Sunday, January 06, 2008
Yup, I got married over the holidays. Pictures to come once we get good ones. These will be notable, inasmuch as they will be the first pictures of me including my face on this blog. Heady stuff.
To tide you over in the meantime, I'll provide you with a review of our honeymoon (with gory and intimate details removed, don't worry). Ratings out of a possible five stars.
The hotel in Portland. My parents put us up at the Westin Hotel in Portland, which was pretty ritzy. The bed had a layer of down on the top which would have made for a wonderful night's sleep, had either of us been able to get any rest. (CENSOR'S NOTE: OPTIMISTIC. IS NOT REFERRING TO ANY SEXUAL EXPLOITS. NEITHER HE NOR GENUINE DRAFT. WERE ABLE TO FALL ASLEEP THAT FIRST NIGHT DUE TO THE LATENT STRESS OF THE ORDEAL OF THE DAY. HONESTLY, YOU PEOPLE.) They even had complimentary bathrobes which would have been wonderful, had either of us noticed they were there until just before we checked out. (Four and a half stars)
The train up to Seattle. We took the AmTrak Cascades route from Portland to Seattle for about $20 a seat. At that rate, it's cheaper than flying or driving, and the train was a pretty enjoyable experience. Tons of leg room, and you don't even have to wear a seat belt. Plus, the absence of a vomit bag in front of you is a promising indication for what sort of ride you can expect. (Four stars)
The hotel in Seattle. We stayed at the Ramada Inn Downtown, which I found through Travelocity. The hotel room looked pretty nice online, and seemed pretty nice once I got in. It certainly wasn't the Westin (which was not only a few blocks from us, but also served as the iconic cover art for Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot), but it was nice enough. The only downsides were that the cleaning fairies came by a little too early most days (we learned to have that "Do Not Disturb" sign out the night before) and that the complimentary copy of USA Today was not delivered to our door, as promised, but rather available for pickup at the front desk.
The carpets were very nice, though. (Four stars)
The Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum. The EMP, primarily funded by billionaire Paul Allen, is a museum dedicated to rock music and seems to feature mostly Jimi Hendrix. It's cool for a bit, but after seeing the same images, it gets tiresome quickly. The Sound Lab upstairs is fun, as it gives you the chance to play around on instruments yourself, but the exhibit is so popular that if you don't have fifteen minutes to wait for a booth, you won't get a chance to play with anything. Probably the best part of the EMP was Revolutions, a restaurant that featured very good food and several Nirvana music videos. (Four stars, but only two without the restaurant)
The attached Science Fiction Museum, however, was pretty cool. The exhibits were extremely entertaining, featuring things as varied as a model of the Death Star to blown-glass spaceships to a display case of weapons from movies. More than once, Genuine. lamented the fact that we couldn't bring a camera into the museum. Also, the monorail goes right past the front gate. (Four and a half stars)
Pike Place Market. An open-air market on the waterfront of Puget Sound, Pike Place has an eclectic mix of novelty stores, cafes, and fish that is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. One market features employees throwing fish to each other across the display case that always attracts a crowd. If you're a bargain hunter, there are tons of shops that you should check out. Since neither of us are, particularly, we called it a day after finding the Daily Dozen, a small donut shop that might be the best-kept secret of the whole place. (Three stars)
Fun Forest. A small arcade and amusement park just below the Space Needle. We came here the night of New Year's Eve looking to pass the time until midnight. It wasn't anything special - you might have found a place like this in hundreds of cities. But riding the Ferris wheel, snagging crappy stuffed animals out of a crane game, and braving what may have been the world's smallest roller coaster six times was way more fun than I, at least, expected. This could have been the highlight of the whole trip. (Five stars)
The Seattle Children's Museum. Both Genuine. and I have fond memories of visiting Children's Museums when we were young and making giant bubbles, climbing walls, and the like. When we saw one in Seattle, we both leaped at the chance to go. However, the lady at admissions said we could only get in if we had a child inside. Denied. She took a picture of me frowning and looking furious at the entrance. (Zero stars)
The Space Needle. 500 feet tall and overlooking the city, perhaps only Starbucks is a more widely-known symbol of Seattle. However, at $16 a person to ride the elevator to the top and a whopping $45 a person to eat at the revolving restaurant, we ultimately declined to visit it. We got some pretty cool pictures, though. (Two stars)
The Pacific Science Center. Another fun science museum that has entertaining and interactive exhibits, just like the ones you visited as a kid. We visited the planetarium, though we were so tired that we both fell asleep. This would have been a lot more fun if we'd visited it on the first day we were there; by the time we made it, we were both so exhausted from walking around the city for days that it was just tiring. (Three and a half stars)
The ABC Family Channel. When we were tired from walking around all day, we would usually head back to our hotel, crawl under the covers, and turn on the TV. We probably watched four movies and as many episodes of Monk while we were in town. Not something I would have enjoyed normally, but we were so tired and punchy that we ended up giggling and making bizarre jokes for most of the time. It ended up being a lot of fun. (Four stars)
The University of Washington. An amazing campus. This place has buildings that look like gothic cathedrals. Coming from a school whose buildings are intended to be primarily functional, seeing some mostly aesthetic buildings was a treat. It's probably not somewhere I'd ever like to go permanently (Tolkien Boy, our guide, said that most of his tuition probably went toward architecture), but it was really cool to visit. (Four stars)
Freemont. Seattle's token quirky neighborhood. Freemont features a sculpture of a troll under a bridge devouring a VW Beetle, which was fun. Genuine. even found a hobo sleeping behind the head and took a picture of him. The world's largest stature of Vladimir Lenin outside of Russia can also be found in Freemont. It was fun to see them, but after that, we couldn't find much else to do. Maybe just look at pictures. (Two and a half stars)
I'd give the whole experience somewhere around three and a half to four stars. It was great getting to spend a week together, but so much walking had us exhausted. Still, the city comes recommended. Also, the marrying. That's been fun, too.