Tuesday, October 22, 2013

GW, Sunday, October 20

We seem to be naturally awakening around the same time on this trip… somewhere between 7 and 8.  Lori gave up on scrapbooking and we decided to go outside for a while, where the day was bright and sunny….ha!! We wish.  No, the fog was right there where we had left it, hanging over the ground, the sky and the sun.  Despite the fog, we tied on our tennis shoes and set off on a wonderful walk on the beach.  Blaine does not have a sandy beach, it’s rocky and seaweedy and not very wide, but it was a great walk nonetheless.  We passed several other walkers, some with dogs, all out and enjoying the foggy morning as we were.  After 30 minutes we came up from the beach and returned to the condo along the street route. Back in the room, we tossed the states.  Two down…and two up – Nebraska and North Carolina!  I hadn’t had any real strong opinions about the remaining states, but I was not sad to see Alabama go. After a yummy breakfast of bacon and eggs we passed the rest of the morning in our normal fashion.  Noon was checkout time, and soon after, we were in the car headed to Seattle.
Once in Seattle, we checked into the WorldMark Camlin.  This used to be the Camlin Hotel, but was bought by WorldMark over 10 years ago.  It is beautiful, and since it was an old-world hotel originally built in 1926, it has a different feel than other WorldMarks I have stayed in with Lori. There is a big beautiful lobby with a player grand piano, sumptuous carpets, and lots of maroon and gold and copper furniture and drapes.  There isn’t a full kitchen in this one, but a kitchenette with microwave, small fridge, and sink. The master bedroom had a tiny attached bathroom, but my favorite part is that the shower in the main bathroom has a window in it that actually opens.
Lori and I put our things away in our rooms, and then flipped our switches.  We have these mental switches that we can turn on and off  to adjust to our surroundings.  We do it without thinking most times.  Our brains told us that we needed to flip from rural mode into urban mode, and so we did so, without any type of recognition or discussion.  With switches flipped, we grabbed purses and camera and took off out into the city to see what we could see.
I have recently decided that my wardrobe, which is plentiful for sure, is also old and travel-weary, and needs some sprucing up.  So, even though I didn’t really intend it, this trip turned into a shopping excursion.  Shopping is one of those things for which you need just the right partner, or else it is better to do it alone.  Lori and I have years of shopping experience together, and are great partners. Seattle has wonderful shopping,  and while they certainly have malls somewhere I’m sure,  their downtown is our favorite kind of downtown, with street after street of stores, restaurants, interesting architecture, and eclectic, somewhat unique people.
We started out by walking directly west from our hotel, down to the waterfront, where we explored the most famous of Seattle’s attractions, the Pike Place City Market.  Lori has been to Seattle several times, as it is an easy getaway for her and her family, but I haven’t been here since I came through with the Dreamgirls tour in the latter half of 1988.  All I remembered was that I loved the city, and that I had really enjoyed coming to Pike Place Market.  We wended our way up and down the market, bought some souvenirs, gawked at the HUGE clams, and stopped at the original Starbucks coffee shop, which was – as it is every single day of the year – packed.  A barista told us that in the summer people will wait over 90 minutes for coffee.  Now, I’m all for experiencing history, but that is just stupid.  Seattle boasts three Starbucks stores for every two blocks.  I would say, go look at the original store, and then go buy your coffee at another one!

We wandered past a Russian bakery where we stopped to watch with fascination as a woman in the bakery window rolled out some yummy looking yellowish dough, slathered it with.butter, folded it up, then began the entire process again.  We decided the dough was so yellow  because of the egg mixture we saw on the shelf above the woman.  She was making piroshkis, of which I had never heard.  I had heard of pierogis, but not piroshkis.  Lori and I decided to look up the difference.  Pierogis are Polish (which I knew but had forgotten) and are similar to Russian vareniki – they are more like what we would call a dumpling; while a piroshky is like a baked bun.  Piroshkis have either sweet or savory fillings. We decided to come back the next day and taste the delicious-looking thing.

As we were walking down one street we saw one of those people who pretend to be statues and place themselves on the sidewalk, standing stock still and wowing the passing crowds by their sheer quietude and determination.  This was a lady all in copper, in old-fashioned dress.  We watched her for a while, then Lori wondered out loud if we tipped her, we could get her to move.  Lori went to place a couple of dollars at the woman’s feet, and as she did so the copper lady gently came to life and ever so slowly, blew Lori a kiss.  We were delighted.  I love that Lori and I are always ready to celebrate our inner child.
Seattle is HILLY.  After what turned out to be a great workout hiking the downtown streets, we headed back to the hotel in the early evening.  At one point, Lori prohibited me from starting across a street because the walk timer was down to 8, and the picture was of the stopped man and not the walking man.  The street was neither wide nor too terribly busy. While we are both certainly getting older, we are still mostly able-bodied and probably could have crossed the street in the allotted time without mishap, but I bowed to the concerns of my best friend of so many years.  I’m sure Lori was just being cautious and safe, not timid. And certainly not a wimp. Never that.
I had started sneezing on Saturday night, and by Sunday night it was apparent that I had definitely caught a cold – ugh!  Back in the room, we settled in to a lazy Sunday night of snacks, journaling, and watching the Colts beat the Peyton Manning and the Broncos – a heartwrenching experience for those of us who wished that somehow both Peyton AND the Colts could win. I will always root for the home team, though, and it was a great win. Lori hasn’t been sleeping very well, and I was battling my cold, so after the game we went to bed, somewhat amazed that when we awakened it would be yet another last day of yet another awesome Girls Weekend.

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