Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

A Quick Taste of Seattle

We've touched on a lot of our small Meccas on this trip.

We've had our day of rain. We've gone to Trader Joe's and stocked up on everything (no Zoo cookies, but I did get organic alphabet pasta). We went to the one Toshi's in Issaquah that always refills our quarter bottles of teriyaki sauce. We've had katsu and teriyaki with chicken long rice and macaroni salad. We've done the usual tour of a million dollar home, and seen condos that are now selling for as much as the house we now live in. Not hard on the East Side, even with the slowing of the economy everywhere else. I've had sweet uni (sea urchin), some good solid saba, an excellently done soft-shelled crab, and two helpings of Pike mackerel (sanma) gently touched by a blow torch, something I could never have had at our usual sushi place in Colorado. I've had my pit-smoked wild-caught salmon, seared crisp on the edges, with a creamy richness that rivaled the burre blanc it rested upon and perfectly accented by the deep-fried crisp capers set on the side. And I've smelled and touched the ocean again and saw the sleek black head of a seal as it played on the surface of the sea.

And I bet Ukitake hates the euphemism "a productive cough" as much as I now do.

For all that my cold is getting better. Slept a great deal, and I'm now just getting rid of crap instead of fighting off crap. Flight day was hard, I slept on the way to the airport, slept on the airplane, and when I couldn't sleep I worked on a scarf for stark_black. Saturday was mostly just running around and doing everything. By Saturday evening I could taste things again, which is why we went to sushi and got to sit at the Bar of I Heart Sushi in Bellevue. That was really fun, as I don't trust the uni at home at all, and to have it be that sweet was a marvel.

Yesterday we went and looked at Historical Aircraft, entirely WWI and WWII fighter craft that Paul Allen bought and made into, mostly, working condition. It was very, very interesting to come face to face with the glass of the bomber's nest, of a Lancaster bomber, to see the ribs of a Zero and the thinness of the armor, to see the copper on the front of the American Jenny, to look into a Emmy, to see a real Hurricane, and read about the individual history of the planes right in front of us.

The surprise and delight of the trip was a really old model Soviet bi-plane, that used to be used for crop dusting, that was so slow German planes stalled trying to hit it. They were flown by a corp of Soviet women, teenagers and twenties, on night time bombing raids against the invading Germans. The Germans were so embarrassed by having to fight women, they never did that well against them. They called them "Nightwitches". I need to do more research, but there's a whole book about them, now. But the whole concept of a flying corp of women fascinated me.

It was also fascinating having the whole flow of history for that time be embodied in these planes. The philosophies of each of the nations made concrete and real in how these planes were designed and built. Like one Soviet fighter where Stalin imprisoned the designers because they'd failed on a previous design, and they were built by children in production lines in Russia. Or the Japanese fighters being built without real armor because no real samurai would choose defense over attack power, but then they lost fighter pilots at a ridiculous rate, ending up with people with fewer than an hour's training at the controls of their planes.

After the museum we headed to Mukilteo, and the ferry dock. There was a little lighthouse that we climbed up to see Whidby Island across the water. Then we played on the rocky beach there just to hear the rocks plop into the water. Boys, rocks, water, they have to throw some into the drink. Jet ate very little of his lunch time gyoza, so we headed to Arnie's right there and they had the pit-roasted salmon, with these beautiful petit harcots vert that were crisp and perfectly cooked and a velvety whipped potatoes. Other folks got macademia crusted prawns, a nice cashew crusted lingcod, or the salmon with a nice spear of scallops and prawns. I also got a cup of really thick, chewy clam chowder with bacon, potatoes, and all kinds of goodness in it. And for dessert, the "early dinner menu" said key lime pie, sorbet, or ice cream. Jet got my vanilla coconut ice cream, and I ordered myself a burnt cream. The rich custard was as perfect as the hard sugar shell, and the strawberry sliced neatly on top was rich and ripe with the end of summer.

I finished Stark's scarf between the various car trips, sitting around waiting, or playing Mille Bornes with Jet and the family. It's probably eight feet long. *laughs* Today's sunny, but the wind is cold, and we'll probably go to Pike Place, and they'll drop me off in the U-District to meet up with her. And we'll probably pack a lot more stuff in during the day and evening. We'll see.

The in-laws have dial-up, and it's just killing me. *laughs* I'll be so glad to have my DSL again when I'm home... but there's no way I can answer stuff (or even navigate the damned y!gallery interface) until I get home again.
Tags: travel
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