On May weekend in 1997, the two of us spent a weekend in Seattle. It's a trip that both of us remember very fondly. A short getaway, we enjoyed eating at a couple of very fun/good restaurants... Thirteen Coins, and The Crab Pot. We climbed the wall at the REI store, went to the top of the Space Needle, and looked around on the waterfront. Six and a half years later, we decided it was so fun that we wanted to to do it again. We reserved a room at the Seattle downtown La Quinta.

Saturday morning, the 29th of November we headed off in Boy. The border crossing wasn't too bad, taking maybe twenty minutes. One washroom break and three hours later we were pulling into the parking lot of Thirteen Coins. If you haven't experienced dining at Thirteen Coins, it's something we recommend highly. You have a choice of a booth or sitting in some throne-like chairs up at the counter. We highly recommend taking a counter seat. Across the counter is the cooking area, and the cooking is unlike anything you have seen before. My description of the Thirteen Coins is that it is like watching the Karamazov Brothers cook your food. By making a real show out of the cooking your food, it is quite an experience sitting there. Other than the Karamazov Brothers similarity, it's quite indescribable and we highly recommend you go try it for yourself. When we were there in '97 we ate dinner at Thirteen Coins. This time we were having lunch. In retrospect, dinner is probably a slightly better time to go since in '97 there were more "juggling" cooks working at once. For lunch, there was only one showman cook, and a few other "traditional" cooks. Food was good (the fries are HUGE)!

Leaving Thirteen Coins we drove less than half a kilometre to our hotel, the La Quinta. We highly recommend this location on 8th Avenue, since once we parked Boy, we walked everywhere and didn't have to move him until we left Seattle the next afternoon. After checkin, we walked over to Pike Place Market. Pike Place is quite similar to Vancouver's Granville Island. We toured through the little stores (The Great Wind-Up is a fun little store to go to play with wind-up toys), and we watched fish being thrown at the Pike Place Fish Market. We also walked down to the Water Front. At Pier 57, which houses the Crab Pot, the place we were planning to eat dinner at, we ran into some carvings dedicated to Seattle's historical involvement in the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897. During the Klondike Gold Rush, Seattle was the primary starting departure point for the city folk who were heading North to hike the Chilkoot Trail, sail the Klondike river, and pan for gold. Since we hiked the Chilkoot Trail earlier in the summer, it was exciting to see some more artifacts related to our summer's adventure. We enjoyed the carving of the hopeful city slicker with dreams of gold in his eyes, the skookum fellow carrying his load over the Chilkoot Trail, and the two sourdoughs encouraging their pack animal (mayber over the White Pass?). After eating a hotdog for a snack from a waterfront vendor, we walked back to the hotel for a short rest.

After walking back down to Pier 57 to go the Crab Pot for dinner, we were greatly concerned to see a huge pile of people waiting to get in to the restaurant. We went to put our names in, but pleasantly (surprisingly) were taken immediately to a table. We were told that there was a party of 30 who were waiting to get a table thus creating the crowd outside. The Crab Pot is a place that if you like seafood, you must go. The menu offers a variety of dishes that you can individually order, but unless you're not very hungry, we encourage you to go for one of the shared meals. There's a range of selections, with associated prices. The more expensive the order you make, the more lobster and such that you get. We ordered one of the mid priced meals which comes with snow crab AND dungness crab, prawns, mussels, clams, potatoes, etc. etc. Eating one of the shared dishes is quite an experience. You're given a bib, a hammer, and a mound of seafood into which you dive. As you eat (with your hammer and hands), you throw the scraps into a bowl under the table. With all our walking in the afternoon, we had built up quite an appetite and soon enough the mound of seafood was gone! Leaving the restaurant content and with full bellies, we again walked up towards our hotel. Throughout the day we had seen horse drawn carriage rides circling Pike Place Market. While passing through downtown, we saw the location from which they left. We couldn't resist. We rode in a carriage driven by a very nice lady and pulled by Angel the horse. A romantic little ride we thouroughly enjoyed. On getting back to the hotel, we were quite cool so we put on our bathing suits and headed down to the hottub. We chatted with a couple who had driven over from Spokane to see Sunday's Seattle Seahawks versus the Cleveland Browns. He was originally from Spokane and would of course be cheering for the Seahawks. She was from Cleveland and would be cheering for the Browns. She was hoping to make a sign and get on TV during the game to be seen by her family back in Cleveland. The score the next day had Seattle whup the Browns 34-7. After such a full day we certainly slept well.

Sunday morning we enjoyed La Quinta's complimentary breakfast. We were both wowed with the personal waffle maker, and enjoyed our complimentary waffles, danishes, and fruit. After breakfast we walked over to the Space Needle. Having been up the Space Needle in 1997 and having thouroughly enjoyed the experience (it was a very windy day and the whole tower was swaying), we decided we'd skip the ticket cost today and look through Seattle Center Park. There are many cool things at Seattle Center Park, one thing we especially enjoyed was the International Fountain. A big metal ball that shoots water into the air in time to music. Being a drummer, Glen couldn't resist the challenge of predicting the timing and running in to touch the ball when the water wasn't spraying his direction. Made it fine! After some more looking around we took the monorail to downtown. A bit more sightseeing and we walked back to the La Quinta to pick up Boy and we were on our way home.

On the way back we stopped for lunch at a fun little restaurant called Mr. Bill's, great 50's style decor with wonderful milkshakes (Sabrina would be impressed). We got back a little before seven that evening. A great weekend! It wouldn't surprise me at all if we were to do it again in another few years.

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