24 hours in Seattle

The next morning Michael and I were up at the crack of dawn to catch our 6:40am Amtrak to Seattle. We breathed a sigh of relief as we finally plopped down in our assigned seats. We had cut it a little close as I didn’t realize we would have to clear immigration before we got on the train. The first thing I noticed about Amtrak was that the train was a lot newer and cleaner. They even had a designated cell phone area between cars for those annoying loud talkers. Hooray for innovation!

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As we pulled up to Peace Arch border crossing, we spotted a peculiar art piece the looked like a billboard of air surrounded by scribbles. By the time we had finished discussing it, we were already on our way again. One of the more painless border experiences I have had. Part way through our trip, the entire train load was moved onto buses for the duration so to avoid the mudslide area. We finally pulled into Seattle and I was happy to see the sun.

We navigated the streets of downtown Seattle to Hotel Max. As we were somewhat early, we dropped off our bags and went to explore. Michael was hungry as usual so we went hunting for food.

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We found ourselves at Pike Place Market, which was an absolute treat to the senses. From the fish throwing to the crafty artisans to the stunningly arranged blooms of fresh and dried flowers, there was something for everyone. We wandered and nibbled, then passed by the original Starbucks, though we didn’t go in.

When we reached back to our hotel, it was time to check into our room. We had requested a view of the Space Needle which we got. But what we also got was a huge crane that was lined up exactly along the same line. Michael worked his magic and somehow got us moved to the best suite in the house. We were on the top floor in the Limited King Suite. It was huge compared to the other room and had every comfort I could imagine.

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I love that this hotel gives so many choices. I ordered a body pillow from the vast pillow list and scanned the “Spiritual Menu” list. I was amused that you could get books about Scientology, Tao Te Ching, The Torah and even the Bhagavad Gita. I was tickled to see the three styles of housekeeping: Old School, Eco-Friendly, and the Tree Hugger.

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We made our way down to the lobby and joined the other guests for free beer happy hour at 5:30. On tap today was a very strong 9% local craft beer. We drank up and helped the tap master empty his keg. Feeling jolly and quite full, we decided tonight would be a night in. We ordered takeaway from the much recommended restaurant downstairs called  Millers Guild. Unfortunately by the time Michael reached home with the food, I had already fallen asleep. I won the keg race but in the end, the beer defeated me.

Sometime, in the middle of the night, true to my form, I popped up full of life and ravenous. By time time Michael roused, I had plowed through practically the whole meal. I looked up at him guiltily then down at the almost empty boxes of gourmet cuisine. You know how some people “drunk dial”? I just drunk binge. I don’t know how drinking makes me so hungry but I liken it to what happens when smokers get the munchies. It’s like an animal that takes on a life of its own. It must be fed. Or else.

The next morning I felt so bad about eating all the food, I dragged my sorry hungover self down to Millers Guild to allow Michael a proper meal. This was one of the best decisions I could ever make. From the atmosphere to the service to the quality of the food, I was in awe. The rustic yet very classy establishments had us on a high for days.IMG_0730.JPG

I couldn’t decide between a couple of the salads so I asked if I could meld them both and create a special order. Michael got brave and asked if he could add some of the pork belly to his eggs benny. After much deliberation, the staff agreed it could be done. And was it ever! We both couldn’t shut up with our appreciation and gratitude for making our food year.

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Chef Jason came over to our table so we could express what a wonderful job he was doing and he decided to make my custom salad creation part of their regular Brunch menu. He promised to name it “The Carmella” and I was chuffed. If I was a salad, this would be me. It had everything that I love and more. Including perfectly seared tuna, fire roasted sweet beets and layers of flavors to take your tastebuds to heaven.

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We checked out of our little piece of heaven and were scooped up by Ranger Diver Dave. He gave us an amazing tour of the city which almost convinced me this was a place I should consider living. Now that is a wicked tour.

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We got to see the 16 foot bronze Lenin statue in artsy Fremont, the giant troll under the Aurora Bridge, the rocket in Bell Town, and of course the uber famous Space Needle. But my favorite was when Dave treated us to an extra special tour of the Seattle Aquarium, where he volunteer dives every weekend.
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We got to pet a sea cucumber and sea stars, find Nemo, and the highlight for me, watch the otters play. They had sea AND river otters, as well as seals. It was awesome and we got to learn a lot about everything aquatic from our very experienced Diver Dave. Thanks Dave!
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After treating our friends to a quick bite of yummy thai, we back to the Amtrak station. Heading south to see Joey, Jelly, and all things Portlandia!

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