Pacific Northwest Trip

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So, the Parham’s are on vacation. We decided to blow what little money we had on getting out-of-town for a bit. Ages ago, I lived in Seattle for a bit. I loved living in Seattle, but it got to the point that I was frustrated with having to work multiple jobs to live in a tiny place when I had a whole house back in Oklahoma. I went back to Seattle for the 2001 National Poetry Slam, but I haven’t set foot to earth in the Pacific Northwest since even though I have wanted to. Since one of the family goals this year was to get to the Life Is Good Unschooling Conference in Vancouver, WA, we decided to do a big trip and fly into Sea-Tac a bit early and spend some time in Seattle before the conference.

We stayed up all Monday night to finish the last-minute details on the packing front and catch our ride to the airport so that we could get there at 4 am. Our flight was scheduled to take off at 6 am. We breezed through security with only myself losing my trusty Leatherman Style CS to the steely claws of the TSA. Looks like I missed the memo that the TSA had reversed its position on allowing small knives on planes again. Anyway, we fly down to the Delta hub in Atlanta and then hop over to an Alaskan Airlines flight that takes us into Sea-Tac. Then we were off to pick up the rental car.

Photo: Michele At The Hertz Kiosk

Mum Worked The Hertz Kiosk Over…

Photo: Elijah As A Jedi

… While The Boy And I Pretended To Be Jedi Knights

After that we checked into the hotel and cooled out for a bit.

Photo: Elijah Meditating

Elijah Getting Into The Spirit Of The Pacific Northwest

After the mandatory rest period we went out to eat at one of my all-time favorite places, 13 Coins. If you’ve never been, you are missing out. It’s open 24 hours a day, the food is filling and delicious, and the employees stick around forever. One of the waiters even recognized me from over a decade ago. We decided to do it up nice and make this dinner Michele’s Mothers Day dinner, since I had to work on Mothers Day.

Photo: Michele Going Into 13 Coins

Michele Was Impressed By The Door. The Door Is Nothing. She Hadn’t Seen The Booths Yet!

Photo: Michele In The Booth At 13 Coins

The Booths Are Approximately The Size Of A Standard Pullman Coach

After dinner (and dessert!) we went back to the hotel and let Elijah play while Michele went to get us a few groceries since we can’t afford to eat out this whole trip. Elijah made himself some fashionable hipster glasses out of Wiki Stix. Then it was bed time for everybody.

Photo: Elijah In His New Toy Glasses

“I’m Pretty Hip For An Old Man”

Today I drove the family around some of my old stomping ground. I took them out to my old apartment and let them see the dumpster for the complex next door that was my “view” out of my bay window. I didn’t really mind that dumpster until between 3 and 4 in the morning on Saturday when the Waste Management truck came by to dump it!

After that, I drove up to Broadway so that we could all officially say, “My Posse’s On Broadway”, then past the place that used to be Cafe Minnie’s II (where I used to spend an insane amount of late nights sipping whiskey and eating tomato basil soup and Dutch Babies). That place had a bar that poured mixed drinks that were pretty much just straight liquor and attitude. It also had about the worst service imaginable. But it was open all night and all of the drunken, drug addled freaks hung out there. I remember one night in the middle of winter where the whole place poured onto the street to look at the sky with bleary, bloodshot eyes, to gaze in wonder at the beauty of that years first snow fall in the city. It was like a wonderful Charlie Brown moment, if every character was played by a strung out Pig-Pen. Those were the days.

I had to show the family the buildings of two of my favorite (yet no longer in business) coffee shops. The first was Coffee Messiah on Olive. It was one of the best places on earth. Coffee strong enough to kill you, vegan pancakes and scones for brunch, and a crucified Pee-wee Herman doll behind the counter. Now it’s a vegetarian noodle shop called In The Bowl. We might have to eat there tomorrow. Then we went to what used to be Aurafice.

Aurafice Scene

Which Used To Look Like This…


… But Now Is A Stumptown That Looks Like This. Le Sigh.

The coffee was good, but the atmosphere wasn’t cutting it for us, so we traveled a few blocks down the road to Bauhaus Books And Coffee, one of the few gems of Seattle that didn’t shut down (or burn to the ground) since I lived here. I sucked down a double soy latte, the wife had a juice, the kid had a S. Pellegrino, and we all split a piece of carrot cake. Pure deliciousness. I picked up a copy of The Stranger, and it just felt like old times.

Photo: Double Soy Latte From Bauhaus Books And Coffee

I Love You Too, Coffee!

Photo: The Family At Bauhaus Coffee

I Don’t Think They’ve Spotted Me


Photo: Spotted By Elijah At Bauhaus Books And Coffee

Damn! My Cover’s Blown And I’m Going Dark.

On the way out of Bauhaus, I spotted this loving tribute to mothers and experimental Icelandic musical groups everywhere:

Photo: I Heart Mu(')m

It’s Funny, Because I DO Heart Mu(‘)m!

After sucking down that much caffeine, it was time to do some serious eating. So, off we shot downtown to indulge in high order greasy spoonage at the Hurricane Cafe, another of Seattle’s classic 24 hour eating establishments. I’ve always loved the Hurricane and their giant omelet’s (of which a four egg is the smallest and a gargantuan twelve egg is the largest you can get) and 1/3 pound hamburgers. Also, if you get an omelet, you get bottomless hash browns. Let me repeat that: YOU GET ALL THE SCATTERED HASH BROWNS YOU CAN EAT. They also have a full liquor bar that’s open daily from 6 am to 2 am.

With our bellies full, I took the family on a quick driving tour of Pioneer Square and the International District. By this time, Elijah was wearing out a bit, so it was back onto the I-5 and then to the hotel for a snack and some rest.

Tomorrow’s plan: Pike Place Markets, and the Space Needle. Gotta finish the compulsories!

william parham

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Movere voluntatem montes. Sapientiam ut non desiderant.

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