September 12, 2002
Click on the little cameras for my pictures.
The morning of Thursday Sept. 12, 2002 I left Boulder via RTD to The Denver International Airport (DIA). On the bus ride I realized I had picked the worst day to travel. I'm not sure why I didn't think about it, but Sept 11 was the day before--it would have been interesting to fly on that day--plus it was supposed to be very empty. Then Friday was the 13th, so anyone who was bothered by either of those dates probably flew on the 12th. Anyway, I flew on Frontier--it was an okay flight, didn't have anyone next to me. Quiet guy two seats over didn't say anything, but seemed nice--handed my cup and can to the flight attendant stuff like that.
Despite leaving Denver on time we arrived 25 minutes early. One of the flight attendants joked, "we're 25 minutes early, so if you're delayed on another Frontier flight you'll have to wait those 25 minutes before complaining." Somewhere along the way I found out that Frontier lands at a "satellite" terminal and I would have to find a train running in a tunnel underground to get to the main terminal. Not too much of a problem, went down following the flood of bodies all trying to get their baggage, realized the Seattle-Tacoma airport was not nearly as straightforward as DIA
So I walked out onto the street and found myself staring at a parking structure covered by construction equipment. Okay admittedly the structure was pretty cool, in that postmodern-roundy-concretey way. Some guys in a truck stoped in front of where I was waiting and pulled a huge sign out, something about bagage claim a, b, and c being this way or something--this was particularly disturbing since I remember thinking and telling John I was outside baggage claim 3. They got to work putting it up. There was another guy standing half way between the column I was holding up and the next one. He looked like he had been waiting for a while. Now I don't think I actually waited very long, but I started to get that sinking feeling I used to get when I just *knew* my parents had forgotten me someplace--though they never did. I looked at my phone--what an idiot--I missed a call. It took me a moment to figure out who called, but I realized it was John. I called him back, he said that he'd gotten gas and is now really on his way, I told him not to worry, I'm fine. The guy next to me was getting restless, swiging his arms around clapping his hands together--now he's making me nervous. People all around us were vigorously waiving at friends looking to pick them up, they go running out to the car, and most of the time someone gets out and helps them get their suitcase into the trunk and then they drive off. Sometimes there would be a Chinese Fire Drill. The guy with the arms was still looking impatient, well actually he's starting to get that "have I been forgotten?" look too. I feel better. Then I saw a green Cherokee drive around the corner, but it's in the far lane; must not be him. But it suddenly speeds up, gets around the car next to it, passes me, but stops 40 feet past me. Its reverse lights go on and I wonder, "is that him?" I pick up my stuff and it is, it's John! I meet him halfway, he stops the truck, gets out, opens the truck, cleared enought space to put my suitcase and camera into the trunk, and I throw my stuff in.
So we're off to Pike Place Market for some late lunch and to look around. John quickly found parking and we walked into the market. It wasn't anything like I was expecting. Okay, so whenever I tell someone that they inevitably ask, "what were you expecting?" I don't know I always reply. Just more of an open market not quite so in the middle of the city I guess. I had never seen the view of the Puget Sound from the market either. Plus I had no idea there were so many touristy shops on the lower levals. We went into a magic shop, and an ethnic music shop--sort of a neat place with a lot of instruments I didn't recognize. There was a brewery, chili shop with a sign saying "you'll regret not trying this chili..."
Maybe I should have tried it. John and I both had a sausage sandwich from this short asian woman. It was a small Bavarian--I think--sausage that was really good. Of course John was upset that I put ketchup on mine. I had some fresh orange juice from another vendor; also very good. We sampled some caramel sauce, and some chili sauces--both mild and some hot ones. For dessert we had some amazing and cutely small freshly fried doughnuts. The doughnut machine was very cool to watch, it would plop a line of doughnuts into the oil then they would get moved along and eventually turned then dumped out the end all the while a new line of doughnuts was plopped into the oil pretty frequently.
While walking after getting separated from John I finally found the famous fish guys. Well, I assume it was them since there were hordes of other people, taking pictures of them putting fish on their stand over piles of ice. There was also the requisite monk fish with the sign, "Hi, I'm a monkfish!" As I was walking away someone must have bought a fish and it was thrown into someone's paper lined arms to be wrapped up and handed back to the customer. I was very imprssed at the size of the fish that was hurled. There were other stands with gigantic lobster tails, and huge prawns and many many crabs, beautiful fresh flowers, and fruits. There was a spice and tea shop, and an italian grocer. We stopped in the memorabelia store with all kinds of Star Wars cardboard stand ups--don't think the life-size Princess Leia in the slave outfit wasn't tempting--lunch boxes, trading cards, and comics etc. Somewhere along the way John mentioned something about the cats--I remembered the baby kittens Maple and Gibson--and the dog... "What dog?" I asked casually.
John stops, looks at me and says, "Anne never told you about Roswell?"
"She takes some getting used to."
Eventually we had to pull ourselves away to meet with Anne.
That evening Anne was attending a reception for graduate students at Seattle Pacific University . What I saw of the campus was beautiful. The parking lot was pretty scary, but interestingly laid out. The entrance and exit on either side of the parking area are very steep; the signs warning about the slippery ice was amusing, if there was any ice on those driveways a person would undoubtedly find themself at the bottm of the driveway wedged into a building. You know, what is it with Washington, I saw in several places, signs warning that ice was slippery. Okay, I grew up in Hawai'i and never ever saw anything but liquid water under my feet. The first time it snowed--in Colorado where I live now--I instinctively knew ice was slippery. Do they think some people haven't discovered that yet? The parking levals were terraced like rice paddies in Japan, with covered and uncovered spaces, the covering being the deck of the next leval's uncovered spaces. Once we parked we went to find Anne, fortunately she was waiting for us at the bottom of the parking lot. She had been in orientation the whole day and knew where we were going. They handed out name tags to everyone, the students had pre printed ones, I had to wear a guest name tag. It was a relief to see that many students had guests. They began calling tables to go throught the buffet line. It was light but good, there was a surprisingly good green salad, rolls, potato salad, a hot pasta dish--farfalle tossed with a fresh tomatoey sauce, and I think some other hot potato dish. I just remember it being great for the starch junkie that I am. Then the speeches began. The first couple of speakers were very interesting, talking about the University, the Presidents vision for the future--however--then they started talking about stuff that was probably terrifically useful for the students--but I have to admit--not really very interesting to me who would never actually have to find the registrar's office, or know the Library's hours. Anyway, it ended mercifully quickly. So, it's early evening, too early to eat dinner--since we had that food at the reception--we're in Seattle, what should we do? How about Coffee?
So, yes I did--I admit it--I went to a Seattle Starbucks. I'm really not a coffee drinker, I couldn't tell you the last time I had even had coffee--it might have been that day I had to stay up in class, drank 48 ozs of that really nasty stuff in the Student Center and couldn't stand still, let alone sit. Anyway, after some difficulty--everything was closed near campus--we found a starbucks, parked, and I had an iced mocha. I have to admit, it was really good, but as I said before I have no frame of reference to compare it to, but I thought it was really good. We sat there and talked for the first time in years.
After finishing our drinks we walked accross the street to a music store and looked around briefly. Then we went to a bookstore where I bought a card and a magazine, intending to read the magazine and send the card to my mother like a good son. I'm not sure where either is now though... Anyway, we left and went to visit the famous troll beneath some bridge. It's really odd, it has a Vokswagon Bug encased within the "statue." It's just odd, there were all kinds of little trolls the trollkins(?) dolls or something and candles sitting on it.
Well, we were finally starting to get hugry so we went to an Italian restaurant. I can't remember the name of it, but this receipt here says it's Piatti Restaurant. So I will assume Piatti is its name. It was really good, I had the wild salmon over grilled polenta, Anne had the gnocci, and I can't remember what John had. Everything was amazing though. I had a 20 yearold Tayler Fladgate tawny port, and we all split something for dessert, I think it was a flavored cheesecake.
We browsed in the Barns and Noble next door then drove home. Before I go further I should mention that it's very fortunate that I have been dog sitting for Molly
and Jasmine. Now while Jasmine is a slightly more active--but far from hyper small dog, she did at least give me a bit of practice with small dogs. As soon as we get into the house John took Roswell
out to the back to do her thing, when she came back in she was this little ball of energy and mischeviousness. She would jump up on the sofa and look at me until I'd start petting her. As Molly and Jasmine know I am a complete sucker for any animal that wants attention. I'd do the same for cats, but the wheezing, coughing, and itchy eyes sort of prevents that. I quickly found that Roswell likes getting her hind quarters--read butt--scratched. Anne looks down at me and laughs, "it's caus she can't reach her own butt to scratch. You've made a friend for life!" Little did I know she wasn't kidding. I also discovered that Roswell is a very licky dog. Fortunately Molly has prepared me for that. That night Roswell climbed into bed with me and I fell asleep scratching her butt.