Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Seattle's Best - Family and Friends

The first leg of our Alaskan adventure was to spend the weekend in Seattle, a place we had both visited many times. What brought us here? 'Not Pike Place Market (right near our hotel, Inn at Harbor Steps, which I have reviewed on TripAdvisor here), not Mt. Rainier (easily visible), and not the weather (quite perfect, actually!). We came for the love of old friends and cherished family. We got the locals' tour of The Rainier Valley from my oldest friend in the world, Susan Davis, who is the Executive Director of the Rainier Chamber Foundation. It's a great area, described by Susan as including the most diverse zip code in the country, and that was evident in the variety of shops and patrons. We were joined by Susan's husband and son, had a spectacular Thai lunch, and they did a top notch job of showing off their neighborhood with well-deserved pride. Later that day we had a home-cooked meal, salmon and veggies picked straight from Bruce's lovingly tended garden, all grilled to perfection by Chef Bruce. YUMMY!

Emi - Could she be any cuter?!
Susan and I have known each other since we were teenagers, and she celebrated with me in Madrid a long while ago when my first niece, Sarah, was born far off in Syracuse, New York. Today Sarah lives -- where else -- in Seattle, with her husband, Isaac, and the next generation of our family, the precious and adorable Emi. My feelings for Emi remind me of my feelings for each of my nieces and nephew at the sweet age of 2 and 1/2 -- marvel, wonder, and gushing love. Clay and I enjoyed tickling Emi, playing fishies on the iPhone with Emi, and reading to Emi at Sarah and Isaac's West Seattle home. We took an easy bus ride there and a fun water taxi back to our hotel. Blue skies, bright sunshine, and friendly folks greeted us wherever we went. We brought the day to perfection when we had dinner again with Susan and Bruce, this time at Seattle's own Tom Douglas's Dahlia Lounge, a beautifully appointed restaurant with delicious food, and a chance for some deeper conversation and reminiscence.

Susan and Bruce
The next generations
I came to Seattle with a handful of goals, the most practical of which was to adjust to the time and temperature change from brutally hot NYC. 'Done. The higher goal was to enjoy the company of my beloved friends and family on their home turf. This goal was more than met, and my cup runneth over. This was a time when travel brought me closer to home!

On to Alaska but for a delay at Sea-Tac Airport -- a sick crew member has grounded us until they can find a replacement, so our long-awaited flight to Anchorage will just have to wait a little longer!  Advice to self:  be here now.

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