As someone who hasn’t traveled much or seen many cities through vacation or business, it never ceases to amaze me how attractive and entertaining so many cities are. Having lived in San Diego for almost 8 years I thought that I resided in “America’s finest city”. But I think that I’ve been wrong in my thinking.
Lately I’ve traveled to Chicago, Philadelphia, and most recently Seattle, and in each one of those cities I’ve found a charm that simply doesn’t exist in San Diego. Yeah, yeah, San Diego is beautiful with La Jolla, Balboa Park, the Gaslamp District, and all of it’s other wonderful attractions that are activity-related. But there’s no real charm to any of it like what I have found in other cities.
After visiting Seattle these last few days I felt an enthusiasm about visiting different places that I’d never felt before. Even when I moved to the West Coast from D.C. I didn’t feel this much excitement. A few factors added to this excitement so I wasn’t influenced entirely by the city. My friend Cecile was there and she invited me out with her Phamily to celebrate her birthday early, and we had a great time eating and drinking and then eating again. And if you know me you’ll know that I love to eat even if I can’t eat a whole lot.
We started my first night there at Maneki in Chinatown/International District for sushi and the initial celebration. Afterwards we went to Zig Zag Café, which is the home of the Best Bartender in America. I had a single drink and a sip of everyone else’s, but the best drink was one that was served last: they called it a Bison Grass Sour. I looked this thing up online and the recipes I read didn’t look anything like what we were drinking, but this is a drink that I have to have again. Bison Grass vodka, lemon, sugar, and egg white to create a kind of meringue which made this possibly the greatest drink I’ve ever had. It was a liquid dessert. Yum.
Our last stop at Toulouse Petit turned in to a food orgy. I’m not lying. There were 10 of us crammed in to a booth waiting to order our [late] Happy Hour smorgasbord and I wasn’t positive that I was ready to eat again. Turned out that I was. We ordered a ton of food that I thought was going to be too much for us, yet we attacked that food like we were sharks and it was Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Well, it was Shark Week and it was on the flat screen behind the bar, and we were doing our best to keep up with those eating machines. The plates of food came and went in about 20 minutes. It was awesome.
My first night in Seattle was nothing short of a foodfest and I ate the rest of my time there. The next day I met up with everyone for lunch at Pho Bac and we ate their family’s Vietnamese cuisine. Asian goodness like that can’t be passed up so I didn’t. From there I said my goodbyes to my friend Cecile who would soon be leaving for Sweden and God knows when I would see her again.
Heading down to Pike Place Market was a must from what I was told. What I was told was 100% accurate. I’ve been to farmer’s markets before but they don’t hold a candle to Pike Place. If I was any less smart than I am I might have been convinced that I needed to stay in Seattle for the rest of my life to enjoy the sights and smells there, but I knew that the sunshine and great weather that I was experiencing wouldn’t last in Seattle; eventually it would be replaced by overcast skies and rain that would last the majority of the year. Instead I just enjoyed it for what it was and planned to make my way down there again on my last day.
Today was my last day there and after I fulfilled my duties assigned by my employer I ventured downtown again, only this time I went south on 1st instead of heading to the market. This is where I fully realized that San Diego was one boring city compared to the likes of Seattle. So many shops. So many bars and restaurants. So many galleries and places of interest! I didn’t think that I had time to take the Seattle Underground tour, and once I got to the airport I realized that I was mistaken and had plenty of time after all. So I’ll save that for next time.
Lesson learned: I need to get out more. Seattle will definitely be on my list of vacation spots (July through September for the great weather) for next year. Until then I’ll be looking in to other places of interest that I’ve blown off for one reason or another.