Sleeping really wasn't one of the activities Sofia, Lena, and I engaged in during their visit, so when we woke up at 6 am on Saturday morning we decided to get an early breakfast at Roxy's Diner across the street instead of being tired or hungover from the wine tasting. The main event of the day was enjoying Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Stowell & Sendak Nutcracker at McCaw Hall together with my Costa Rican comrade David. The evening started out with dinner downtown, but for some reason wine wasn't at the top of our wish list this day. So what did we do? We aimed straight for the cocktails, of course! (Before we left the restaurant we also had some tea and coffee to prevent unwanted drowsiness.)
The ballet was fantastic; everything from the Tchaikovsky score to the mind-blowingly seamless transitions between scenes. We were completely stunned! Except perhaps for the point when one of the backdrops got stuck half way up in act II... To the audience's great joy only the bottom parts of Clara and the Prince were visible when they travelled on their golden boat. Eventually, the scene had to be retaken, after lots of laughter and cheering. Being a great fan of children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak I could not help but get lost in the beautiful designs he had made for this production in 1981, which have been used since. Simply gorgeous.
After the show we had planned on going barhopping in Capitol Hill, but truth be told, the three Swedes were rather tired. All of us silently wondered how on Earth we would be able to stay awake more than an hour or so... It turned out not to be a problem, really.
David waved down a cab and before we knew it the four of us were sitting at a table at Barca, sipping on some truly fine drinks made with equal parts love and skill. Well, sipping might not be the correct word; "gulping" is perhaps more appropriate. One drink became two, which became three...
There really is no good way of capturing the rest of the evening in writing; I'll just say that we had a BALL. We danced at gay bars, surrounded by half naked men on pedestals hypnotizing us with impossible dance moves; we crammed ourselves into a photo booth in a Mexican-themed subterranean lounge basking in red light; we tried all kinds of drinks, good and bad (and worse), and chatted with strangers and locals everywhere we went.
Finally, we ended up at an after-party with some newfound acquaintances; the host probably being the lousiest boy scout in history, trying to light a fire in his fireplace using one big log. No, not any big log: The Biggest Log. Ever. (It did not succeed.)
Eventually, even this fantastic night had to end. After yet another cab ride my head met my pillow at around 5:15. The world spun around me, but not in a bad way; I'd say that it was 50/50 between alcohol and pure joy.
Thanks are always due after an evening like this, and without David we wouldn't have known of either the ballet or the Capitol Hill nightlife. He completely spoiled us in every way, making this Saturday a real treat. Thank you!