Anyway, to my dismay, I left my journal at home and was not able to write about each day's experience. Once we landed in OAK Sunday night, I hit the ground running and jumped right into life's daily grind. I did not have time to sit and jot down a few memories from the weekend. Now, a week later, I'll try to piece together the memorable moments:
- Wake up at the butt crack of dawn to catch the second flight out OAK to SeaTac.
- Get off the plane and board LINK for a 30-min ride into the city. Seattle's public transportation system and technology on their trains, etc. is awesome. I'm talkin' touch screens, easy-to-figure-out prices and routes, and CHEAP transportation. YES. It's FREE to ride the bus in the downtown area between 6AM - 7PM. (You hear that, SF?! They lower prices during work hours, not raise them! I'm lookin' at you, Bay Bridge!) Their transfer passes are good for a few hours rather than just one hour. And they have all kinds of modes of transportation: bus, light rail, monorail...
- Arrive in China town. Looks like a China town. Whatevskis.
- Got on the right bus in the wrong direction.
- Hopped off the bus, wandered around for a bit, found another bus stop and studied the route map. As we stood in front of the map, a couple of older ladies said "excuse me" in Filipino accents because we were standing in their path. "Sorry, po," we said. Haha, they got a kick out of that. One of the ladies started talking to us in Tagalog. She asked if we were lost, we said yes, she helped us out by telling us which bus to get on, where to get off, how much to pay, what other buses we could take... Awesome. I love being Filipino. And understanding Tagalog.
- Len and I got on the bus, each carrying one bag, Len carrying one small suitcase (we didn't pack much.). We must have each had "TOURIST" stamped across our foreheads because a dude sitting across from us asked us where we were from (come to think of it, Len was wearing a beanie with "Cal" written on the forehead part of it, so yeah...). We chopped it up a bit, compared stories about California (he had gone and "gotten healed in San Diego by a Mexican guy", whatever that means). From his stories about Seattle, we could tell that he was very proud to be from the city and proud that some folks felt the desire to come up and visit it.
- After that dude got off the bus, an older man next to us picked up the conversation were it was left off: "So you're from San Diego, eh? I lived in San Diego for a while. Beautiful, beautiful city." And then he said, "Seattle is nice, too. No gangs. Nice place to raise your kids." I wondered if Len and I looked like we were old enough to be looking for a place to settle down. Anyway, this man had a thick accent and dark skin. Len asked him if he was from Brazil, lol. I was embarrassed. It wasn't until later that Len told me that he had a friend from Seattle who kinda looked like this dude and was Brazilian. Anyway, this man smiled and said "no, Cuba!". My eyes lit up this time. I told him that I am going to Cuba for the first time this summer. He got excited for me and said that I will enjoy it.
- Len and I got off the bus -- the weather was actually quite lovely. We walked the short trek to the hotel, one right down the way from the water. We checked in. We found our room -- it's a freakin' suite. Dude. Thank you, Expedia (only $74/night). I guess we should have known it was going to be a suite considering how the name of the hotel was Homewood Suites. Living room + kitchen + king sized bed.
- We dropped off our stuff and rested for a bit, then set off again to explore the area. First things first: happy hour 50-cent oysters. OK, long story short, it was a very long wait to get a table and they raise their prices for oysters by the 1/2 hour, so by the time we got a table, oysters were $1/ea. No worries. We grubbed on gourmet fish tacos, a salmon slider, calamari, and fried oysters. We also had one very strong drink each. Oh my.
- Headed over to Pike Place just in time to watch the vendors close up shop, haha. So much free sampling! Samples of bread, olive oils, balsamic vinegar, jams and jellies... Hallelujah. We ducked into a used book store, where I picked up a book for $2. Finally, we stopped at a jewelry stand and chatted with the vendor about things to do and see while we were in town. We told him that we're looking to check out the music scene. He referred us to a newspaper stand down the road where we could pick up a local publication about all the happening's , so that we did.
- We stopped into a cafe to grab a hot drink and rest our feet while we browsed through the listings of shows. I ordered a hot macchiato. The barista asked me if I was sure that that's what I wanted and then proceeded to explain to me what a macchiato was. Jeez. What, cuz I'm short or cuz I'm a girl, I can't handle an espresso drink? Len ordered a mocha chai, lol. It seems so high maintenance, and also the barista didn't know what that was.
- As we browsed through the listings, I saw the Groove for Thought was performing that night! So cool! I rooted for them when they were on the Sing Off. It was 6:00 by this time, and the ad said that doors were opening for tickets at 6:30. We set off.
- Well, it turned out that the venue was literally around the corner from the cafe, so we got there at about 6:05. Haha. While we were there and wondering if we'd be able to afford tickets, a lady in front of us in line gave away one of her tickets to the show! The box office guy gave it to us when we told him that we were there to watch Groove for Thought. The other ticket cost $30. I wouldn't pay $60 for tickets, but I'll pay $30.
- The show was amazing. Uh-Maze-Ing. I don't know what else to say from there.
- The singers came out for a meet & greet. Len bought a poster and got it signed and introduced himself to the group because they are a bunch of music teachers. He was so excited, haha. I was excited for him.
And that was Friday.