The Amazing Adventures of Aoife and Dana

I just had the best two days, my darlings! Our own Aoife took some time during her American vacation to come see us in Seattle. She’s a perfect delight. If she ever mentions she may want to come see you, say yes. You’ll never regret it.

We spent her first evening here having a lovely dinner with Funny Diva, who made sure we were well-fed and had a wonderful time. If Funny Diva ever recommends a place to you, go – and if you have the opportunity to take her with you, do it, because she is a fantastic human being who has an uncanny knack for picking the best places in town!

Now, when you come over from Ireland, you’re kind of obliged to do at least one touristy thing. And I know touristy things here. So Aoife and I grabbed the bus downtown on Monday, and I took her to the one place that is virtually required if you visit Seattle for more than five minutes.

Image is looking down Pike Street, a brick road, at Pike Place Market. The iconic Public Market sign in visible in the distance, with Puget Sound behind it. Aoife, a young woman with short, curly red hair and a huge grin, is standing beside a sign for the Inn at the Market. The metal sign is in the shape of a chef with its arm out. She is giving it a high five.
Aoife doing the tourist thing!

Indeed, every tour must start with Pike Place Market!

Alas, nobody was buying fish, so she didn’t get to see the famous fish flinging event, but we did have a nice wander through the shops. I found out that the gentleman who wrote my name in Chinese is still there, and I was able to show her some of the gorgeous jewelry and adorable sculptures created from Mount St. Helens ash. We had chowder at Pike Place Chowder – which has a vegan chowder option! – and then it was time to hop a bus to Seattle Center for the other big touristy thing.

Image shows Aoife and I sitting in a bus seat, with the window behind us. We are leaning our heads together and have exaggerated grins.
Obligatory bus selfie!

Now, we didn’t go up the Space Needle, because it’s expensive and the mountains were covered in clouds and we were all like, “Nah.” We’ll do it next time. We did see plenty of stuff there, though! Aoife did some whale watching.

Image shows Aoife leaning her back against a bronze statue of a whale, which looks like it's swimming in the ground and only its top half has breached the surface. It's surrounded by brick paving. There is a green lawn around it.
Aoife and the Whale

And they’ve painted a labyrinth outside of the Experience Music Project and the sci-fi museum, which has a lovely view of the Space Needle, and we more than got our exercise walking that.

Image is looking up at the Space Needle, with the ribs of the underside of its disc visible. In the foreground, a portion of a labyrinth made of orange lines painted on asphalt is visible. There is a person in a gray sweatsuit energetically walking the labyrinth.
The Needle and the Labyrinth

We wandered about the free bits of the Pacific Science Center and played with the parabolic mirror.

Image shows a parabolic mirror, with Aoife and I reflected upside-down in it.
Parabolic selfie!

Aoife used the giant lever to lift over 500 pounds, and we played with a few other displays. A good time was had by all.

We hopped the buses back home, which included the traditional making a run to catch one, and then we discovered the return bus drops you at the end of the street rather than going down it, so we ended up having to hoof it nearly 20 blocks home. This is how genius I am at using public transport, people. Aoife got a nice rest whilst I had a phone screening with one of the jobs I’ve applied for, and then we headed over to Bothell to look for snakes at one of the North Creek wetlands (sadly, all the snakes were sleeping, although we may have heard one headed for bed in the grass). Then we went down to my old haunts by the ballfields and fed some ducklings. It was almost dark by then, so no photos, but I assure you they were utterly adorable.

So that was quite the adventure!

It was sad to have to drop Aoife at the bus Tuesday morning, but at least I was able to take her to one of the best vegan cafes in the city for traditional American biscuits and country gravy, and she loved them, so I feel I have done my duty to my country. I hope she’ll be back soon! Also, we are going to try to get me over to Ireland. You all will adore Irish geology.

I’ll have some of the more artsy photos from our visit up soon. But for now, I am now going to go collapse, since my hips are reminding me that 1. I am getting older and 2. I have not spent much of this winter exercising. Every twinge makes me smile, though, because this was a brilliant visit. Thank you, Aoife!

The Amazing Adventures of Aoife and Dana

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