July 1st was my birthday and I celebrated in style!
This post will be heavy on pictures and light on words. There are a LOT of photos! Just warning ya ;).
On Saturday (June 30th), my best friend Afra and I drove down to Seattle, where we stayed at the W Hotel.
This is us in the border line-up – it was only about an hour, which I thought was pretty good for a long weekend.
It was a really nice hotel – super shi-shi and the bar downstairs was awesome (we made sure to go there later on!). It had the craziest carpets and was dark all day long though – some kind of interesting atmosphere they were going for with the lights!
This is Afra and I in the super-fancy bar downstairs, playing with my cameraphone filters…
We headed out straight away, exploring.
We hit up Pike Place market, where we stood in a 25-minute long line-up at Piroshky, Piroshky (this is the line after we’d already been standing in it for 15 minutes!):
But it was worth the wait – we shared a warm, rhubarb-filled piroshky. I had never had one before but Afra, who is Persian, said they are quite popular in Iran. Apparently they’re a traditional Russian kind of pastry/dessert. Whatever they are, they were delish!
The longest line-up by far was for the original Starbucks, but on a very quick trip to Seattle once before, Afra and I had already visited there so we didn’t have to waste our time. I’m glad, too, because it’s just Starbucks with a different logo – nothing that special to see! If I had waited all that time I’d have been a bit annoyed, lol.
After something so sweet we needed some proper food, so we headed to Michou Deli where I got a Mediterranean quinoa salad which was pretty good:
We headed inside and checked out the lifesize drawing of the world’s tallest man. I no longer think I’m tall, by the way. I didn’t even come up to his chest standing on the steps they provide!
We headed out of the market and into downtown after that. I was super impressed with how clean Seattle is, as a city. Its streets look swept and the mall and everywhere we went was so new and big and fancy! It was really impressive.
We got chocolate-covered treats at Godiva, browsed stores (love these glasses!)…
And tried on silly hats…
Then headed back to the hotel to quickly regroup before going out for dinner.
We spotted a pub called The Pike, and went there for dinner. It was awesome, with Americana decor and beer-infused everything.
I got the veggie burger (sorry for the bad pic):
And for dinner we shared a brownie with stout-infused cream. It was pretty heavenly, of course:
After dinner we went to Market Theater to watch some improv comedy by TheaterSports. Out front they have a world-famous gum wall:
Afra was much braver than me when it came to getting close to the “2nd germiest attraction in the world”:
I admired how creative people got with the wall, lol!
- The improv show was awesome. There was a bachelor party in the audience which definitely made for a raucous audience, which just fed the actors more energy. I thought it was super well done.
- Afra and I with our ‘theatre faces’:
After the show we headed back to the hotel, where we met up with Katie, a friend of ours who lives in Seattle, and her cousin Marcus. They joined us for drinks at the bar in the W Hotel lobby, and then we went dancing until the wee hours at a bar called Noc Noc, where we danced with transvestites for hours! (No joke). It was so much fun.
The next day we drove back to Vancouver, stopping at some American stores on the way for some much-needed goodies, like Target, Trader Joe’s, and Fred Meyer where I finally found the Arctic Zero ice cream I’ve been looking for! No worries, I got it in mint chocolate cookie, cookies and cream, chocolate peanut butter and coffee flavour. I went all out! And restocked my NuNaturals stevia baking blend too. I was in love.
We got back to Vancouver by 6:30, where I opened some gifts, which included an Express gift card (they’re about to open their first store in Vancouver in a week’s time!) and an apron from my sister and brother-in-law:
I also got a cookbook, super expensive and fancy (but works wonders!) hair mask and some loose leaf Forte teas from my mom, a book from my brother and gift certificates and moolah from my aunt, uncle and grandma. Afra had also given me a necklace, nail polish, a book and an engraved jewellery box (I’ve never received anything engraved before!)
Then Mom and I went out for the traditional birthday family dinner:
We went to Cloud 9, a revolving restaurant on the 42nd floor of a hotel in downtown Vancouver, so the view is phenomenal:
It rotates 360 degrees in 1 hour 20 minutes, so during the course of our meal we got a view from every angle, and I took tons of pictures:
I ordered the tomato bisque to start (my favourite soup was the soup of the day – gotta love when that happens!):
And I had the goat cheese vegetable risotto as my main course:
My mom, who is a pescetarian, so does eat fish, ordered the salmon:
For dessert, there was a fabulous chocolate mousse cake that I enjoyed some bites of. Delish!
It was so kind of them to light a candle for me too – made me feel extra special!
We made sure we booked in at 8:30pm, so that we would be in the restaurant when it got dark. Because it was Canada Day as well, we knew there would be a fireworks display, and sure enough, at around 10:30pm, the fireworks started!
It was a fabulous show – I took better pics with my SLR but haven’t uploaded them yet. We sure had a great view though!
Yesterday, Monday July 2nd, the celebrations continued as I finally got around to having my own birthday cake at home:
Then our family friends brought their dog Maple around and we had a sushi dinner. They used to be our next-door neighbours and Maple and our cats get on so well and love each other, so it was great for us all just to hang out. Take a look:
The birthday celebrations are continuing too! Friday my girlfriends and I are going to hit the VIP movies up and watch Magic Mike…then Saturday I’m going berry picking with a couple of my other girlfriends and their babies. Love spreading out the birthday fun!
- Canadians, what did you get up to this long weekend?
- Americans, happy 4th of July for tomorrow! What are your plans?