Monday, April 16, 2018

#460 Sleepless In Seattle (Part 2) -- TCWT Stop 1

I had heard from several of my friends that Seattle had changed a lot.  To be honest, I didn’t remember a lot about the city, except for the areas I used to frequent and the downtown tourist district.  My apartment (formerly Avanti on the corner of Pike and Boren) is now a Homewood Suites.  The Washington State Convention Center takes up more of Pike Street after its 1999 expansion.  Gameworks and my movie theater are still there, as is the Nordstrom Rack and the Elephant Car Wash.  As much as some things change, others stay the same. 

I arrived in Seattle late evening on the last day of January.  Since my free hotel nights expired in July, I had to get moving.  Spring was too busy work-wise.  June looked to be busy personal-wise.  I decided on February, which, although not ideal weather-wise, turned out great as I avoided the summer rush and the cruise ship madness along the waterfront (another change from when I was there). 

I spent three full days in the city and flew home Super Bowl Sunday morning.  While in town, my mornings consisted of walking.  A lot.  I did some serious shopping Thursday morning, and straight-up walking along the waterfront Friday and Saturday mornings.  Even with the rain, being around the water was glorious.  I could even make out the mountains across Elliott Bay.  

I struck up a conversation with an off-duty ferry driver at the Bell Harbor Marina who offered to take my picture.  He then proceeded to take one with his phone (?!), before taking one with mine...

I continued to the Olympic Sculpture Park and stumbled upon the Pocket Beach, stopping to enjoy watching a man and his dog play fetch in the water.  I enjoy traveling with company, but I also delight in exploring places alone now and then.  It’s nice to be on your own schedule and truly do what you want to do.   

Olympic Sculpture Park walkway

Pocket Beach
This pup was having a blast!

Thursday afternoon I met up with Peter at Rival Fitness.  After a fun and informative workout, we had lunch nearby at Tentenyu Ramen.  Peter is the modern-day Jack LaLanne.  Simple, yet effective exercises.  Wise on all fronts.  And he continues to hold the title as the only person to get me to gain weight.  As I once told him, “A good-looking guy and a free dinner is my best motivator.” 

Friday night was scheduled for my Reign team reunion, or aptly named “Reigniacs Revisited.”  We met at Melinda and Mark’s house in Queen Anne.  Melinda was the Reign’s director of community relations.  We lost some of the reunion lineup due to kids' basketball games, illness and travel, but the final roster consisted of players Tara Davis, Kate Starbird, Val Whiting (and her two boys Joe and Victor) and myself.  And Melinda and Mark’s adorable and hilarious kids, Rees and Julia.  Missing was Karen Bryant (GM), Cindy Fester (director of media relations), Migee Han (coordinator of merchandising and community involvement), Robin Moore (trainer) and Rhonda Smith-Banchero (player). 

LG, Melinda (on a chair), Val, Kate, Tara
We had a fun, relaxed night telling stories, reminiscing and reminding each other what had happened.  I am sad that not everyone was able to join the fun.  I guess I will have to make a second trip to catch the rest of them.  Hopefully when the weather is warmer. 

Even though the ABL was short-lived, I feel blessed to have been a part of this league.  I am happy that women today have a place to play after college in their own country, but, for various reasons I won’t get into, I carry a tiny spec of “bitterness” for the WNBA and how the ABL was pushed aside.  Despite that little blip, I wouldn’t trade my time in the ABL for anything.  I don’t recall if it was just my team or for the entire league, but we were each given a small, gold wagon-wheel-like pendant with “ABL Pioneer” inscribed on the back.  I still wear it now and then.  No one knows what it is or what it means.  I do, and that’s all that matters.  

So the title of this blog is “Sleepless in Seattle” and I’ve not yet talked about my sleeplessness.  The time difference is “only” three hours, but I usually feel the effects more when I travel east to west.  The first night especially, I tossed and turned, and seemingly woke up (and had to use the toilet) every hour. 

In the movie of the same name, Meg Ryan’s character flies from New York City to Seattle to see Tom Hanks’ character, a widower who is sleepless after the death of his wife.  Yes, part of my sleeplessness was because of the time change.  The other part was because I was going to see Bryan.  I had no doubt we would have a good time.  I just had that “pre-date excitement-bordering-on-nausea” feeling.  Although, technically, it wasn’t a date.    

Bryan picked me up Friday afternoon at my hotel and we had lunch at Eve Fremont.  We met up Saturday as well, hitting Chihuly Garden and Glass, the Museum of Pop Culture and the Frye Art Museum.  The Indianapolis Children’s Museum has a 43-foot tall Chihuly piece, so I am somewhat familiar with Chihuly’s work.  So beautiful!  The Seattle museum was a bit smaller than I expected, but still very nice.  MoPOP was fun and huge.  It just kept going and going.  It was one of those museums where you can’t remember where you have and haven’t been.  (Where are we?!)  These first two museums are located close to one another at the Seattle Center.  Frye was a short drive away. It’s smaller and free, with more “regular” art.  There was one large room with paintings, and some other special exhibits.  Our afternoon ended at Homegrown in Queen Anne, where we grabbed a bite before bidding adieu. 

Chihuly's Mille Fiore (Italian for "a thousand flowers")

Bryan and me at Chihuly

Cool guitar sculpture at MoPOP

From one of my fav movies, Pet Sematary (MoPOP)

Also a fav, The Princess Bride (MoPOP)
Despite having no contact with Bryan for the past 20 years, we quickly fell into easy conversation.  I expected such, but was pleased to see he hasn't changed.  He's still intelligent, funny, handsome, and one of the nicest, if not the nicest, man I've ever known.  As I told him, his company was the best part our time together, but I relished being around a tall man.  He brought up the fact that we only experienced one comment about our height the entire day at the museums.  Alone, we get numerous comments.  Maybe we tall people are more intimidating in pairs?

If you have read my prior post about Bryan, you may be wondering what my prayer was this time around.  That, my friends, is between me and my God. 

The first stop on my Tall Chick World Tour was a huge success.  Where will I go next?  I have no idea.  But I have no doubt that the location will reveal itself to me when the time is right. 

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