Saturday 16 July 2011

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Happy 16th Anniversary...with Cheesecake!

Seattle has it's moments.  Sure most of them are full of rain, but it's a pretty city, and there's always plenty going on.  This is where we find ourselves as Lori and I celebrate our 16th anniversary.  The romantic side of our anniversary will be toned down, as we are still travelling with children, but I'll score tons of brownie points by taking her out to dinner, a show, and she has her day free to go shopping. 

Seattle has two great Hyatts for us to choose from, and they're both within 100 yards of each other.  The Grand Hyatt is fantastic, and has a wonderful Regency Club, but it has trouble guaranteeing rooms with two queen beds, so when we travel with the kids, we usually stay at the Olive 8.  This hotel is just as good with the rooms, but because it doesn't have a Regency Club it gives out an amazing free breakfast for diamond members at it's restaurant Urbane.  Believe me you can't go wrong starting your day with Dungeness Crab Benedict, or an omelet stuffed with salmon and cream cheese.  It's even better when your kids can't finish theirs, and you get to sample other dishes too.  I'm pretty sure we were testing the load limit on the elevator that took us back up to our room after breakfast.

Lori and our oldest daughter wanted to go shopping today, so they went out while the other two kids and I stayed in the room.  We were all working away on our computers when my daughter started laughing and motioning me over to the window.  Now my kids know that my musical tastes can run wide.  I'm willing to give most things a go, but there are a couple of songs that will make me leap to switch the station immediately.  One is "What do you want from me?" by Adam Lambert and the other is anything by Owl City, especially "Fireflies".  That song drives me insane.  Of course my kids know the lyrics, but I'm not sure if they learned them because they like the song or because they know it annoys me to no end.  I suspect the latter.  In any case, I come to the window my daughter wants me to look out and what do I see?  A giant marquee announcing that Owl City will be playing there tonight!  It's time to get out of the room.

Our anniversary dinner tonight will be held at the exclusive, ultra luxurious, five-star, Cheesecake Cafe.  Yeah it's not too fancy, but we've got three kids in tow remember?  Plus we lost our Cheesecake Cafe in Kelowna just after Lori and I moved up there, and we do miss it.  While the dinner was good (and the cheesecake was great) the dinner conversation was entirely centered around how old I am.  I'm not sure what set us off down that path, and I'm really not sure how Lori manages to avoid these things (Yes, she's younger than me, but she's gotta still seem old to the kids.) but I was the target for the majority of the dinner.  Of course then the kids started singing "Fireflies" and I was wishing for more discussion of my age.

Seattle was really busy tonight, and everywhere we went there were lineups for things.  There were people lined up to get into the Owl City concert as we left our hotel (*shakes head*), people lined up to see the new Harry Potter movie, a long line to get into the Cheesecake Cafe, and then there were the people lined up to buy shoes?  We weren't too sure what was going on, but outside Niketown there was a huge mass of people.  Turns out that three of the Manchester United players were coming in to debut their new away uniform.  Now usually any mention of Manchester United is enough to make me cross the street and move away, never mind the actual physical appearance of a player, but I gave second thought when one of the players was Rio Ferdinand, ex-Leeds star.  It was tempting for just a moment, but then I remembered that Rio plays for the enemy now, so we carried on as we were already running a little late for our show.

Tonight we were going to see Disney's Aladdin at the 5th Avenue theatre.  This is the first place that this play is ever appearing, as Disney chose to do a months run in Seattle to get all the kinks out before taking the play national.  The director (who just won the Tony for directing "Book of Mormon" about switching gears...) came out before the play and explained that they were still tinkering with things and that they would be trying out some new stuff tonight.  Their official opening isn't until July 21, so I guess they still have time to change things, but other than a little bit of tightening, I wouldn't change much.  It was a ton of fun, and the cast was fantastic although, just as in the movie, the genie stole the show.  Most importantly (for a Disney production anyways) our kids had a good time and laughed throughout.

So year 16 of marriage winds up with a slow walk back to the hotel.  It's been a great ride, and I'm blessed to be sharing my life with a wife who tolerates my desire to travel, even if she does think I'm "miles obesessed" sometimes.  16 years ago today we were boarding a plane for Jamaica, and although I'm sure there's been some other happenings (Where did these three kids come from anyways?) it feels like we've been on a whirlwind tour ever since.  I love you baby, more than anything in the world.  Now let's start off year 17 with another great free breakfast at Urbane!