There is still nowhere else that I have experienced that makes me feel the way the city of Seattle does. I love the Pacific Northwest, in general, but Seattle, specifically. I love the way the mountains and the city and the coast collide. I love the bustling. I love the culture. I love the memories associated with my friends on Capitol Hill, where I proposed to my wife at Vivace off Broadway, where we'd eat breakfast at Glo's, walk hand-in-hand around Cal Anderson, stay up Olive at the Goblin House. Memories of Re:Train, Pizza and Rainier in Ballard with my Mars Hill family. Memories of Vita with Micah, Josh Head and the whole Goblin crew. EMP with White Collar Sideshow. Opening day at the MH Downtown campus. Coffee with Brett in Greenlake. I love that city.
Mark picked me up at noon from West Seattle where we stayed after participating in Mars Hill Students' youth night alongside the servant-leader team there. It was my first time meeting Adam Ramsey, our preaching pastor / vision caster for the student movement. Anyhow, we went to Glo's for lunch. I love their Huevos Rancheros. Then he took me to Slate Coffee. I didn't realize it then, but my friend - one of the guys Brandi lived with on the hill during her internship at Tooth & Nail in 2008 - started that coffee company. I've known that he's been at the top of the game when it came to mixology - coffee or alcohol - for a long time. He was writing the textbooks for roasters in the area two years ago. Anyway, I guess Slate is trumping other shops and roasters in the area right now. I wish I would have known that it was his beforehand, but I share the city's consensus: excellent. Simple, too. I love the minimalistic approach they've taken with the shop - only a few drink options, all very basic. Pour over, espresso, iced-coffee. That's it. Simple.
Mark bought a house in Greenlake recently, so I got to see that. Met his girlfriend. They took me out to a place called Thai Tom. It was a hole-in-the-wall, and it was freezing outside while we waited, but totally worth it. After that, we went to a whiskey bar named Cannon up on the hill. I got an Old Fashioned and a something-Roulette. it wasn't called a "Something-Roulette", but it was called something where the second word was "Roulette". Anyway, for the second, the waiter comes around and asks you what kind of base-liquor you'd prefer, and then they come up with some sort of concoction and bring it back to you. I asked for a scotch base and got back some sort of pink drink, which tasted great, but didn't make me feel as manly I'd like to have felt when I sent the photo to my friend. Anyway, it was wonderful seeing Mark. He always treats me well. He's invested a lot into my life, and Brandi's, mostly in the vein of "fun" - which is something I really appreciate as I tend to work nonstop and forget that things in life exist outside of that. We've toured together, he's come down to Albuquerque for Christmas with my family, he's flown me out to spend New Years with him at The Resurgence College Conference in Seattle years back, and bought us tickets to see Underoath's farewell tour in Dallas in January. He's an incredibly generous dude, and I think that his generosity reflects the Father's heart, and words aren't enough to describe my appreciation.
Sean Michel played out a house party that night, so I got dropped off there. Ten minutes after I walked in the door, the cops came and shut it down, saying the neighbors were complaining and why would you start a house show in a residential neighborhood at midnight? But we just sat and talked after that, and went to Dick's for hamburgers. I'd say that no Seattle trip would be complete without Dick's, but that's not really true. Dick's is a good part of the Seattle experience, I think, but I don't necessarily care to eat there every time. We did, anyway.
Slept two hours, got up at six, drove ten. Story of our lives!