With our appetites satisfied after eating at Anthony’s in the SeaTac Airport it was time to take a shuttle to the Rental Car Facility which is now offsite. The sliding glass doors opened from the airport and I stepped out and stopped in my tracks. I closed my eyes with my head tilted back slightly to take a long, slow, deep inhale of the moist Seattle air. To have my moment.
My aunt slammed into me from behind. I spun around to be greeted by her beautiful, petite dog-head-tilted-to-the-side look of incredulity at me.
Her, “Why did you stop?!”
Me, “I was going to take in the moment.”
Her, “Oh. Well, let’s get the shuttle silly.”
I guess hanging my head out of the window of the rental car while I was driving like Phoenix used to would be that taking-the-air-in moment if there was going to be one right now.
In my previous trips to Seattle, Washington 20 years ago I had never needed or wanted a rental car. My (ex) wife and I always walked everywhere, using the public transportation system when necessary. It was my choice for the rental car this time, not out of need, but to reacclimate myself to the entire traveling process again.
I reserved this high end, no money spared, luxury Matchbox Car.
My aunt said, “Oh my, will you fit into that, honey?”
Obviously her reference to my long legs and not the weight I had put on the previous two months. *ahem*
Finally we were headed into the city and I was bouncing in my seat playing some hip music on the radio that my aunt actually liked! Seeing the skyline. A panorama like no other and the little kid in me said while driving, “Looky Auntie B, it’s Seattle!!”
Her, looking up…then down…at my maps and my cell phone in her lap (having been there SO many times and a month earlier) “Um hum. Ok, the Google Maps girl says the exit is 2 miles ahead.”
I knew where to go. Why can’t the Google Map audio girl be Kate Beckinsale? Just sayin’…
The streets were absolutely packed with people. I asked a local, “What’s up with all of the people??!”
She said, “I know, you should have seen it here this summer.”
Lots of dog walkers…my eyes were peeled for a Golden Retriever. I had talked with Phoenix about this trip for 11 years and he sat at my feet at the computer me saying, “You’ll get there again, Daddy.”
I wanted him here with me. Maybe he was? The next day would be shocking…but until then…
If this is your liking…I would be happy to go window shopping with you. If you want to model potential purchases for me, I’m so there for you. You will have to spend a very long time with me before we discuss that ring on your left finger.
This sweet boy filled me my heart with both love and sadness. No, we didn’t go for a ride but I sooooo wanted to take him back to the hotel room. He was tired and done. Merely serving a purpose when he should be out in a pasture enjoying fresh, moist grass in his mouth, in the company of his kindred. I did walk up and pet him and looked into his eyes. I saw dried tears on his lower eyelids and the drops came rolling down my own cheeks. My aunt quickly removed me, grabbing my hand to move along, as she saw what was happening with me.
Her cure was to snap me out of it with food! Cute women or food. She knows my antidote. We were walking by this food cart and she said,”Will you have a hotdog with me, sweetheart?”
My aunt does not eat meat.
She evaluated the menu, scouring all of the options.
Then her eyes lit up, “Found it!! Oh Mike, will you have a Tofurkey Dog with me please?” (it was on the other side and in the excitement I didn’t take a pic)
I only heard “dog” as in hotdog, and said, “For real?”
See what I mean??!! Ohhhh…you thought I was talking about the girl walking by in the pic above. The hotdog below. Gutter minds! Duh…
My aunt compromised on toppings. I told her to keep it simple so that we actually tasted the dog itself. She chose sauerkraut (yes! I love sauerkraut) and I chose mustard. The soft, steamed bun. The tang of the sauerkraut. The sharp taste of mustard. A crisp snap of tofu and turkey. It was soooo moist and savory. It was amazing. To my buddies who say, “Never!” Dudes, had you not known beforehand, you would have been all in after a bite.
I asked my aunt to take a picture of me. She took my camera apprehensively in her hands saying, “Oh gosh, I’m not very good with cameras honey.”
Giving her instructions as I stood there she exclaimed with joy, “Oh my gawd sweetheart this camera view is so crystal clear!!”
Afterwards, I looked at the first screen preview. *sigh*
I asked her where she was looking.
She said, “Ooops, I was looking through that space between the camera and the flash thingie.” Meaning she was looking at me in “real” time, not the viewfinder. Oy vey…
Me, beyond myself, “You took a picture of my crotch.”
Her, with those gorgeous eyes of hers, softly blinking up at me, said with total (pretend) seriousness, “Well, you have a very nice crotch so the girls back home will love this picture and thank me!”
Then she spun around away from me bursting out laughing.
My aunt…the comedian. And my pimp.
The smile at this moment was very real. I wasn’t home in that empty house and I did not want to go back to Reno. Being honest.
Next will be our Pike Place Market adventure…so much fun!