Friday, November 30, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend - Marathon Post!

Thanksgiving weekend was a wonderful compilation of friends, family, Washington tourism, and food. My parents arrived Thanksgiving afternoon around 12:30ish and brought beautiful weather for the whole weekend. While it was cold (low to mid-40s as the high), it was sunny and clear, with beautiful views of Mt. Rainer. Of course, the day my mother left it got even colder, overcast, and practically rained icicles.

Thanksgiving Day: We got back from the airport and immediately started eating the deviled eggs I made earlier in the morning. Angela and Will (friends from Oregon) showed up around 3:30, just in time for Robb’s famous spinach-artichoke dip and wine. We ended up drinking a total of 6.5 bottles of wine before the evening ended around 9:30. We ate dinner around 6. Robb made the turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, and rolls. I contributed cucumber dill salad and fried corn. After a delicious dinner we ate my yummy homemade pumpkin cheesecake and chose to eat Robb’s spice apple dump cake a couple of days later. As I mentioned earlier, wine flowed freely and conversation was ample. It was a really nice Thanksgiving. My parents went to bed by 10, exhausted by their day of flying that started at 5:00 am, Eastern Time.

Friday: Because obviously we hadn’t been drinking enough the day before, the parents, Robb and I chose to visit Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville, WA. I’ve been very excited to visit this winery because for a long time they’ve created my favorite riesling. On our way, we stopped in Seattle to eat at Red Mill Burgers. I know I’ve mentioned their amazing onion rings before, so we had to let my parents experience the greasy goodness. I think they aren’t as impressed as Robb and I are, but they still liked them. We got to the winery just in time for the 1:00 tour, which was fairly unimpressive. At the end of the tour we got to try three wines, a chardonnay (pretty bland), a merlot (very good), and a dessert wine (which I refused to try because it’s too sweet). We then were herded into a gift shop and my parents paid for us to sample four more wines, all of which were good, but the $40 reserve merlot was phenomenal. After that we headed across the street to Red Hook Brewery and tried a flight of their beer. I enjoyed their flagship beer and their blonde, but didn’t care for the IPA, stout, or holiday blend. We drove home, relaxed for awhile and then headed to Bellevue to eat dinner at Z’tejas. My parents fell in love with the original Z’tejas when we lived in Texas and I ate dinner their once and was blown away. We were all very excited to eat their again. However, it was extremely disappointing. The menu had changed, the food was bland, and the service terrible. Robb and I just feel so bad for my Dad because he was so looking forward to this dinner! We were determined that the next day’s food choices would be better.

Saturday: We started with breakfast at Panera and then drove to Seattle and parked near the Space Needle. I had read about an international holiday bazaar and we went into the Center and found a total of three booths, a huge disappointment. So we walked a few blocks until we got into the ride free zone to take the bus downtown. (There is a certain area in downtown Seattle where the bus is free, which is a very nice convenience). We took the bus to Pike Place Market and walked around so my parents could take in the sights. We also ate at Piroshky Piroshky, Beecher’s, and Pike Place Chowder. I’m pleased to report that my parents liked the perogi-imitation and proclaimed that the clam chowder was the best they ever had. It was the first time that even Robb and I ate the macaroni and cheese at Beecher’s, and we were all impressed with the best mac and cheese we’ve ever had. Seriously. How cool is it that in Pike Place exists the best clam chowder and best mac and cheese in the entire world? After our food celebration we took the free bus to Pioneer Square to check out a few of the local stores and more specifically, visit Elliot Bay Book Company. I had heard that this was the best book store and Seattle and felt compelled to bring my Mom. It turns out to be a beautiful book store in a very old brick building. It really is an amazing store and once I have some more money coming in, I want to spend some more time in there and actually buy something. On the way to the bookstore we came across Waterfall Park, a dedication to UPS workers (UPS was founded in Seattle.) This beautiful water fountain is hidden behind a couple of walls in the Pioneer Square district. It's really quite stunning and beautiful to have such an impressive waterfall in the middle of the city. After the bookstore we took the bus back to our car and on our way home stopped at REI so my Mom could see the original REI store. We then went home opened up a bottle of wine and headed for dinner at La Casa Bella in Federal Way. Robb and I had been to this Italian restaurant twice before and were excited about sharing our favorite local restaurant with them. We were NOT disappointed that evening. All of the food was phenomenal. We had balsamic portobello mushrooms and caprese for appetizers. All of the entrĂ©e’s were phenomenal and at the end of the night, after deciding against dessert, the waitress brought out a complimentary (probably because we spent a fortune on food and wine) pineapple sorbet served in a hollowed out pineapple. It’s just so nice to have a great Italian restaurant in our little town!

Sunday: Got up real early to take my Dad to the airport. He had to be back at work on Monday, so he had to leave a day before my Mom. Later in the day, Mom, Robb, and I went to the mall in Bellevue to eat lunch and go to the movie theater to see Michael Clayton (pretty good movie, slow in the beginning, but speeds up to a pretty good story.) My mom bought me a couple of shirts for my new job and then we headed back to Federal Way and just ordered pizza in and watched a couple of movies at home. She left very early Monday morning. Overall very good weekend and I already miss my parents terribly!

Left to Right: Robb, Angela, Will, Me, Dad

Chateau Ste. Michelle

Mom and Dad at Pike Place Market

Robb and Me Eating at Beecher's

Pike Place Chowder

Dad at UPS Waterfall

Pineapple Sorbet

Mom Enjoying our Fireplace.

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