Seattle is a city chock full of interesting things to see and do. And eat.
There are endless ways to entertain oneself on a day around town.
But there are none finer than the ways we chose to give our Vietnamese Christmas guest a little taste of Seattle on a December afternoon:
First stop: Thai Tom's in the U District
My love for this hole-in-the-wall purveyor of authentic southeast Asian food is well documented. The owners recently invested in a new set of dinnerware but otherwise, their reputation for outrageously delicious food rages on. Pictured here: my #15, Swimming Rama in tofu, with two plates of chicken Pad Thai behind.
Second stop: Starbucks Roastery on Capital Hill
I don't drink coffee. Even so, I recognize this spot as the mecca for all things coffee: beans are toasted, drinks are poured, pastries are provided, and endless bits and bobs of brewing gear are thoughtfully provided for sale. On the Saturday morning between Christmas and New Year's, the joint was absolutely jumping and amidst the mayhem, I was required to use my finely honed squatting skills to score us a table for five. Pictured here is my third-born's iced vanilla latte in my second born's hand.
Second and a half stop: Glasswing Greenhouse on Capital Hill
Walking back to our car from the Roastery, we spied a spiffy little plant store and decided to pop in. Within thirty seconds, we were charmed. Within sixty seconds, I was sent back to the car to wait while my daughters and house guest did a bit of birthday shopping in my honor. I was perfectly happy to obey. Pictured here is a still life I saw on the wall in front of my car: determined blades pushing up in the shallow layer of soil collected on a tiny ridge of concrete.
Third stop: Kerry Park on Queen Anne
Our original plan called for a visit to Seattle Center, where our guest could experience the thrill of standing at the foot of the Space Needle and gazing up at that iconic figure, undoubtedly with camera in hand. But the intermittent rain and brisk winds - not to mention our colds - made us rethink that decision, and instead we headed uphill to capture another iconic view of the Needle. Pictured here is that shot, in the lengthening gloom of a Seattle afternoon in winter; what is not pictured is our hair swirling around our heads in the temperamental breezes, and our red noses as we jumped back into the car, exhilarated and happy and full of Seattle, ready to head for home.