Monday, July 26, 2010

Michelle Visits - My 27th Birthday Celebration

My dear friend Michelle is a teacher and during her spring break was able to visit me for an entire week in March/April. I took a couple of days off and we managed to fit a lot in while she was here. (And, like great friends do, we also relaxed a lot and talked about anything and everything.)

Michelle arrived on March 27, one day before my 27th birthday. Because it was a Saturday I wanted to celebrate that night, even though I knew it would require Michelle to be a superstar dealing with jet lag. Normally, I don't need to do a lot to celebrate my birthday. But I felt like 27 was a big deal; my entire life I've always wanted to be 27. I guess I've imagined that 27 is an age where you are still considered young, but you're old enough to be confident and know your place in the world. So I wanted to do something a little special for this birthday. First, Robb, Michelle, and I ate dinner at Wild Ginger in downtown Seattle. I had been eager to try this Asian-fusion restaurant before we even moved to Seattle. While the food was good, I was a little disappointed. I think part of it is because I'm used to Asian-fusion and have tried a lot of it; this restaurant didn't present anything especially unique. Also, you know when you're excited to try or do something for a long time and you anticipate it and build it up in your mind? The problem was I'd been looking forward to eating here for, literally, years, and I don't think it could live up to my over-sized expectations.
So we finished up dinner and made our way to the Waterwheel Lounge in Ballard. I had done some research and discovered that this bar was supposed to be phenomenal for karaoke. I had never sang karaoke before, and it was on my list of things to do before I turned 30. I thought it would be fun to sing karaoke with one of my best friends in attendance and as a birthday celebration. Another friend, Doreen, met me at the karaoke bar and I started getting prepared with some liquid courage. This karaoke bar was packed and the list of people signed up to sing was a mile long. Doreen had arrived at the bar earlier and ended up letting me use one of her karaoke spots so I could sing. I chose "Joker" by the Steve Miller Band and the karaoke host quickly told everyone that I was a karaoke virgin and it was my birthday; with all that, I had quite the crowd paying attention to me. I had a great time. Robb took video (when I got the courage up to watch a few days later, I discovered that I was pretty bad, but I gave it my all and had fun - which is all that is important in karaoke right?)
The next day we woke up to a rainy, rainy day for my actual birthday. (Actually, the entire week that Michelle was here it was a miserable, rainy week. Sure, Seattle is expected to be rainy and cold during the spring. But this weather was not typical Seattle mild rain and temperatures. We had a week of downpour after downpour and very cold temperatures.) At any rate, we weren't going to let the weather stop us from playing tourist. We decided to spend the day inside and visit the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. This tourist attraction is in the Seattle Center area (near the Space Needle) which provided a great opportunity for Michelle to take touristy pictures of Oreo. As I mentioned, Michelle is a teacher and throughout the year the students in her 4th grade class have been taking turns bringing a stuffed monkey home with them to take pictures and write stories about what Oreo does and sees. Michelle decided she would take Oreo to Washington for spring break; and we spent WAY too much time coming up with cool poses for Oreo throughout the week.
The EMP presents the evolution of music, with a strong focus on guitars, Seattle's music contribution, and hands-on exhibits. My favorite exhibit actually was a selection of the most important and best photos of rock.
The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame is somewhat connected to the EMP. While Michelle and I were interested in checking it out, Robb was fascinated with the place and spent a lot of time looking at props and placards about sci-fi movies, books, TV shows, etc. He took way too many photos and eventually we tore him away from the place.
The next few days Michelle was on her own as I went to work. She hung out with another local friend for a couple of days. And one day she and Robb did some touristy things together, like visiting Ye Olde' Curiosity Shoppe, taking the Underground Tour, and visiting Pike Place Market. Since I didn't join in on those activities, I can't really speak to them. But in a future post I'll talk about the rest of Michelle's visit and our tourist destinations.

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