11:54 a.m. - April 08, 2004
Leaving for Seattle later tonight to spend Easter with my grandmother. A simple plan for a quick weekend has morphed into a family affair: Sister, her boyfriend The Great Idiot, and Brother will descend on my grandma's house with its views of Mt. Rainier. This is The Great Idiot's first trip to Seattle and I will execute the role of tour guide with great aplomb and tact; I resolve to be polite and not roll my eyes when he wants to see the Space Needle. I will take them at night to Kerry Park and show him the needle from there but generally it is my express hope he does not want to hit the touristy places all at once.
If I were showing a close friend / first-time visitor around Seattle, these are the places I'd head towards, in no particular order:
Breakfast at the 13 Carrot;
Mid-afternoon in Suzallo's Reading Room, just when the light streams in through the windows;
A climb up the tower in Volunteer Park, then walk through the greenhouse;
A ramble - jaunt - through the Arboretum less so for the trees and more to gain access to the marsh trail that rings Lake Washington;
Pike Place Market, in the space between vendor set-up and the tourist hordes (that means between 6:30 and 8:00 a.m., when the locals buy hot chocolate and fresh croissant, watching the sun rise over the islands);
A ferry ride across the Sound, standing on the top deck from start to finish unless there's a quartet/quintet/full-blown mini-orchestra inside;
Eat lunch at Pioneer Square so a trip to Elliott Bay Books is convenient and doesn't look planned;
Check the fish run at the Ballard Locks and roll down the steep hills abutting the canal;
Read or talk quietly on the bench overlooking the Sound at my secret spot, one that isn't so secret as it is hard to get to;
Have Mexican coffee at El Diablo;
Roll my eyes but be happy inside to visit the EMP and make noise, though Plan B is SAM or the Asian Art, depending on the special exhibits;
Have scones and tea at the Marina;
Get lost in Discovery Park, watch the sun set from the bluffs;
Have salmon for dinner;
See the lights from Kerry Park.
Damn. I'm feeling homesick. Did I say this is where I'd take someone? This is where I want to take myself. My wager is on The Great Idiot saying Where's Burger King? I will dutifully report, camera in hand.
I can't wait to see Bathsheba.