Dec 132014

Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

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.

The SeaTac Rental Car Facility is ginormous! I chatted up a cutie at the customer service counter. She was moving to somewhere else in the country. I asked why and she said, “The rain…”Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew Car Rental

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*Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew Car Rental

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’…

Pay attention to the constantly changing speed limits folks! I was on it.Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

I was back in Seattle, Washington and wanted to hug someone. Ok, everyone! My eyes were watered up with happiness.Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

We pulled into the valet at the Grand Hyatt Seattle (this was taken later that night obviously)…Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew Grand Hyatt

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…

Nothing yet. Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

We headed down the street and my aunt gave me the low-down on each national chain. Including where Michelle Obama shops. Good to know. *eyeroll*Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew J Crew

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.Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew Tiffany & Co

I looked through the viewfinder and lifted the camera away to do a double take! My clone in Seattle? (black leather coat in faded jeans sans ballcap) It was the Truman Show busted!Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

The Seattle Great Ferris Wheel at 175 feet is the highest one of it’s kind on the West Coast of the U.S. No, we didn’t ride on it because that ferry crashed into it. Kidding!Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew Great Ferris Wheel

Century Link Field and Safeco Field for my sports friends…Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew, Century Link Field, Safeco Field

If I could freeze frame this life moment with headphones on listening to music I would have. By the way, we never received a single drop of rain over the two days…Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

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.Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

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?”Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

The Obi-Wan of Seattle hot dogs demonstrating his version of The Force in tubular form.Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

I glanced up…tomorrow was pending. I did not want to go back home…Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

What?? If you were a guy you would too. She was smokin’ hot beautiful…Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

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.

Plus it was…Seattle.Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew, Tofurkey Dog

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.Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

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.

Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

As twilight set in…and that is my favorite part of any day…Seattle, Washington Past My Curfew

Next will be our Pike Place Market adventure…so much fun!

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 50+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories and commentary.

  76 Responses to “Seattle, Washington – I’m Back And Not Wanting To Go Home!”

  1. Wow, as someone who isn’t into traveling, I found myself really enjoying these pictures. Of course being a sports nut, I would love to see Safeco and Century Link. (Hate those damned Seahawks though!) No thanks on the Ferris Wheel! Not sure this guy could handle it!
    I really like the picture of the boats on the water and the city at twilight.
    Also, cant blame you for not wanting to go home, but we’re glad you came back! And that was a great pic too by the way!
    It looks like a beautiful city and would be fun to stroll along and hit up the shops! Looking forward to more!
    Oh yeah, you had me at hot dog!

  2. Hi Mike,

    It seems you have some precious memories embedded in Seattle but you have been very brave dear friend! A lump in my throat refused to go down as I was reading this piece, you have very subtly covered up those emotional moments with little interspersing of anecdotes, which tug at the heart rather than evoke a smile.

    Love those pictures, they too speak volumes and touched my heart. I can understand the symbolism of the title! Please tell your aunt to spend a few more days with you and come home now.

    • Thank you for your kind comments, Balroop! Yes, there was a lot of symbolism to the title…good catch 🙂

  3. You may have missed the rain, but it looks like you got some of the dreary skies. The last time I was there (probably 10 years now), we had 3 days of brilliant sunshine and it was hot—and weird. The other times I was there, it lived up to its climactic reputation for rainy grayness. I don’t think I could live there just because of that, but obviously, a lot of people would disagree. Um, the Seahawks. After last Sunday, here in Philly, we don’t want to discuss the Seahawks at this time. There wasn’t a big ferris wheel when we were there. Write a few cities have copied off the London Eye. Great shot of the wheel and the boat. I’m looking forward to reading about the rest of your too short visit

    • Every previous visit to Seattle I have had gorgeous weather and it just continued to improve as Saturday went on and rolled in Sunday, Suzanne 🙂

  4. Lovely story, Mike 🙂

  5. Great post!, I loved it and the hot dogs looked great!


    • I appreciate that Pete and personally…I could have spent a lot more time at the hot dog stand 🙂

  6. Great tour. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. Oh Mike, what fun to see Seattle through your eyes. Afraid ours have become jaded with traffic congestion, protest marchers, etc. You have made me want to go downtown again. . .and only a couple of days ago – having had my fill of negative headlines about the problems there, I’d vowed not to do so. You have made me change my mind! Thank you and I look forward to the Pike Place Market report.

    • The one big change I did not like about Seattle were the hordes of people, Jackie. It was never that bad in the off-season before. Apparently word has gotten out about your beautiful city 🙂

  8. Seattle looks so European and I really enjoyed your happy day, though seeing your aunts talents with a camera and the shots from the road had me kind of worried. Surely, you can’t drive and photograph at the same time, or….?

    • Hi Mette, if you remember from the Phoenix posts over the past few years I drove with one had, photographed blindly, while never taking my eyes off of the road. Lordy, I have to through a gazillion pics to hopefully get even ONE that turns out! 🙂

  9. I know the feeling of being somewhere and not wanting to leave…..Newfoundland is my “happy place” in the same way Seattle is yours. Totally get it. Enjoying the stories and living vicariously through YOUR trip until the next one of ours. 🙂

    • I’m glad you are enjoying it, Mike! I would always enjoy hearing more about your Newfoundland 🙂

  10. Ha! Your Aunt is hilarious, Mike! I think you may have gotten some of her humor genetically speaking. Also, Phoenix it seems was right there with you two. I really enjoy Seattle. It’s such a pretty and cool city. I’m not that far away and really should take my kids there for a road trip 🙂 Looking forward to the Pike Place post. Aw, I’m so glad you’ve got such nice memories of the city and now new ones!

    • Your third sentence has a lot or irony in a post that will be coming up two…after this one. That would great if you and the kids could make it down there! Ironically, my aunt is always saying that I’m the one that is funny 🙂

  11. ***The smile at this moment was very real***

    smiling w/ you in Duluth, MN. 🙂 xxxx KISSES.

  12. I’m still laughing at your headless photo. It’s a keeper and so is your aunt. 😉

  13. Your post reminds me that I would like to go on that Ferris Wheel someday. I’ve only been to Seattle three times, and two of those were for a writing conference. Maybe next time I will give myself an extra day so I can see some more sights. Looking forward to your Pike Place adventures 😉

  14. Oh I so would love to see Seattle, Sleepless in Seattle is one of my favorite movies!
    That hot dog {girl} sure had your attention.
    Your Aunty sounds so very cool, love her sense of adventure.
    As I have only just started eating red meat now and then I am not sure I would be up for a Hot Dog but I do love sauerkraut,
    I so would have cried along with you, that horse so should be resting in a paddock full of grass.
    They guy at the lights, he is like a double you for real – is there a twin out there that you didn’t know about?
    Good to see you smiling again xxx

    • There can’t be a twin of me, Lisa, because I broke the mold! *wink* There is so much reality to Seattle in that movie meaning the downtown area and local beaches. You would love it there 🙂

  15. I think… no, I KNOW I love your Aunt! She’s a trip and ‘da bomb. So hysterical. Keep talking, and I’m going to end up in Seattle yet! I love cobblestone streets and yes, that horse needed a pasture. GREAT post – more, more, more!

  16. I’ve always wanted to go to Seattle so loved seeing the photos and reading about it! I agree though poor horse! 🙁

    • You and Graham have been to about everywhere so I’m surprised that Seattle isn’t one of them, Becky! 🙂

  17. ohhhh you make me want to go there SO BAD!!! Anywhere that has tofudogs is a place for Beth! Very cool scenery. Incredibly atmospheric. I can tell that place is electric, like New York, but in its own special way. So happy you got to go with your aunt! And your smile in that photo is happy and infectious! LOVE. xoxo

    • Aww, that is awesome Beth and I’ve always felt Seattle has vibe unlike any other. Granted, I can only compare it to L.A. and S.F. 🙂

  18. Thanks for taking us along on this trip.. I’ve never been to Seattle , but it looks as lovely as l’ve heard. Glad it brought back great memories for you, and l love your Aunt’s sense of humor..totally me! Crotch!

    • She and I banter back and forth quite a bit, Kemkem, and I’m glad you enjoyed this latest installment! 🙂

  19. Des loves sauerkraut too, actually! You’re twins.
    I had a very spiritual experience in Toronto when I was 16. I went back in my 20’s and your descriptions of landing in Seattle remind me so much of that. I just wanted to breathe it all in and eat it all and check it all out.

    • High 5 to Des…I always like having a sauerkraut buddy because there seems to be more haters than likers. Isn’t it incredible when I place can have that kind of effect on, Tamara? 🙂

  20. Your aunt sounds amazing! So funny and so kind! Would love to go a trip with her myself 🙂 Glad you had such a good time and that hot dog does sound delicious!

    • She would be an amazing travel partner but I’m afraid this was my once in a lifetime trip with her, Catherine. It will definitely be a lasting memory 🙂

  21. Twilight is my favorite time of day too and I want to try a tofu dog!!! Seriously!! I used to love loaded hotdogs but no longer eat them (because gross) but a tofu dog??? Awesome. Your aunt sounds amazing and like she knows just what you need, including crotch photos 🙂

    • I love hotdogs but I can not load them up with all of those high octane toppings anymore, Kristi. I haven’t notice any status improvement from the crotch shot yet 🙂

  22. Hahaha, your Aunt seems like a hoot, Mike! I think I would really like her, and not just cause of the tofu dogs;-) So awesome that you guys didn’t have any rain for your trip, and it’s obvious you REALLY made the most of your time exploring the city! I’m excited to hear all about Pike Market…I was there, gosh, 11 years ago, so it will be interesting to see how much has changed/stayed the same!

    • It would be fascinating to compare timeline notes with my 20 years and your 11 years in between visits, Jessica. The tofurkey dog is getting a lot of shouts here…interesting! 🙂

  23. Thanks for taking on us with you on this tour through Seattle! 🙂 Like your aunt, I am also a vegetarian so I’d pick the same thing she did.

  24. Sounds like it was a great trip for you! I am glad for you (and a little bit hungry, now!). 🙂

  25. Haha sounds like there’s never a dull day with your aunt! Since I was a child I’ve wanted to go to Seattle because Bruce Lee was and kind of still is my idol and he’s buried there! Plus I’m a fan of Frasier 😀 Glad you had a great time Mike!

    • Now, there is a girl after my movie trivia heart! Yes, he is buried there and Frasier was one of my fav shows, Shing. Eddie the dog rocked 🙂

  26. LOL. Your aunt is funny . Your post was such a joy to read. It seems you had a good time, I wouldn;t want to go back home either.

    • If you like funny aunts then mine is most definitely one to hang out with, Rachael! It’s funny, as I’ve been going back over the posts and writing news about the trip I’ve wanted to go back badly! 🙂

  27. Seattle seems like a beautiful city, and so lively! I don’t blame you for never wanting to leave. Maybe you should visit more often? I’m sure there’s so much to explore.

    • The gal I was chatting up at the car rental desk said that Mt Ranier is a must. I’ve done other things there but it’s just walking around downtown and the amazing vibration. It’s like a natural energy vibe that’s almost a narcotic for me, Tarana 🙂

  28. Enjoyed reading the play by play of your first day back in Seattle! I’ve never been, but I could feel the excitement you experienced and know those feelings from my own travels elsewhere 🙂

    • It is most definitely a special place and there are sooooo many other memories for me that are attached to Seattle at different chapters in my life, Dana 🙂

  29. hahahahaha I love that crotch picture! I mean, you know, the idea of the whole thing! A good friend of mine just this year had the opportunity to take a picture of me with the mayor of Chicago, and the picture looked almost exactly the same! It’s the picture of our chest/crotchal area and NO HEADS or faces in the picture! It could be anyone! Too funny. Use that as your holiday card photo! ha.
    These are fantastic, what a beautiful place. Those dogs look crazy delicious! I didn’t even know you could do that many things w/hotdogs and I’m from Chicago w/the famous “Chicago dog” which is basically a regular hotdog w/sport peppers & veggies and NO KETCHUP!
    I’m glad to hear the ferry didn’t actually crash into that HUGE ferris wheel, because it really looks like it in the photo!

    • OMG the photographer didn’t reshoot the picture with both of your heads in it?? That’s freakin’ awesome you got to have your picture taken with the mayor, Joy! I sooooo wish I had my pictures from an AMAZING trip I took to Chicago with my best buddy and his wife about 20 years ago. It was the 4th of July and The Taste of Chicago week. I called it my Ferris Bueller’s weekend 🙂

  30. Thanks for the story, Mike. Love your entertaining writing 🙂 and photos! Especially, the one of two smokin’ hot dogs in a grey shirt 😉

    • I was SO hoping you would read this, Alex, and see that picture!! I 100% thought of you my friend and our offline photography conversation 🙂

  31. Hi Mike, I so enjoyed reading about your first day in Seattle with your Aunt. The two of you together make for a perfect sitcom. I’m sure Phoenix was happy that you finally made this trip. I’m pretty sure he was there with you.

    • Ha, ha you are so right on the sitcom, Marisol! I never thought about it that way. I would like to think he was happy I did it too after all of these years 🙂

  32. My husband hates those Matchbox Cars. He especially hated one during Christmas that had a wined up key spinning on the back of it like a toy lol.

  33. So it takes 20 years to get on a plane and then you don’t want to leave Seattle. There is a message here Mike and I hope you’re listening. And I must say it’s great to hear.
    It is a treat to see Seattle through your eyes. I feel like I’m in a new country with all the sensory overload that goes with it. And no rain is a huge bonus.

    I’m wondering if you’re planning your next trip yet…………

    • I was like a little kid that entire trip, Leigh! Even having been there a half dozen times my excitement was the same this visit as it had been a couple of decades ago. No new trips planned yet 🙂

  34. I am interested in Seattle (and I read every word lol) so I’m looking forward to Pike Street. Your Aunt has a wonderful sense of humour. I like how she took you in hand when you were feeling bad for the horse. I gather she is a no-nonsense gal!

    • She’s a very real gal to all emotions and experiences in life. She can be light-hearted and funny but also veryyyyy no-nonsense just like you said, Jan 🙂

  35. Great pictures of Seattle Mike!

  36. Loved your pics of the hot dogs, but my sympathy to you for never trying a Wisconsin Brat – yes, the meaty kind. Your aunt sounds like a hoot and lover of obscene photos (jk).

    • Haha, thank you Neva. Definitely sign me up for a Wisconsin Brat along with some of the cheese! 🙂

  37. This just popped up in my feed – how delightful to see your name again! Hope all is wel.

    • Hi Elizabeth! That notification was actually a glitch with my website. I still haven’t returned to writing but I contemplate it frequently! I hope all is well with all of you!! 🙂

  38. OOOOOO, Mike,
    So nice to see you, Sweets.
    I’ve miss you LOTS. Everybody has.
    Love your photos, FOOD, & funny stories.
    Your aunt is a real KICK))!!
    Love from COLD MN. x

    • Hi my dear! This post was actually from 2 years ago and you had commented on it back then LOL! It’s nice to hear from you always!! I hope all is wonderful with all of you! 🙂

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