfortable and home-y. I needed to come back and see it on my own, to see whether I would actually break into the beaming grin I found on my face when we drove past the dance studio and the shits-all-over-Harris-Farm "Metropolitan Market" (where I used to spend too much time nonsensically roaming the aisles admiring the expensive but delicious products on offer) and up to our little grey and blue two-storey house nestled between my huge tree and climbing roses on one side and the rhododendrons and cedar hedges on the other. It's so nice here, I finally feel like this was my home.

Mum's just now gone off to bed (and sent my new mobile a goodnight message from the other room which I found quite amusing, I've finally brought her into the portable information age! *slightly chuffed*) and I'm able to check the internet for the first time.

I'm off to bed now too, marvelling at my utterly non-alcoholic mother's foresight to purchase bottles of reserve Penfolds, D'arenberg, St Hallet, Drumborg and various others back in the late 1990's and store them all in our underground stone basement. I'm very much looking forward to cracking open a bottle of the Penfold's Wine Maker's Reserve 2001 Shiraz tomorrow night to go with the roasted capsicum's stuffed with steak chunks, rice spring onions and coriander I'm planning on cooking for mum (with banana cake and maple yoghurt for dessert) - she hasn't had a glass of wine in 4 years and is worried she's going to "get sloshed" (heehee, because I never have that effect on parents..).

So there's an abridged War & Peace of my first few days in the USA. It's actually really nice to be back. Aside from the weird pricing, humongous food portions which you feel guilty for not finishing even though if you did you'd literally explode, odd looking and leering Mexicans who ask you when they'll need to have you home tomorrow morning when you ask them where the closest atm is, mothers who drive the pace of snails with back aches and amusingly hardened consonants, I'm liking it. And I'm glad I came, very glad.
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12,609 km (7,835 miles) traveled
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