I know the internet has crossed nearly every boundary into my personal life, but taking Ashley and Nicole home to stay in the room that used to be mine before I moved to California was truly weird. As I was leading them down the dark and private road to where my mom and step-dad live, I revealed that all our years of friendship were leading up to this moment where I was going to kidnap them and force them to join a cult. Nicole commended me on all of the work I’d done–the giggling and tiara wearing and wine drinking. Okay, so I took the internet home to meet my family and it went very well.
I picked Nicole up from the airport on Thursday morning, and with several hours to waste before Ashley would arrive, we walked around a mall to get a little exercise before we began our day drinking. Lunch was out on a patio where Nicole’s beer served as the swimming pool for all the local flies (not a euphemism). Then we headed to Sephora where we made mostly practical decisions, which was all the more impressive since we were a little tipsy, before heading to the Rainforest Cafe where we sat on the backs of animals and enjoyed some Blue Moon. After we conquered the mall, we headed to Seattle to see Sleepwalk With Me in an adorable little theater where the two of us made up half of the audience (our review: must see).
We spent some time walking around Capitol Hill, picking out places to live in Seattle, and then we headed back to the airport to pick up Ashley. We do a lot of talking about tackle hugs, but for the record, we really do make a scene in airports by running at each other for hugs. Once we were finally all together, we headed to Tacoma, stopping only briefly to wander aimlessly around a grocery store looking for wine and cheese and tortillas. It was a little weird sitting in my mom’s kitchen drinking wine with my internet friends, but no one else seemed to notice that two worlds had just collided.
On Friday morning, we got going at an hour that no one would describe as early, and headed to Seattle. I wanted to show the girls Alki Beach, and my dad suggested that we take a boat across the bay to Seattle. So we bought our tickets and hung out in a dive-y tavern waiting for our Water Taxi. The trip across to downtown was gorgeous and even included some seal sightings. We walked from the pier along the water for a while and then up to Pike Place Market where we saw the gum wall before deciding it was time for lunch. Another beer and some amazing fries later, we walked through the market and by the first ever Starbucks where we stopped to listen to some men sing (the same group I saw there when I was a kid).
From there we walked to the Space Needle. I’d only ever been up to the observation deck once when I was almost too young to remember, so I was really excited to see it as an adult. We took turns staring at the view, taking pictures for strangers, and then having them take pictures of us. We went inside and ordered coffee, because what else are you supposed to do while standing on top of Seattle? Back on land again, we walked around the Pacific Science Center, where I took nearly every field trip as a kid, and then headed back the way we came to a bar we’d spotted in Belltown. Crazy drinks, amazing food, and secret plans to move to Seattle and make this our regular bar. Finally, we took the Water Taxi back across the bay and went home.
Our plan for Saturday was to hang around town, so we spent our morning drinking coffee and playing Mall Madness. I’m sure I’ve blogged about it before, but it’s an electronic board game where you walk around a mall in your scrunchie socks and get sent for pizza and try to buy everything before the other players can. Ashley won even though she had never played before, which started a tournament that lasted until the morning we left for the airport. After that death match, we walked to the golf course and had lunch out on the patio while we watched sailboats go by (sailboat is one word, which is a thing I learned that day).
That afternoon, we headed to the beach, which in Tacoma is mostly just some rocks next to Puget Sound, but with a beautiful view of Narrows Bridge. Instead of skipping rocks, we worked our feelings out by throwing them angrily into the water. (Don’t be fooled by the smiles.) We then headed to Point Defiance Park where you used to be able to feed the ducks, but since that’s no longer allowed, we strolled romantically through the roses. We stopped quickly at Stadium High School, which is where they filmed 10 Things I Hate About You, and then headed downtown to see the Chihuly Glass Bridge before grabbing a drink at the Harmon. Then fried mozzarella cheese balls and salads (because we’re concerned about our health).
I can’t remember how bowling came up, but I’m so happy that it did, even though my arm still hurts days later. Did you know that I’m an excellent bowler? Because I didn’t. I bowled a 110 and now I’m considering joining a league and getting the shoes and everything. I’m pretty sure we were the only people in the whole place who were anywhere near the age of 30, because everyone else seemed to be 16 or 60, but then they dimmed the lights for cosmic bowling and things got really real.
I’d like to assume that Nicole is not the worst bowler who ever was, but instead was just distracted by thoughts of winning the next round of Mall Madness. Right, so you see where this is going: we went home to run around the mall some more and added the challenge of taking a drink every time anything bad happened (“Green, uh oh, you left your car lights on. Go to the parking lot”–like anyone who plays Mall Madness is old enough to drive).
On Sunday we got up early-ish and road tripped it to Portland. It’s one of those cities I’ve visited a million times, but mostly just for concerts or as a stop on my way to California. It was interesting to actually see Portland, especially since I love Portlandia (no Carrie sightings, I’m sad to report). We first went to brunch, which featured amazing drinks, and then walked around for a bit before heading to Powell’s Books. It had been a while since I’d spent any quality time in a bookstore, so I allowed myself to make the best worst decisions (but only as many books as I could carry).
The kind people of twitter suggested that we go to Voodoo Doughnut, but the crazy line meant we only got as far as standing outside and smelling the doughnuts. After walking around the market for a while, we went to Mission Theater, which is one of several theaters in Portland that plays second-run movies and serves food and alcohol. We drank Purple Haze and watched To Rome With Love (our review: Nicole and I loved it, and Ashley liked it okay). After the movie, we headed back to Tacoma where–I’m not even going to say it. No, I’ll say it. We played even more Mall Madness! There was a sad ending. But then we moved onto NSYNC Backstage Pass, which is a real game I bought and played as a (very cool) teenager.
This was one of our most active trips, which I feel ridiculous saying since I actually left out a couple of times we stopped for drinks. But usually we spend a significant amount of time sitting around with our computers, tweeting at each other from across the room. This time we had things we wanted to see, and even though hosting is not really my deal, I was excited to show Ashley and Nicole where I’m from. On our last morning, we had our coffee out on the deck and played one last round of Mall Madness.
Then we headed to the airport, where for once we were all flying somewhere, so we spent our last hour together drinking beer (shock!) and scheming up a possible trip to squeeze in before we head to Chicago in December. I know I have blogged about this before, but I actually said to Ashley and Nicole that I’m so happy we do this, because there is no way I would have done so much traveling over the last year+ on my own.
Then I ran to my gate and caught a plane back to California.
(Two last things I wish to record, but not explain: fear eyes and “knick knack paddy whack.”)