Seattle, 1997

CompuServe in Seattle

July 17, 1997

My plane for Seattle left around noon on Thursday and after an uneventful hour and a half, I landed at Sea-Tac, to be met, at the luggage carousel by Pat and Tricia. We joined the group of S16ers (members of CompuServe's Women's Issues discussion group) thus far assembled and we broke up into groups. Pat and I went to rent the car; Heidi, Sian and Anne came with us.

The drive to Edmonds took about 40 minutes. The weather was sunny and even a bit warm. We had no trouble following Mary's directions and finding The Harbor Inn. Once we got settled, there was some discussion about whether or not we would try to find lunch. By the time the group came to some sort of decision (we were hungry!), it was so late and Mary had said she'd be expecting us, so we just went on over to her house. Good thing we hadn't stopped for lunch. She had a huge spread of cold cuts, salads, fruits, and other goodies. Lots of cold drinks. We dug in and sat around visiting. Little Emily is adorable--5 weeks old now and about 7 lbs.

Anne wasn't feeling well, so Heidi and Pat took her back to the hotel. Heidi took the opportunity to rummage through Sian's suitcase and bring back the Incy Wincy Spider game Sian had brought with her from England. Putting it together and trying to play it was a terrific ice breaker. We laughed a lot. It loosened Ellen and Julia up so much they even agreed to perform I'm a Little Teapot for the videocamera.

Eventually, we decided we were all tired and we headed back to the hotel. Pat and I were the last to leave and noticed that Mary's lights were out before we even got to our car. She must have been exhausted!

July 18, 1997

We breakfasted on the food at the hotel and a group of us went walking down to the beach to watch the ferries come in and seagulls trying to crack open clam shells. Eventually a large group of us went en masse to Pike's Market and the waterfront area. We spent about 2-3 hours wandering around through the shops. We stopped at a French bakery to get a baguette sandwich, and ate in the park overlooking the harbor. Warm temps--a tad too warm, actually.

Some of us went to the Space Needle to experience A Taste of Seattle, a big food fair. Not very exciting, actually, though I sure would have loved to play in the huge sprinkler! It was that kinda day. When we got back to the hotel, it was to go to the "Texas Party," which the 3 Texans--Diane Schulze, Tricia, and Shirley--put together. Salsa, jalapino jelly, salsa, Texas wines, margaritas. And Shirley gave Pat the dried okra necklace she made for her.

Then off to the Space Needle (again) for our banquet. Absolutely breathtaking! Crystal clear...the first glimpse of Mt. Rainier...a full moon...and a private room overlooking it all. I could have stayed there forever. (The food--filet mignon--was good too!) At the end of dinner, Party Animal Shirley, my roommate, decided she wanted to ride the ferris wheel, so she, Stephanie and I did, leaving Pat and Bill to watch our purses. It was actually fun!

Aside from one "Q-turn" (Pat invented them), we made it home without incident and collapsed into bed.

July 19, 1997

Victoria day! Those of us who had opted to spend the day in Victoria were up at the crack of dawn, since we had to leave around 6:30 a.m. to get down to the ferry boat. As it was, we just barely made it and we were about the last on ferry and unable to get seats together. The water was incredibly calm; one of the crew told me it was highly unusual. The weather was so warm that other than the wind, sitting on the deck was very pleasant. We managed to find wind breaks and Sian, Anne, Julia and I spent most of the 3 hour trip sitting outside.

We had decided to go to Butchart Gardens, and discovered that would take almost all of our time in Victoria. The bus ride out was 40 minutes, we had a leisurely (30+ minute) lunch, and wandered through the gorgeous garden for about an hour. Then the bus ride back to town. We had only about 45 minutes to kill and, after deciding that $30 Canadian was entirely too much to spend for "high tea" at the Empress Hotel, Shirley and Bill went off to find books to read on the way home, Sian and Anne went for food, and Pat and I went looking for Victoria creams to send to Cathy Johnson.

We got back to the ferry early enough to all get seats together. I looked at Anne and Sian collapsed across from me and was reminded of how we all looked coming home from Paris last year! Sian didn't appreciate my taking her picture. After the ferry docked, the four of us in our car went off to a restaurant in Edmonds for dinner. Sian and Anne treated. The crab cakes were delicious.

July 20, 1997

How quickly the week end ended! We got up this morning and around 10 a.m. went over to Mary and Joe's for brunch. She had made S16's famous cinnamon rolls, a couple of egg dishes, more fruit, coffee, and other stuff. It was quite a feast. Her parents joined us and I finally got to meet her mother, who is a delightful woman. I waited for Diane to come and pick me up.

We drove to her house and settled me in. I called Bill Walsh and asked if he'd like to come over and get Diane's computer set up, which he said he'd love to do. We drove over to Seattle and got him, returned to Edmonds and he got it all up and running and left me with a disk to install to connect me to CompuServe. We had planned to go out to dinner near Pike's Market, but it was so late, we headed instead down to Sorry Charlie's, where Olivia's mother was to be performing. Turned out there was some time, so we went to Enzo's, a nearby Italian restaurant, for some dinner.

Then we met Frances, Kathi and Olivette at Sorry Charlie's. What great fun! Kinda tacky, but such fun to watch those guys get up and perform. The quality ran the gamut from near-professional to not wonderful, but it didn't matter. They were having a good time and we were having a good time. We stayed until midnight. By then Olivette had gone. Frances and I were finishing our 3rd G&T's and it was time to call it a night.

Bill and Diane took me up to an overlook where a lot of the Seattle scenic shots are taken (Seattle's answer to Twin Peaks, I guess) and it was breathtaking. Dropped Bill off, Diane and I went home, and I logged on to CompuServe. Best part of the night! I was back on line again!

July 21, 1997

Diane took today off, so we spent it together. We had bagels for breakfast and then went to do some "whale watching." After our disastrous trip out to sea last year, Diane decided we'd whale watch this time from the safety of the IMAX theatre down on the wharf. The weather today was glorious. It was cool, clear, sunny. I was kicking myself for not having a camera when we were down on the wharf. I didn't realize Seattle had such a picturesque wharf and would like to have had some photos of it.

I did some souvenir shopping and we ended up having dinner at The Crab Pot. It's a restaurant right on the wharf where you can get pots of crab dumped on your table. They give you a bib, a hammer, and a board and you dig in. It was like The Crab Pot we went to with Melody in Maryland, only these were dungeness crabs, so you got better rewards for your efforts!

July 22, 1997

Diane had to go to work today, so it was just me and Bill for most of this day. Bill had to work until noon, so I stayed home, cleaned up the kitchen, did some laundry, and, of course, checked in with e-mail and forum messages. At noon, I headed over to Bill's. I took him to lunch and we lingered so ultimately we only had about an hour to work on the computer, which had decided to stop working that morning. But not much got done. Diane called to say she wasn't going to join us for dinner, as she'd had a bad day and was going to have to work late. And I heard from Felix (now living in Redmond) that he was free for dinner. We planned to meet at The Crab Pot, since Bill had missed it the night before. We had a nice, leisurely dinner on the deck, watching the ferries come and go.

My last day and I was already feeling sad. Diane decided to go to work late, so we had the chance to go out for a nice, leisurely breakfast. Then I said my goodbyes to her and headed off to Bill's house. We went back to Diane's computer. Bill got some tweaking done and got her printer working, which was a biggie for her. I drove to the airport, braving I-5 for really the first time. God, was the scenery beautiful. Rainier was absolutely gorgeous, kinda floating on a bank of clouds in a crystal clear sky. I could have pulled off the freeway and just looked at it for quite a long time (in fact, someone did just that!)

The flight home was also uneventful. I managed to get on the Rainier side of the plane and reveled in the sights of it as we took off and then flew over it. What a beautiful mountain. As we left Seattle behind, I realized that I was feeling that this was the first town I'd ever spent any amount of time in that I felt I could actually live in.

Walt met me at the airport, I was up until 1:30 a.m. doing CompuServe stuff, off at 6 a.m. to a Sutter meeting, and came home to find an envelope from Cap waiting for me. I guess the vacation really is over.

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