My wife, Peggy, and I have long loved visiting places around the Pacific Northwest. We like theatre productions, concerts, and visiting relatives, old friends, and new ones. When our kids were growing up, we were involved in the Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce), which meant traveling around Washington State in our truck and camper. I can still hear the kids moaning and screaming when I would lay down pairs instead of runs in games of rummy (the Harrington tradition). When our children became adults, we began taking the grandkids to plays, mostly to productions at CenterStage in Federal Way as well as the Seattle Children’s Theatre. As the grandkids grew up, we’d take them to Lakewood Playhouse, Tacoma Musical Playhouse and Tacoma Little Theatre to plays they were interested in. We also switched to visiting different cities around Puget Sound and staying in hotels and B&Bs.
We were reluctant to stay at B&Bs because we like privacy, but once we tried it, it opened up the world to so much more. At one of our favorite B&Bs in Seattle’s Capitol Hill area, we usually had a nice talkative morning with coffee and excellent food. Many of the guests were there to visit sons in Fort Lewis or students at the University of Washington. It’s surprising how small the world is. During one friendly breakfast where we had previously stayed, I mentioned purchasing two beautiful landscapes that reminded us of Tuscany. I mentioned the artist, Sally Rosenbaum, and the guest sitting opposite me looked up and said, “I just saw Sally at the grocery store last week.” The paintings were of Napa Valley, which resemble the Tuscan hills. The guest was from Napa Valley as well.
Once we were staying at a B&B near Wright Park. A fellow guest asked where we were from. When I said, “Tacoma,” they just looked baffled. Peg said “Once you walk out your door, you’re on vacation.” It doesn’t matter if you’re miles away from home, or only a few doors down.
One of our favorite places to stay is downtown Lynnwood. People look at us like we’re crazy when I mention this. We just came back from a long weekend and had a great time, again. My cousin, Lavinia Hart, joined us for the fun time. We booked a two-bed suite. We’ve done this before because it gives us two rooms. The living room with its small kitchen, kitchen table, large refrigerator, a writing desk and two sofas gives us a little separation if someone wants to simply go to bed.
The Lynnwood Hampton Inn, not only has an excellent breakfast, but is also right in the middle of a shopping area. We were only about four hundred feet from Nordstrom’s Rack. Peg scored a nice sweater and a pair of pants. Even though we were amid the stores and traffic, we like to take a short cut through a green belt behind the hotel that has a small creek meandering through the woods. It’s relaxing just to walk and look around.
We had already booked reservations for three separate stage productions: Reboot Theatre, Intiman Theatre, and Seattle Shakespeare. We checked into the hotel and unpacked, and then headed to Seattle. The Friday afternoon traffic slowed us down a little bit (the trip took about thirty minutes from hotel to downtown restaurant. We weren’t sure when our room was going to be ready for check in, so we hadn’t made reservations for a table. We parked about a hundred feet away from the front door of Toulouse Petit, a wonderful New Orleans and gumbo style restaurant near Queen Avenue. Peggy worked her charm at the front desk.
Within a minute or so we had our own table and our own server, the gracious Nickie. As we sat at the table, we saw potential diner after diner being turned away. When you’re rich and good looking the world opens up for you. Well, perhaps, we were just lucky.
There was a Kraken game that evening and we were just ahead of the crowd. Toulouse Petit is only a few blocks from Seattle Center.
Peg and Lindy each had a glass of Pinot Grigio, while I had a Hurricane, one of their signature drinks. We chatted for only a short time until the food started coming to our table. We had each ordered something to share . . . and the food just kept coming, and coming. We took home a menu, just to remember exactly what we had ordered, there was so much. We will return to this restaurant. Nickie was friendly and helped with our questions and gave suggestions, some of which we took.
We had leftovers galore. The next day they easily supplied a complete meal for the three of us. After we ate, we drove around Seattle to get a feeling of where the theatres we would be attending were located and how close parking was going to be.
We attended the Reboot Theatre for a wonderful production of Cabaret. Cabaret was the initial reason we were there. Our last staycation was two years ago for the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society production of Cabaret. It was fantastic. Covid restrictions hit just after we went and our play days were limited . . . very limited. For a review, see nwadventures.us/Cabaret-Seattle.html
The Reboot Theatre version of Cabaret was much grittier and seamy and the audience was as varied as the actors. When you add the currently unwarranted attack on Ukraine by Russia, it was much more serious and thoughtful now than World War II eighty years ago. – seattletheatretoday.com/RebootCabaretReview.html
Saturday was less structured. We drove around Edmonds (not very far from Lynnwood), visited books stores, and a yard sale. We scouted out a restaurant for Sunday evening. For Saturday dinner we finished off the delicious Toulouse Petit tidbits. They were cold, just out of the refrigerator, but they were still excellent. I think we all closed our eyes and dreamt of our original meal. Peg opted out of attending Intiman Theatre’s production of Two Mile Hollow. Lindy and I drove from Lynnwood to Capitol Hill in what seemed like just minutes. We easily parked on Broadway and we walked a few hundred feet to Seattle Central University. The play is a comedy written by Japanese-American Leah Nanako Winkler who was born in Kentucky. Lindy and I had just seen one of her productions about a month before. We enjoyed the setting, the actors, and the play itself. – seattletheatretoday.com/TwoMileHollow.html
Sunday morning, we slept in a bit. Lindy went shopping at Nordstrom Rack and then we all three left for the afternoon performance of Much Ado About Nothing, a Seattle Shakespeare presentation at Seattle Center. We roared with laughter from the instant it began to the final moments. The actors did a wonderful job and sometimes they ran up and down the stairs around the audience. It was a huge success. I could watch that production again . . . and again. – seattletheatretoday.com/MuchAdo2.html
After the comedy we drove to Edmonds. It was a beautiful day and we were seated in excellent seats on the deck outdoors at Demetri’s Woodstone Taverna. We sat by the deck rail, facing Puget Sound, as well as the Amtrak train and the ferry landing. Just like we had done at Toulouse Petit, we ordered more than we could possibly eat.
We enjoyed watching the people offload from the ferry and then when Amtrak came through, we waved at the engineer and thought about taking Amtrak to Vancouver, B.C., one of these days. We’ll have to check and see what productions they have going on. We enjoyed the views, the train, the ferry and of course the food. Although we each had our favorites, we all agreed that the bacon wrapped dates were the best.
Monday we all slept in and then packed up and headed back to Tacoma. Traffic slowed us down, but we had memories enough to discuss, making the ride enjoyable. We love the Pacific Northwest and all it has to offer . . . but we always come back home to Tacoma and Pierce County.