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 Seattle on a Spenddown

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mr chips

  • Total Posts: 4715
  • Joined: 2/19/2003
  • Location: portland, OR
Seattle on a Spenddown Mon, 07/1/13 2:27 AM (permalink)
One of the craziest things about my field is the spenddown. my clients can have only a very small amount of money in their savings and checking accounts or they will lose medical insurance. So on occasion we must spend a lot of money on things the client enjoys so we can be below the magic number. Some of u may remember my former client Ray, an autistic man who loves art, museums and pie. We have known each other for16 years and 3 months ago he moved into a new place and managed to accumulate enough money that he needed to spend fifteen hundred bucks quickly. His new group home asked Trudy and me to spend the money with him.Ray loves Seattle and that is where we deeded to go with him to do the spend down. His staff had already bought him a new wardrobe. We decided to spend the weekend at the Mayflower Park Hotel next to Westlake Center. Ray had loved this place in the past and it is in the heart of downtown only a few blocks from Pike Street market.
        Our day started as it usually does with a stop  in Portland for a late breakfast at road food reviewed Burgerville in east Portland. Ray indulged in a Tillamook cheeseburger and a seasonal fresh blackberry shake that he enjoyed very much while I ate a pepper bacon cheeseburger. Our drive to Seattle was marred by lots of roadwork and a traffic accident that caused enough of a delay to make the three hour trip a slog. We stopped at factory outlet stores in Centralia , Washington where Trudy bought a new purse and Ray bought a Seattle Marinesr cap, shirt and jacket. Another couple hours and we were in downtown Seattle . We drove to the 500  things reviewed Oh Chocolate store. The place is reviewed for superlative hot chocolate but it is not available all the time. But superb and interesting chocolate candy is available and and an intelligent and thoughtful staff was a great help in figuring out which of the many options to try. Annie and justin were knowing about the chocolates and photocopied the part of the 500 things borelated to their store. Mango Habanero was my favorite a superb Amaretto flavored candy was memorable(Annie's suggestion). A couple bittersweet chocolates were tasty and there was an Irish candy whose flavors did not get. Ray was excited at the profusion of flavors and i marveled at the Seattle foodie culture with suck smart and friendly staff. It was an expensive delight and there are also places in mercer island and some other Seattle suburbs. These are places well worth visiting.
     We arrived at the mayflower park soon after.

 
<message edited by mr chips on Sun, 07/21/13 11:08 AM>
 
#1
    bartl

    • Total Posts: 1208
    • Joined: 7/6/2004
    • Location: New Milford, NJ
    Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Mon, 07/1/13 10:33 AM (permalink)
    I remember, during a period of unemployment a few years back, looking up what was required to get food stamps in New Jersey. I had WAY too much money in the bank to qualify (my 6 year old car alone disqualified me), but I was rather shocked to find out how little money you were supposed to have in order to qualify. For a couple, you had to have no more than $2000, including value of a car (in a place with very little public transportation) and money in the bank. Essentially, it meant that to get food stamps in New Jersey, you had to pretty much do everything in cash, money orders, and prepaid credit cards. Which explains the ridiculously large fees for the three around these parts.
     
    #2
      mr chips

      • Total Posts: 4715
      • Joined: 2/19/2003
      • Location: portland, OR
      Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Wed, 07/3/13 2:40 AM (permalink)
      Day 1(con) The Mayflower Park hotel is one of my favorite hotels. anywhere. A non-chain place with a universally friendly staff that provided friendly conversation and  good service and a concierge service that provided expert guidance on everything about the neighborhood. It is located at the Westlake shopping center(currently undergoing renovation),convenient to monorail connection to Seattle Center and the new Seattle light rail that connects to the airport and sports stadia. It is also across the street from the Seattle Mariners team store which made it wonderful place to buy Ray and me Mariners jackets, necessary for spend down and fashion purposes.  Ray did not buy my jacket.We decided to eat an early dinner at Andaluca, a well reviewed fusion Spanish restaurant that had the added convenience of being in the Mayflower Park. The Yankees were in town for a three game series and the lobby was filled with men and women in Yankee caps and gear. We shared the elevator coming down with with a couple from Victoria B.C who despite being Yankees fans were very nice people. They had two tickets they needed to sell for the next day's game so Ray and i offered to buy the tickets and arranged  a time to meet the next day. The Andaluca awaited for dinner.
       
      #3
        EdSails

        • Total Posts: 3555
        • Joined: 5/9/2003
        • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
        Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Wed, 07/3/13 9:21 PM (permalink)
        Sounds like a great trip, Jim. One time you and I will have to head north for a day!
         
        #4
          mr chips

          • Total Posts: 4715
          • Joined: 2/19/2003
          • Location: portland, OR
          Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Wed, 07/24/13 10:33 AM (permalink)
          Andaluca is better than many hotel restaurants. Female chef Sara is a true Seattle chef, helping out with community gardens, feeding the homeless and using local ingredients in her dishes. It is spanish accented cuisine with a Pacific northwest flair. I had a northwest stew with halibut and local fish and it was tasty , filling and spiced with variety of flavors that made it trip off the tongue. The sticker shock came at the end of the meal when I found out it cost $32.00 a bowl. It was very good but a bit more than I expected and a little more than my usual road food fare. Ray had an outstanding tomato bisque and Trudy had very good short ribs.Decent coffee .Overview.Great but expensive food, minimal local atmosphere,not a must try but good if you are staying there/.
               There is an interesting bar on site named Oliver's. My server (after Ray and Trudy both retired very early) was a cocktail historian who wrote about the history of older cocktails. I was always a sucker for baseball coming of age stories and i remember one where the young protagonist was bench jockeyed for getting wasted on sidecars in a Detroit bar. Saw the concoction, remembered the story, and had the drink which I enjoyed immensely. Abstinthe was also on the menu and my memories of the Toulose latrec biography movies and paintings by him of the dancers were strong and the bartender offered me a free one. Enjoyed the taste and the thoughts of french art and good french movies came flooding. Memorable experience., more interesting drink than I am used to. Went up to the room to retire and await the next day's adventure.
          <message edited by mr chips on Sun, 07/28/13 6:15 PM>
           
          #5
            SeamusD

            • Total Posts: 939
            • Joined: 4/1/2008
            • Location: Syracuse, NY
            Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Wed, 07/24/13 10:51 AM (permalink)
            Ah, Oliver's. I spent many an evening in there enjoying their martinis. I agree, very interesting place.
             
            #6
              billyboy

              • Total Posts: 2363
              • Joined: 1/23/2005
              • Location: New York City, NY
              Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Thu, 07/25/13 7:21 AM (permalink)
              Another great report, Mr. Chips! I've worked for a few non-profits where the "use it or lose it" philosophy applied to many of my clients.  When I was traveling with a children's theatre company in early 2001, my compatriots and I made a pact to share a room most of the trip so that we could afford nicer hotels along the way.  The Strater Hotel in Durango, CO, Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO, the Grande Colonial in La Jolla, CA, the Irma Hotel in Cody, WY, the Heathman Hotel in Portland, OR and the Mayflower Park Hotel in Seattle, WA were among some of the nicer places we stayed. 
               
              I have very some happy memories of Seattle and the Mayflower Park Hotel.  Wish I could remember where I ate and if I checked out any RF places back then.  Though I seem to remember having a tasty bowl of mussels and a couple of excellent martinis at Oliver's.  Thanks for the memories.  Can't wait to read more. 
               
              #7
                mr chips

                • Total Posts: 4715
                • Joined: 2/19/2003
                • Location: portland, OR
                Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Fri, 07/26/13 4:03 PM (permalink)
                Day 2 began with ray waking up very early at 5:30 a.m. We drank some very good coffee (two cups) and waited for Trudy to wake up. When she did we hiked the six blocks to the Pike Street and watched the place open up. The fish folks were up, tossing fish but a little more subdued than later in the day. We wandered around, gazing at the ferries coming in, walking past the totem poles and watching the market and early users wake up. There was a huge crowd at the original starbucks, buying pricey souvenir mugs and talking to each other about how cool it was. Trudy, Ray and i stopped at Le Panier, a  bakery-expressso bar with locations in portland  and seattlle, ray had coffee, Trudy tea and i had my morning hazelnut latte. Great baked goods, (mostly croissant and sweet bread and muffins. Excellent quality but in Portland or  Seattle a bad place would not survive. We stopped by a Russian place a, Piroshki Pieroggi and had breakfast sandwiches, mine a vegetarian and I drank beet juice after 5 cups of coffee. Excellent place. We stood next to a clarinet player who performed at the market and he did some impromptu playing. Trudy got a mexican pepper necklace,  Ray purchased  a couple food thing tcochkes and we bought some flowers from a Laotian flower vendor and visited the market pig statue which Ray remembered. Hiked back to the Mayflower , window shopping and enjoying the vibe. Got back to the hotel and our tickets for Yankees -Mariners were there. We then prepared for our afternoon baseball adventure.
                <message edited by mr chips on Sat, 07/27/13 12:30 AM>
                 
                #8
                  pnwchef

                  • Total Posts: 2230
                  • Joined: 3/16/2011
                  • Location: Kennewick, WA
                  Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Sat, 07/27/13 9:47 AM (permalink)
                  Mr Chips, you make me want to drive over to Seattle for some fish & chips. I love the street in front of Pike mkt early morning. All the fish mkts are stocking up for a busy day. The smells of the bakeries linger in the air,  a fresh cup of Joe in your hand. It's been high 90's with most days hitting 100 degrees here for the last month, I'm ready for a cool ocean breeze.................Happy to see you had a fun trip, any day at the ballpark in Seattle is a good day...............pnwc
                  <message edited by pnwchef on Sat, 07/27/13 9:50 AM>
                   
                  #9
                    pnwchef

                    • Total Posts: 2230
                    • Joined: 3/16/2011
                    • Location: Kennewick, WA
                    Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Sat, 07/27/13 9:48 AM (permalink)
                    Mr Chips, you make me want to drive over to Seattle for some fish & chips. I love the street in front of Pike place mkt early morning. All the fish mkts are stocking up for a busy day. The smells of the bakeries linger in the air,  a fresh cup of Joe in your hand. It's been high 90's with most days hitting 100 degrees here for the last month, I'm ready for a cool ocean breeze.................Happy to see you had a fun trip, any day at the ballpark in Seattle is a good day...............pnwc
                     
                    #10
                      chefbuba

                      • Total Posts: 1952
                      • Joined: 6/22/2009
                      • Location: Near You, WA
                      Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Sat, 07/27/13 10:24 AM (permalink)
                      Bill, you want cool ocean breeze?...... only supposed to be around 60 here today with light wind.
                       
                      #11
                        pnwchef

                        • Total Posts: 2230
                        • Joined: 3/16/2011
                        • Location: Kennewick, WA
                        Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Sat, 07/27/13 12:25 PM (permalink)
                        chefbuba


                        Bill, you want cool ocean breeze?...... only supposed to be around 60 here today with light wind.


                        It looks like the Steelhead are just hitting Bonn Dam, It s/b good down my you..........
                         
                        #12
                          chefbuba

                          • Total Posts: 1952
                          • Joined: 6/22/2009
                          • Location: Near You, WA
                          Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Sat, 07/27/13 12:57 PM (permalink)
                          Tuna is running, salmon in the river next week.
                           
                          #13
                            mr chips

                            • Total Posts: 4715
                            • Joined: 2/19/2003
                            • Location: portland, OR
                            Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Sun, 07/28/13 9:03 PM (permalink)
                            Ray and I hiked from the Mayflower to Seattle's Light Rail line which runs to the airport and whose downtown portion runs underground. We arrived at Safeco  field and hiked to our seats where we ran into the nice Canadian couple who had sold us their tickets. The Yankees being in town made for a large crowd and a lot of Yankee gear and a lot of Yankee fan's  enthusiastic support for their team. Yankee warhorse Andy Pettite pitched masterfully, allowing  3 hits, one run, walking one and striking out 6 in 7 and 2/3 innings. it was beautiful pitching and though I am chairman of the Yankee haters club it made me sad that this was the last time I would see him pitch in person because Pettite was and is a great pitcher and a guy who will be missed by fans. The game ended as all Yankee games must. Mariano Rivera came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth to protect a 3-1 lead. He  of course, got the the standing ovation he so deserves after his career and pitched a very Mariano like 9th.  One out single, a strikeout for the 2nd out and Mariner slugger Raul Ibanez came to the plate as the  potential tying run. Mariano threw 4 very close pitches that were not strikes  Raul sensibly did  not swing at and Mr. Mondesi trotted down to first.  A Mariner rookie second baseman  with a total of 10 major league at bats strode to the  plate and was disposed of by Mariano in 4 pitches in dispassionately brutal fashion for a finishing strikeout. Another day, another save. I knew for sure this would be the last time I  would see Mariano pitch in person and I joined the Yankee fans in their applause. Mariano Rivera is the best closer in major league history and I got to see why once again. Seeing the best of anything is always a pleasure and seeing Mariano deliver the goods one last time was a privilege. It was a routine game in the middle of a long season  but realizing it would be the last time I would see a Mariano  save in person made it a little bittersweet.
                            After the game we said goodbye to our Canadian gift giver who  was a charming companion. Her husband told me as we left "She's pretty special, isn't she." And she was.  It really was a great day at the ballpark We had boon companions, a warm day and got the chance to say good-bye to an all time great. I don't like it when the Mariners lose but it just didn't seem to be so bad today. 
                                  We took the light rail back to the Mayflower, waiting for dinner with Trudy
                            <message edited by mr chips on Tue, 08/6/13 2:08 AM>
                             
                            #14
                              ScreamingChicken

                              • Total Posts: 4714
                              • Joined: 11/5/2004
                              • Location: Stoughton, WI
                              Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Mon, 07/29/13 9:04 AM (permalink)
                              I enjoy a well-pitched game and it sounds like you got to see a great one, with performances by a first-ballot HoFer and another who'll at least get some votes.
                               
                               
                              #15
                                buffetbuster

                                Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Mon, 07/29/13 9:26 AM (permalink)
                                Mr chips, your paragraph on early morning at Pike Place Market was a joy to read.  With descriptions like that, who needs photos?  And you are a classy fan for your response to Pettitte and Rivera, despite your feelings about the Yankees.
                                 
                                #16
                                  mr chips

                                  • Total Posts: 4715
                                  • Joined: 2/19/2003
                                  • Location: portland, OR
                                  Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Fri, 08/23/13 3:02 PM (permalink)
                                  Ray and i took light rail back to the Mayflower and met back up with trudy, We decided to meet with the mayflower's concierge and get some recommendations for some nearby places for an interesting dinner. The fried macaroni and clam fritters at the Icon Grill caught our attention and ray was very excited about Mac and Cheese. We walked over, went inside and were won over by the attentive staff and a look at the food. Fried mac and cheese was outstanding, crab fritters tasty and great onion rings. Wasn't cheap but there were enough inexpensive dishes that we were all to get filled. It had expensive entrees but i have discovered in Seattle that avoiding the entrees and eating dishes ala carte is the way to go. 
                                        I cannot speak highly enough of the Mayflower and its staff. They are not a chain and the staff provides first rate service in the bar, the front desk and the concierge. U should stay here or take advantage of the special rates for getaways that are often available. And we would never have found the Icon on our own.
                                      After dinner Trudy and Ray spent a lot of money at Macy's while I watched like the unromantic husband that I am.  Ray's wardrobe has improved and he looks great  and they had an enjoyable experience while clothes shopping.
                                   
                                  <message edited by mr chips on Sun, 09/1/13 3:51 PM>
                                   
                                  #17
                                    EdSails

                                    • Total Posts: 3555
                                    • Joined: 5/9/2003
                                    • Location: Mission Viejo, CA
                                    Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Fri, 08/23/13 3:08 PM (permalink)
                                    Fried macaroni and clam fritters----sounds very bizarre! But also intriguing....I'd love to try them some day.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      mr chips

                                      • Total Posts: 4715
                                      • Joined: 2/19/2003
                                      • Location: portland, OR
                                      Re:Seattle on a Spenddown Sat, 09/28/13 7:02 PM (permalink)
                                      Ray was up at 5 a.m  ready to roll back to Portland. That was a little too early so he and I drank coffee and waited for Trudy to wake up. Ray watched The Rifleman on the tube and I wandered down to Pike Street market again Fruit vendors offered fresh berry smoothies and we talked about the Mariners. Fruit and Flower vendors were setting up and my smoothie was delightful. Trudy woke up and the three os us wandered to the market again. Bought Trudy a bouquet and we wandered inside the market .T rudy bought oysters. We  ate breakfast at the road food reviewed Lowell's Cafe, a place that spreads out over three levels. Ray and trudy shared French toast and I had a fresh Dungeness crab omelette that was a taste treat filled with crab and sour cream that improved my morning a lot. A walk through Pike Street Market and along the waterfront is always filled with good things to kook at and we enjoyed our time. Heading back to Portland, we stopped at the outlet stores in Centralia, buying Ray some new clothes and me a new dress shirt. Lunch was at the Centralia Burgervillle with a fresh barbecue sandwich on the menu. WE also stopped at the Vancouver Mall mace's to buy bedding for Ray. Got back in late afternoon after a fun trip that spent ray's money and allowed him to do a lot of fun things.
                                       
                                      #19
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