Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Broken, and Adventure Story

On New Years Day, I depressed the shutter release button for what would end up being the last time from the window of hotel room 1111 at the Vintage Park Hotel in downtown Seattle.

You see, it all started the day before when we arrived downtown to a flurry of aid vehicles and news cameras.

Is there some kind of disaster?

What's on fire?

Someone was stabbed!

I texted my friend at home and let her know I wasn't even sure we could get into our hotel. Her advice? Come home! It's not safe!

Always erring on the side of caution, we finally were able to pull into the valet area of the hotel and ask what was going on. The staff informed us that yes, there was a fire at the hotel next door but that no, we were in no eminent danger. So we promptly gave them our keys, unloaded our suitcases and headed to the lobby for the wine tasting.

I mean, who wouldn't do that?

Look - a Christmas Tree made entirely of wine bottles! Jackpot!

After the wine, and a brisk walk prior to dinner, we sampled yet another fine glass in the hotels bar - a cozy little corner of the mouthwatering restaurant Tulio. Someday, I'm going back there just to eat their sweet potato gnocchi with sage butter and marscapone...someday.

And then we got dressed for dinner.

Here is photographic proof that yes, I wore a coat. I thought my mom would appreciate that since I did borrow it from her. Which reminds me...I better return it.

And then we headed to one of our favorite little places downtown - a place that reminds you of a sports bar disguised as the best martini bar in the world, plus - the food isn't half bad either, Von's. We had calamari. We had cocktails. We had PRIME RIB.

I'm still thinking about that prime rib.

And the strawberry lemon drop(s).

And my date.

Double old fashioned and strawberry lemon drop. Yum.

I could eat at Von's everyday. Sure, I'd weigh about a thousand pounds - but it would be worth it. 10-hour roasted prime rib is totally worth it.

But, we had places to go...

So we walked a few blocks down (in too-big high heels nonetheless - remind me to never wait until the last minute to get myself a pair of decent basic black pumps) to the monorail and caught a ride to the Seattle Center, where we were greeted at the doors of the space needle by tuxedoed men declaring, "good evening," and, "Happy New Year."

I took one look at my husband and thought we were in a dream.

In all my life, I'd watched the fireworks erupt from the space needle on television - I never, not in a million trillion years, thought I'd be up inside of it when the clock struck midnight. But here we were, doing just that. Happy New Year indeed!

The champagne was flowing, the desserts and appetizers were plentiful. The skies were clear as a bell, not a raindrop in sight and everyone inside the party was wearing a goofy HAPPY NEW YEAR hat and a smile to go with it.

In between dancing, we would head outside into the brisk night air where I'd slip off my ridiculous shoes and we'd gaze at the city below.

It was absolutely beautiful.

While I'm a more rural girl at heart, I do love the city. Especially on nights like these, when it's lit up like a Christmas tree and you can just feel the excitement.

With our noise makers and confetti, we greeted the new year as thousands of fireworks bounced from their perches just outside the windows of the space needle. Auld Lang Syne was bellowing from each speaker in the building and the entire party was swaying back and forth, kissing and hugging and wishing one another well.

I looked again at my husband, thinking of how much we've been through together since that fateful first date way back in 1989, and I am pretty sure that my heart grew a thousand times bigger in that moment.

And I can't wait to share even more with him in the next twenty.

When we woke up in the morning, in room 111 on 01/01/2011, we looked outside at the bright blue morning sky and noticed the black soot on the building next door. We both raised our eyebrows and discussed how strange it was that the fire in the hotel next to us had been literally right outside of our window, but we never saw it. Taking a picture seemed the only logical thing to do, since who would believe us if we told them? So, that's exactly what I did.

The windows only open a few inches so in order to get a clear shot, I had to extend my arms out over the ledge and aim it upwards. Perfect, I thought as I centered my shot in the viewfinder and slowly depressed the tiny chrome button on top of my camera.

"I got it!" I shouted to my husband, as I let my finger off the button and...boing! It sprang out from the camera and sailed down, down, down eleven stories to wherever it now resides. A tiny spring pitifully sat attached to the empty spot where the button had been. I felt like a piece of me had died.

It was the last time I used her, my broken camera.

I'm sure one of these days, I'll get her fixed.

I have never referred to my camera as a "she" before now, but I suppose that's what she is, a she. She's beautiful, cantankerous and sees the world in a unique way. Of course she's a she!Some people call their cars by a gender, some people their boats. Me? I'll call my camera a she. Perhaps I should also name her. Hmmmmm...

As for this story? I guess I should tell you that it pays to be childless in the car listening to the local radio station's 80's lunch and calling in when you know that the clip of the song they just played is, in fact, one that you know.

In other words, it pays to be bored.

Because had I not recognized the voice of Boy George in the song Time, I would have never won tickets to the New Years at the Needle. Oh yes, sometimes, just sometimes, it really does pay to be a child of the 80's.

Happy 2011. May all of your dreams come true.


melaniek said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time!...and I'm hungry now for prime rib, lol.

Anonymous said...

It just sounds better & better in the retelling!

Love you both, soo much...


So, where's my coat?

April said...

Love the story! You & B look so awesome! Were you listening to 101.5? Have to admit, you did us 80's girls proud with that ear of yours!

I just had to replace my Betsy too, used xmas gift cards to get a Nikon S8100 ~ happy so far {just sayin}

Watched the hotel fire on the news ... too weird ;D