Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jong and Iffy's Trip to Seattle

Jong and I took a trip cross the border for my Singer Featherweight 221 Advanced Workshop with Dave and Sharon McCallum. I lugged both my old 221 and 222k into the Mini, a small night bag and we were off. Our plan was for me to be at the workshop while Jong kept himself busy, then we'd meet up later and go to Seattle to spend the night so we could have a few hours the next day in Washington before making the drive back home for our Naxxramas raid at 7.

We crossed the border with limited fanfare and drama, if that can be said when a gruff, tough-looking older man performing our cross border interrogation swoons like starry eyed romantic at the sight of my engagement ring. It's surprising that these American border guards are still surprised at seeing interacial couples when they are so plentiful in Vancouver. Perhaps they have check for mail order brides/illegal immigration. He made a point of making sure I spoke to him (maybe to access my english) and asked us our relationship to each other. As we declared we were engaged, I saw his gaze slip suspiciously to my bare hand on the steering wheel. He smiled slowly, warily... and asked to see the ring. I quickly slipped my hands down the front of my shirt to retrieve the ring where it lay nestled against my warm bosom, presenting it to him for viewing. He relaxed visibly and congratulated us on our engagement and then exclaimed his pleasure at seeing a sapphire instead of a diamond. Go figure. He spent such a long time raving about engagements that I had to slowly.... cautiously pull away to signal the end of the conversation, without offending him.

The workshop was educational and fun. What I enjoyed the most was the company of the other women. Many women my age don't trust a woman that doesn't have many women friends. I'm one of those women. I don't have many women friends because I find most of them banal, high maintenance, superficial, or vengeful. The only exception to this has been JennyWee and Carol. Guys are easy. Guys are tend to be more easygoing, simple, and don't hold grudges! Guys also do better DPS in Warcraft ;) Don't you know skillz in game are criteria to roll with me?

So my friends are guys... There was a time when I had quite a few female friends, but the relationships dwindled as we found our 'mates' and I moved into the black vortex of the world, aka Richmond. No one ever wants to visit Richmond for two reasons.

a.) Richmond has an extremely high asian population, some of whom BOUGHT their licenses with their big expensive houses when they moved here a decade ago. Unfortunately during that time, their driving skills have not improved.

b.) Anywhere else in Vancouver, you could orient yourself by the mountains. The mountains are north, and with that knowledge you could find your way anywhere... but in Richmond, there are no mountains. People get lost
(even with GPS, wtf!?), never to be seen again.... true story. (ok maybe not).

But I digress. So I took my workshop at the Quiltmakers Shop in Arlington. The old 222k machine that wouldn't sew I've been rehabilitating now sews like a dream. I love you Dave and Steve (his apprentice)!

A small charming shop on a small charming strip. The cloth selection was lovely and the service was like being served by your favourite aunt. They have a wonderful inclusive community there. I'm considering getting a nexus card, so I can make trips more often to visit since it's only an hour away but the potential for a wait at the border tends deter the trip. The ladies were ultra nice... all wishing me luck on my wedding and wanting pictures. I wished I lived near Arlington; while I don't really like women my age, I do like older ladies... It was funny when a 65 year old woman was talking about 'BLING'. Haha! My course ended at 4pm and I found Jong across the street at the local sweet spot with a cup of tea and a book as agreed upon earlier.

The local business association had plastered the area with wonderful wooden snowmen, and were having a weiner and smores roast right in the middle of the street they had closed down. Surprisingly, I was stopped by 4 people in 15 minutes asking me about the sewing machines in the cases I carried. "Are those Singer Featherweights? My mother had one..." A common story told online on the featherweight blogs I frequent, but rarely have I had anyone acknowledge it in the physical world. I'd smile shyly and answer questions about the machine, feeling quite proud that they, atleast, understood how awesome my machines were.

Drove straight to our accommodations in downtown seattle - Maxwell Hotel, which was surprisingly nice and right down near all the cultural activities like the museum, theatre, dance centre, etc. The hotel had complimentary mini pineapple cupcakes on a lovely white marble table for guests, lovely arrangement of callalilys tableside. You could tell it was a small boutiquey hotel that really works extra hard so you’ll stay there rather than the more expensive and more upscale Pan Pacific. Hardwood floors, contemporary design, fridge, microwave, and all the amenities. Strangely enough the hotel had this "Pineapple" theme that they'd whip out conveniently, like on their guest umbrellas, random room decor, and their parking signs. The hotel was clean, comfortable, and stylish in a bohemian chic meets IKEA explosion kinda way. Our room ended up being the same size and lay out as our room at home and also had a hardwood floor.

It was super clean. Flat screen TV, Cell phone charging station, and probably the best toiletries I’ve ever used from a hotel. I loved what they did to my skin and hair! No greasy residue! John was impressed that I packed so little. Just 4 pieces of clothing and a small make up bag. ;) (Hey I'm not so high maintenance that I can't leave shoes behind for an overnight trip.. I almost came close to bringing an extra pair but I quelled the urge.)

After settling in, we decided to break our tradition of going to Whole Foods for pre-dinner and went straight to a Vietnamese Restaurant down the street for dinner just a block down. It was a white washed establishment which meant things were a little safer. Cleaner. Neater, the daring items like Tripe taking off the menu, but still tastey. I had steak noodle soup and John had Grilled chicken on vermicelli. At one point, John dropped his chopsticks and before he could sit back up the waiter was already there holding a new set. I was super impressed. You know it’s not a real Vietnamese restaurant because a real one would watch you eat with your old chopsticks to keep you real and give you the real asian dining experience.

We finished dinner, then decided to go to Whole Foods to have a boo. Again, we would have liked to have purchased EVERYTHING. Missing Scenny (JennyWee + Scott) as there was an extensive liquor selection and we love sharing boozy experiences with Scott.

The next morning we brought a bag of yoghurt, and other assorted food items from Whole Foods over to the cultural district just a block away and ate breakfast beside a water fountain. A dome that looked martian.. until it steamed.. then eventually spouted water and classical music. strange.

The next post will be about the rest of the trip, which happened to be the Harry Potter Exhibit we stumbled upon during our exploration of this area.

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