Friday, August 30, 2013

Seattle part 2 - Day of the double header

OK. We arrived yesterday in Portland, which means it's time to recapture the last two days in Seattle. Our hosts in Seattle, Timm & Jenny are probably the biggest sports fans I've ever met. The team in their heart? The Seattle sounders! So when we were still planning our trip they contacted us to ask if we could try to be in Seattle for this sunday. The reason was that they wanted to get us tickets for a double header. A double header means two games in a day, Seattle Mariners baseball game & Seattle sounders soccer game. Game day in Timms & Jennys house is serious business! Again we warmed up with mimosas before it was time for the first event, the baseball game. We met up with some of Jennys friends at Pyramid's alehouse. It's located next to the stadium so it was a great place to start. After a few refreshing drinks we hit the game. Just walking there was an orgy in the american cliches we've come to love. The air was thick with the smell of pop corn, hot dogs and cotton candy. Baseball is a family friendly sport and everywhere you'd see a lot of parents with their kids dressed up in Mariners apparel.

To be honest baseball is a pretty boring game and most people we met agree on it. A game can go on for hours and there's not a lot of action. However it is a quite pleasant experience. You meet up with friends, have a few drinks and chat. Occasionally someone hits a ball and you cheer for awhile. The big game for the day was however the Sounders game. We met up with some of Timms friends in a bar full of Sounders fans. The atmosphere was amazing. A derby with their worst rival Portland is the biggest event for them and it was equal parts tension and anticipation.

After a few steady pints we met up for the "march to the match". The march starts in Occidental park and ends at CenturyLink field where they play their home games. Pretty soon you are caught up in the chanting. Smoke sticks and flares color the skye blue and green, and as you approach the arena the singing escalate into a frenzy. We took place on the stands and the next 90 minutes we were singing, jumping & cheering as if our lives depended on it. It was one of the best experiences in my life! 

How the game ended? 1 - 0 to the Sounders! High on euphoria and with the pride reserved for the victors, we walked heads held high out into the warm Seattle night...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A long-awaited return to the west coast...

We are back! Those of you who have followed this blog know that I haven't had the time or energy to update it for a long while, but now it's time again! We arrived two days ago in our beloved Seattle! Back in 2010 we met some really good friends and we have since then planned on returning. So first stop was Seattle and we landed after a 24 hour marathon trip on Seattle Tacoma airport. A short taxi ride later we found ourselves in Ballard in north Seattle. Last trip we stayed in Fremont, but since our friends moved house, Ballard will be our home for the next few days! For those of you travelling to Seattle I highly recommend leaving downtown and go for areas such as Fremont, Ballard or Crown hill. These areas are everything I love with Seattle. Charming town houses, friendly neighbourhood bars and so full of life. After catching up with some old friends from portland we took another taxi to Timm & Jenny, our hosts for the stay. The last years I have developed a passion for craft beer and what could be better than one of the greatest bottle shops I've ever encountered sitting next door to their house. Chuck's 85th has over a thousand different bottles in their selection, and what a selection!

The two days we've been here so far has been a lot of catching up, old memories and bar hopping. Ballard and nearby Fremont offers a great variety of bars, restaurants & thrift stores. The beer selection has exploded since last time and in some bars you cant even find a lager. Timm started us of with his signature manmosas(mimosas, but dont you dare say it!!!) and then we randomly hit bars and restaurants. We stopped for food at Blue C Sushi, they have a revolving sushi belt with some of the best sushi dishes I've ever tried. When they pass your table you grab one of the belt. They are all color coded and priced accordingly. A bit pricey since it's hard to stop eating, but a sensational food experience. 

The day and folloving evening turned out to be a big blur of events, people, bars & beers. What i learned about the people from these parts of Seattle is that they are friendly, social, laid back people. As long as you dont give any attitude they'll embrace you with open arms. The night ended at a local favorite, the mexican restaurant El Chupacabra. Dishing out mission style burritos, generous margaritas and with a cheerful crowd of local customers, this is another must if in Seattle. We somehow managed to get back to the house sometime that night and as a nightcap we shared one of my findings from Chuck's, an amazing american sour beer!

I'll try to update soon but today is game day and we're in a hurry. Go Sounders!!!!