Our second day heading into the city began with us waking up to the sun rise in Chelsea’s grandparents enormous windows. Harlan went for a run, and tried to coax me into going along. Having forgotten shoes and socks and anything looking like athletic gear, I politely declined; Harlan’s endurance and general fitness would have shamed me anyway.
We got into the city and decided to go in the direction of the shopping area. We parked in a garage near the charmingly decorated Louis Vuitton window, and meandered past Gucci and other couture shops. Being generally broke college students, we skipped anything expensive and instead went to H&M. Immediately we found things we lusted over; I left with dresses and shirts that quite fit my budget and my figure. We meandered over to the Nordstrom Rack, crowded with bargain hunters. I found a See by Chloe dress that, at $150.00, was too far out of my budget…until I put it on. Ugh. Silk, purple with little stars dotting it, and beautiful sleeves and easy to wear…I tried it on and carried it around the store. Reasoning that I had been working two jobs all summer and deserved a splurge, I purchased it uneasily, but then swelled with pride: it felt good buying something expensive with money I had definitely worked for.
The city offered us many sights to see; picketers proposing paid sick days at McDonald’s, free chocolate chip cookie hand outs downtown, large groups of tourists armed with cameras and backpacks worn on their fronts, well dressed Seattle-ites with briefcases and beautiful shoes. We decided that hunger was gnawing at our moods, and we marched down 3rd Avenue towards the Library Bistro, but it was only open for brunch, and we decided to scout out other places to eat.
We found ourselves, with help from a wonderful girl at a boutique, at Japonesse, a sushi restaurant that was without a doubt, chic. A power couple sat next to us, sharing a chilled white wine. They also played footsie and rubbed their knees together while on leather encased iPads and Blackberries (“No, Jeanine, last quarter was 3%, and that investment was supposed to be made yesterday…) and definitely added a funky vibe while we had California rolls and salmon and eel.
Marching right across the street we entered the very air conditioned Seattle Art Museum, who’s collection varies widely and is a treat to explore. I love the portraits and the giant kitschy Jeff Koons ceramic work. They have some great Asian-American art, which I normally don’t prefer, and actually a pretty cool Byzantine collection!
We then ditched the city, bidding it a wonderful fairwell, and departed to get some Italian food in Olympia. I ordered spaghetti con vongole e cozze (spaghetti with clams and mussels) and everybody else ordered similar dishes. As an appetizer we ordered calamari, and the whole, tiny squid made Kate and Chelsea quite squeamish…Harlan and I ate them, tentacles and all- they were delicious! The waiter was as timid as a mouse, and also quite awkward, but nonetheless we ate well…except for the promised tiramisu afterwards, which consisted of a single lady finger, some cream, and some raspberries. Harlan was quite angry; tiramisu this was not! Falsified dessert claims tend to boil the blood; this was no exception.
“Thanks for the lady finger!” He hissed as we paid and left. We felt jipped! Ah, but the evening was still young…sort of. We were exhausted. After our dinner we went back to the house and slept- the alarm was set for 5 am to wake up and make the return drive!
I woke up at 5 am, and everybody else was rather slow at getting a move on. I went and looked out the window- the tide was out! It hadn’t been out the entire time we were there, we had gotten up too late, so I scrambled down with my camera and shot some pink and orange sunrise shots on the beach. I found several sea snails, a dead squid, some lovely sea glass, and Mount Rainier, glorious in the morning sun!
Then we shuffled out of the house after many hugs goodbye. My honorary grandmother packed us with brownies, muffins, and fruit, and we climbed up the 46 stairs and clambered back into the car (or as Harlan thought, the cage) and drove back. We returned to our homes and slept in our respective beds. Road trip 2011 was a success!