Saturday, April 25, 2015

Crazy, cursed weekend

Last weekend was supposed to be a fun adventure to Seattle with my fam. But our trip was cursed!

The weekend started on a sad note. My high school classmate, Christa Maunu Abrams, died last week after battling hard against cancer. We celebrated her life Friday at a memorial service and potluck.
It was a beautiful remembrance and also served as an impromptu high school reunion with friends I hadn't seen in 20 years! Christa was a great person who is already missed. Her grieving family, including her husband and young daughter, could sure use your prayers.

Since I knew I'd be traveling Saturday, I got up early to squeeze in a little 5K run around town. It was a beautiful morning.
Then Brad and I met Dad and Eryn at REI for the quarterly used-gear sale. Dad and Eryn scored some deals, but Brad and I left empty-handed - I rarity for sure!

Brad and I parted ways (he had plans to climb Mount Hood), and Dad, Eryn and I drove north to catch our train to Seattle. (Mom had an afternoon band concert and joined us later)

We had a little time to kill, so we checked out the Vancouver Farmers Market. Hand-dipped veggie corn dogs for lunch:
Dad helped Eryn finish hers:
Bought some YUMMY pecan nut butter from local vendor Nut-Tritious Foods:
While waiting for the train, we learned that the Tukwila Homewood Suites was overbooked, and we didn't have a room. After much "discussion", they ended up agreeing to put us up in their sister hotel, the Hilton at Sea-Tac.

The train ride was totally uneventful... until it wasn't. We stopped south of the Tacoma station, and the conductor said there was a problem with the air line. We sat for a very long time (an hour?) before limping into the Tacoma station for a potty stop. Apparently, the air controls the toilets and the brakes.

We eventually left Tacoma at the blazing speed of 25 mph! That's the fastest they could go in order to stop the train - since we didn't have brakes! We looked out the window while crawling through one small town and saw a old guy in a mobility scooter on the frontage road next to us. We were not going much faster.
Man, that took a LONG time to get from Tacoma to Tukwila.

Meantime, packet pickup for our Sunday race came and went. Then it was obvious Dad wouldn't get the King Felix bobblehead he hoped to score before the Mariners game. Then it got so late that he wouldn't even make the start of the game. UGH!

Fortunately, he hadn't yet purchased a game ticket, so he decided to skip the game and stay with Eryn and me. We finally de-trained and got the hotel shuttle to take us to our new hotel, where we had some trouble checking in and getting our meal vouchers (the original hotel included an all-we-could-eat breakfast).

After getting settled, we rented a car (to get to the race Sunday morning), and went in search of dinner. Our zippy Kia Soul took us to The Landing to scout out the race area. We chose Mucho Burrito for dinner, and it was really good! Dad went for a steak quesadilla, and Eryn and I eat had chipotle shrimp. I wish there was one near home.
For dessert, we went to Top Pot Doughnuts, which I had heard was the best in Seattle!
And they had my favorite - the glazed chocolate old fashioned:
It was good, but nothing special. I was expecting more, I guess.

The plan: After going to packet pickup on a little bus adventure, Eryn and I would kick back at the hotel, paint our nails Seahawks colors and watch some cable TV. Lots of relaxing before an early bedtime and an early wakeup for the race.

After a long day of traveling and lots of disappointments and plans falling through, it was late and we were finally just getting ready for bed. We were laying out our race stuff when Eryn said, "I forgot my sports bra!" WHAT?!? I almost killed her.

Mom arrived shortly after the discovery, so we all jumped in the Soul and drove to Target so Eryn would be supported for her race.
All I wanted was sleep, and we were driving around Tukwila looking for bras... and a Filet-o-Fish for Mom's dinner. We also got lost driving back to the hotel and ended up in Burien.

Next up was the breakfast debacle:

Because we missed packet pickup, we had to be at the race early to check in. We each had a $25 food voucher, which basically buys nothing at the Hilton restaurant. Plus, the restaurant opened at 7 a.m. and we wanted to leave the hotel by 6:30 a.m.

But wait - they have room service that starts at 6 a.m. PERFECT! We asked at the restaurant and were told we could use our food vouchers. OK! We looked at the menu and could only afford oatmeal and fruit. So much for that all-we-can-eat buffet.
Eryn called in our order and was first told they don't really start serving until at least 6:15 a.m. or 6:20 a.m. Ugh. I guess we'll eat fast. Then the guy said we could not use the food vouchers.


After some discussion with his manager, it was confirmed that the vouchers were no good for room service. Now what?? A while later, the manager called back and said there was some confusion, and we COULD use our vouchers. OK. Orders all set.

Finally time for sleeping.

We woke up early, early and got all dressed and sun-screened. Then we sat around waiting for the room-service knock. 6:15 a.m. came and went. 6:20 a.m. came and went. I was about to call when the phone rang. 

"This is room service and we have your order all ready. Except our stove isn't working, so we can't make your oatmeal."


So by "we have your order all ready," she meant that they had cut up some fruit. Yay. We had specifically told them we had to leave the hotel by 6:30 a.m. 

I canceled our order, called Mom and Dad's room and told the fam we would have to get something at the race.

After getting a primo parking spot and easily picking up our bibs and shirts, we joined dozens of other runners in line at Panera Bread. We got fruit and oatmeal - ALL FOUR OF US, for $25!
After all that, the Seahawks 12K Run was a blast - a total success! I ran smart and hard, and PR'd by more than 2 minutes.
We scooted back to the hotel, showered, packed and headed to the Mariners game, arriving after the start but just in time to see a three-run homer.

Mom purchased seats in the handicap section, not knowing how Dad's back would be just two weeks after surgery. He ended up not needing it, but they were sure nice seats! Cold, but nice.
The Mariners were way down toward the end of the game. Then they started to make a comeback. The game was getting really good - but then it was time to leave to catch the train! 

UGH! That stupid train.

We walked slowly down the ramp, stopping on each level to check out the action. Then we had to tear ourselves away and walk to the train station.

The crowd erupted in cheers as the Mariners took the lead in the bottom of the ninth. We were crossing the parking lot and could only imagine the spectacular ending.

Fortunately, the trip home was without too much excitement. We played cards at a four-person table while the guy across the aisle got high in the bathroom and then scratched and picked at himself the whole way to Vancouver. After the crazy weekend we had, that didn't even phase us :)

PS - I'll be driving next time!

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