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Space Needle Treat!

 Space needle on a clear day in late October

One of my best friends came up two weeks ago to spend time with me for 6 days. We did a couple fun things; I took her to Crescent Beach, we went to Stanley Park later in the week, but the majority of the time we just spent catching up on the past year and a half and had a non-stop verbal stream for about 72 hours minus the time we were sleeping and taking bathroom breaks.
Towards the end of the week another friend flew up for the weekend, and we took off to spend three days together in Seattle. Aside from my Malibu trip over a year ago, this was the first time I'd been gone from the kids for any long period of time. I needed this trip so badly. With grandparents still living back in Nebraska, it's been over 2 years since Stefan and I have been able to go somewhere together by ourselves since moving, and we are going to be getting creative next year with this because we realize what a detriment missing out on that actually is for us. Going away with close friends for a few days without any responsibilities aside from keeping ourselves safe and on our return flights and train routes on Monday was completely soul-refreshing.
View over Seattle from Space Needle Viewing Deck 

While in Seattle for three nights, we walked just about everywhere, got poured on, watched fish be flung, ate some delicious drive-in food, shopped in unique  boutiques, cussed like sailors, and saw Tom Hank's boathouse (hint: it's private property now, you can't walk up to it). But the crowning glory of our trip, was a surprise trip up the Seattle Space Needle and dinner in the rotating SkyCity restaurant, secretively planned and financed by my friend's mom (Hi, Jeanne!). We were told to dress up, and park downtown at a certain time and the rest was taken care of. The evening was so fun, and such a precious memory of mine during a really tough year. 
This is not something I would have done for myself, or that our family would have been able to enjoy. To have it a surprise and taken care of just felt unreal while we were spinning on the top of Seattle. When you get into the tiny outside elevator it raises to the observation deck (520 feet) in less than a minute. The time slot we picked was absolutely perfect. We had a clear sky and saw the city in it's natural light, dimming at sunset, and then all light up black with night while in the restaurant. I highly recommend that 5:00 observation deck time and 5:45PM dinner time. You can get 2-hour dinner reservations (everyone is at their table for only 2 hours to accommodate everyone who goes) until 11PM!
Obligatory Space Needle Selfie 

When we went to dinner, my friends treated themselves to some delicious Pacific Northwest seafood, and I of course, ordered a massive brick of cheese. So, I didn't know exactly what I was getting, but oh my word, one of the best appetizers I've ever eaten in my life! See if you can find what I'm talking about on their dinner menu. Obviously, you can't eat there without getting their world-famous dessert, the one that's been on the menu since the inception of the Needle, the Lunar Orbiter
It was such a great end to our three-day trip together. If you're in Seattle and want a truly special evening, go up the needle AND eat at the restaurant, both are necessary. It's expensive to eat at the restaurant, but I can't imagine going up and missing out. Now that I know what both are like, Let me say -- you are definitely missing out if you don't do both to get the true experience! 
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Thanks so much to Jeanne and Emily for this wonderful evening getting a view from the top!

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