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A post about how fun Seattle was, and how I probably just missed Neil Gaiman in an elevator

July 4, 2011

We’ve been back from Seattle for about a week, and I’m just finally getting around to posting a little bit about the trip. There was a certain blogger’s daughter’s birthday in between then and now that needed attending to; and, of course, there was that whole going back to work part of finishing up a vacation that I had to dedicate some effort to. Long story short, I haven’t had a good chunk of time to devote to this until now – so here we are.

First of all, and to get it out of the way, the city of Seattle is awesome. We overuse the word awesome these days; however, if there is a city that should actually be called awesome, that city is Seattle. Everything we did over the 5 days we were there was fun and exciting and put smiles on our faces. The food was fantastic, the views were amazing, and the people were always friendly and helpful. If you live in Seattle, you’re a lucky person; and if you’re looking for a place to visit you should add Seattle to your list.

Now, the reason I went to Seattle in the first place was to run the Seattle Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon and to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through their Team in Training program. The run was a success, at least in that I finished all 13.1 miles of the course and did not die or get terribly hurt (as long as you don’t count a nasty blister as terribly hurt). I even got a medal!

The raising money part has not been as successful, but you can still help with that by going here and donating what you can. There’s still a little time left before I have to pay out the final $1,800 or so myself (which I would frankly have a little trouble doing), so whatever you can offer would be super helpful; and it would go to a really great cause.

After the race we took in a baseball game at beautiful SAFCO Field. It was not a long walk from the hotel, and the tickets were cheap and the seats weren’t bad. I’d love to tell you how much I enjoyed every pitch, but I have to admit I’d had a bit to drink by that point (booze is as good a pain killer after a long run as aspirin – that’s a medical fact) and I remember sitting behind this Jay Buhner fan far more than anything that happened in the game itself.

I also remember a pitching cage where one could see how fast they could throw a baseball. I’m glad I was talked out of doing this. It would have been a bad, bad scene…

The day after the race and the game was the Seattle Gay Pride Parade. It actually started out right down in front of our hotel. We all took many pictures, and had a great deal of fun just walking around. I have to admit that I’d never been to a gay pride parade before, although I lived in New York City for a number of years. I would definitely go to another one though – it was a blast. The Recycling Queers were probably my favorite group in the parade, but there were plenty of other fun floats as well. And yes, those gowns are made from recycled materials like soda cans and plastic bags.

To be honest, I’m not sure that recycling things like that is entirely functional; but I guess that it’s the spirit of it all that counts.

The night of the parade we had gotten tickets to go see Neil Gaiman speak as a part of his book tour for the release of the 10th Anniversary of American Gods, which is one of my favorite books. The event was quite enjoyable. There was ukulele entertainment by Molly Lewis and a generally rowdy time was had by all (insofar as book crowds can be rowdy anyway).

The weird part about our attendance at this event was that we didn’t know it was happening until about a month before we flew out to Seattle. I happened to take a look at Neil Gaiman’s blog one day and saw that he would be in Seattle on June 26th. I then realized that I would also be in Seattle on June 26th, and so I called the very nice people at the University Book Store who sold me tickets over the phone and put them at the will call window for me to pick up. It worked out wonderfully.

The weirder part about this event was that I found out just today that I was not the only person staying in the W Hotel who attended it. In fact, Neil Gaiman was staying there as well. Now, he tells a story on his blog about how he accidentally tweeted his hotel phone and room number and thus blew up the switchboard at the W. Obviously, though, I don’t check Twitter frequently enough. For if there were any people in the world who would have truly benefited from that information it would have been us. That said, I’m somewhat glad that we didn’t know we had the chance to “happen upon” an unsuspecting award-winning author in the hotel elevator. He should probably be glad as well (I would have kept my cool – I’m the king of nonchalant – but I can’t speak for others in my party).

So that was my trip to Seattle in less than 1,000 words. There were lot’s of other fun things there. Pike’s Market was a blast, I’ll reiterate that ALL the food we ate was amazing, and of course there’s nothing quite like seeing snow-capped mountains in the middle of summer across Puget Sound.

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