Sunday, July 18, 2010

No Crabs in Seattle

When I think of the Fourth of July, BBQs, fireworks, the beach and sun come to mind. This year I took anon-traditional route when my trip to Newport, RI was canceled. I joined four friends for a weekend in Seattle, WA. I had wanted to visit Seattle since the 90’s. Remember grunge, MTV’s The Real World and the movie Singles?

We had ideas about going to the fish market at Pikes Place and the Space Needle in the city, and then driving outside of Seattle to hike and enjoy the outdoors. We rented a car and even discussed driving to Vancouver for a daytrip. But the car sat in the parking lot most of Day 1, and we ended up returning it early in the trip. This is because I was thrilled with all that Seattle had to offer and quickly dismissed ideas about leaving the city proper.

After meeting my friends at the correct Denny’s, (Note: there are actually 3 Denny’s near the Seattle Airport.), we headed to the Space Needle and were delighted with the pretty park surrounding it. We particularly enjoyed the International Fountain where my friend Todd invented a game where each of us had to touch the silver part of the fountain without getting wet. I lost that game and ended up spending the afternoon in wet clothing. Next up was the Duck Tour. Do not make fun; it was actually quite enjoyable and a great way to see the city. The Duck is an amphibious World War I vehicle, which first shows you all Seattle’s sites while driving on land. It then drives into the water to give you a tour of Union Lake. Music and trivia are also involved in the tour.

I did spend a good third of the tour trying to make reservations at Salumi, which was apparently closed that weekend. For the first time, Anthony Bourdain disappointed me. His only Seattle restaurant recommendation was a no go. However, throughout the long weekend, we managed to eat at fabulous restaurants despite him. The Edgewater, Elliot’s and Green Leaf were all fabulous as were the sandwiches at Beechers.

We went to the top the Space Needle, and the view was fabulous even while suffering a panic attack. We visited Pikes Place as well. I saw the famous fish throws and sampled the seafood, but the best part hands down were the mini donuts at Daily Donuts. We visited that donut stand more than once.

The weather cooperated during the trip. It only rained one afternoon and I did not really mind because we were shopping in Nordstrom. Nordstrom was started in Seattle, so yes I flew 3,000 miles to go to Nordstrom and I will tell you the deals at their Anniversary Sale were worth it!

Our trip ended with foot and head massages in Asia Town. One person warned us that you can catch crabs at that type of massage parlor. I am happy to report the only crabs we got were the ones we ate. So Seattle gets a clean review. Also, the people seem nice and honest. Just ask my amiga Shana who left her jewelry all over the city and got it back the next day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Farewell to Hemingway

For the first time by popular request, here is the very first Pony and Trap blog entry! And no, the request was not from my mother, but rather from my dear friends, Lynsley, Shanta and Tessa.

I thought I should start by explaining the name of the blog. Pony and Trap is Cockney slang for rubbish, nonsense or of poor quality. It is often shortened to just Pony. One could say “I am going for a pony” (going to the toilet) or that something is ‘pony’, meaning no good. So yes, if you want to read my rubbish, please keep visiting Pony and Trap. The name was fitting for a few reasons: I am of British ancestry; I ride horses and ponies; and some of my blog entries may be nonsense. I have a collection of notebooks filled with essays about my travels. But I wanted a new place to store my thoughts. As much as I used to love the Moleskine notebooks that make me feel like Ernest Hemingway, they are just not cutting it anymore; they are simply pony.