Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pushing the Needle Too Far

I can cross another state off my list:  Washington.

I had a three day meeting up in Seattle.  The Pacific Northwest is fucking awesome!

You have to gay-sing the word 'awesome', with 'awe' being the high note.  You know what I'm talking about.  You're doing it in your head right now.  I know you are. You know you are.  You know I know you are.

I've been to Portland, which I love, but had never been up north of that.  I might like Seattle even more.  I could totally see living there, but I said the same thing about PDX.

The first morning I had free, but none of my co-workers was up to do anything.  Slackers.  I went out and explored on my own.   Off I went down the steep hill so I could see Puget Sound.  It was beautiful - and I was the only one down there.   The walk back up was great of the glutes and the calves.

Seattle is built on about an 18%  grade.  If you've ever tried to bike up an 8% it's frickin tough. Now more than double it.  Originally, the town was a 49% (!!!!!) grade. Honest to g-d, they hosed it down and eroded it so they could build a base to the city.  Key-razy!

But while down there I saw a glimpse of the Space Needle.

....or as 710 calls it:  Dr. Evil's HQ.

I never made it to Pike's Fish Market, which was a bummer, but I was there for work, not play.  I did pass a few really cool looking galleries, but they weren't open at 07:00.  Go figure!  All 4,391 Starbucks that I passed were.  I felt dirty not being a coffee drinker in this town - like I was doing something horribly horribly wrong.

We did do a little play - mainly a little walking tour of Seattle and then a shuttle ride over to the Space Needle, where we had dinner and did the observation deck.

The views were pretty frickin' cool.

The restaurant was another matter.  Rotating does nothing for me.  Yeah, you got to see all sides of the city while you ate, but while most don't face straight out, it was just a little odd to notice things moving.

I also assumed it would be touristy and because of that it would have high priced (it was), but low-brow food (it wasn't). You know me, if I have to ask what two items in the dish are:  I'm out.  Every dish was like this. The special of the night?  A 44 oz  (!!!!!) steak.  It only cost $120.  Your pre-angioplasty dinner is pretty cheap compared to three days in CCU.

For a great meal, I suggest Purple.  Incredible food.  Incredible desserts and a great great wine list.  I had the bestest Pino Noir I've ever had.  Pricey, but good.

I did skip the last day of my meeting, so I could drive four hours to do a presentation to a potential new client.  Up and over the Cascade mountains before dawn, they were seemingly beautiful.  It was dark and cold.  Low 20 degrees up there.  But coming down the other side,  through the fog-laden valley, I could barely make out Mt. Rainier.  Impressive to say the least.

Rumour has it that if Rainier were to erupt it would wipe out Seattle in minutes.  I suppose it could. I'm not a geologist.  I was surprised how far away from Seattle it is.  I always assumed it loomed right over the city, not two hours away.  Clearly I'm not a geographer either.

Had I not been driving 80-100 miles per hour, I would have stopped to take pics of some of the sights, as they were great.  Yes, the seemingly crappy Chevy rental car was doing 95 and I never even noticed.  And even at that speed it still took me almost four hours to get to my destination. It was kind of out in the middle of nowhere.

As much of a pain as it might be to get out there, if it let me spend more time in the PNW, I'd gladly take on the client.

One more pic of the Needle - one my way out, in the dark.

Song by:  Indigo Girls


anne marie in philly said...

portland and seattle are wonderful cities. but the rains of WA would depress me; this chick needs sunshine.

the only time I tried to go up the space needle it was closed; a (then) recent fire had made it unsafe.

and the mountains (hood and ranier) are FAB-u-lous (said in gay-sing); so close yet so far.

thanks for sharing your pix! (she said as she drinks her starbucks homebrew)

BosGuy said...

1 - Loved (hilarious).

2 - Love Seattle. Back in the 90s I worked for Microsoft so I traveled back to Seattle with some frequency and fell in love with the city.


cb said...

I do want to get to Seattle sometime. I think it would be beautiful... but perhaps a bit dark for me.