Sleepless In Seattle: Tale of the Two Tired Tourists

By the time we left Winston House for some Seattle tourist stops I’d been up since 3:00pm (Seattle time) the previous day, 27 hours ago. I’m pretty sure the only thing keeping us going was adrenaline and sheer determination. A wise person would’ve called it a night. Call us fools, cause off we went to traipse all over the city.

Nirvana, Kurt Cobain's house in Seattle, Washington
Selfie outside Kurt Cobain’s former home.

Our first stop was the former home of the talented and tormented Nirvana front man, Kurt Cobain. It’s located in an upscale neighborhood, on a tree lined street that twists and turns past mansions with iron gates, and overlooks Puget Sound. The house itself is mostly obscured from view by trees and a tall fence that’s crawling with shrubbery. I can’t imagine living in a house you know will be gawked at by throngs of 90’s grunge fans. Maybe they’re Nirvana groupies.

The garage where Kurt ended his life has since been demolished. Near where it once stood is a memorial of sorts. Up on a hill, next to an old, tall tree, sits a single bench. I remember standing there and thinking that the whole place seemed to capture exactly who Kurt had been. It was picturesque, quiet under the embrace of the tree. The bench was covered in graffiti, poems and notes of sorrow and gratitude, half smoked joints and empty cigarette packs, the remains of burned out candles and long dead flowers. It was beautiful and messy; chaotic, anguished, yet filled with a simple kind of sweetness.

Our next destination was strictly for me and was a total nerd-out moment: the home used for the exterior shots of Meredith Grey’s house in the first season of Grey’s Anatomy. I love that show. And yes, I still watch it, so I was pretty stoked. We didn’t stay long, just long enough to take a couple selfies while I geeked out a bit before moving on in our explorations.

Kerry Park is a popular stop for tourists and is only a few blocks from the Grey’s house. The park is small, more of an observation area with a sculpture than a park, but the view was spectacular. High above the city, the park looks out over downtown and the Space Needle as well as Puget Sound. On clear days, which unfortunately, that day was not, you can even see Mount Rainier in the distance. But, with the smoke coming down from the wildfires burning north of the border in Canada, the entire western half of the state was blanketed in a haze.

We sat down and watched the ferry boats coming in and out of the city, taking some pictures and realizing how extraordinarily tired we were. The sleep deprivation was catching up with us hard and fast.

We needed to get moving so we left for dinner. We thought we’d have enough time to explore the downtown area before heading to the restaurant, and were counting on the walk waking us up a bit. Our reservations were at Matt’s in the Market which is downtown in Pike Place Market. I’d read Pike Place was a must-see when visiting Seattle and Matt’s had received stellar reviews. It was one of two dinner reservations I’d made for our trip, the other being for the final night. Somehow I’d convinced myself that our reservations at Matt’s were at 9:00 when, in fact, that was the time for our other reservation. I didn’t realize that until the restaurant was calling and asking if we were planning to show up for our 7:30 dinner slot.

No longer able to do any exploring, we drove downtown and parked at The Market right around the corner from the restaurant. However, despite the GPS telling us we had arrived, we couldn’t find it to save our lives. There are alleys and buildings on several levels all over the place and we couldn’t figure out which one housed Matt’s. We were feeling all kinds of embarrassed when we called the restaurant to tell them we were lost. The hostess looked out the window and saw us standing there, looking confused, and graciously directed us to their door.

The restaurant is in a renovated warehouse. It had high ceilings and large windows overlooking the market. It smelled incredible when we walked in and we probably would’ve been gushing about it had we not been borderline comatose from exhaustion.

We sat at a table by a window and struggled to make conversation throughout the whole dinner. We tried, but our brains were working so slowly that just absorbing the words the other person was saying was hard, and it didn’t leave any energy for translating the words’ meaning. Our bodies were shutting down and we had to fight just to keep our eyes open. I can’t even imagine what we must’ve looked like to onlookers. A lesbian couple who got in a fight on the way to the restaurant? Dawn of the Dead? Two terminally ill women eating their last meal? Not exactly the life of the party, that’s for sure. I was too tired to even drink.

The food was exquisite. We ordered the cheese platter as an appetizer, and my entree was an expertly prepared filet mignon that practically melted in my mouth. Unfortunately I was too tired to fully appreciate it and couldn’t stop thinking about that hot tub waiting for us back at Winston House. I wanted to savor every bite, but instead found myself scarfing it down in order to be finished and “home” quicker. I just wanted someone to come carry me to the car, drive me home and tuck me in. I felt a little guilty wasting such a delicious meal on someone who could barely taste her food because her taste buds had gone night night.

We didn’t stay in the hot tub for long after we got back. We were afraid we’d pass out in there and drown, so we only stayed in long enough to smoke a little indica and let the water soothe our achy, fatigued bodies. It was the most perfect way imaginable to end our first day of Ladycation. When we did finally crawl into bed that night we were out within seconds of our heads hitting the pillow. We had to rest up for our next adventure: kayaking the San Juan Islands.

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