Traveling Alone, and I Am Hopelessly Inept

Traveling alone is a lot less lonely when you have the internet. Even though I’m here with my husband, I have been pretty much alone since I left Philly yesterday morning, as he’s been in meetings the whole time. This is fine; I knew it would be this way. I planned to use my time alone to explore the city and get some work done, and I’ve done just that.  I amuse myself by posting my thoughts to Twitter and Facebook, and if I get really desperate, I can always call home and bug my mom, but fortunately (for her) it hasn’t come to that.

This morning I wandered around until I found a happening little breakfast joint where I enjoyed a fresh fruit juice smoothie and a personal sized quiche with a side of organic salad greens.  Yes, you heard me right — salad greens for breakfast.

Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.  I felt so virtuous, knowing I’d started my day with vegetables, that I am seriously considering making a breakfast salad part of my morning repertoire.

After breakfast, I wandered around the famed Pike Place Market and bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t buy anything to bring home and cook for dinner.  I have honestly never seen fruit so perfect or fish so fresh.

Once I tired of that, I settled into a Starbucks and cranked out one of the six articles I have due tomorrow. (Hold me.) Then I met Carolyn from A Chocolate Covered To Do List. She showed me part of the city I hadn’t explored yet, and we ate lunch at a yummy little Vietnamese restaurant. I had barbeque chicken vermicelli, and of course the only picture I got was of the food, not of us.

Truly, I’m hopeless. The only pictures I’ve taken so far on my trip have been of my hotel room and of my food. I took my fancy SLR camera along with me today on my jaunts, but it’s awfully hard to capture the essence of a city on film (or a digital camera.)  I’m just not that talented.

I can tell you this much: Seattle is a study in contrasts.  I woke this morning to radiant sunshine, but by 3PM it was raining. I was tempted to hide out in my hotel for the rest of the day, but I decided to brave the elements and walk a mile to the shopping district. Oddly unmotivated to shop, I returned home with only a new umbrella and a pair of winter gloves to show for my efforts. Still, I enjoyed my little stroll, rain and all. Seattle is definitely a walking city. Despite the challenging hills, people seem to walk everywhere. I’ve been kicking myself for leaving my running gear at home, so I’ve taken every opportunity to walk an extra block or three.

I guess my day wasn’t eventful enough, because when I got back to the hotel and went to hop on the elevator, I was in for a rude awakening.  The doors started to close before I made it inside, so I instinctively reached out with my plastic water bottle and stuck it between the jaws as they were about to meet.  I assumed the sensor would, you now, SENSE the object and open the doors back up, but instead, the doors squeezed shut, and in the process, flattened the water bottle, which just so happened to be aiming right at me.  Before I knew it, water spewed all over my sweater.

Of course it wasn’t enough that I was startled and drenched; the concierge happened to witness the whole thing. She ran over to help, and we both got a good chuckle at my expense. The door did eventually open up, and you’ll be happy to know (I hope) that I made it up to my room without further incident.

That is, until later on tonight when I went to open a bottle of wine.  Last night the bottle of wine  in our room had a screw top.  It took some elbow grease to pry open, but I managed.  Tonight I thought I was opening another of the same, so I didn’t look too closely at the top.  I just started twisting.  I twisted and twisted and twisted with all my might.  Finally, I had to sit down from sheer exhaustion, and that’s when I thought to look at the mechanism, whereby discovering that it was actually plugged with a cork, not capped with a screw top.  Einstein, I am not.

Upon further investigation, I found no corkscrew on the premises so I called down to the front desk, and soon I was rescued from my distress by a handsome bellhop bearing a corkscrew.  Naturally it was the old-fashioned kind, but not to be deterred, I soon managed to uncork my wine and pour myself a glass without spillage or injury.  You may hold your applause until the end of the show, thanks.  I’m just here to provide you with your daily dose of amusement at my expense.

Tomorrow I plan to do some more MIRLing, some more working, and I may get to meet up with an old high school chum. My husband’s meetings are wrapping up so we’ll probably do some sight seeing before we have dinner at Salty’s.  I can’t wait; I haven’t had seafood since I’ve been here. I’m also hoping to take a ferry ride. Even the locals seem to find it enchanting, so it seems like a must-do activity.

Do you Pacific Coasters have any advice for me?  What else should I plan to do while I’m here?  Just so long as it doesn’t involve a plastic water bottle or wine with a cork, it should be just fine.

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22 Responses

  1. That is WAY scary about the elevator! What did management say ? A few years ago a physician in Houston put his arm between elevator doors to trigger the sensor (much in the same way you did) and he was decapitated! True story.

    1. NO WAY!! I might have put my arm out if I hadn’t had that water bottle. I don’t know why. I was in no rush. It was just instinctive.

  2. O.K., this made me laugh so much. You sound like me on a husband’s-business-trip. Tempted to just stay in the room, relishing the peace and quiet, but forcing yourself to get out and see stuff. I totally get that.

    I’ve never been to that part of the country, but my husband goes out there twice a year for meetings. He loves Pikes Place Market and some of the famous seafood restaurants. I think you’re on the right track!

    Have fun!

    1. Yeah I have to force myself to leave, but it is kind of nice to get a change of scenery. I saw a really nice looking coffee shop yesterday; I think I’m going to walk back and work there this morning.

  3. The breakfast looks delicious – and I would have probably paid money to see the water bottle/elevator incident!! Thanks for letting me know that I’m not the only one who has “events” like that happen to me!

    1. Unfortunately it didn’t taste as good as it looked. But that’s okay, I wasn’t tempted to eat it all. 😉

  4. I hear you on the traveling alone thing. I did a lot of alone stuff at BlogHer and even though I felt like I should be wearing a helmet and kneepads through some of it I made it out stronger. And more importantly ALIVE!
    I hope you come out stronger (and of course ALIVE!) too!

    I have a friend who lives out there, if you feel like going on a blind lady date. She’s awesome, and she lived in Philly for quite some time so you guys can talk about home during awkward silences!

    1. I didn’t know you were alone at BlogHer! Girl. We should have gotten together.

      And thanks for the blind lady date offer, lol, but my husband is wrapping things up this morning and we’re going to spend the rest of the weekend together. Plus, I’ve got a few more articles to write for a deadline that is, um, today. GACK! Nothing like waiting till the last minute…

  5. I totally thought of you yesterday when I was leaving work and it was so cold and rainy. That’s fall in Seattle-it will be sunshine one moment, rain the next, and occasionally both at the same time! I’m glad you had Vietnamese food-that’s something I would have suggested.

    If you are staying downtown, there are fun shops in Pioneer Square-start around 1st and Seneca and work your way south, stopping at Parfumerie Nasreen, Cherry Street Coffee House for coffee and a bagel, and then all the way down to the Grand Central building by Occidental Park. I used to work down there and while it has a reputation for being sketchy at night, in the daytime it’s just quirky shops and people. There’s also the Underground Tour, where they show you how the current city was built on the ruins of the first Seattle. Very interesting history.

  6. We lived in Seattle for 1 year….here are my favorite “un-touristy” places. If you can get over to Discovery Park in Magnolia neighborhood (right accross from Queen Anne…NW of downtown by about 5 miles) it is definitely a gorgeous hike. It is the largest park in Seattle (500 acres) with lots of trails, views of the puget sound, lighthouse, seaside bluffs. The main loop is 3 miles and will take you to all the scenic parts. If you make it there check out Serendipity Cafe in the heart of Magnolia on your way back to downtown. Oh, and if tea is your thing you HAVE to go to The Tea Cup in Queen Anne. And if you will be there on Sunday check out Mars Hill Church…main campus is in Ballard neighborhood. Oh, and I love Chinook’s also in Magnolia/Salmon bay. It is part of the Anthony’s resturants that you see down on the waterfront but more casual/same food. Have fun! I miss Seattle so I’ll just live vicariously through you for a few days! This is what I would do if I had a few days back there.

    1. Oh wow that park sounds lovely. And I did pack my Keens and a pari of cargo pants, so I could probably do that. We might check it out. tomorrow is supposed to be lovely.

  7. REI & its famed climbing wall, little French crepe place inside Pike Place (my favorite!!), shopping on 5th ave. (Nordy’s, Anthroplogie…), ferry ride to Bainbridge Island.

    1. We’re totally doing the ferry ride. I saw that french pastry shop this morning. Is it better than the Russian pastry shop near it? I couldn’t decide so I did neither, lol. I’ve been low-carbing it since I’ve been here, but I may break down before my stay is over and have a pastry. They smelled sooooo good.

      We just moved hotels, and we’re closer to the shopping now, so WOOHOO!

  8. I live north of seattle, and hubby works downtown for nordstrom! l am actually staying at the hyatt olive8 for a girls weekend at the end of the month! Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

    1. You will LOVE it! And I know that Nordstrom. I spent an afternoon (and a chunk of change) there on Saturday. 😉

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