Day 13 - Seattle, WA
|Saturday, May 15, 2021: Good morning, Kent! We got up around 7 AM and took some refreshing showers.
|The trailer next to us belonged to a kind campground employee who had helped us when we first arrived. This campground gets terrible reviews for how small the campsites are, and understandably so, but that didn't matter to us in our tiny rig, and every other aspect of the campground was perfect.
|Breakfast was Ivar's clam chowder and Breadfarm bread, plus leftover beef stroganoff.
|By 10 AM, we were driving past downtown Seattle for about the hundredth time.
|But this time, we were headed out east to Redmond. We passed one of the many light rail stations in the Seattle suburbs.
|We were in Redmond to check out the SpaceX facilities here. That logo is so beautiful.
|Two of the bike racks out front also have the SpaceX logo on them, but the others have the Falcon 9 logo, the Dragon logo, and the Falcon Heavy logo.
|We rolled into Debbie's brother Doug's neighborhood at 11 AM.
|Doug had an extension cord sitting out for us, so we hooked up and opened the poptop.
|We gave Doug, Susan, and Stewart a tour of our tiny home. Of course, Doug took a picture of Debbie taking a picture of Doug.
|Our very tall nephew, Stewart, managed to find the one place in the RV where he could stand up comfortably.
|Susan's front garden is a vision to behold and she was a good sport to pose for a picture for us.
|We went out to sit on their deck and Lollie came to greet us.
|Their back yard is a beautiful oasis too, thanks to Susan's green thumb and good care of the neighborhood critters.
|In the kitchen was the recipe that Debbie had engraved on a cutting board for Susan's birthday the previous month.
|The recipe for oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies was typed by Susan's father using his typewriter seen here.
|We went out to Tipsy Cow for lunch. We waited under the shade of a tree in the parking lot for a table to be available. Yes, you read that correctly: we needed to stand in the shade in the Pacific Northwest. When we visit Seattle, we like to bring sunny weather with us.
|Debbie ordered the Seatown - a salmon burger with cucumber, red onion, and alfalfa sprouts.
|Tom went for the El Bandito - a black bean patty with pepper jack cheese, avocado, pico de gallo, red onion, and lettuce. It was Doug's birthday so he ordered a shake.
|We rode there with Stewart so he gave us a little tour of the wineries and neighborhoods of Woodinville on the way back.
|It was time for Doug to open birthday presents, so we wrapped his frozen Carbone's sausage-and-pepperoni pizza in a Carbone's paper sack and brought it inside, along with his other birthday gifts, ...
|... some of which were also wrapped in Carbone's pizza bags, as shown here on the table. Doug opened a gift from Susan, which was a jumbo measuring tape.
|Stewart helped demonstrate exactly how incredibly long the measuring tape was by standing on the very edge of the yard.
|Susan gave us a bag of delicious Jacker Snacks that they had picked up recently on the Washington peninsula.
|Doug saved one of his Ada Box subscription boxes to open on his birthday.
|He also got some of his Arduino hardware out to show Tom, while Tom gave him some extra Arduino microcontrollers from an old project.
|Doug and Stewart showed Tom a VR headset they've been using.
|While the nerds talked shop, Debbie got out a vintage Wilson's Certified Campsite Bacon Bar. She has one, she had given Doug one, and this was a third one that they could open and try together.
|These things haven't been manufactured since the 1970s, but it was a favorite snack on Debbie and Doug's childhood backpacking trips. Debbie carefully opened the package and sniffed it. To her surprise, it wasn't rancid.
|There was much talking and laughing, and then Debbie finally tasted it.
|It wasn't great, but it really wasn't bad for being 45-year-old hunk of shredded bacon.
|Naturally, Debbie offered to share with everyone.
|The crowd was not enthusiastic about it.
|Doug opened his package of freeze-dried durian, a birthday gift from Debbie. That did not go over well with the crowd either.
|Meanwhile, hummingbirds stopped by regularly to feast at Susan's hummingbird feeder.
|Stewart's girlfriend Lyndsay was able to join us later in the day after attending a family friend's funeral.
|It was time for cocktails, so Doug brought out a 4-pack of beer he got from Black Raven Brewing for us.
|Lyndsay brought out some Hatakosen soda and Jinro Green Grape Soju, ...
|... and we sampled some of the soju. Cheers!
|Stewart was drinking a BuzzBallz Choco Chiller, ...
|... so we tried a sample of that too. Cheers again!
|Susan picked up dinner at Kafe Neo, ...
|... featuring gyros and avgolemono for everyone. Avgo-what? Avgolemono is a tasty chicken and rice soup in a lemon and egg broth.
|Lollie got some love from Tom, ...
|.. while Marty did everything in his claw-wielding power to get away from the strange visitors on his deck.
|It was getting dark when Susan brought out Doug's birthday cake: a German chocolate cake that he'd be sharing with his sister who understands how delicious they are. Lemon kringle was served to those who don't understand.
|Susan told us that the ISS would by flying overhead, so we were all outside at 10:20 PM waiting for it. Stewart's sharp eyes were the first to spot it.
|There it is, moving slowly across the sky over Doug and Susan's house.
|Being very dark out, this was a good time to get a tour of Stewart's tricked-out Subaru.
|He had installed a cool lighting system, ...
|... and we watched as it changed colors.
|We were ready to head to The Ocho and call it a night when Stewart spotted something else in the sky. It was a Starlink train, which is a series of satellites launched earlier that afternoon all traveling along the same path as they slowly get farther and farther away from each other.
|It was impossible to get a good picture of them, but it looked like a narrow line of points of light all moving in the same direction across the sky. It was one of the coolest things we've ever seen in the night sky.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy