Ticking all the Boxes

We landed last evening in Seattle. Jeff was having none of my cheap skate nonsense and we flew in row 1. So I was able to leave Paris and sleep the entire flight, arriving without jet lag – refreshed and renewed as we stepped off the plane. Thankfully, no Janice in sight! Jeff didn’t sleep so well in his pod. So he wasn’t as bright eyed and bushy tailed as me going through passport control and customs.

Candy Cane Lane Ravenna neighborhood Seattle

Sometimes, unexpected things happen that result in even better things happening. Our original plans fell through, in-flight apparently, so we were able to go right from the airport to the Christmas party of our Besties on Candy Cane lane in Ravenna. We were supposed to miss it but the universe intervened! It’s a street where celebrating Christmas goes to a whole new level. Our friend, Curt, who was my maid of honor at our wedding, has had a house on Candy Cane lane for more than 30 years. When you move in you are gifted with giant human-sized vintage candy canes that you will put in your yard every Christmas – non negotiable. Your house deed will list your mandatory participation in decorating your home for Christmas and then thousand of people will walk and drive by your house throughout the month of December. Some of the displays are epic and each house has a distinct theme by country. The neighborhood sports a full calliope, merry-go-round in the roundabout, and hot toddies for the merry makers. We loved walking the street with our kids every year. This is the last year, as Curt and Butch are selling up in Spring and will just be spending their year in Mykonos and Palm Springs from now on. End of an era.

So great to see everyone and participate in holiday cheer and catch up. Hugs of those you love; amazing food and champagne will always put you right. The retelling of old stories – some more embarrassing than others for each of us. One of mine involved a riding crop, a bowling alley, a biker gang and salty Sangria (not in that order) – but that’s a story for another time and would require good champagne to loosen my tongue. Only those who were there know the truth and they were all there last night. Jeff struggled to keep his eyes open so I took him to the hotel and tucked him in.

At 3:30 am we were both awake and ready for the one thing I truly miss in Spain – going out on a weekend for The Good Ol’ American Breakfast. And at 3:30 in the morning the only place to get breakfast in Seattle is 13 Coins. We arrived to blasting explicit rap lyrics you can only usually get over a public PA system in Valencia. No kidding – I don’t think they understand the words to many American songs in Spain. There are times we walk into a restaurant, or even a nice shop, and Jeff will turn to me and say ‘Do you think they know what the P word or ‘Dem Bitches’ means? And if they did, would they choose the ‘Clean’ radio-ready lyrical version on Spotify or still stick with this one?’

An American Triangle breakfast

But this early Sunday morning the bars were closed in Seattle – in Valencia that doesn’t happen until 6 am (sort of). It’s why you can count on getting a taxi to the airport at 3 or 4 am without pre-ordering. There is always a healthy Taxi club trade at that time of the night/morning. When the bars empty out in Seattle, 13 Coins is hopping with the club zombies – dregs of runny mascara, hook ups – either in the making or post, and us – grandma and grandpa olduns. But the menu of greasy favorites like large hash browns, millionaires bacon (Alder-smoked with brown sugar topped in maple syrup – so low-cal) and bottomless coffee didn’t disappoint. And we gobbled it up in silence. $50 later and we remembered that, while we miss American Breakfast, its a little crazy that an omelette is $17 and they charged me $2 for an upgrade on my toast to Gluten-free. This would NEVER happen in Valencia. Afterwards, Jeff remembered why the food in Spain is so much healthier than the US, and while his taste buds might have missed this food, his stomach was decidedly against it – vehemently.

Today, I’ll do a little shopping at Belle Square, as Jeff is able to squeeze in an unexpected lunch with an old Air Force buddy he hasn’t seen in 30 years. And then we’ll go see his Mom later this afternoon and give her the Christmas presents we brought for her. She’s ill so we wont stay too long.

Tomorrow is another day and another flight to Scottsdale and the desert. I get a week with my friend, Courtney, and Jeff gets to take care of business before we head to Portland. Right now, we’re just going with the flow, but so far, if all goes well, this trip will tick all the boxes.

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