Birthday celebrations in Seattle


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August 12th 2013
Published: August 13th 2013
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I knew I would like Seattle after I had taken a 5 minute walk downtown and immediately spotted a shop specializing in maps in all shapes and sizes, and a shop specializing in colorful umbrellas. After we arrived in the city, I had had to leave Leo sitting in Starbucks and go shopping by myself, as I had to take care of some shady businesses I could not let him see (= his birthday present). The impression I got on that first walk downtown was enforced the next day as we walked around together - we found many more cute shops and cafés (even though most of them seemed to be Starbucks, home to which Seattle is). It wasn't all cute and idyllic, though. In the evening of our arrival to Seattle we went to a shopping mall near our apartment to do some shopping and eat something, and met a pretty arrogant fellow who came to Leo while I was in a shop, talking in rather friendly tone, but saying he had come to steal the laptop Leo was using at that moment, and tried to crab it. At that point I arrived to the scene and the guy gave up and left, saying we had been saved by my arrival. Pretty creepy. It didn't really seem like it was going to be dangerous, but it certainly didn't feel tempting to stay at the outdoors mall area after that as it was getting dark, so we just took takeaway from McDonald's and walked back to the apartment. The guy said the laptop looks nice size, little did he know that this is actually a slower than slow piece of s***..which sometimes drives us mad, but at least we don't have to worry that much about it really getting stolen at some point.

Next morning started with the appropriate birthday celebrations including a cake. After hitting the town we first checked out Pike Place Market at seaside, which probably is one of the most visited sights in Seattle. It was a lively market place selling fruits and vegetables, handicrafts, flowers etc..as well as being full of small ethnic restaurants, none of which we could fit into at lunch time. The original, first Starbucks café is also located at Pike Place Market. There was a queu of like 20 meters stretching outside of the café; people waiting to get their coffee at the original Starbucks. We settled for a Starbucks inspired café later on, which was probably a good idea: Leo said it was the best espresso he ever had, and at least they didn't serve their coffee in disposable mugs, like Starbucks always does.

After Pike Place Market and lunch at Japanese restaurant we decided to walk to Capitol Hill, which should be a slightly bohemian and artistic area in town. Seattle is full of steep hills, and walking to Capitol Hill involved at least two steep climbs. That's where we had our coffees, but didn't spend that much time in the area, since we had table reservation and theater tickets for the evening.

Dinner was at quite nice seafood restaurant, and I decided to ignore my non-existent skills in eating seafood with hard shells, and ordered a huge crab. It was interesting to eat (and probably fun for Leo to watch me eat it), as well as tasty, and it worked, as in I actually managed to eat it . Leo had fish which was also delicious. My actual birthday present to Leo had been tickets to see improvised theater performance, so that's where we headed after dinner. The play was loosely based on Seattle's history and evolved around inputs from the audience, which were Seattle's terrible traffic and lack of successful sports teams. We didn't understand everything that happened in the play, but were entertained even so. We finished the birthday celebration by visiting a micro brewery/pub and sharing their tasting board (incl six tiny beers), and well, still tasting a pint of our favorites from the board.

Next day was Sunday and we were kind of on Sunday mood, even though for us it shouldn't matter; it's not like we have to go to work on Monday mornings :-) We walked around a bit to see Pioneer's Square (we never realized why that was said to be one of the main sights in the city), and then to the EMP. I can't remember what the letters EMP stand for, but it's a big museum dedicated to music, as well as other pop culture. Out of their several exhibitions we liked the ones about Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, the ones about science fiction and horror films were moderately interesting, the rest we didn't get that excited about.

In the evening we stocked up on camping gear: tent, sleeping pads and sleeping bag for me. We have decided to go camping to Yellowstone national park for a week. Let's see how that works out :-) We will be driving there during two days, sleeping the night in city of Butte (is that pronounced like butt?). So, we might not update our blog or check emails for a while now, since we probably don't have access to internet during our camping. Hear you later!

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