18 Hours in Seattle

Friday, July 14th, 2011

0700 hours Central Time
Wake up. Feed Piper. Shower. Drink coffee. Get ready. Pack last minute things.

Leave house for airport. Eat granola bar in car.

Find parking spot in garage after long search. Attempt to remember location of car without writing it down.

Make way to Self-Check In counter at United. Learn that connecting flight from Denver to Seattle has been cancelled. (Denver had apparently had hailstorms two days prior.)

Rebooked on later flight. Arrival moves from 1:02pm to 7:47pm.

Make way through security line. See ex with his wife and child. Awkward.

Regret not wearing shoes with socks.

Speed-walk to gate. Board immediately.

I’m on a plane!

1015 Mountain Time
Land in Denver.

Find next United flight to Seattle. Get on standby list.

Find nearest restaurant. Wait 15 minutes to order. Order turkey sandwich and a Fat Tire.

Note how awesome it is that pre-noon communal drinking is a preferred and accepted activity in airports.

Am seduced by the candy shop across the concourse. Fall prey to a piece of peanut butter chocolate fudge.

Sit at standby gate. Watch birds hop around and eat crumbs.

Pick up on DIA trends. Clogs. Vinyl backpacks. Water bottles. Lots of iPads. No makeup.

Read. Desperately want to nap.

Accept the fact that I won’t get onto this flight. The plane has been downsized. Call junior high BFF to tell her we won’t have time for coffee after all.

Walk to next gate. At least I’m confirmed on this flight.

This girl shows up and sits across from me. Best suitcase. She’s wearing a Proenza Schouler rope necklace, has neon yellow nails, natural dark red hair that’s long + wavy, a great complexion, and wristful of bracelets. Instant girl crush.

A man with actual Tourette’s sits near me, obviously disgruntled.

Board plane. Sandwiched between hippies in my seat.

I’m on a plane!

See a mountaintop peeking up through the clouds. Unbelievable.

I’m eating a fruit and cheese plate. Feeling the tiniest bit fancy. Still sitting between hippies. One with his socks tucked into the seat pocket.

1940 Pacific Time
Land in Seattle. Breathe.

Picked up by Nissan.

Find out I’ve missed dinner at Canlis. Sad face.

Driven through downtown to make up for it. Immediately fall in love with lush greenery and tree-lined streets.

There’s Pike Place Market! Empty. Realize it’s a street, not a square like I’ve always pictured.

Dropped off at Hotel 1000. Check in and pick up media materials at the front desk. The USB fob looks just like the one I have for my car! Nice idea.

Get to my room. Utter obscenities at the sheer amazingness of it. King bed! Free-standing tub that fills from the ceiling! Fantastic smelling Molton Brown bath products! French press coffee! Chocolate on my bed! I’m smitten.

Compelled to try out this big, beautiful bath tub.

Dress to head down to meet friends at BOKA.

Meet up with Maggie, Bradford, Cassandra, Anne, and Sarah. Reunite with Megan and Erin. Cocktails and appetizers run freely.


Saturday, July 15th, 2011

0030 Hours
Say our goodbyes.

Set up wake up call. Collapse into bed. Finally.

Wake with a start at the alarm clock next to my bed. It’s still set from the room’s last occupant.

Make coffee. Note how great the blackout shades work.

Realize I’ve forgotten my hairbrush. This should be interesting.

Go over the day’s itinerary. Marvel at my life.

Shower. Get ready. Think how cool it is that the TV greets me with my name.

Pack up. Say goodbye to one of my favorite hotel rooms ever.

Make my way to breakfast and the Nissan Versa presentation.

Chat with Jessica, the event organizer whom I’ve been emailing with forever.

Eat the best French toast ever. The French toast of dreams.

Hear from the Nissan Versa product planner and marketing manager. They keep it short and sweet.

High points: Car designs are actually 5-10 years of what’s on the lot now. The new Versa model is a killer value (base is $10,990!!) and incredibly roomy. It gets 38 MPG on the highway and 30 MPG in the city. Package options include bluetooth. USB/iPod direct connections, navigation, XM Radio, and touchscreen technology. If you got everything it would top out around $16,000. Insane.

We get to see the new Versa for the first time. Initial impression: It looks like a car that costs more. Realize my 2009 Nissan Altima Coupe cost more than twice as
much and doesn’t have the same technology. Whoa, things move fast.

Anne and I choose a light silver number and immediately hook up her iPhone to the car. It is determined that Florence and the Machine will be our starting soundtrack.

Anne and I get lost from the pack. Half a block from the hotel. This is not an exaggeration.

After discovering my navigation and map-reading skills need work, we decide to drive around the city testing the car and pretending like we live here.

It’s raining (it is Seattle, after all) and the Versa’s doing really well handling the wet streets. We talk about how comfortable the interior is – narrow without feeling cramped.

Top Pot Doughnuts here we come! This place has been highly recommended to the both of us, so who cares that we ate breakfast two hours ago.

People here honk a lot.

Photo shoot in the parking lot next to Top Pot.

There’s a decent line, but we’re committed the wait. I adore the modern feel and the book-lined walls.

I ask for their best seller, the glazed. It ends up being a massive burger-sized doughnut. Anne picks up a tractor tire and chocolate along with a small Ovaltine latte. (I know!!)

We sit outside and chat and take pictures of our gigantic, delicious pastries.

On the road again. This time I’m behind the wheel. We head towards the Sound and take a few more pictures of the Versa. It’s doing really well on the (unsuspected to me) hills.

I inadvertently pass Wexley School for Girls, a design shop I’ve been stalking for years!

I see my first cruise ship in person! Whoa. We laugh about the Red Robin nestled between all of the seafood restaurants.

We pop in to see Olympic Sculpture Park. Take more photos, including an obligatory self-portrait or ten. (This is my hair on no brushing.)

On our way to the Space Needle to meet the group for lunch.

Made it! The Need (as the locals say) is up there, but not as tall as I’d thought.

We head to the tippy top. Since we’re an event group we get to bypass all the long lines. Feeling sort of rockstar-ish.

That. Elevator. Is. Fast.

It’s still overcast, but wow is the city pretty. Bite of Seattle is going on down below.

Lunch on a lower level. The broiled fish is amazing, of course. There are tiny little desserts that I’m way too full to eat.

I say my goodbyes, it’s my turn to head to Sea-Tac airport.

A souvenir is a must, so I popped into the gift shop (which is the entire lower level) and pick up a gorgeous set of opalescent glass bangles from a local artist.

Van leaves for the airport, but not before I notice once more how lush and green everything is. It starts raining harder. Seattle is obviously just as sad to see me go as I am to leave.

Dropped off curbside. Check myself in (with no problems this time), make it through security, and take a minute to check out the window mosaics by Dick Weiss.

I’m on a plane! Next to two children! Luckily one is an adorable redhead named Charlie. And their dad looks like Eminem.

Mercifully manage to fall asleep for about 30 minutes.

1815 Hours Mountain Time
Land back in Denver. Deplane and see that – SHOCKER! – my flight back to OKC has been delayed until a 9:50pm departure.

Break up with Denver and United.

Stop in a French bistro for hummus, veggies, and grapes for dinner. Oh, and chocolate milk.

Pass my time at the gate with the other agitated passengers.

See a family who’s missed their flight. Twice. Ummm.

Sleep with my eyes open.

Notice woman sitting two rows away from me. Reading out loud to herself.

Mentally calculate what time I should be able to be asleep by.

Finally board plane. This time there is thankfully a seat between me and the gentleman next to me.

I’m on a plane….


Sunday, July 16, 2011

0015 Hours Central Time
Back in OKC, much to my delight. I’m so happy to only have a carry-on.

Somehow manage to remember where I parked. It was only yesterday morning, but feels like days ago.

The cats are meh about my arrival home. I wash my face and fall into bed. Silently thank the universe for all the opportunities I have and Nissan for a crazy eventful trip!


Disclaimer: Nissan provided travel, meals and the opportunity to drive the 2012 Versa vehicle before it was on sale. The facts are theirs, the opinions are 100% mine.

  • Melissa M.

    July 19, 2011 at 8:16 am Reply

    WOW! Sounds like an insane (partially awesome, partially not-so-awesome) few days! I also enjoyed a Top Pot doughnut while I was there. If I lived in Seattle, I could see Top Pot being my second home. 🙂

    • Kelly

      July 19, 2011 at 8:28 am Reply

      oh yes, one of the best i’ve ever eaten!

  • Deborah Peterson Milne

    July 19, 2011 at 8:35 am Reply

    What a marvelous post, beginning to end. Wow what a journey and not always the easiest of one. You seriously gave me a dose of homesickness however. You had me @ Top Pot donuts, and the Space Needle. Summers are typically amazing in Seattle, just sad that this summer is just the opposite. Thanks for the heads up about the Versa. I’m loving the price, and MPH, especially for buying for a teen to drive. Hope you get some serious R&R this week?

    Cheers ~ Deb

  • Sara

    July 19, 2011 at 8:37 am Reply

    Hi! Sounds like you had a wonderful, but crazy, trip! Quick note about the awesome luggage: I saw one very similar at Urban Outfitters and almost sold my soul to buy it. Lust!

    • Kelly

      July 19, 2011 at 8:42 am Reply

      I’ve found a few similar options on Overstock – 2 piece sets actually – for MUCH cheaper, though I’m not sure about the quality.

  • dressperado

    July 19, 2011 at 9:29 am Reply

    Great post.I feel like I was there. This is the second non-summer in the Pacific Northwest. Usually we have two months of nice weather.

  • adele

    July 19, 2011 at 9:31 am Reply

    Wow! Seattle looks amazing. loved the way you shared the post with us xoxo

  • Laura

    July 19, 2011 at 9:34 am Reply

    I went to Seattle for 3 days back in march and LOVED it!!Your photos make me jealous!

  • Stephanie

    July 19, 2011 at 9:40 am Reply

    those doughnuts are definitely going on my to-do list whenever i make it to seattle!

  • alicia

    July 19, 2011 at 9:47 am Reply

    Sounds like an incredible trip – I’m jealous! And I must have that luggage, though I think my husband would kill me because I’m sure he’d wind up carrying it part way through the trip. Still…..

  • Jana

    July 19, 2011 at 11:22 am Reply

    Born and raised in Seattle and I’ve never been to Top Pot-the insanity. I’m going to now stop by there today while I’m out running errands. (Is is weird that I read you were going to be here for the weekend and I secretly hoped for a celebrity sighting of you? 🙂

    • Kelly

      July 19, 2011 at 11:45 am Reply

      haha! aww, i’m flattered. 😉

  • Carolyn

    July 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm Reply

    What a great portrait of Seattle! Us that have lived here our whole lives sometimes forget it is more than Jul-Octobers and constant mind-boggling construction of major highways and bridges. Stop by Mighty-O donuts next time you’re in town – better donuts AND the shop is located in a fab old garage!

  • Uncle Beefy

    July 19, 2011 at 5:30 pm Reply

    It was SO JOYOUS to finally have met in person, Miss Kelly! But, I didn’t get enough chat time in so we’ll definitely have to do more at Alt Summit!

    Florence & The Machine as the Seattle test-drive soundtrack? I KNEW I hearted you and Anne! 🙂

    I hope you’re feeling well rested after that rather arduous journey.

    A big ole HUG and MWAH to you! xo U.B. 🙂

    • Kelly

      July 19, 2011 at 8:53 pm Reply

      SO good seeing you. i need more Beefy time in the near future! xo

  • Lesley

    July 22, 2011 at 11:12 am Reply

    Your reaction to Seattle is the same as mine was the first time I saw it about 15 months ago. Hubby & I are now living in WA and were in Seattle last weekend. You must come back when you have more time– there is so much to explore! Art, food, design, outdoorsy stuff, this place has it all. What’s a little rain when there is so much goodness?

    • Kelly

      July 22, 2011 at 11:16 am Reply

      totally! and i’m a rainy sort of girl at heart anyway. 😉

  • Maggie Rose

    July 22, 2011 at 11:17 am Reply

    It was so good to meet you! Such a whirlwind of a trip. Maybe the next time I spend 18 hours in Oklahoma we can do drinks again 😉

    Do locals really call the Space Needle “The Need”? I’ve never heard that before. Lol.

    • Kelly

      July 22, 2011 at 11:18 am Reply

      According to Anne Sage they do! Or maybe I’m just gullible, perfectly plausible.

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