Raise your hand if you’re as confused about this whole December business as I am! How’d that happen? And why am I never prepared for December? No matter what I do, I always end up feeling like December was waiting around the corner to steal my lunch money. Given how expensive Christmas shopping can be, that’s actually not a half-bad analogy.
Ok, fine. We weren’t on another planet, but there was a Space Needle there.
As for Wes and myself, we opted to spend the first few days of December in hiding to celebrate our anniversary. Sort of. We were actually in Seattle, but as far as real world things went, we were off the map. Incommunicado. Unreachable. We went dark, in intelligence terms, and, while we weren’t far away from home in distance terms, we may as well have been on a different planet while we were gone.
You take two driven, somewhat intelligent people, turn their phones off, and tell them to go relax, and you know what’s going to happen? RELAXING. At one point, Wes shook his head and said, “I was just thinking that I feel kind of tipsy, but I haven’t had anything to drink yet today, and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me until I realized I was actually relaxed for the first time in forever.”
Given the ease with which we slipped into a life of leisure (one day, we watched Game of Thrones in bed until 2:30 in the afternoon), we’ve decided we will be very good retirees someday.
So what did we do? A little bit of everything. We started at the Salish Lodge, a very nice hotel on top of a huge waterfall. Once there, we turned our phones off and got some massages. After that, we lazed around until dinner, which we ate at the Dining Room on the main level of the hotel.
Now, you might be asking yourself why Wes is wearing a casual video game t-shirt and mussed hair in the restaurant of a very fancy hotel. The answer is that he’s doing those things because they honestly do not care what you wear there. It is so liberating. Wes wasn’t even wearing shoes in this picture. He called the restaurant and told them he was too mellow to put on shoes and they were like, “Lolz, that’s ok we don’t care.”
Once we were satisfactorily chill, we left Snoqualmie for Seattle. The Hotel Monaco in downtown Seattle, to be specific. Some friends of ours recommended this hotel to us last year and we loved it so much we simply had to come back.
One of the things we love about it is how it smells. The lobby smells freaking amazing. Plus, we always stay in December so everything in the lobby is all roaring fireplaces, sparkly Christmas decorations, and comfy places to sit.
We didn’t stay indoors the whole time. We went for walks, spent one afternoon walking around in search of the perfect martini (needless to say, that was a fun afternoon!), and even managed to catch a show at both Teatro Zinzanni and PNB’s The Nutcracker.
This may have been after our afternoon sampling martinis. We regret nothing.
My two cents? Teatro Zinzanni is excellent, as always. I’ve seen their show three times in fourteen years, so I’m far from a regular, but we have so much fun every time we go. If you’re in town and want to spend a few hours being enthralled and entertained, it’s definitely worth the money.
Especially if you enjoyed The Birdcage. Then you should definitely definitely go see it.
As for PNB’s The Nutcracker? Eh, this is a tough one. I love ballet. LOVE it. Could watch it all day. I only saw the previous iteration of PNB’s Nutcracker twice (the Stowell/Sendak one) and I was absolutely enraptured by it. The way to tree grew, the grown-up Clara, the heart-breakingly beautiful pas de deux at the end. Absolute perfection.
The new one, with choreography by Balanchine and set design and costumes by Ian Falconer, was hit and miss for me. The sets and costumes are remarkable and amazing, but the growing tree effect was kind of underwhelming compared to what came before.
Likewise, there were some dances (The Waltz of the Flowers is almost worth the price of admission just by itself) that were breathtaking, while other parts of the show that left me yawning. The whole first act is almost entirely danced by children who are acting out a Christmas party which, while adorable, is kind of a snoozefest. If I’m paying to see a professional ballet production, I’d like to see professionals doing incredible things, you know?
So anyway, those are my two cents. Should any of you be planning a visit to Seattle in the near future, I hope you find my post-vacation ramblings somewhat helpful. As for me, I’m going to try to remember how to balance a writing career with the needs and wants of the young people in my care. I reckon if I get overwhelmed, I can just remember that, no matter what, Seattle is out there, with all its martinis and hotels and good coffee and nice people.
That ought to do it.