MISSION: To visit every state and territory in the U.S. For my mission a visit is greater than a stop over; I wish to explore the natural and cultural environments of these areas. Each of these locations has a story to tell, and I want to find it.

As of February 2018 I have visited all 50 states (and Puerto Rico and 2 island in the US Virgin Islands) at least once.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Girls Weekend in Seattle

My closest friend moved to Seattle last summer.  While we chat, text, email, it is not the same.  Anyone that has had a good friend move, knows that sad feeling of losing a close confidant.  So, what is a travel girl to do?  Well, visit Seattle of course.  Before she moved, I had only been to Seattle once for an amazing weekend (with a "then" significant other).  I had done lots - seeing shows, touring underground, the riding to the top of the space needle, meandering market, and taking in general sites of this Northwest gem. 

In the fall of 2012, I made my first visit to see my relocated friend and in that trip I went back to the market (for amazing flowers, jewelry, art, food, and to watch the fish fly)… I was mesmerized by the curds and whey being stirred across the street at a cheese shop.  I quacked like a duck on a duck tour – and was exposed to Gas Plant Park for the first time.  It was this gorgeous park on the lake (with floating homes) – the plant was a deep copper that stood out against the green grass, the blue sky and blue lake.  It makes perfect sense as to why people would want a floating home (barring the real story of the too expensive real estate for dock workers back in the day). 

I headed to the main city park (home of the space needle) to visit the Chihuly Garden and remained lost in its colors for almost 5 hours (see the pictures in the bar on the right).  For anyone that has ever stared at a glass sculpture and marveled at the color and the shape – you have this man to think.  A pioneer in the glass blowing arts, his work literally takes your breath away.  This garden – both indoor and outdoor – covered many of his different styles from vases, to lighting, to the gigantic chandeliers, to the glass columns to the ceiling installations.  I almost did not want to leave – BUT I wanted to visit the EMP museum for Pop Culture.  It is just a stunning building; from the outside it reminded me of the Disney Concert Hall in LA.  On the inside, it is filled with pop culture artifacts and on this visit including a exhibit on science fiction with props, costumes and drawings from the touch-stones of Sci-Fi like Star Wars and Star Trek.  A special bonus was the special exhibit on Horror and Suspense and with that, showcased a prop from Buffy the Vampire Slayer … ahhh, yes, pop culture heaven!

Planning the March trip, I knew I needed it to be different, I was going for a more relaxed touring option.  I was in desperate need of some quality girl time.  Obviously, I knew it would be cold, rainy and most likely not great weather.  That was okay, because my friend cooked up a great cure for my blues... starting at "The Garage", we ate burgers while she and her new Seattle friends teased me about the surprise evening.  That could not start before we stopped by Molly Moon's for some fancy gourmet ice cream... It was unique, it was yummy and it came with a helping of snarky, rude generic Seattle hipsters.  Yep, can't be in Seattle without having judgment passed on you... and judgment they dished.  Here we are, walking out of the shop and down the street when 4 kids start with their commentary on how white-people love their ice cream (in any weather).  If they wanted to be snarky, I was going to let my Jersey flag shine - I just as "discreetly" told my friends that we needed to stop before I said something to the hipsters that must have missed the fact that they were (1) white and (2) dressed as ever other hollywood hipster presented... their uniqueness was just painfully bland and that they were trying too damn hard.  Ohhhh black boots, torn stockings, fitted jeans, flannel shirts, and hats... ohhhh!  Welcome to Seattle.  With that fun done, I was lead to my surprise...
And that is where the evening kicked into high gear and down an alley to the opening night of Brief Encounters.  Bringing me back to my college days where I worked off steam at club Shampoo (in Philly), this place was perfect.  Not too big and yet big enough to really let loose.  The dancers warmed up to us easily… my friends had met a few of them earlier at another local event AND we got there hours early.  It is true that sitting in a club with the lights on ruins the illusion, so the best way to stay distracted is good friends and goofing off with the dancers before the show.  The men made sure we remained happy – raining gifts and drinks upon us throughout the night… After the showcased dancing (and making our way through our singles), we stayed to get our groove on.  Dancing my stress away – I finally had to call it a night when the clock passed what was 5am on the east coast.  Sometimes it’s nice to know that I can still hang!

My Seattle trip last fall centered around a trip to Key Arena to see Madonna – don’t ask too many details… the concert was a big flop.  I had never been so disappointed in a show.  The most recent trip brought me back to the Key Arena – only this time instead of seeing a pop icon utterly fall on her face, we watched women on skates fall instead… YEP, we went to ROLLER DERBY.  If you have never been to a derby, I highly recommend you research your local team and head on over… it is a blast.  Rat City Rollers put on 2 matches with varying skill levels and talent.  The concept of derby is simple – you have one player (aka jammer) that must pass the other team on a circular course while the other team’s blockers do their damnedest to block her path.  It can lead to some spectacular take downs, maneuvering, and chases.  Yes, there is strategy in the game – with 10 people on the course, you can bet that the teams have plans… but if you ask me (or any of my friends in attendance), a chunk of the fun on roller derby comes not from the skating but from the creativity – you have some awesome names and some very creative outfits… so Derby On!!!


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