Every adventure gives us fun moments and unexpected points of interest. Our trip to Seattle for this adventure was to see a performance of The Mikado.
We parked in a paid lot across the street from the Seattle Rep at the Seattle Center. We paid our twenty dollars and started looking for some place for lunch. We immediately found the remnants of a chowmein, fried rice lunch for two or three abandoned on the asphalt in front of a parked SUV.
Although, I appreciated the composition, I had to shake my head at the insolence of people who leave their garbage for others to deal with. Perhaps, this was a geo-political statement, but I think not.
After walking up to two unopended bars and cafes, we changed directions and went back to Mercer and walked up a slight incline to Caffé Zingaro at 127 Mercer Street. I think Peg had been there before. The cafe was busy. We ordered, looked at the art on the walls (small portraits of people - mostly with blue skin), and then sat down by the window to watch the passing parade of Seattle.
There were multiple events at the Seattle Center, so parking was at a premium and we saw plenty of people walking in groups of two to six. We had already passed a demonstration further downtown. All four corners near the Westgate Center were filled with people, signs, and flags. Chanting filled the air. There is no shortage of news "around the world to respond to the ongoing bloodshed of the Palestinian people, the latest atrocity . . ." People of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest come from all over the world, and it's good to review opinions and search for new ideas.
We had a nice bite to eat at the coffee shop. Peg and I shared an excellent, toasted turkey sandwich with tomato and red onion. Although, Peg had a few nibbles of my granola cookie, I ate most of it. The cup of fresh watermelon and cantalope sent the pendulum back to Peg. Peg bought a short bread cookie with hazelnuts to share during intermission at the play.
Little coffee shops like Zingaro are great places to relax and eat. They almost always feature good coffee from one of our Seattle brands, hot tea, and fresh sandwiches and pastries. You have to bus your own napkins, and plastic silverware, but it's better than taking everything outside and leaving them by the curb.
Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Seattle has been producing the works of G&S for nearly sixty years. The Mikado was first produced in London in 1885. My first viewing of the play was a Canadian production taped in a theater for Canada's Stratford Festival in the 1980s. It had a ton of Canadian asides, political and sports jibes and was extremely fun to watch. Since then Peg and I have enjoyed various productions from Silverdale to Seattle here in the Pacific Northwest. Although, national news brought comments and protests about the production not using Asian actors and being racist and sexist, it did not dampen the spirits of the nearly full house. Read Peg Doman's Mikado Review Here.
Soon after taking my seat, an elderly couple sat directly in front of me. The man, wearing a strawhat, asked if the hat was going to obstruct my view. I replied, "Only if you wear it during the performance." He took the hat off and I then complained about the reflection off his head. They were nice people. The husband left for a few minutes and the wife told me, "Eighty years old and he just had a nose job." I asked, "Has he gotten more dates that way?" He had skin cancer, and the operation was successful. I love people like this at the theater. They were there to have fun . . . just like life. We're here for fun.
After the play we headed back to Tacoma. We pulled off in Federal Way for dinner. We drove around looking at the different restaurants trying to find one that Peg approved of. I drove Peg past the office of my new dentist, Dr. Amanda Huang of Art of the Smiles. Weeks before I had cracked a molar (old filling) and was treated here in Federal Way. The staff was friendly and very competent. The doctor did a great job, which for me means no pain.
The 320th options off the freeway were many. I would have been happy with a number of the restaurants we drove past. There were even two right beside The Art of Smiles, but my job, as always, is to make my wife happy. We drove around the maze of shops, offices, and restaurants.
It didn't look open as we drove by, but Peg wanted to make sure. The Ma Boulange Bakery, was right next door to Trader Joe's. No customers were there when we walked in, but as soon as we started looking at the menu three or four other people came in.
I told Peg to choose whatever she wanted along with a spinache pastry and a apple-walnut-raisin strudel. Peg filled out the form for the sandwich with what she wanted on it. Peg ordered an ice cold lemonade for me and a Hansen orange & lime zero calorie soda for herself, while I picked out a table and plastic silverware. When Peg came to the table she walked past to the same shelves were I had chosen the silverware and selected some paper napkins . . . she fell in love with the weighted napkin holder (a very thin arm of metal bent down with a disk at the end of it to keep the napkins from flying away in a wind). It was beautiful and functional.
The bread on the sandwich was a little too dense for me. It seemed dry, but Peg loved it. I ate everything except the crust on my half. The spinache pastry was a little dry as well. Heated up with a little pat of butter would have stepped up the flavor and texture, but we didn't order it that way. My lemonade was so bland it could have been ice water. I was a little disappointed with Peg's choice of restaurant.
My attitude changed with the strudel. We didn't ask for it to be warmed, either, but it stood up well just as it was. It was sweet and crunchy with a flaky crust. I would return and try out more pastries and possibly their soups. I would also choose my own sandwich and my own selection of bread. The prices weren't bad, the place was clean, the staff pleasant . . . and the food agreeable.
We had a nice afternoon in Seattle and Federal Way. Peg and I walked everywhere hand-in-hand and as we drove on the freeway she read to me. It doesn't get much better than that.