Friday, September 5, 2008

Our Trip to Seattle

Our Trip to Seattle Erin and I just got back from a mini vacation in Seattle. We went out to visit the Leigh’s, our friends from b-school who work at Amazon, who just had their first, baby Frances Laura. It was a great time, and we spent time doing all the usual touristy stuff. Saturday, we arrived at Sea-Tac and went to Qwest Field to watch Washington State play Oklahoma State. Justin went to undergrad at Wazzu, and I did my “Master’s” work there, and according to the math, we were both there at the same time for one year. Qwest Field is a neat stadium, and it’s pretty loud…Saturday night we had drinks and pizza in Columbia Hill. Justin and I got to play some golf at Trilogy, and I am sad to report that playing on tired legs, I could not bring my dollars back to their rightful home. But a $2 Nassau is a $2 Nassau, and Justin netted me to death throughout the round.

The Vibe As tourists, I would offer that downtown Seattle has an interesting vibe, and could not be more different from NYC, or dirty jersey, for that matter. It’s hard to describe, but for lack of a better term, the vibe is a nice mix of “alternative, polite, and slower pace.” While we didn’t do the high profile stuff, like the Space Needle, or the Museum of Flight, we did go to the aquarium and spent some time at Pike’s Place, which is incredibly cool and embodies better the vibe of Seattle. I have posted some pictures below, and a link to my Webshots that shows more here…

Pike's Place Market Several things were super cool; we went to the original Starbucks”, walked around all the Farmer’s markets, and finally stopped to watch the famous Pike’s Place Fish Company, where the business owners throw large fish across to each other. My mom told me that there are corporate, team-building programs based upon this store and these workers. The rationale is that these workers have created a fun, unique and productive workplace in a job that most would find boring and gross. The proof is in the crowds that were lined up around these workers, waiting for someone to order a fish. I posted the video I took on my camera of these guys's up above.

Baby Frances Laura Hanging out with the Leighs was fun, and seeing Seattle and the surrounding areas was fun. Our hosts could not have been more gracious, and it was weird to see folks we had spent so much time with in b-school on their home turf (I think I mentioned the word “anachronism” on hole #5 to JL)…We got to see baby Frances; she’s adorable and pretty responsive at 2 months. Mom and dad are running 5Ks and half marathons 2 months after the birth, which is inspirational if nothing else…All I know is that I’m pretty sure I got her to smile, and all it took was some funny noises. What a cutie, maybe next time we’ll introduce her to Allison.

An Interesting Side Note Finally, it bears mentioning that we stayed downtown at the Hyatt right near Pike’s Place. When we arrived on Saturday after the game to check in, there were throngs of people across the street at the Convention Center, and all looked “familiar” in a subconscious way. Our hotel was also overrun with many of these people, who were wearing various t-shirts; one of the patrons had on a black t-shirt with 3 Pac-man ghosts, another was wearing a t-shirt with Zelda on it. So, to the dismay of my wife, I asked the 20-35 year old male who we rode the elevator up with, “what’s going on across the street?” Turns out, there was a electronic gamer conference going on, and most were staying in our hotel.

Well, I admit, I’ve played my share of video games. Most recently, one of my more shameful gamer moments was getting sucked into the hype of Halo 2 in 2005. I was in State College, PA at the time and had reserved my advanced copy, which I could pick up at 12:00AM on the day of the product launch. So I drove to Nittany Mall at 12AM in the morning, thinking I’d just run in and run back out with my game. Well, upon arriving, I waited in a long line in the mall for 2 ½ hours with some of the greatest representation that central Pennsylvania has to offer (Central PA is tremendous, but perhaps this is not my moment to throw stones at glass houses…) When I got back to my apartment, I played the game till 7:00AM, and then went to my Investments class that same morning. Having taken no shower and not brushed my teeth, my classmate Hristo looked at me and asked “late night at Café 210?” and I explained “nope, I waited in line last night for Halo 2 and played the game up till about an hour ago.” Hristo replied, “dude, when else can you take a break from the real world and do something like that?” Well said Hristo, and absolutely true.

The point of my story is that I needed to illustrate my “motive” for snapping the picture below. If you’ve ever watched the show G4 on cable, then you know who the dude is in the picture below. If you don’t, well then, maybe you’ve never played video games or waited in line for Halo.

Adam and Me, outside the hotel in Seattle, super cool about a dumb fan...

Video of Adam on PAX2008 Show in Seattle

Seattle is a beautiful, great town, I highly recommend anyone check it out. Thanks again to the Leighs!!!

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by jkweil