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July 25, 2006

Family Reunion

Jean's family reunion is behind us now. The banner photo is of the gang, in Pike Place Market. This image looks good on my LCD screen, but is too dark on my wife's CRT. Apologies if this is true for you too...

We had a petit deja vu when Jean's parents showed up this evening after their hotel reservations nearby got screwed up. They were planning on showing up next Monday for a few days, after touring Washington and Oregon, and this is still the plan. But for now they have a somewhat less fancy hotel than they may have planned on.

Highlights of the trip:

Pike Place Market, of course. Renee spent forty or fifty dollars on rings and bangles she found among the artisans here. I walked around with her, but bought nothing of my own. I just enjoy people watching. Mind you, if I'd had a place to do kitchen prep, I"d have dropped a bundle on fresh fruit and veggies, yum!

We dined at Elephant and Castle the first night (Friday). Jean's sister Ann tried to coerce Renee into ordering a salad with lettuce, seemingly aghast that my child might not want to eat it. After Ann moved on to other machinations, I assured Renee that I was in her camp. "Lettuce is a waste of space!" Long live spinach!

Saturday included trips to the Experience Music Project (didn't know Jimi Hendrix was a Seattle native, shame on me; also didn't know Quincy Jones was from there, perhaps not so shameful) and the Science Fiction Museum. At EMP, Renee used the interactive exhibits to discover that she likes drums. They are in fact more intricate than simply banging on a noisemaker, and I think she twigged to the notion that this was a real-life DDR rig. Jean was amused when I jumped in right on cue to sing along to "How Many More Times" by Led Zeppelin.

I have to say that I've read a lot of science fiction in my life, so the SF Museum was a lot of fun for me. Moving from exhibit to exhibit, saying "read that, read that, not familiar with that one, read that..." probably got pretty tiring for Renee, but I was tickled.

Saturday night dining was at Pike Pub and Brewery, which is pretty much as you'd expect it. Lottsa concrete, raised ceilings, linoleum and concrete flooring. The food was good, but the acoustics were trying most of the time.

Sunday was a 'free day', and I used my time to hook up with Adam, my "anime pal that's fun to be with!" I've known him for years, after Tom introduced us at Anime Expo. We went to lunch at Gordon Biersch in the Pacific Place mall. The Teriyaki Chicken Stir-Fry was excellent, as was the Hefeweizen. I forgot how huge those wheat beer glasses get, though!

After lunch we just wandered around downtown Seattle for an hour, then I hooked up with Jean to make sure she got her key (our room got moved on Sunday). Then Adam and I hopped the bus and ran over to Uwajimaya. After searching for some wasabi root and discovering that it was $67/lb. I gave up on that notion, and instead we went into Kinokuniya to look at books, videos and cds. I ended up buying two tankouban for Renee, and again, nothing for myself, although now I wish I'd bought Kamikaze Girls. I had not heard of it when I was in the store, but just today I read a review that made it sound fun. Strange.

Monday we got all packed up and drove ourselves home. The trip home was much faster than the trip up. After unpacking, I decided I needed to decompress, so I went to a movie: Clerks II. Not a family picture! But fun for me, nonethelesss.

Posted by dpwakefield at July 25, 2006 09:35 PM


Wasn't the wasabi root $59.99 / lb? I remember it would be about $10 for 1/6 of a pound.

Oh Gordon Biersh is a great place to eat [drink, and be merry]. The Dunkles beer is outstanding, super smooth and full of flavor. Ate there with Eric, Alan, and Tom at Sakura-Con and ordered the "Tape Ass" (tapas) [had just finished watch the IT Crowd].

Only downside for me was the heat and humidity. Ended up buying new clothes to change into before catching the bus home, LOL.

It was a blast Don, I'm in anytime ;)

Posted by: Adam at July 26, 2006 09:38 PM

"Wasn't the wasabi root $59.99 / lb?"

Perhaps. $60 or $67, it was still way too much. Obviously imported direct from Japan. My friend Burr insists that there is one (and only one) farm in the United States, right here in Oregon, that grows it, but he can't remember their name!!!

Definitely enjoyed the food at Gordon Biersch. I still want to try the Bamboo Garden. Given the fact that I've been to Seattle three times in the eighteen or so years I've been in Oregon, I might just get up there again around retirement...

I always bring extra changes of clothes when I travel. We always seem to end up going to sticky places (we/myFamily(tm) and we/myFriends(tm)) ;^)~

Posted by: Don Wakefield at July 27, 2006 08:24 AM