The great thing about flying to Seattle for a competition is that after I was done racing up the Space Needle’s stairwell… I got to hang out in Seattle! It’s an awesome city, and I love visiting. This was my third visit in a year! This visit was quick – slightly less than two days – but it was fantastic. I spent lots of time with my friend Collin, whom I’ve now known for over 18 years.
This picture was taken on the ferry to Bainbridge Island. We headed across Puget Sound on a little excursion after I raced. Bainbridge is a charming community with a small little village that I had heard about but never seen, so we headed there for brunch. One of the draws was the ferry itself – I loved seeing the skyline from the water, and my eyes kept wandering to the Space Needle. I mean, how could I not stare? I had just climbed it a few hours before! There it is, looking tiny, on the left:
Once on Bainbridge, we strolled the village, browsed a bookstore and a game and puzzle store, and Hitchcock Deli, where I had a piece of tomato and Swiss quiche and a kale salad with pine nuts and a little sharp cheese:
That night, we hung out at Collin’s house, where we made minestrone soup for dinner. Well, Collin made the soup, and I was his prep chef, chopping lots of vegetables, including onion, carrot, celery, kale, and zucchini. The soup was loaded up with veggies and beans – like a good minestrone should be – and Collin also threw in some brown rice, too.
I love Collin’s lobster napkins… turns out he got them at Ikea. Here’s Collin’s fun fact for the day: “Ikea is the best for paper napkins.” Good to know!
After dinner we played Quiddler, a card game that Collin bought on Bainbridge, and it was fun, especially for me, because I won. It’s kinda like a mix of Scrabble and Gin Rummy.
I had gotten up early for the race on Saturday, so I slept in on Sunday until 9am, and then hit the road for a run. I headed northwest from my hotel, which was two blocks from the Space Needle, not really knowing where I was going. I was on Elliot Avenue when I came across a cool looking pedestrian bridge that went over some train tracks.
I later found out that this was the Helix Pedestrian Bridge, but I didn’t know that at the time, and I had no idea what was on the other side. So I crossed it to find out. It’s a beautiful little bridge smack in the middle of a boring industrial neighborhood.
I am so glad I crossed that bridge, because I found myself in Centennial Park, a gorgeous waterfront park that stretches for over a mile. I ran back towards the city on a path that followed the water’s edge, and it was a gorgeous morning, and I loved every minute.
The park led to the Olympia Sculpture Park, where I couldn’t resist touching a naked statue’s dingdong.
From there, I made my way back to the hotel. It was a 3.75-mile run – a great way to start the day.
After showering and checking out, I wandered over to Portage Bay Cafe, about 8 blocks from my hotel, to get some breakfast. There was probably an hour wait for a table (at least), but since I was dining solo, I snagged the last available seat at the counter without waiting at all. The salmon skillet I ordered was incredible: grilled salmon with a blueberry compote, served over a hash of kale, potatoes, and leeks, with two poached eggs.
Portage Bay Cafe is all about sustainable, local foods, so they list on their menu where they source their ingredients, and how far away those farms are. The eggs I ate were laid 63.9 miles away!
I had about 90 minutes to kill before heading to the airport for my flight, so I wandered downtown on foot, and probably logged a couple miles of walking. Then I caught the train to the airport and was on my way home.
I CAME HOME WITH SOME SOUVENIRS! I couldn’t resist buying, at the Space Needle Gift Shop, the Lego Space Needle kit.
This is my third Lego set of a tower I’ve climbed. I got the Willis (Sears) Tower set after that race last year, and the Burj Khalifa set after climbing an equivalent number of stairs during a challenge I gave myself a few years back.
I also picked up these awesome ear buds at the SeaTac Airport. SHARK EAR BUDS!
That’s my left ear. The ear bud for my right ear is a shark’s tail, like it’s swimming through my brain. Pretty sweet! I’m all for anything that can make a workout a little more fun!
Keep it up, David!