Visitation and Staycation

I love it when I have guests.  Particularly when I have guests who are fun, who are familiar, and when I get to have a good time too.  This visit that I had with Claire was super fun for both of us.  She was in Seattle with me from Wednesday night through early Monday morning and every bit of it was a great time.

Out to Lunch concert at Columbia Tower before Claire came
What gets Chelsea to Arbys? Free new turkey roasters! My review of the Turkey Club Roaster: Surprisingly good quality turkey with flavor, a nice whole wheat bun, fresh tomato, onions, and lettuce, actually crisp and tasty bacon, swiss cheese was eh, I opted for no mayo and the liberal use of Arby’s sauce helped with flavor. A great tasting sandwich but not as filling as say a Subway and at $5 I would probably still prefer a turkey sub from Subway over this roaster.

Thursday Claire visited the Queen Anne downtown, including stops at La Reve for breakfast and Homegrown for lunch.  Then she met up with me right after work.  We walked over to the First Thursday Art Walk in Pioneer Square to look over some art exhibits.  Next stop was to El Camion taco truck for dinner (one fish taco for me and finally tried a carne asada…hard to branch away from the fish though).  After satisfying our bellies, sitting in the sun and 80 degree weather, me and my howdy partner dominated the Euchre tournament that is held biweekly at the Shelter Lounge.  For a few hours we played Euchre with other Midwesterns.  We then stopped at the Copper Gate for some of their live jazz in their very uniquely clad Scandinavian bar.

This time we went to the El Camion truck in Ballard and this time I branched out and only got one fish taco and tried one of the carne asada. Also good. Claire wanted to go back for more fish tacos by the end of her trip.
The entrance to the back jazz room at Copper Gate. You don’t want to know what the shape and color is supposed to imply…Great jazz and atmosphere though!!!

Friday was another glorious day and Claire visited Pike Market for the first time, getting a coffee and pastry from Le Panier, shopping and walking around, and eating the award-winning clam chowder from Pike Place Chowder.  She stopped at the central library for a tour and quick break and then Zeitgeist coffee in Pioneer Square.  I left work a little early to pick her up and head to Alki Beach for an afternoon in the sun and sand with the picturesque view of the city from West Seattle.  After sun time we headed back to Queen Anne to have Girl’s Night Grill Out at Amy’s.  The three of us grilled some white BBQ sauce chicken thighs, with sides and wine and settled into a movie series of forcing me to watch How I Met Your Mother shows.

Saturday was AGAIN beautiful…we are now breaking records here in Seattle for 50 continuous days of sun and no rain.  We gathered the troop around to meet in the International District for a weekend dim sum brunch.  I was the only person in our group of nine to have ever experienced the form of dim sum, complete with ladies with push carts of the Chinese tapas, replenishing jugs of hot tea, and rotating tables to get to the goodies.  We went to one of the two most acclaimed for dim sum in the city called Jade Garden.  I ate an exorbitant amount of shu mai, dumplings, and pork buns along with a few jugs of tea I think.  Everyone enjoyed it, were thoroughly stuffed, and all paid an easy $10 for so much delicious food.  Claire, Luis, Carina and I headed to Buckley’s in Belltown to catch the UM game and then when we had established victory over the competitor and couldn’t stand not being out in the sun any longer we headed to the eastside for Carina’s (Luis’ girlfriend) homecoming to Seattle for a surprise BBQ.

Various dumplings and shumai filled with everything from shrimp, scallops, pork, and dungeness crab.
Some great bok choy with oyster sauce, shrimp rolls, pork buns, and more.
I want the new shirts!!!

Sunday was Claire’s last full day in Seattle.  We started the day with brunch at home, consisting of homemade french toast, pesto scrambled eggs, and great coffee.  Claire and I wanted the day to be a little bit lackadaisical so after our long brunch we walked down the hill to do some shopping.  We picked up several Seattle-esque gifts for her family members, shopped for earrings and accessories at the Peridot boutique in Lower Queen Anne, then headed back to the Market.  We ran into the whole group who were also there for the hard cider tasting booths before getting to our dinner reservation at the very nice, French restaurant Place Pigalle, set behind the fish throwers in the market.

I treated Claire to a fancy little dinner with a great view of the Sound and Ella Fitzgerald playing in the background to celebrate her birthday and graduation.  We split the special of the day, the Oregon salmon which was espresso rubbed and pan seared served over a summer vegetable saute and an orange chipotle glaze and our other entree was their seafood bouillabaisse loaded with more salmon, shrimp, clams and mussels (her first time trying them), dungeness crab, and potatoes served in a great tomato broth and great bread for dipping.  After leaving happy and full we headed to the Triple Door to meet up with Bryan for a Latin jazz concert by Si Limon in their lounge and drink super spiked coffee drinks.  The music and jazz were great and we stayed through all three acts.  Lastly, we kept the party going by getting one more cocktail at the speakeasy Bath Tub Gin before heading to bed for a few short hours before the early wake up call to go to the airport.

I had a great time with Claire.  We shared so many stories, reminisced, laughed until our stomachs ached, ate great food, visited great places, and Claire left without one single regret or inexperience.  She claims I was a great host, I think she was an even better house guest and would welcome her back anytime!


(More pictures from Claire’s camera yet to come…she took all of the pictures)

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