As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I have been to Seattle a few times over the past couple of years, but I feel like I am always doing the same things. So during a networking lunch on Monday, I asked one of the attendees who lived in Seattle where I could go outside of downtown. She recommended the Olympic Sculpture Garden and a walk along the waterfront. Since the weather was still perfect, I was happy to follow her advice.
I walked along the waterfront for quite a distance. It mostly looked like this:
Then I sat down with the iphone and tried to figure out where to eat using the UrbanSpoon app. I’ve had a lot of success with this app in the past, but it wasn’t designed to work around my particular problem. I was eating alone. I never thought I would have a problem with this because I frequently do all kinds of activities on my own, and I have been to eat on my own before, too, with no problems. But I discovered on Sunday night (when I was so indecisive about where to eat that I ended up back in my hotel room at 9:00 pm having a protein bar for dinner) that it’s actually kind of an anxiety-inducing event for me. Here was my problem: I was in a new city, so I wanted to try a local restaurant. However, I didn’t know what to expect from a new restaurant. Was it formal? Casual? Dressy? Were reservations required? What was the cost? Is it the kind of restaurant where it’s ok to go alone? Or would I feel awkward surrounded by couples out for a romantic evening? I had no real way to tell because all of the reviews tended to focus on the food and the service. That’s all find and good, but what I needed was an explicit, “Go here to eat alone.” So I kept going back and forth and finally decided to try a place at Pike’s Place that sounded good and local, but it seemed more casual. I walked all the way down to Pike’s Place and climbed up all these stairs:
Actually, that’s a lie. I took the elevator just around the corner. (That turned out to be around the corner and up some ramps.)
But found the hustle and bustle of Pike’s Place in the afternoon turns out more like this…
around 6:00 and I wasn’t sure the little shop I had intended to visit would still be open. So I walked back toward the hotel and evaluated my options. Scary unknown restaurants vs. generic chain restaurants. And I would have to sit alone no matter where I went with nothing to read. Because we all know that having a book with you makes all situations less awkward. After calling Mike and Amanda for a pep talk (yes, I was that indecisive), I ended up buying a book at the nearby Borders and settled for PF Chang’s. I know, I know… chain restaurant. But I wasn’t feeling like much of a risk-taker at the moment. At least it was 100 times better than the Soy Joy I had the night before.
Coming Up: Blossoms, blossoms, and more blossoms!