Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Familyhood of the Traveling Nutjob, Part 3

The Familyhood of the Traveling Nutjob, Part 1

 The Familyhood of the Traveling Nutjob, Part 2

After 24 water-logged hours, each and every one of us was done.  DONE.  We have breathed in so much chlorine our arm-hairs were growing in a bright orange color.  Our suits had deteriorated to mere elastic-bound hunks of Lycra scraps.  Each child had a red ring around each eye, faces puffy from lack of sleep, too much salt, and an overabundance of forced cheeriness.

We soon parted ways in the parking lot, the cousins having to go back to school.  We took to the freeway, heading towards Puyallup where some of my college friends lived.  We planned to see much of Seattle, and spend time with several old friends. In 2 and a half days. Piece of cake.

On the way to Puyallup, I had no idea what to do for meals, so we had to grab something based  on yelp.  Fortunately, we ended up in a dive bar that had amazing fish and chips.  Back to the freeway we headed.

We passed through Olympia, where I had spent about 4 years as a young child.  I don't have many memories of this time because I had been so young.  However at one point we are driving toward the Capitol Building, and I spy a lake.  I grabbed the phone and called my Dad: "Hey, did we go watch fireworks at the Capitol Lake, one year?  And we set up a tent???"

Turns out, yes we did. Once filled with a memory of a place I had forgotten, it was off the find the home I remembered from pictures.  We drove and drove, turning here and there, going strictly off the memory of my parents, and not having exact addresses.  Ultimately, we did not find my childhood home. But the quest had been a fun diversion, as our next host was not home from work yet.

As we arrived to visit with T, we got settled in for a few days.  Our kids began playing with her pets, and enjoying all the snow she had just gotten.  We cozied up with glasses of wine and Indian take-out. I needed my strength to tackle the next day. I had plans. 

The next morning it was a whirlwind of Pike Place Public Market, the first Starbuck's, the downtown Nordstrom where I talked myself out of a pair of new boots for the 12th time at Nordstrom, (but my resolve would not last through the month), and a ride over to the Space Needle. 

Anywho, T was a wonderful chaperone, taking us all over the city.  We got tons of amazing shots, like this one:

Later that day, we meandered back home, and collapsed on the couch, despite my desire to hit a place on my list that was supposed to have an amazing dinner. We were due to meet some other friends for dinner, and choices had been made.  WITHOUT consulting me.  Instead of throwing a tantrum, I sucked it up, and ordered a bucket of margaritas. And dessert.

The next day, we had our GPS, and set out for the Museum of Flight, for a day of staring at planes.  Everyone was excited, except for me.  But I was holding out for the next meal.  My palate had an itinerary, and things were getting out of hand.

After the museum, we headed towards the Bizarro Italian Cafe.  Which was closed for lunch.

Things were not going well. 

We rerouted, and headed toward south of Qwest Field.  Slim's Last Chance was, well, my last chance to turn this day around.

Slim's was reported to have amazing chili verde.  And you could have it served over jalapeno mac n' cheese.  Normally, things like this would not appeal to me, but Guy Fieri had me hooked.  I had to have it. So when we pulled up to Slim's, I was sad to see that it was a bar, 21 and older. 

I was sad the kids would have to wait in the car.  That couldn't be illegal in Washington State, could it?

All of a sudden, Sky King got all responsible on me, and dragged my broken soul toward the car.  MY day was ruined.  My vacation was ruined. My life was ruined. A broken woman, Sky King slowly led me to the car.

Just then, a lady at the cafe next door came out, and redeemed everything.  She said, "Hey! We have a great menu, and we can order everything from Slim's, too!  So the kids can come in, and you can still get Slim's food!"

Faster than you can pour a mini-bottle of Ernest and Julio Gallo Red into a juice glass, I was seated, and dreaming chili verde dreams. 

I relished each bite, and had a hard time when Sky King wanted a bite.  However, we traded, so I got to try other things as well.

Slim's chili verde was truly a work of genius.

Later, we will off to the Fremont neighborhood, to see the troll under the bridge, and to take in some of the local art culture.

But it was cold.  Windy and cold.  Wrapped-up-in-scarves-jackets-and-gloves,-wishing-we-had-hats-and-a-hot-cup-of-coffee cold.  We were wandering up and down a deserted street, our California dispositions shaking like a chihuahua on meth.  We were silently hoping something would grab our attention that was decidedly NOT hypothermia. At this point, the very sweet, very precocious Princess, all of 6 years old, says:

"Hey! I have an idea.  Let's stop freezing our asses off, and head to the BEACH!"

Once we recovered from our fits of giggles from Princess using "ass" is such an appropriate, yet inappropriate manner, we decided she knew of which she spoke, and we headed back to the car, to meander towards our next set of dinner plans. 

Our dinner was to be with another family we hadn't seen in ages, also mothered by a friend I went to college with. 

We had an awesome time, offering to host the family on their next trip south.  The kids had all gotten along well, playing RockBand, and running around like crazed animals.  So pretty much like a casual night at home. 

The next morning, Sky King was planning on taking us all the way from Seattle, to our home in the Sacramento area.  A large nasty storm was on its way, and we didn't want to get stuck with having to buy chains for the Swagger Wagon. 

We woke around 7, and got ourselves ready as quickly as possible.  We repacked the car and coerced the children into warm clothing so they could transfer their slumber to the warm nests we had created in the van.  I was still bitter with the realization I had missed several of the stops I had wanted to make, and Sky King was exhausted, focused only on getting home so we could sleep in our own bed.

About 2 hours into the trip, giaganto-sized coffees in hand, Sky King and I recapped the trip.

Me: It was a good trip, but I'm really bummed we didn't make it to some of the places on my list.
SK: Are you kidding? We would have needed another WEEK to see all that stuff.  You're insane.
Me: It would NOT have taken a week, had everyone been on board.  What a waste of a trip.  We could have seen the Experience Music Project, could have taken a ferry, and hit a couple more restaurants, all if the weather would have held a day...:::shaking my head:::
SK: :::incredulous look::: you are a freaking nut. You are serious, aren't you.  Thank God I shut that shit down the first day.  No one likes those kind of trips.
Me: They will thank me later-they will be all, "gee, we did so many amazing things in Seattle! We saw like 12 museums, 9 restaurants, tons of other things.  Their friends would be all, "did you spend the summer there?" and our kids would say, "No, my mom's just an awesome vacation planner.  We do more by 9 am than most families do in 3 days."  And their friends would be jealous, clamoring to get invited on the next trip.

SK:  :::dead silence:::

Now we have to go back, before some of the restaurants are gone.  Or change their hours.

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