This year I lucked out and Seattle’s Seafair weekend corresponded with my birthday. While I’m not a huge fan of the hydroplanes, nor do I go for the torchlight parade, triathlon, marathon, or fleet week Boeing maritime celebration, there is one thing I DO go for. The Blue Angels.
Gods of Thunder
Rick Allen, the drummer for the rock group Deff Leppard, is nick named the Thunder God. Other Thunder Gods include Thor and Zeus, among others. While Mr. Allen is indeed real and deserves due respect, he’s got nothing on the Blue Angels, the true Gods of Thunder.
I have lived in Olympia, Washington for most of my life and knew of Seattle’s Seafair, but had never gone. I knew it included an air show, which included the Blue Angels and hydroplane races, but beyond that, I didn’t really care. The first summer my husband and I were dating, we were in Seattle eating lunch on a roof top deck, outside at the farmers market. Unbeknownst to us, it was Seafair weekend and the air show had just started. Waiting for our lunch to be served, we sat quietly enjoying the beautiful sunny weather, and the bustling of the market below. Suddenly, out of nowhere, there was an incredibly loud roar and we looked skyward. Four blue F/A-18 Hornets, in diamond formation screamed above our heads at insane speed. For the remainder of our lunch, my eyes were glued to the sky, anxiously awaiting another flyby. A palpable energy surged through my body and I screamed like a child every time I saw them.
I’m not a huge fan of loud noise, in fact I rather dislike it. However, there is one exception. I adore the powerful bellow of high speed aircraft. A noise so identifiable, that you know it’s one of the fastest sounds on the planet. And if you don’t look quickly enough, you could very well miss it.
Until that day I had never seen the Blue Angels. In an instant, I was hooked and a fan for life. My husband gets a kick out of my fascination and simply indulges my flyboy obsession. Given the chance, I would not hesitate in joining them on a fly along (on an empty stomach of course). Me, and about a million other people.
They never cease to amaze and never disappoint. This years show was no different.
Day Two, Pie & Soccer
On our second day in Seattle, my husband took me for lunch to one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle – Serious Pie. If you like pizza and have never been, you MUST go!! It’s some of the best pizza you will ever have. I’m not taking typical stuff like a combo, pepperoni, or even Hawaiian style. I’m taking Penn Cove clam, with house pancetta and lemon thyme. Oh yes, my friends it totally works. The crust alone took them several years to perfect before opening the restaurant. Another favorite is the Buffalo mozzarella with red sauce and fresh basil or the sweet fennel sausage with peppers and provolone. And by all means, get the wonderfully dark and rich root bear to wash it all down with.
In the evening we had tickets to a Seattle Sounders game. I have always wanted to go to a Sounders game and it was pure coincidence that my husband bid on tickets to a game that happened to be on my birthday. Seattle Sounders VS LA Galaxy
Not wanting to be the only two dweebs in the crowd without lime green on or madly waving a Sounders scarf, we spent some dough on team apparel for our first game. Adequately suited up, we marched upon Century Link field with about a zillion other people in green. Our tickets that Michael bid on, included a tour of the field with Tony Ventrella (former Seattle news personality). We met up with him and he weaved us through the press and VIP areas and onto the side lines of the field. The grounds seemed even bigger once standing on the same level as the players. Mr. Ventrella chatted us up for a few minutes and then left us to find our seats.
Our seats just happened to be on the diagonal, corner line of the field, giving us a great view. Sounders games are well known for fiercely dedicated fans, sold out seasons, loud chanting, and standing the entire game. We lucked out and a small section of people around us wanted to sit, so we sat.
Neither of us had been to a soccer game before. We felt a bit like two foreigners walking into a strange country with no idea of the customs or how to behave as to not offend anyone. When in doubt, follow the locals and that’s just what we did. There was a strange escalated clapping custom at the beginning of the game, there was a great deal of chanting, cursing out the other teams goalie when he kicked the ball back into the game, booing David Beckham for taking to much time (and pretty much everything else he did), wild cheering and much high-fiving when the Sounders made a goal. Seattle won 4 to 0. I’m pretty sure the men sitting on my left were disappointed when I did not partake in their goal initiated high-fiving ritual of everyone within their circumference. However, as irony would have it, both Michael and I were randomly chosen to high-five by other fans walking down the street after the game. Michael’s Sounders fan was so elated, he was happily stating to everyone that “Payback is a b****!” Acknowledging that this too was a rite-of-passage, we both enthusiastically high-fived our fan stranger as we walked to dinner.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a Birthday weekend. I adore Seattle, it’s such a great city and has so much to offer. No shortage of fantastic food, a vibrant arts scene, great shopping, and more sports than I care to admit, but on the up side it makes for a fun weekend!