Monday, March 28, 2011

Seattle Getaway

I've been way delinquent on visiting Jacque in Seattle. Patty's been over a coupla times, but I've been extremely lame. Jacque's carved out a cool life for herself there and this weekend was finally time to make things right and check it out.

(Note:  I've had major blogger trouble with this post.  Among other things, the aspect ratio on the pictures is all goofed up and I don't know why and no longer have any time left to fix it or even care.  Let's just call it blog art.)

First time putting the Elephant in the trunk.  When I had Glen put S&S couplers on it, this was actually the main reason, as far as why.  Maybe I'll put it in a suitcase someday and fly with it, but car trips to the west side were the main motivation.  It worked out so-so . . . I definitely need cable splitters.  I thought I could just un-couple the frame and fold it over on itself, with the cables intact, but that turned out to be a major pita.   Much room for improvement.

Backyard of her Wallingford rental.  The redbike did get put back together.  Add Jacque's fastbike (L), and her commuter (R), and the three of us were set.

This is her commuter.  Pretty amazing - it's provided by her employer.  There is no way all the employees can drive and park.  So there are all kinds of programs designed to help people get to work by other means.  She has to maintain it while she uses it, but there are maintenance agreements with a coupla LBS's that make it super affordable.

Scott McSpadden's been doing some work for us and he recommended that we check out a place called Bottleworks.  It was Friday night and we had transportation.  Who were we to argue?

There's a saying that beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.  We are simply proof that beer makes us happy.  As you can see in the background, it's an amazing place, beer-wise.  The Rocket Market on steroids, as I texted Scott. 

There was a fine Americana barbeque dinner at Jacque's that night, followed by a merciless and unprincipled game of gin rummy.  L-R is Jacque's roomate Britta, Jacques's BF Nate, and the three of us that you already know.

Jacque and Nate are recently into rock climbing, so we went with them to the gym on Saturday morning and watched 'em work out. 

I don't know any rock climbing lingo, but if you make it to the top of a technical climb on a MTB without putting your foot down, you just "cleaned it".  Nate cleaned it.

Bouldering.  aka hanging out on walls with anti-gravitational angles. I'm not sure what to say.  I'm glad they have each other to enjoy this with. 

Cool rack outside the climbing gym.
Somewhere in here was a trip to Paseo's for a cuban sandwich.  It was a 30 minute wait in line and then it was cash only.  I took some pictures of the line and the sandwich, but they have become lost.  What will live on forever, however, is that sandwich, in my memory. It was a religious experience.

After lunch church, we went to what Jacque refers to as the "bicycle boutique" in Fremont.  Swrve, Outlier, Ibex and other way-cool brands I've never heard of were in stock. At retails prices. Wool and Schoeller.  Leather.  Fashion and function.  Bags and baskets.  We avoided the big hits, but you can't get out of a shop like this without buying something

Patty scored a Lazer helmet with built in LED light in front . . .

. . . and rear.

I scored a killer leather ankle strap and a tool roll manufactured right down the street.  I put both to work immediately.

Jacque scored a Bern helmet.  Which she broke in when she took me on a ride to show me her commute to her two different (part time and full time) jobs.  We wound through that U-distict and onto the Burke-Gilman trail.  Sometimes, showing your life to someone from out-of-town makes you appreciate it a little more, even though you already know how great it is.  Pretty sure this was one of those times for Jacque.

On the way back, Jacque treated me to a beer at one of the neighborhood establishments.

Dig my rad helmet hair.  Beer still makes us happy.

Sushi in the 'hood, later that night.  5 minute walk from her house.  Raw fish is not my thing, but wasabi is.  It all worked out.

On Sunday morning, Jacque wanted to take us to Bagel Oasis, about a "one-mile-walk away".  I think it was probably actually about 37 miles.  Technically in the Ravenna neighborhood.  I think. Maybe.  It was good, though.  Very wet dog outside, waiting for his bagel-addicted owner.

We dig Spo, but we remember why we moved to Seattle when we were about the same age as Jacque and we think her life there is pretty great and suits her pretty well. The ability to bike, walk and bus to so much of your life is especially great.  It was great to hang out in Seattle and we look forward to our next visit.  It's pretty killer that we're in a position to be able to enjoy both sides of the state.


alex wetmore said...

Nice trip report, and you stopped a few of my favorite spots (including Latona Pub, we used to live two blocks from there). I've never been to Hub and Bespoke.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Pictures of the beautiful women in your life adds 125% more sunshine to your blog than pictures of multi-meat pizza. I think Jacque's smile wattage alone burned out your blogger software.

Spokane may not be ready to support a helmet boutique yet, but I'm definitely seeing a lot of people commuting this Spring, despite the Seattle-like endless rain we've been having.

Red Elephant looks great everywhere it goes, even in the trunk.

Bill Foss said...

Very cool. I think I will have to visit these places too!

Pat S said...

Alex, as I was eating my bagel sandwich, I was thinking about how we were crashing your turf. Hub and Bespoke is cool but expensive. The owner is super nice - I hope he has great success.

Anon, thanks, I agree. Major big-time improvement over the previous post.

Bill, make sure that a Paseo's cuban sandwich is at the top of your list.