August 22, 2008

Welcome to One Gal's Guide...

Where one gal has one mission: to blog about every place she's ever traveled and share her stories with you. I'm your host, your blogger, your OneGal.

Here's the first entry from my recent cruise to Seattle and Alaska.

Today started at an ungodly hour of 5:30 am. When we got to the airport it took us about 30 seconds to check in, but I hate that now airlines charge you to check baggage. If it’s a a discount airline I understand, but in terms of a real airline, I think it’s a load to charge you for your bags. Luckily mine was under the 50 lb limit, but just barely. (48.5 pounds whew!).

One of the things I love about traveling is that once you get into an airport, it’s like time stops being divided into day and night, and is its own special breed of time. Go to a restaurant at 7 am or 7 pm and you have the same selection. In other cities I’ve traveled people can be seen drinking beer at 6 am. It’s amazing how once you cross that security checkpoint threshold, time loses all meaning really. The only time that matters is the time you have between your flights.


Two uneventful flights later we landed in Seattle.

We took cabs to our hotel,(http://www.mayflowerpark.com/) dropped our stuff off at our room and freshened up a little, then went downstairs to the bar to get lunch. Upon entering the bar, we were informed that children were not allowed, and so, we exited quickly, at which point I asked the concierge where could we go eat. He pointed us in the direction of a GREAT Italian place (http://www.ilfornaio.com/) We were given a complimentary buschetta for being out of town customers to the restaurant (Bruschetta

Pomodoro-Grilled Il Fornaio ciabatta bread rubbed with garlic, marinated chopped tomatoes basil and kalamata olives ) which was some of the best tasting bruschetta I've ever had. I had the minestrone soup and a fantastic salad (Insalata della Casa-Chopped salad of romaine, radicchio, cannelloni beans, avocado, tomato and cucumber with Gorgonzola dressing).

We were all too full for dessert, but not to full to walk to the Space needle. It was about…8 blocks maybe? I really didn’t count since I was constantly looking left and right and just admiring the area. We walked past a Glass Blowing Studio, and the pieces on display in the window were amazing. I wanted to go and see the demonstration and look at the gallery, but we didn’t have time. We followed the monorail system, even though it was under maintenance for that time. Part of what was so cool was we could see the Space Needle for pretty much the

whole walk. We got there and found the entrance, purchased our tickets and in 90 seconds were overlooking Seattle on a beautiful mostly sunny day. Honestly I lost track of how long we spent up

there because the views were just amazing. We did partake in a toast at the top and celebrated Granddad’s birthday early.

We headed back to the hotel (after a mandatory stop in the gift shop), and got a phone call from D and T that they would meet us for dinner later that evening. We decided to go to the restaurant in the hotel, Andaluca.

We met for dinner, and had a great time. Andaluca specializes in Andalucan cuisine. (YAY!) We split our orders according to family; Mom and I had (direct from the menu) Grilled Asperagus (maldon salt, luis herrera extra virgin olive oil), Marinated Manchego (vine tomatoes, rosemary, garlic, pan fried baguette, luis herrera extra virgin olive oil) Mushroom ala Greque (garlic, lemon, oregano, rosemary) and a Mini Crab Tower (dungeness crab, avocado, palm hearts, gazpacho salsa). We also had tastes of the paella from D and T and each had a drink with our meal. I had a Raspberry mojito, and it was GOOD!

We invited everyone upstairs to our room and presented everyone with the Cruise T-Shirts Mom and I had made.

Then we walked D and T back to their hotel, admired the plushness of the "W" (I swiped the very cool square pen) walked back to our hotel and went to bed!

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