MoPop and More: Seattle with Gina & Co


Today was the Most Eventful Day of the weekend, a day spent with my sister, Gina; her wife, Beth; her son / my nephew, David; and their Italian foreign exchange student, 17-year-old Gaia. Small portions of it were also spent with Shobhit, with whom I walked down Pine Street on my way to meet Gina and the gang fairly early this morning, until he had to turn northward on Boren Avenue toward his work shift that lasted between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

I met with Gina & Co. at Lowell's at the Market for breakfast. The intent was to meet at 8:00; Shobhit was convinced they would never get there by that time, especially driving up from Olympia for a day visit. Gina texted me when they were passing by Boeing Field, and that was when I left to walk down there -- it just happened to coincide with the time Shobhit was to leave so he could walk to work himself.

And, as it happened, half an hour difference wasn't that bad when they were getting up that early and coming up all the way from Olympia on a Sunday -- I arrived at Lowell's at 8:30 and they arrived literally moments later. It was still early enough that the line wasn't too long.

Gaia apparently wanted "American pancakes," and I said Lowell's had the best. I did order a short stack so I got two instead of the standard three pancakes I can never eat there; Gaia kept flipping me shit for not telling her the short stack was an option.

I got stellar service there today: in the process of ordering my short stack, I totally spaced on ordering the strawberries to come with it, and was surprised to find the pancakes unadorned when the arrived. The young woman ordered the strawberries for me, and even took my credit card to run so I would not have to go down and wait in the line all over again. I gave her a huge tip on that second receipt. Granted, it was a very small check, so it wasn't very huge in straightforward dollars (a tip of $1.87, which amounted to 45%), but it's the gesture that counts! Or I hope she thought so, anyway.

I used the $300 gift card I got as a 15-th anniversary gift from PCC all day today anyway.

We did a lot of walking thereafter, and after several hours Gaia in particular was rather exhausted. We walked through Pike Place Market to within a block or so of their car, from which Beth ran to get her wallet; then we walked a bit over a mile from there up to the Museum of Pop Culture -- or, the museum formerly known as Experience Music Project. It was the whole impetus of the trip: Gina and Beth wanted to see the temporary Jim Henson exhibit -- and so did I!


As you might imagine, I am really quite pleased with the above photo -- which I asked Gina to take for me. You can click either that photo or the photo below to be taken to the full photo set for today on Flickr.

It had been a long, long time since I had been to this museum -- so far as I can tell from my Google Calendar, ten years almost to the month: I went in August 2007 with Charlie to see a Disney exhibit. The name was changed from Experience Music Project just late last year -- which is why my Chinook Book Coupon in the 2017 book still said "EMP" on it. I did not realize until seeing that news article about it, though, that this was the fifth time they changed their name! That's splitting hairs, though -- all those first names were variations on "Experience Music Project." This was their first total and complete name change. "Museum of Pop Culture" makes way more sense for the exhibits they have anyway.

I had a really good time there yesterday, but I suppose going there once a decade is still plenty. As is often the case with places like this, it really depends on their temporary exhibits.

And it's just as well Shobhit had to work; he has no history with the Muppets at all. Even Gaia's experience is fairly limited -- and what familiarity she does have does not have the same kind of nostaglic effect as for those of us Gen-Xers. In fact she said muppets scare her. She did not spend a lot of time in the Jim Henson exhibit. She seemed to find other areas interesting, though, especially the areas that are remaining vestiges of when the EMP first opened. She actually can play the guitar a bit.

Once we were done at MoPop, we stopped for a brief photo op outside the Space Needle, which Gaia felt no need to go up (too bad); then, at my suggestion, since we were fairly close, I led us all down to the office building I work in so they could see the fantastic PCC offices and their views. They were all duly impressed.

After that, a brief stint through the Olympic Sculpture Park, since it's right next to my office building to the south. By the time we were leaving there, Shobhit was off work and walking toward the waterfront to meet us at Ivar's, which the rest of us walked to.

Shobhit had easily double the distance to walk that we had, but he walks pretty fast on his own, and this group I was with were very slow walkers. I mean, normal-speed walkers, to be fair. He arrived at Ivar's only minutes after we got there.

Beth asked if I was going to get lunch, and I said, "Not here!" She was like, "Not a fan?" Not exactly. "I'm a vegetarian," I said. She said she forgets that. Totally understandable. I wasn't hungry anyway. Those pancakes were plenty filling -- so much so that, as I said, had I gotten the standard three-pancake stack, I would not even have been able to finish them.

I did feed some french fries to the seagulls though. That's just what you do at Ivar's on the Seattle waterfront. I also got this truly spectacular photo of Gina doing it.


After that, the six of us walked under the Alaskan Way viaduct for a bit, but soon enough they were headed toward their car, intent on taking Gaia to the Fremont Troll, which Shobhit and I had no need to go see yet again. So we parted ways, and Shobhit and I walked back up toward Pike Place Market again. We ultimately decided to use my Chinook Book coupon for a free side and free tea with the purchase of a sandwich, which we took home to split for an early dinner. For me, it was more than plenty and I don't think I'll need any more food for the rest of the day.

Once home, I edited and uploaded and captioned photos and am now writing this journal entry. Or blog entry. Call it whatever you want!

So how about yesterday? I took myself to see The Trip to Spain at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown, and it was pretty good. Shobhit picked me up and we did a little shopping, at Costco. There isn't much more to tell. We watched Catch Me If You Can on HBO, as I noticed it was available months ago and added it to my watch list. I hadn't seen it since it first came out and it is a highly watchable and entertaining movie -- one of the somewhat rare ones that grips Shobhit and me to the same degree.

I did see Ivan for maybe an hour or two before leaving for the movie. He worked in the evening and I zonked out early both the previous two nights. I'm at a point where sometimes I literally cannot keep myself awake even if it's still before 10 p.m. on a weekend.

I guess I should mention Shobhit and I went to Cupcake Royale to use a 2-for-1 Chinook Book coupon on Friday evening, which Shobhit did to ensure himself a point on the next Social Review for that day. He managed it for Friday and for today. Whether he will for tomorrow, during which I am not working because our office is closed for Labor Day, remains to be seen.