I love playing tour guide. This, I suppose, is one reason why I actually am something of a guide in Real Life - an assistant tour guide, but that's close enough, right? So when two of my cousins, Audrey and Bethany, along with their friend Becca, asked if they could stay with us for the weekend for the purpose of hearing one of Audrey's favorite singers, AA Bondy, perform at the Tractor Tavern, my first thought was "Yes! I can play tour guide for the day and show them Seattle!"
OK, not really. That was not literally my first thought. In truth, I was more excited by the fact that some of my cousins were interested in coming up to visit, even if the visiting part was not their primary motivation. While most of my cousins, all of whom are younger than I, have moved into adulthood, I've spent little time with them since my own teen years, back when I was the babysitter or just the goofy older cousin. It's an interesting experience for me to get to know my cousins now as peers rather than cute (and sometimes mischievous - although I wouldn't really put Bethany or Audrey in that category) little kids, reading Ranger Rick magazines, eating peanut butter sandwiches, and playing dress-up with grandma's inherited costume jewelry collection.
But playing tour guide was a nice little perk (Seriously - I love showing people my town - take me up on that offer if you dare!). In Wallingford we tasted wines at Bella Cosa, ice cream at Molly Moon's, cupcakes at Trophy, and Bethany even bought a bottle of one of my favorite beers to take home from Bottleworks. We hit Gasworks, the samples at Theo Chocolates, and rummaged through the crazy (crazy ugly, in many cases) fashions of the past at the Fremont Vintage Mall. I discovered, not that it was a surprise, that visiting the locks on a February evening is pretty dull - there are no boats and no fish - and still managed a brief evening trip down the beach at Golden Gardens despite the fading light. Following dinner at Root Table in Ballard we headed to the Tractor, and I have to say that Audrey has pretty good taste in music. We were treated to some great performances to cap off the evening, and Audrey seemed more than please to report that AA Bondy was, "way better in person."
They've turned out pretty well, I think. At least they put up with all my random Seattle factoids and stories pretty well, so they're nothing if not polite. I think I need to stop referring to, "If it was summer..." in my Seattle guiding. But hey, maybe it will encourage people to come back!