And with that, the first black man to barbecue in space bids you farewell from high
above Seattle. Next year will be here before you know it, so get lots of rest!
This year's festivities kicked off in true paloozian
style, with a beer and Egg McMuffin breakfast!
And then upon our arrival in Seattle, we decided to
skip the McMuffins and just go with Pyramid beer.
This year marked the long-awaited return of wayward
paloozian, Bill "B-Luv" Taylor (of course, he lives there).
Bill, Al, Milo, Craig and Sean stop to have their picture taken before
heading in for the Mariners-Angels game. Everyone's so spry on day 1.
We sat about 30 rows behind home plate for what turned out to be
Scott Kazmir's first game as an Angel. But Felix Hernandez was dealing.
The morning of day two started out with a boat
cruise of the "locks" around Seattle. Good stuff.
Leave it to Sean to find a few
foreigners to befriend. When
the two Ichiro fans from Japan
left to get something to eat, he
made good use of their fan.
Our first dinner was at Serious Pie. And that pie was in fact, serious. I
had the Rosmary Potato pizza and it was spectacular. Good stuff.
After dinner, we rambled around town looking for action. After
watching a bunch of Oakland Raiders be fools, we met these two.
Before we boarded our boat, we spotted the illustrious SS Beaver. This
boat knew how to party. Clearly, we had chosen the wrong vessel.
Milo tries to stay warm, as we head down the river to
hit a few of our guide's best fishing spots.
Along the way, we saw a few of the boats that star in "The Deadliest
Catch" on TV. Despite our efforts, this old codger refused to wave .
There are hundreds of million-dollar floating cottages along the route.
This is the one that Tom Hanks used in "Sleepless in Seattle".
Here we are entering the locks, as we leave Lake Washington and head
on to Puget Sound. There were hundreds of salmon splashing around.
Milo looks primed and ready for his customary "night
one antics". Sadly, he appears to have matured.
The salmon in this area are big and aggressive. They jumped out of the
water and raced toward our boat all day long. But we caught 50 of 'em.
Craig was the last to bring one into the boat , but he
tore it up from there. Al tried and failed to keep pace.
After we went through, the lock re-closed and the boat sank down to
the level of the ocean. It's the same system used in the Panama Canal.
Sean reeled in the biggest fish of the day at an estimated 6 pounds of
man-fighting salmon. It's hard to believe these guys just spawn & die.
Our guide, Mark, hard at work looking for some magical lure to give Al a
prayer in hell at beating Craig for the salmon title. No such luck.
Startled by the enormous donkey lurking in the hills, Al looks back to
see if Craig is taking the last piece of bait to ensure a resounding victory.
Seattle is definitely one of the prettier cities you'll ever see. Lots of cool
looking buildings and the Space Needle, all right against the water.
Ok, it was no "SS Beaver" but it was still a pretty "good time". Here is
Craig in front of our boat before we headed to the Redhook Brewery.
The Redhook Brewery is pretty tiny but that didn't stop us from visiting
it twice on this trip. The beer was tasty and they gave lots of samples.
Sean and Al contemplate their fourteenth paloozian adventure as the
boat makes its way back to downtown Seattle and a roadie to Redhook.
With all the salmon splashing around, the birds and seals can't help
themselves. This seal had just split a giant salmon in half in one bite.
There's nothing quite like brewery-fresh beer. Here
is our first Extra Special Bitter of the day. Yummy.
Milo started out strong early. Here he is with one of the bigger ones
caught that day. His last one of the day made its way to Bill's grill.
I've never actually seen wild hops growing like ivy, but Redhook had
loads of these bad boys growing around the restaurant patio area.
Here's he sun rising up over the mountains. The river was pretty low in
parts, so Milo and I were hoping not to get severed by that anchor.
After about eight samples, Sean decided to lead cheers for Ballard High
School (don't ask). "All cheer for Ballard--ya sure ya betcha!"
Thursday night we changed plans a
bit and decided to hit the Seahawks-
Raiders game at Quest Field. We were
were pretty high up (I could actually
see Los Angeles in the distance) but
the stadium is awesome.
One of the highlights of the trip was our pre-dawn trip to go salmon
fishing on the Skykomish River. Those are llamas along the bank.
Our fourth day started out with a trip down to the Pike Place Market
and a very tasty breakfast at Etta's. Bill is still just 10 minutes away.
Next to Etta's you'll find the original Starbucks store. Sean walked in to
get a latte and they gave him a standing ovation and the key to the city.
The Pike Place Market doesn't look like much from the outside but it is
very cool--like a permanent farmers market with tons of fresh seafood.
Somehow the plane Craig used to fly back in the Nam made its way into
this museum. He was pleasantly surprised to see his old friend again.
One minute, you're swimming up-stream getting
ready to spawn, the next you're some fool's dinner.
Aside from all the fish, there are loads of different
types of Northwestern berries, jellies and jams.
The salmon at this market made the salmon we caught the day before
look like sardines. King salmon are reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally big.
This market has just about any type of seafood you can think of,
including stacks and stacks of all different types of shellfish.
It took a while, but we did manage to catch Al sneaking in a little
shut-eye at the game. What is it about LSU games and this guy?!?!
After catching a few songs from Everest, we made our way over to see
Katy Perry belt out a few pop tunes to all the local teenage girls.
Next up was All American Rejects who put on a great show with Tyson
Ritter going wild. Milo, Craig & Sean got pretty close to the stage.
One cool thing at the museum was one of the Air Force One planes
used by John Kennedy. I think I see Marilyn's bra under the desk.
This would be The Kingfish's version of coffee cake. We probably could
have just had that and lattes and been done. But we soldiered on.
When you order fish from this particular stand, they
throw giant salmons back and forth to eachother.
Before dialing Castro to call off the missile crisis, Craig
pauses to reflect, as Al gives him a couple rabbit ears.
Then it was on to the UW-LSU game.
We started things off by hitting
"Earl's on the Ave" to have a few
RBVs before kickoff. There, we met
Justin and his insane wife, Jessica.
After a couple drinks she decided to
basically beat the hell out of all of us.
Craig, Milo and Al looking a little fishy. It was time to get back on the
road to have some beers and catch some tunes at Bumbershoot.
The game was pretty good, as UW stayed in the game up to the end.
LSU just had a few too many studs to make big plays downfield.
Our final day started off with lots of rain and some outstanding soul
food for brunch at The Kingfish Cafe on Capital Hill. Very tasty place.
After breakfast, it was on to the Museum of Flight & Space before
heading to the airport. Al insisted on pretending to be a fighter pilot.
Between music stages and beer gardens, there were all
sorts of things to check out, like the Rock Star booth.
Bumbershoot is a cool music festival that takes place
on the grounds surrounding the Space Needle.