Next day I was up at 7 AM (jet lag is a bitch, I was actually also up at 3:45 AM but found my sleep mask) and we were off for a day's adventures, which started with a great breakfast at the Countryside Cafe in Burien (see pictures here). When we were done we did a little necessary shopping (contact lens solution, etc) then went to the Phoenix Tea Shop, ms_vermilion's distillation of all of her tea knowledge, and had 6 infusions of a freshly-arrived Taiwanese oolong. Then it was off to Seattle to get my car, some shopping in Seattle and an iced tea meetup with thewronghands, back to Burien to drop the car off, then to Vino Bello for a wine tasting. At some point I hit the brainless wall you get from staying up too late (this was probably at 6PM local time) and no longer cared where we had dinner; I was just along for the ride. That said, the Japanese restaurant we went to was very good, but it's all rather blurry for me. When we got back to splendid_geryon's house, I was barely able to stay coherent enough to watch a movie, and basically gave up about 1/3 of the way through Pecker.
Up at 7 AM again, and back to the Countryside Cafe - I couldn't resist the home made raspberry freezer jam! Then we took advantage of the nice weather to drive down to Seahurst park, where they were having an extraordinarily low tide. This meant Sea Cucumbers! and Anemones! and Sea Stars (nobody called them starfish)! and an adorable little freshly moulted kelp crab. Then I went into this wildlife education center and got to see Phytoplankton! including Baby Barnacles! and Itty Bitty Shrimp! under a microscope. I was pretty much squeeing and bouncing all over the place like I was six, which I am, really.
Then (after a detour through Value Village to look for a new leather jacket), it was time to up my roots and head north. I met up with exedore and we headed to the SPSS for one of Max's classes - very fun and nice to see some friendly faces! Then it was race race back up Capitol Hill for Ethiopian food with thewronghands, followed by KEY LIME PIE (read it and weep!) at B&O, then up to the TOP of the hill a bit early for my meetup with varina8. Delightfully, my old friend Dug was able to meet up with me at the Canterbury, so we had a great chat over some drinks (amaretto sour for me, can't have it back in London) while we waited for varina8 to come find me. Such a nice evening, I swear I'd had a vacation full of fun already by this point!
Monday was hang out with varina8 day. I started by eating yogurt with mangos in it, then calling the various people I had Must See appointments with (the hair dressers, the lawyer - both of them kind of screwed up my pencilled in schedule, no more going to Port Townsend for me). We'd been hoping to go to the Rhododendron Species Garden, but it is closed on Mondays, boo. (We figured it out before we left, though, so a longer lie in and showers all around.) So we went to Tacoma and had a filling meal at the Southern Kitchen (fried chicken with mac and cheese and collard greens for me) then went to the Olympus Korean day spa. This was a real indulgence for both of us: soaking PLUS being scrubbed PLUS a massage. Woo! When we left we were both a bit giddy. I broke into my leftovers and ate the other piece of chicken.
Traffic was kind to us and on our way back we hit Southcenter. I'm pleased to say I was able to not just buy socks and underwear but REPLACE THE SHOES I BOUGHT TWO YEARS AGO FROM CLARKS WITH THE EXACT SAME STYLE. This was great. Then we went back to town, gobbled down a yummy dinner at Shanghai Garden, and returned to the flat, brainless, boneless, and done.
And now it's off to visit Celeste ... I suspect kayaking tonight will not be happening after all.