Sicko in Seattle

Seattle held out for 48 hours. For two days, nothing but sunny skies and fall-like temps. Football weather, some would say. We rambled through the city, hitting some favorite spots and a few new ones. Lovely!

Seattle has heart.

Everyone got annoyed with me, of course, because of my obsessive need to take photos, and how I kept forcing my friends to pose this way and that. They were mostly accommodating, but drew the line at leaning against the Gum Wall, Seattle’s latest landmark, which kind of reminds me of the Lennon Wall in Prague, but not really. Sigh. Who cares if it’s among the top 5 germiest tourist attractions, anyway?

As always, Tom was as sweet as can be, patiently following us along while carrying our shopping bags, so we could shop, shop, shop, and not be weighed down with all those, ahem, purchases. And shop, we did, as Pam was wont to remind me, that it is our noblesse oblige to support the vendors of Seattle and help stimulate the economy.

But then, after two days, everything changed. And by everything I mean it rained and got cold.

Miserably cold.

Wet cold.

And then I got sick.

Miserably sick, and insufferably sick.

Greta-Garbo-as-Camille sick.

If you ask me, no one should be around me when I succumb to a cold. That’s when I sink into the depths of despair, feeling every tickle in my throat, every ache in my body and pang in my head, while the mucus steadily builds up in my nasal passages, bursting forth in a cacophony of sneezes. Woe is me!

Starry, starry Seattle.

Luckily, I had two Florence Nightingales tending to my every whim, err, need: Pam and her daughter, Twin 1. They darted to and fro between the kitchen and my death bed, aka, a very comfy chair in the living room and, as quick as the tiny fairies in Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, they brought me mugs of hot apple cider, toast and jam, cough drops, cold medicine, mentholated balm to rub on my nose, tissues, and a heated rice bag to wrap around my neck. Add to that oodles of blankets, a footrest so to keep my legs up, and wooly socks to keep my tootsies toasty, I must say, there are worse ways to suffer a malady.

As you can imagine, I didn’t get to do all on my Seattle dream list, which would’ve proven difficult as I’d forgotten just how chilly and wet Seattle can be. But, true to form it was cheeky fun spending time with the ol’ gang—Pam and Twin 1 and Twin 2, who brought along her roommate; Pat, who kept us organized; and Tom, who I learned is a world-renowned collector of seashells, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Pee-wee Herman.

I also got to catch up with–for the first time in 25 years–Pam’s sister and her hubby who drove all the way from eastern Washington, across the Cascades Mountains, over the river and through the woods, just to see me! (Okay, not really. They actually came for a Husky football game, but I’m almost positive that seeing me was a highlight of their weekend. 🙂 )

And on my last full day in town, achy and clogged-headed as I was, I had lunch with Clare, who’s busy working on all sorts of writing projects!

The Highlights:

  • Alder wood king salmon at Ivar’s
  • Visiting my old place of work
  • Browsing the kiosks of Pike Place Market and adding to my collection of art and jewelry
  • Eating out a lot, once at an old fashioned hamburger stand where you drive up, park and a waiter comes out to take your order. Only thing missing were waiters on roller skates

    Signs of autumn.

  • Buying lots of chocolates at the Dilettante Cafe and then eating some, despite having purchased them as gifts
  • Discovering Miranda, a British television comedy series that is gads of fun and laughs
  • Exploring the University District
  • Seeing a movie, Perks of Being a Wallflower, which was delightful and very poignant

Biggest change since I was last in Seattle? It is now law that you must bring your own shopping bag wherever you shop, something I kept forgetting, of course. In San Diego, bringing your own bag is still mostly optional, and bags are available for free.

Seattle, being so environmentally savvy is way ahead of the curve, and if you forget to bring your bag, you can get arrested!

Well, not exactly, but you do have to pay extra for a bag that you once got for free and everyone gives you dirty looks when you do. Also, everywhere we went, in addition to the trash and recycling containers, there were containers for composting. Composting! Even in the movie theater, though frankly, I can’t see stopping to sort out all your trash while leaving the darkened theater in a mad rush for the exit.

Hey Neighbor! And by the way, have you checked out my new blog yet?  It’s called, Hey Neighbor! I write about the ordinary people that make San Diego such an extraordinary place to live.

Well, dearies, I’m still not up to snuff. So, please enjoy these photos while I go and get comfy in bed, nursing myself back to health. How about you? What did you do while I was away?

Seattle is all about umbrellas.

These decorative pieces can last up to five years, but if you want to eat them, do it only during the first two.

Love is in the air–in Seattle, too!

Can you believe it? That’s gum–already chewed! Seattle’s Gum Wall is located in Post Alley under Pike Place Market. Hey kids, don’t even think of trying this at home!

We helped find this homeless bear a home.

A gathering of pots on a rare, sunny afternoon.

A house of blues.

Tom and his artful collection.

And One More:

Pee-wee at sunset.

41 thoughts on “Sicko in Seattle

  1. I knew I always liked you…I’m always the one forcing my friends to take pictures and I’m certain that it annoys them. BUT after some time passes, they usually come back to me and say “Nate…do you have pictures from such and such?” So whether they realize it or not, I think they appreciate my OCD picture-taking habits. Loved your pictures!! (As always)

    • Nate, Great to see you in “my neck of the woods!” I have to tell you, when you stop by to comment you fill my heart with joy. I bet you didn’t know that. Nate, if we traveled together we’d probably constantly be one-upping each other with all the photos we’d be taking, trying to get the best picture. It’d be crazy fun! Anyway, glad you liked my pix. You need to start posting some of yours, my friend.

  2. Monica, I’m so sorry you were sick on your trip to Seattle! In spite of it, I see you still have plenty of highlights, thank goodness! There’s nothing worse than traveling and then falling ill. My madre is in Puerto Rico as we speak, and a week into her holiday and she already has the flu. She’s spent the last two days in bed. Me? Would you believe I’m still sitting on the couch with my leg propped up on pillows? I think I’ve grown roots under the sofa cushions! I don’t know how long this knee is going to take to heal! But enough about me. Have I mentioned how much I love these shots? The “starry” Seattle pic is fabulous! I have to stop by your new blog! I’m excited to see what it’s like! I will write you, my friend. Believe it or not, I spend a lot of my day sleeping. The doctor told me it’s normal since “pain is fatiguing.” Lady, don’t I know it! Hugs to you and Henry from Roxy and me, chica! I’m glad you’re back. We missed you! 🙂

    • Me too, Bella. But things could be worse. I could have what you have! Yikes. Pobrecita, I feel so bad and wish there was something I could do to help alleviate your discomfort. And your poor mother! I love Puerto Rico–so beautiful!–but to be sick with the flu there, instead of enjoying the scenery? Hay, Dios mio. Love your line, btw, about “growing roots under the sofa cushion.” That’s a great visual and funny, too! I can’t wait for you to feel better so we can finally catch up!

  3. Took a few days off, with no computer just books. I just saw your Sicko post and awww, I am so sorry it happened on your holiday. Being sick is horrid when there is so much to enjoy. It still sounds as though you had a marvelous time Monica. What lovely friends you have. They took such good care of you. I hated and loved the gum wall – am I a nutter or what? although, I have to say your photos.. Love in the air and the blue house are my favorites. Seattle sounds like my kind of city. So much recycling and composting, wow! I need to see it. I agree with your friend Robert. The Brits do a lot for the environment, it is the same in Australia. I am often surprised by how much they care about the food they eat. There is no genetically modified anything on their shelves and here in CA ( where we are so progressive) they couldn’t pass Prop 37. Sigh.
    Feel better my friend. Am off to read your next post…

    • Yes, MM, sad but true: I got sick. But am much better now, and I did manage to enjoy myself a bit. I love my friends so much! They’re the best in the world! As for the gum wall, all I can say is, UGH! Don’t even think of touching it! Glad you liked my pix!

  4. Pingback: The Further Misadventures of Henry « Monica's Tangled Web

  5. **Greta-Garbo-as-Camille sick.**

    FAaaaaaB Line.

    & Fabulous Photos.

    Hope you are well, Dear M. Xx

  6. I love that you took all these photos. Seattle is yet another place I’ve never been unless you count my years of watching “Grey’s Anatomy.” Hope you feel better soon.

  7. I think it was the change in temp, but then I always get sick visiting Seattle. Wonderful picks. I will have to dig out a few I took up in Ballard when I was there last month. Seattle is a great city even if the weather isn’t.

    So glad your trip was fun! Going to visit your other blog now.

  8. Monica, it sounds like you had a great time even though you got sick! Going to Seattle is on my bucket list, we’ll get there some day! Glad you are feeling better. Also, I can relate to the photos, I do the same thing to my family! You have remarkable skill as a photographer.

  9. so sorry you got sick on your visit here but it sounds like you enjoyed our wonderful city and all it has to offer. One thing I have learned about living here is the rain keeps the tourists from getting any ideas of relocating to our wonderful town. I’ve lived here since 1975 with a 10 year absence to CA. Moving back here in June, I am reminded on a daily basis of my Long Island accent. It’s fun because I now say I am from Vashon, there is an accent over here….Feel better soon…

    • I appreciate all the well wishes, Mary Lisa. I had a lovely time, despite it all. And if you don’t believe me, well, I have hundreds of pictures to show for it! lol And hey! I have a Long Island accent, too! Spent many of my formative years living in Nassau County. How nice you live on Vashon Island. I’ve enjoyed taking the ferry there!

  10. It’s so unfair to get sick when you’re on vacation but it seems to happen to me a lot. I guess it’s all of those germs on airplanes. You couldn’t get me anywhere near a gum wall! Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    • I know, Shary! It’s awful. I have a feeling it was the flight up that did it, for I was feeling just peachy prior to the trip. Plus, I’m not one for getting sick. Every year I get my flu shot, which generally does the trick. Oh, well. Have you been doing the Nanowrimo (or however it goes)? If so, how are you doing with it?

  11. Wow, your masterful photos are a sure pick-me-up – and I hope you’re on the mend soon. Good luck with your ‘neighbour’ column; it’s sure to be a hit 🙂

  12. Love the way you refer to your “death bed.” Poor you. Thank God, however, that you had friends to care so well for you. You sound a bit like Sara. When she’s sick, she’s really sick, and I hear all about it. Is the gum wall new? I was in Seattle two years ago and didn’t see it. Take care of yourself, my friend.

    • Kathryn, if there’s anything you should know about me is that I’m a drama queen. Everything in my life is a great tragedy or comedy, depending on my mood or what the thing is. In this case, yes. That comfy chair might as well have been my death bed. 😉 Poor Sara. Sounds like you have no pity for her when she’s ill. 😦

      Not sure when the Gum Wall came to be, but it’s fascinating how these things start. Btw, Missy, I owe you deep thanks for visiting–and commenting–on my new blog. You’re the best! 🙂

  13. So sorry to hear you were sick in Seattle, but hey, it sounds as if you still managed to enjoy your trip! Bring-your-own-bags?? Never heard of this! Seriously, we just don’t do this in my neck of the woods. I’m afraid I’d feel totally out of place! And I’d probably spend my time in lockup, too! Not too fond of Pee-Wee, but my heart ached at the sight of that lone bear — sure hope he found a good home, and that you’re up to snuff soon!

    • Debbie, no worries. If you haven’t heard of the bring-your-own-bags thing yet, I have a feeling it’ll soon be coming to a store near you. Maybe not this year or the next, but soon enough. 🙂

  14. Really sorry that your were sick on your vacation or as we call it over here holiday!!

    At least you got some good days in, and as usual took some really super pictures Monica. Beautiful Colours. My favourite is the blue house, it’s really beautiful.

    You take care of yourself and get back to your normal chipper self as soon as possible.

    We are big into recycling over here we have now four rubbish (Trash) bins, three big and one small. The three big ones are Black for normal waste, Green for recyclable stuff like paper plastic etc and a green one for garden waste. Plus a new small grey one for food waste, this recycling is getting a bit complex here to say the least.

    As to what I did whist you were away, well I have started a new web site for the local Parish Council, which will keep me busy this side of Christmas and I have started to rewrite two of my personal ones as well. With the added bonus I have upgraded the laptop to Windoze 8, so that’s something else to keep me amused.

    As I say you take care, keep warm and take plenty of fluids. If you need anything just put a bag attached to Henrys collar and push him out of the door in the direction of the nearest store.

    • Robert, you crack me up. And it’s not easy laughing when your ribs hurt from sneezing so much. The idea of sending Henry out to get me some hot chicken soup, or medicine, is way too funny. Luckily, I am on the mend. Not exactly 100% yet, but give me another day or so. Glad to hear you’re keeping busy with the new website and latest software. Good for you!

  15. Monica, I so missed your blog while I was traveling out of the country, but so glad to be back to enjoy it once again. Sounds like, other than being sick, you had a great time in Seattle. Can’t wait to hear all about it at our next lunch meeting :>)

  16. Gosh, that’s too bad you ended up with a cold 😦 Boo! Glad you got some fun in before that happened. Your photos are really wonderful. Honestly. You need to publish a travel book!

  17. So sorry you were sick. I haven’t been to Seattle in ages (although I did make it to Tacoma one night a couple of years ago). I still remember the alder wood salmon. As for the BYOB rule now, it’s been that way in France for awhile. However, no one gives you a dirty look if you forgot. You can get small, flimsy bags for free if you ask, and for a very small sum you can buy heavier, reusable plastic bags, or for about $2 you can get fabulous long-lasting bags that I buy as travel souvenirs and presents. Wish you had pictures of composting bins at the movie theaters. Frankly, I don’t think anything you buy at a movie theater is compostable. The popcorn tastes like styrofoam.

    • Well, Julie, as you probably know by now, many of my the stories that I tell here are a bit “tangled,” shall we say. Which means, no one actually gave me a dirty look, but I’m just sure they would have if given the opportunity. No one got arrested either. And they do offer tiny, tiny bags for free. But, what can you do with a tiny bag when you have accumulated so many purchases? 😉

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