Sunday, November 1, 2009 - Saturday, November 8, 2009
Before you say it, yes, I know, I know. Earlier this year I said "If I never see this place again, it'll be to soon", and, well, here we are again. To throw another cliche' out there then, 'never say never'.
Jill was scheduled to teach a boot camp in Lynnwood, Washington, just north of Seattle (by about 15 miles). Being that this was previously our least favorite destination, the thought of making a second trip here in a year didn't thrill us, but it's a paycheck so what the hey! Before I continue on with the synopsis, though, let me say this - our impression of the Pac NW was altered this week not because of the scenery or events, but by the people we were able to spend it with. I have always liked 'tagging along' with Jill whenever she has to speak to coders, and this group proved to be no different. They made the week and the experience WELL WORTH the thousands of miles we traveled to get here.
So, on with the trip.
Mid-morning on Sunday we headed out of the house to New York. Jill found some really good rates on a DIRECT! (bonus) flights from JFK to Sea-Tac. It was still a six and a half hour flight, but at least there wasn't a layover. Into Sea-Tac around 9:30 (Pacific Time), we grabbed the rental - a PT Cruiser - and drove up to Lynnwood. Surprisingly, there was quite a bit of traffic even on a Sunday night in Seattle. For the week, we stayed at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Lynnwood, just down from the Alderwood Mall. Our room (201) was right around the corner from the conference room, so that made it convenient to shuttle things back and forth during the week. After settling in the room, we treked out in search of some food, which isn't always easy at 11:00 on a Sunday night, no matter where we are! We finally found a place called "The Keg" nearby and grabbed a late dinner there.
Bright and early on Monday morning, we started the class. I actually sat in on this one so I could better learn about coding and maybe help out at ComplyCode a bit more! Class ran Monday through Thursday from 8:00 to 5:30, with a varying lunchtime. We only went out a couple of times for lunch, once to the food court at the Alderwood Mall, and the other time to Panera Bread at the same mall. At night, we found a variety of places to go out to dinner, and most nights that's all we had a chance to do!
Monday night we went to our old favorite P.F. Changs!
On Tuesday we went to The Rock Wood Fired Pizza and had a great appetizer (called 'Day Trippers' - mini calzones stuffed with bleu cheese and buffalo chicken), and a pizza called 'Ooohhh That Smell', which was tender pieces of chicken in a bar-b-que red sauce, peppered bacon, roasted peppers, mozzarella and topped with fresh scallions. I also had a couple of their microbrews, "Wild Thing" which was a honey wheat beer, and "Suicide Blonde" which was a bohemian pale ale. We skipped the dessert options! LOL!
Wednesday night found us at McGrath's Fish House. I had the 'Admirals Platter', and Jill had 'Halibut Cheeks' with sun-dried tomato creme sauce.
Thursday night we went Mexican! Azteca Mexican Restaurant was our find for this craving! Jill had possibly the LARGEST chile relleno we have ever seen! It came on a platter along with chicken milanesa and pollo fandido. I had molcajete, with chicken and steak and mushrooms - that was yummy as well! Two 25 ounce Dos Equis Amber's helped wash it all down.
Friday, sadly, brought the end of class. Even though it was a long week with A LOT of learning and a lot of hours in the classroom, this truly was Jill's best class ever and it was a bit sad in a way to see it end. Class ended around noon on Friday. We hung around the conference room until about 3:30 so Jill could finish an Ingenix book she was working on, and then we headed out. We drove from Lynnwood, which was north of Seattle, to the SeaTac and Kent area which was south of the city. This put us much closer (i.e. - directly across the street) from the airport, and also within a few miles of the ShoWare Center, where we went on Friday night to watch the Seattle Thunderbirds WHL team play the Spokane Chiefs. This arena just opened in January of 2009, and what a gem they have! The place seats around 6,000, and is very remeniscient of the rink in Kingston, Ontario. They both looked very much the same with their seating, access to seating, and public areas. The on ice game wasn't all that great as neither team was very good, but a hockey game is a hockey game, and we aren't ones to turn the opportunity down! Back to the hotel after the game, which for this night was the Radisson Hotel, SeaTac - so close to the airport we could see it when we arrived last Sunday from our gate!
Up early on Saturday for our direct flight back to JFK. We arrived at JFK around 3:00, grabbed our luggage, and headed for home. Along the way, we stopped at the BoneFish Grill on Route 46 in Pinebrook, New Jersey. Had an awesome dinner there! Afterwards, we completed our drive home!