The trip to Seattle was short, a mere 3 hours, but we will be here for a total of 5 days. We wait a long time for my uncle (a long-time family friend) to pick us up from Union Station. We are starving, so we head over to King Street Cafe and are disappointed. (The Vietnamese spring rolls fell apart. The peanut sauce might have given my girlfriend hives. The chicken fried rice is the blandest I’ve ever tasted.)
My uncle lives in Bellevue, a more affluent suburb, across the bridge. We head to downtown Bellevue that night and go play pool and dance at a huge, heterosexual club. I see everything from 18-year-olds to 60-year-olds. We are befriended near the bathroom by two white women who hold us hostage with inquiries. One complains about her boyfriend. Another says it’s her first time out since having her baby daughter. We tell them about our around-the-country trip.
“So what do you do?”
“Oh, what grade? 3rd? I teach, too.”
“No. College. Writing.”
She seemed perplexed. “How old are you?”
I tell her, and she’s still perplexed. I love surprising people. And countering stereotypes.
Eventually, we reveal that we’re a couple, and we excuse ourselves a few minutes later. My girlfriend and I talk about the two. We believe that they secretly desire each other, perhaps one more than the other. Just a vibe. Later that night, we see both of them, sitting on the curb outside. One has her head in her hands.
The next day, we begin exploring the city. We take the 550 bus to Chinatown and walk through Pioneer square where we discover a random flea market that encapsulates Seattle: music, hippies, dancers, air mattresses, psychics, a modified Big Bird costume.
We walk along the pier and eat amazing clam chowder, calamari with cheese aioli, and fish at Fisherman’s Restaurant in Miner’s Landing. We sit outside and enjoy the water and sun.
Next, we explore Pike Place Market. I find a Filipino restaurant there with a recipe for chicken adobo written out. Masarap, it says.
After, we lounge on a park bench with a view of Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier.
A seagull steals a sandwich from a picnicker. Everyone laughs has he struggles to get the bag open. Eventually, a man momentarily scares him off so that the sandwich can be taken out of the bag.
The day is winding down, so we walk over in the direction of the Space Needle. We discover that a parade, the Seafair Parade, is about to begin. We are very confused about the theme: Navy captains, pirates, ethnic youth groups, marching bands, firefighters, beauty queens, unicyclers, clowns, the whole Chinatown, the Seahawk Cheerleaders.
Seattle is interesting, indeed. After ice cream, we head up to the Space Needle. The sun is setting, and the sky is a deep purple. We tour the 360 degree view, and settle inside with some tea. Such a lovely nightscape.
We take the Monorail back to the Westlake Center, where our bus to Bellevue would depart.
On our third day, we explore Capitol Hill, the LGBT hub. I get lost in Elliot Bay Bookstore for hours. I spent two years working at a bookstore, and I’m nostalgic about its simplicity and lack of pressure.
We then try the famous Bill’s Off Broadway and fall in love with their 3-cheese spinach dip and deep dish pizza (Chicken, Roasted Peppers).
Later, for dessert, we go to Molly Moon’s. The line is wrapped around the outside of the building! I am craving something nutty, so I order the Maple Walnut and is not disappointed. Next time, I’ll give the Honey Lavender a try. We walk across the street at the park and watch a game of basketball between some locals and some Catalans who work at a nearby hotel for the year.
We stay in Capitol Hill for the night. We head to The Lobby for a couple of drinks. There is a pirate-themed birthday party going on. At the end of the night, we try The Honeyhole, because the name is interesting. The clientele (older, white) does not match the music (NWA, Fuck Da Police).
Heading back to the bus station, we miss the 550 by 5 mins. We have to wait another 40 minutes until the next one arrives. Public transportation is a hassle in Seattle.
Our fourth day in Seattle is relatively relaxing. We walk around Bellevue and watch Salt at a nearby theater. On our last day, we enjoy wine, watch Netflix, eat roasted chicken that my uncle cooked. We prepare for our departure the next morning: laundry, grocery store, packing. My uncle cooks chicken adobo that we can pack for our trip east through the mountains.