space needle seattle

It’s Always Sunny in Seattle & Canada (At Least When We’re There): Spring Break Day 2

While it’s common on vacation to want to get up and out and on the road as soon as you can so you have ample time to do as much as you can, there’s something to be said about moving slow and cruising out and going where the day takes you. While preparing for our trip, we made a loose plan of what we wanted to do each day, but were all in agreement that we didn’t want to be locked down by that plan. So Saturday morning, as we all yawned our way out of bed, we smiled, knowing the day was ours to own.


Since this was Mel’s first time in Seattle, the Space Needle was definitely a must on the to-do list. Unfortunately the Speedle (as no one calls it) was under construction, so while we did get to go to the top, there was a whole section closed off and a lot of wood and cardboard lying around. Thankfully it was another sunny day so the views (almost) made up for it.


Just down the road from the Speedle (which I’m now calling it forever) is the Armory. Home to a wide variety of restaurants on an average day, this particular Saturday it also happened to be the hub of an Irish Heritage festival. As we walked through the double doors we were met with Irish accents, foods, and souvenirs. And when we took a seat to eat lunch, we were gifted with some Irish dancing.

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With our senses then peaked, we made our way to Chihuly Garden & Glass, home to a collection of glass work done by artist Dale Chihuly, where we spent a solid hour dragging our jaws around on the floor. Honestly, if we were given a nickel every time we said, “wow,” this trip would have paid for itself in the first 20 minutes we were inside. It was such a different kind of art and the pieces always took you by surprise. If I had to choose a favorite, I’d say the Persian ceiling. Over the last year, after noticing how much we all have a tendency to look down when we walk, I’ve tried to make it a habit to consciously look up, be it at the ceiling, the sky or the trees. That being said, turning the corner to find this above me brought an immediate smile to my face.


Around 2:30 we were back in the car, heading to an equally important, though not nearly as exciting destination: Safeway. You see, when I travel I always—ALWAYS—forget toothpaste and tend rely on my travel mate(s) to back me up. When packing for this trip however, I made it a point not to repeat history and focused nearly all my energy on remembering it. This however, proved fatal, as in doing so I forgot my toothbrush. And since (remembered) toothpaste on the finger can only work for so long, a trip to the grocery store was rudely in order. Luckily Safeway came through in a major way, not only providing me with a toothbrush, but with a Star Wars light saber toothbrush that lights up and includes sound effects. Needless to say, I’ll never leave home without it.

Next on the agenda was Kerry Park. After traversing our way through the hilly streets of Seattle, we parked our car and looked out at the city from a new vantage point, again silently savoring the sunny weather. Just up the road from the park—and down the road from Meredith Grey’s house!—we found a sign for an open house on the prestigious Highland Ave. It was a modest 4 bed, 4 baths, 5,000 square feet with a view of Kerry Park and the Speedle. We took a tour, asked for the details, and put a cool $4 million dollar (cash, obviously) offer on it, figuring it could be, you know, a casual summerhouse or something.


Then, with a new tour guide in tow, we went to see the hottest guy in Seattle, the freakiest guy in Fremont, the brawniest brute to ever live under a bridge, Timmy* the Troll. (*More commonly known as the Fremont Troll, however, “Timmy” has yet to be  disproven)

This handsome devil didn’t come up in our searches prior to the trip, so seeing him ended up being a perk of knowing a local. We popped in, took a photo, and kindly asked him not to haunt our dreams.

From there we went to Gasworks Park, which is green and hilly and overlooks Lake Union. We spent a solid hour and a half there, just sitting in the sun, making easy conversation and watching planes go by. A few days later, when our trip was coming to an end and we were talking about our favorite parts, this place and this whole day, really, would be a common choice. We were just existing, not worrying about time or responsibilities, and none of us were looking at our phones. It was a quiet kind of happy that I can still feel when I look at the pictures.


For dinner we made our way back into the city to Li’l Woodys. We all opted to build our own burger, and Mel and I split a big order of crack—French fries with a milkshake for dipping, which DEFINITELY lives up to its name, by the way.

To cap off our night, we headed to Roxbury Bowl, where we learned three valuable lessons:

  1. I have a future as a sideline reporter. (Unfortunately all footage of my exhilarating work is lost to the Snapchat black hole, but let’s just say ESPN should keep their eyes open)
  2. Tickets won in arcade games can be used wisely.
  3. In life and in bowling, it is important to let go, let live, and keep it loosey goosey. (There’s really no explanation I can give for this one other than, you had to be there. But let me suggest that whenever you’re feeling down or stressed or in need of a strike in the 10th frame, just lean back and shimmy those shoulders and feel the pressure melt away.)

Read Day 3 here.



Congo music was my first mistake. Why the hell did I think I would want to wake up to Congo music at 3:15 in the morning?! To make matters worse, I put my pants on backwards and put on two different shoes. But it all worked out in the end. I got to the bus station with everything in-tact and on straight.

My flight was an hour earlier than my family’s and we were changing planes in different cities. So when I landed in Sacramento, I didn’t look for them. Instead I bought a hot chocolate and a muffin and tried to make “BILOXIFY” exist on Words with Friends.

When I landed in Seattle, I made my way towards baggage claim, shuffling through angry parents and fancy businessmen. Then, distracted by the fish pattern on the tile, I got stuck in a door and yelled “barnacles!” into the ear of a senior citizen. (I was doing great so far.)

Kristine, Natalee, and my dad landed about 30 minutes later and found me sitting in a chair next to a woman who just finished expressing her intense desire for a taxi and a tall glass of egg nog.

After they grabbed their luggage, we made our way out to the terminal and found my dad’s friend, and our gracious host and tour guide for the weekend, Darryl, waiting for us in a white Honda Odyssey. We gave hugs and made a few bad jokes, then we made our way to Pike’s Place Market for some window shopping, fish smelling, and lunch eating. Some memorable moments include Natalee falling off a golden pig, a man in orange overalls hurling a 24 inch steelhead passed a woman’s head, and a jolly bearded man selling identical replicas of Zelda Ocarinas.

We then made our way around the harbor, popping in and out of miscellaneous shops, taking a lot of touristy pictures, and trying a local gin that said “hey tongue, ever wondered what a leaf tasted like?”

It was a beautiful day. Sunny with slight breeze like the beach. It made me start to think that all that talk of non-stop rain was a bunch of Hawk s***. (You know, like horse s***, but with the Seattle football team? No? I’ll move on)

Just as the sun began to set, we made our way to the top of the Space Needle and took in what is probably the most beautiful view of Seattle you could ever find. Then, just as our stomachs were starting to growl, we pulled into Teatro ZinZanni (TZ, as we will now call it) and took a seat at our reserved table. TZ is a 5 course dinner theater production. Dinner on steroids, if you will. After our orders were taken the lights were dimmed and we were transported into a world with acrobats, dancers, and a pink stiletto heel wearing man named Lupe. It was a fantastic show that made me gasp, dance, laugh, and wish I was in better shape.

The next morning we were up at 7:30—no Congo music this time—to make our way to Treehouse Point, a bed and breakfast comprised of a number of unique treehouses built by the man, the myth, the star of Treehouse Masters, Pete Nelson, and his crew. We had a tour set for 11:30, so Darryl, my dad, Natalee, Kristine, and I hopped in car around 8:30, cheered Darryl’s daughter, Kyleigh, to victory at her soccer game, and then met her, Dee Dee (Darryl’s wife), and their two sons, Casey and Cody at Treehouse Point.

Our tour guide defined jolly. He bounced around the trail, spewing facts and anecdotes about the houses with a bright smile and an unbreakable enthusiasm.  And the treehouses were majestic, to say the least. Each one had a different story, a different source of inspiration, and offered a different adventure to its lodgers.

After some lunch we drove to Snoqualmie Falls, which was breathtaking in its own right. We hiked down and around every which way, wanting to see them from every angle. We hopped fences, climbed rocks, and stepped in puddles. My only regret was wearing leather boots.

The next morning was THE MORNING. The alarm went off at 8:15 and we were up before it finished its first round of uppity bells. We layered up, pulled on our football jerseys and shrugged our shoulders in the mirror. Maybe we’d freeze to death, maybe our team would get slaughtered, we were just happy to be there.

“I have a system,” Darryl had said the night before in regards to game days and the first stop was Pyramid Alehouse.

We arrived around 10:30 and took a seat at a table centered among many others, surrounded by TV’s playing the NFL morning games. Nachos were ordered, football was watched. Pizza was ordered, more football was watched. When we were full, we made our way to the stadium.

CenturyLink Stadium lived up to its hype in every way shape and form. The stadium was massive and beautiful, the fans were loud and passionate, and Russell Wilson was muscly and adorable.

For the first three quarters we played way better than all of us expected. It has been a rough season for the Giants, riddled with injuries, but the G-men came out fighting and made the Hawks fans groan at least a few times. In the end however, the Hawks finished strong and we got to hear the “SEAHAWKS FIRST DOWN” cheer one too many times.

On Monday morning, after a quick dance party and a cinnamon roll, we packed up our suitcases and headed for the Experience Music Project Museum (EMP). We took a walking tour of a Nirvana exhibit, where I learned enough to carry me through any bout of future trivia on the Aberdeen born band. We learned about Jimi Hendrix and how it was casual for him to receive fan letters asking for locks of his hair. We explored the Science Fiction Exhibit, where Natalee learned that she doesn’t have a good enough scream to be murdered in a horror film. (We still love you) And we popped in and out of a series of booths filled with musical instruments that were sure to jumpstart our careers as musicians. Example: I spent a few minutes jamming on an electric guitar and I wrote a song called “Guitar in a Booth.” Look for it on iTunes.

Our last stop was the brand new “We Are 12” exhibition that showcases the Seahawks. In the center of the room was a rectangular booth that was broken into two separate rooms by a sound canceling door. One person was meant to stand in the first room, where they would be given a football play they had to shout through the sound canceling door to the person in the noisy second room who was to decipher it, and choose the correct play on the screen. The idea was to recreate what visiting teams experience when trying to hear one another amongst the screaming fans of CenturyLink Stadium.  (FYI: We got the correct play and we probably scored a touchdown.)

We finished off our last day in Seattle with a quick lunch at Famous Dave’s which, YUM, and we headed to the airport smelling of cornbread and BBQ sauce—a new perfume I’m launching this winter.

Big thanks to the Beliel family for housing us and to Darryl for carting us around everywhere. Truly grateful for you bunch of champions.