• The Piquant Storyteller


Red Robin is a nostalgic restaurant for me. It was where Heath and I went on our first date. I never ate the mint. I put it in a scrapbook! That was not my plan but it makes for a fun story. The Red Robin on the waterfront in Seattle is my favorite. It holds many memories from our many visits to Seattle over the years.

View of the Space Needle from our hotel room.

Heath and I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Seattle overnight last Thursday so we could be ready to get on the Victoria Clipper early Friday morning. On our way into the city, Heath decided to take me to The Ballard Locks. This is my favorite Seattle attraction. It was fun to go as the sun was setting. There weren't many boats going through the Locks but the setting sun was incredible. All purply pink with wispy black clouds artistically smudging over the color. After the Locks we tried to find either our hotel or dinner. Whichever came first.

Dinner ended up being first. We were close to the waterfront so it seemed like a logical and romantic choice for our weekend getaway. The restaurant was crowded for a Thursday night but we were seated right away. We both chose burgers with a side of broccoli. Heath is working on some weight loss goals with the reward of a sea kayak. I have a new insulin pump that is keeping me in better control, but I have learned that I can't really have more than 80 grams of carbs at a time or the pump can't keep up. A burger and fries can be easily over 100 grams of carbs! Ouch.

Our server bounced from table to table not really noticing that we needed drink refills. My respect for the server dropped as a result. Then we overheard that there was an order mistake at another table. Another server brought out our dinner. He placed the burger I ordered with the broccoli in front of me. Then he looked at Heath and eyed the remaining plate suspiciously. It was a child portion of pasta with a side of baby carrots.

"I don't think this is what you ordered!" He took the food back to the kitchen to figure out what had happened. Heath insisted I start eating without him. Halfway through my burger, our original server showed up. First there was an apology. Then I was told that both meals were from another table. My burger was not the burger I had ordered! It belonged to someone else!

"Oh but don't worry. You can keep eating it. Just know that another burger is on its way and you can choose what you want to do with it when it comes."

Short of telling me that my food had dropped in a pail of strychnine, I don't think there are many other words that would instantly make my food taste bad. Which isn't fair when I was eating the server's mistake! It did seem like a far fetched idea that someone nearby had ordered the exact same burger as me, out of 20 choices, with a side of broccoli. All we could do was roll our eyes. Once I finished eating, Heath's correct order was brought out. That was when I was told that actually my order was correct! More eye rolling. Unfortunately, this server made similar mistakes at several other tables. It was a great date where we ate separately while sitting at the same table.

The next morning we left the hotel before the continental breakfast opened at 6:30 am. We checked in at the Clipper terminal. It's like a very small airport. You can buy food there too. We each ordered breakfast sandwiches and sodas that we ate once we got on the boat. Since Heath paid for Comfort Class, we were able to sit in a reserved area on the upper deck. A guy stood at the doorway with a clipboard. Passengers told him their names. If they were on his list, they were in. Very posh!

Comfort Class came with it's own set of restrooms as well as unlimited snacks and soft drinks. I think there was unlimited coffee too, but we don't drink coffee. Heath decided to pay for a special snack off the menu. He ordered a cheese and fruit tray. There were apple slices and a couple of crackers with several slices of cheese. All of the cheese was smoked. I imagine that is a very upper crust thing to do, but I thought it tasted like feet. There was even a large chunk of brie. I have never had brie before. It tasted like slippery feet. I was less than impressed. I guess I'm not as fancy as I think I am. Heath loves smoking things in his smoker. We just smoked almonds in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar for neighbor gifts. Cheese should never be smoked though.

After checking into the hotel, we had worked up quite an appetite for lunch. When we went to Victoria for our honeymoon, we stayed at the Inn at Laurel Point. It's a beautiful hotel right next to the Clipper terminal. On our honeymoon, we had a room that faced the outer harbor. Heath booked a room at the same hotel. This time our room overlooked the inner harbor. That's the nice thing about the hotel. It sits on the point so just about every room has a gorgeous view of the harbor.

We knew the hotel was going through some renovations and there was a lot of construction nearby. What we didn't know was that the construction blocked off the entrance to the hotel. What used to be a 300 foot walk from the terminal to the hotel, turned into a long walk around the block to get to the temporary front entrance. Once again, we left our bags at the front desk while we waited for our room to be ready.

We walked to the Old Spaghetti Factory for lunch. My blood sugar had dropped very quickly with the walk. I hate low blood sugar. Having it happen in public is my greatest fear. Even though this new pump, that I call Patrick, is supposed to keep me from dropping low, I still don't trust it. Patrick is still learning how my body responds and I have been experiencing several lows a day while he tries to figure everything out. That is the backstory to how I sabotaged my blood sugars on my birthday. I underbolused for everything I ate. It turns out all the walking we did was not enough to compensate. I did much better the next day. Patrick was happier and my blood sugars were much better as a result.

At the Old Spaghetti Factory, we decided to order fried mozzarella as an appetizer. Our choice of sauce was marinara or tangy dill. I know what marinara tastes like. The tangy dill seemed intriguing. The waitress bluntly told us it was ranch dressing. Way to kill the magic! It still tasted good. Americans don't use dill in their ranch dressing. At least it's not an ingredient in Hidden Valley Ranch. The way Canadians make their dressing is definitely more tangy. I liked it.

In the movies, people are always going out for dinner sometime after 8:00 pm. It's so hip and trendy. Everyone does it. In real life, that doesn't happen. We went to the hotel restaurant for dinner at 8:00 pm. Not because we thought we were hip and trendy as much as it was how the evening worked out. We returned from the Holiday Light Tour at the Butchart Gardens well after 7:30 pm. We made it to dinner around 8:00 pm. Where we were the only patrons in the restaurant. There was a company party next door but not a single soul, besides the seating hostess at the restaurant.

She was super nice, as was the waitress. Unfortunately, just as we were getting into a conversation with the waitress, a couple came in to the restaurant. They were weird too. They demanded to sit by the window and snapped their fingers a lot at the waitress. Oh well. Dinner was delicious. Both the seating hostess and waitress had asked what brought us to Victoria. I told them it was for my birthday. So at the end of the meal the waitress brought me a plate full of chocolate.

Breakfast was room service. My favorite kind of breakfast. Who wants to be public-ready to eat when you can eat in pajama clad luxury? Of course, we had to keep some of the mini jars. The labels were another example of how Canadians print everything in English and French.

It was nice having a relaxing morning. We checked out of the hotel and checked our bags at the Clipper terminal. Then we walked around shopping. We had Starbucks as a mid-morning snack. That is a romantic memory as well. My first introduction to Starbucks was on our honeymoon. Heath would always order a hot chocolate with a shot of caramel and I would order a caramel apple spice. It is my favorite winter drink. Hot chocolate is nice, but caramel apple spice is to die for. The smallest size has 76 grams of carbs. I looked it up. Which was more carbs than my lunch! The timing looks like I had lunch around 11:00 and a snack around 1:00 when it was the other way around. Doesn't matter. I bloused accordingly for both and my blood sugar thanked me for it.

We found a trendy new diner for lunch that was really tasty. The Clipper left at 5:00 pm so we just enjoyed our unlimited snack and soda options. By the time we landed at 7:45 in Seattle, I was ready for dinner. So Heath bought me McDonald's. So sexy I know, but it was perfect. No, the sexy part of all the food we bought on our trip, is the Roger's chocolate. We spent over $100 on chocolate. Including the same special chocolate mix we had on our honeymoon - peanut butter chocolates and caramels. So awesome! Two chocolates are 15 grams of carbs, so I can have them "for free" when I drop low. Usually, I just announce the carbs and cancel the bolus as soon as I can get to that screen. Patrick is sneaky that way. I have to announce carbs so he knows why my blood sugar is spiking, but I have to take a couple tenths of a unit before I have the option to stop the bolus. It keeps me honest, I guess.


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