Tuesday, June 11

Seattle in Instagrams Part One

 We flew to Seattle on Sunday by way of Alaska Airlines. The flight was great, a measly two hours to our destination and there was complimentary wine and beer! Haha, it's much easier to be a relaxed flyer with a little Pinot Grigio in you. We also discovered a perk of flying on a smaller plane -- a la carte carry-ons. Not my choice of descriptors BTW. We like to travel with just carry-on bags so we never loose our luggage, and this time we didn't have to worry about lifting my kinda heavy bag into the overhead because we just rolled it onto a cart and the airline staff loaded them onto the back of the plane for us! The first picture I took on the tarmac waiting for our bags to be unloaded next to the plane.

We jumped onto the light rail train straight from the airport and rode it all the way to the end of the line at Westlake station. From there we walked the easy five blocks to our hotel. First order of official tourist business was to buy a doughnut and latte to fuel our afternoons explorations. We settled into our hotel room and then made our way to nearby Serious Pie for dinner.

Apparently, almost every restaurant in Seattle is owned by one Tom Douglas. I started to imagine him as the Gordon Ramsey of the Northwest. Serious Pie is one of his establishments and we very much enjoyed our yukon gold potato, rosemary and pecorino pizza! They had a forno oven and long tables that could be shared by a group or by strangers. Nick tried their "Big E rootbeer" which happened to be on tap! I don't drink rootbeer, pepsi or coke normally but I tried a sip and it was absolutely friggen amazing. For dessert we shared a cherry tarte. An absolutely amazing first meal in Seattle, followed by many more.
Day two we didn't have any formal plans so we did a preliminary scope of the Pike Place Market and walked downtown and around the bay area. It seems I was either using my phone to capture the day, or my DSLR, and somehow never both. Despite carrying the big camera the entire trip *facepalm*. Day two was a DSLR day, so I'll share the pics from our wanders, and the aquarium, later.
For lunch we went to Beechers and I had their famous Mac and Cheese, an item from Oprahs favorite things. ;) Well Oprah knows what she's talking about. It was delicious. We walked down to the little park at the end of the market and ate there, watching the water below and the various high individuals trying to climb the totem polls. Stay classy Seattle.

For dinner we went to a cute little Indian place called 'Far Eats'. To our wonderment it was entirely empty and we had the whole place to ourselves. Best butter chicken we've ever had!

Day three was my BHLDN appointment in Bellevue which involved taking a bus from Westlake to the Bellevue transit center and finding the Anthropologie. I was really nervous that somehow we would get lost or I wouldn't be there on time so we left early in the day and magically found the Anthro in no time at all -- about four hours early. Haha. Bellevue also has a pretty cool shopping center so we walked to the Bellevue collection (it's actually three full sized malls in a few square blocks connected by pedways). There, we had lunch at the cheescake factory and then I left Nick to hunt for board games (to keep us homebodies occupied in the evenings at the hotel) while I walked back to the Anthro to be nice and early for my appointment.

I tried on some awesome dresses, and purchased a red stripey number with the intention of wearing it to a wedding later this month, and then I sheepishly explained that yes, I was also here to try on wedding dresses (at this point not being engaged)! I tried on all of the dresses in this post and a couple more and came out with a clear favorite.

High on how much fun that was (I had been super nervous!), we jumped back on the bus and spent some time back in downtown Seattle still searching for board games (dude is obsessed). With something to play finally decided, we head back to the hotel. Our best meal of the week was that night at Palace Kitchen and Cocktails, another Tom Douglas establishment only a block away from our hotel. We had the lavender goat cheese fondue as an appetizer and then split the carrot and parsnip ravioli which was garnished with newaukam valley leeks, english peas, sheep's milk chevre, lemon, thyme, butter, and pistachios! It was decadent and delicious! Nick tried a Moscow Mule for the first time and it came in a great copper mug. I want some of those for home, they're gorgeous. I had a Pimm's cup with ginger syrup!
Of course the next day we got engaged! Haha, everything else that happened was a little overshadowed. We started by grabbing breakfast in the cafe at the hotel and then sped to Seattle Center on the monorail. We explored the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Hall of Fame for awhile (one of the big things that originally attracted us to Seattle, we're nerds!) and were ecstatic to find a Fantasy exhibit which included props and costumes from all our favorite movies! Buttercups dress from the Princess Bride! The six fingered sword and glove! Xena's chakram and breast plate! Sirius Black's robes! The Iron Throne! It was a very happy surprise. Again, this was a DSLR day so I'll share some pictured from the exhibits later!

After that we had a delicious lunch at Skillet (grilled cheese with bacon jam pictured in part 2) and I found out he had The Ring on him. I had had a vague idea he might propose in Seattle due to the fact that a lot of people I know have gotten engaged while on vacation. I figured it would be a logical time to pop the question. Compounded with that was the fact I also knew he wanted to propose in a photo booth. Weeks ago he had casually planted the seed by saying out of the blue "we haven't done a photobooth in a long time..." then, shortly after having arrived in Seattle he was all, "WE SHOULD LOOK FOR A PHOTOBOOTH". Going so far as to scour the internet trying to figure out where the Seattle photobooths were located. Turns out, there aren't many. SO we made the plan early on to use the booths at the Pacific Science Center where there are three, two themed and one with the old school flash bulb.

Anyway, I hadn't been 100% sure he was going to propose until while sitting in the foodcourt at Seattle Center I remembered we were going to share a water bottle we had brought, instead of buying one there. I knew the water bottle was in his bag and he had left the bag with me at the table while he went to wait for his pizza slice at the counter. Presuming there might be a ring in the bag I decided not to simply dig in, I opted to hand motion to him from far away "where's the water bottle". A look of comprehension crossed his face and his eyes went wide. Instead of motioning to his bag as he would if it were just a water bottle in there, he walked all the way over to me and took it out himself, and then took his bag with him when he returned to the pizza counter. My heart was in my throat this whole time, as I had just discovered he had the ring.

The Pacific Science Center itself was a little disappointing. The exhibits were haphazardly displayed and a bit old and cheap seeming. We wandered throughout the depressingly empty, huge as building until we came upon the first photobooth. I was pretty exited and spent the time keeping my third eye on his bag wondering if he would go for it. He didnt. We made silly faces and then moved on. I was a bit disappointed. The old school flash bulb photobooth of our dreams was waiting at the exit of the third building, right next to the gift shop.

We piled into the small space, me sitting on his lap and hunched down so my face would be in the picture. I swiped my visa (visa in a photobooth, AMERICA!), and we made a smiley face. Then, we made a kissy face, he was being all romantic and tender the way he is right before he tells me he loves me and THEN he reached into his pocket and brought out the ring! Haha, you've already seen the pictures so you know my reaction. I was maybe not entirely surprised, but I was surprised by the design of the ring and the sincerity with which he asked me to be his wife! He quickly explained it was a prototype ring and it wouldn't fit. Bummer. But I admit I was even happier when he explained my ring would be rose gold, not white, and the diamond would be pear shaped instead of round. Those two things had been important to me, so I knew he had been listening!

After that, we wandered back to the hotel in a happy daze and then couldn't decide where to eat. Haha. We ended up stopping at Local Pho for some soup and a noodle bowl for me. I just felt like I was a zombie all night, numb from the excitement and kinda weird and absent. I admitted to Nick, is this how I should be acting? Should things feel different? Should we act different? In the end we agreed that however we wanted to act was fine, and whatever we felt was fine.

Whoa, I didn't intend to make this a trip diary, but I want to remember all the little things we did and felt. It was a pretty important trip for us. If you read all the way to this point you deserve a cookie, treat yourself.

Part two coming tomorrow. ;)

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