It was Oliver’s big 16th birthday present, and truly, it couldn’t have worked out better.
As regular readers know, we are huge Seahawks fans and for Oliver’s big birthday last spring he requested tickets for the four of us to go see a game in Seattle. He and I went last year to a game, but the tickets were prohibitive and so we decided as a group that neither Charlotte nor my hubby would get a ticket, too.
This time we bought tickets for all of us, and after almost five months of waiting, we headed up to Seattle early Saturday morning to make a full weekend of it.
The weather was gorgeous — bright and sunny and mild with temps solidly in the mid 60’s.
First up, we went to a Vietnamese place for lunch called Hue Ky Mi Gia— a place that got raves for its Garlic Fried Chicken Wings (super crispy with a sprinkling of green onion and caramelized garlic pieces scattered atop).
Afterwards, we traveled around the city a bit and then headed out back to our hotel to relax and work up an appetite.
Then we were out again for an early dinner at one of our favorites — Red Lantern.
We’ve probably been ten times to this place over the years and there’s a reason that it’s a perennial favorite; the food always tastes clean and fresh with vibrant, unique flavors and textures that are spot-on.
We have our rituals — their stellar potstickers must always come first.
And then came the rest of the delicious onslaught: Beef Chow Fun, Basil Lime Shrimp, Sesame Chicken, Dan Dan Noodles and Mongolian Beef.
I love this place and that shrimp dish might be my favorite dish in any Chinese restaurant right now; they are flash fried and tossed with this addictively spicy-tangy lime sauce with tossed with basil.
They are sooooooo good.
We woke up on game day to more gorgeous weather, and after a big hotel breakfast (waffles! eggs! endless cups of coffee!) we headed out to the game at Century Link Stadium.
But first, our gear had to come with us.
Most people may not know this about me, but like many sports fans I’m very superstitious.
I know it was ridiculous but I insisted that we schlep a lot of this stuff with us: football trading cards, ‘Hawks blanket, little Blitz mascot doll, and our lucky M & M’s.
We eat a blue one for every touchdown, and a green one for every field goal or 1-pointer.
And thanks to Oliver, I brought my spatula.
Just before we left for Seattle he reminded me that I always knock wood when someone says something optimistic during the game, and he suggested I bring something wooden with me to the game to continue this tradition.
With gear in tow, we walked around in Touchdown City before the game (a place for fans just inside the stadium)
and bought lunch just before the game (here, Ivar’s fish and chips).
And then we sat down for a good while just relaxing, watching players stretch and warm up. Oliver and I used the time to doublecheck our fantasy football teams for last minute changes.
And then there was the game: the Seahawks vs. Houston Texans (with their phenomenal rookie quarterback, Deshaun Watson).
The next three plus hours we witnessed the most thrilling, back and forth, jaw-droppingly tense and dramatic football game I’ve seen in a long time.
And in the last 40 seconds of the game, we won with a 3 play, 80 yard drive, culminating in a Jimmy Graham touchdown.
It was beyond exciting — and I’m so glad that we all got to experience it together.
There were 70,000 fans (probably 95% ‘Hawks fans) and the applause, roaring and stomping was so loud that a small earthquake was registered in this gorgeous, open-air stadium.
Look at those seagulls — they too seemed drawn to the lingering energy post-game.
We headed out of our upper layer tier with other Seahawks mega-fans (we saw a lot of custom-looking dresses and suits)
and we headed over to the sidelines, hoping to get a glimpse of our players (alas, they didn’t show up to our corner).
We capped off our crazy day with fabulous poke from GoPoke in the International District
and then burgers and fries from Five Guys for the kids to enjoy in the back seat on the drive home.
Seahawks, we love you — and Seattle, you never fail to make us happy.
And now that we’re back in town and Halloween Eve is just a few hours away, I’m pulling together treats for neighbors and friends to distribute before the big night.
I’ve made this recipe maybe fifty times now, and because it is one of my most in-person requested recipes, here are a couple tips to make perfect pumpkin bread every time — whether it be in loaf form, sheet pan or muffin form.
ONE. Sift the dry ingredients together so that no clumps ruin the texture or flavor of your finished product.
Ground ginger in particular has the tendency to clump up, and you don’t want to bite into that.
It only takes about a minute to sift together all the dry ingredients, and I really think it’s worth it.
TWO. Don’t forget to add that little bit of buttermilk or yogurt to the batter; it adds a moistness that is unparalleled, and ensures the right texture for days to come (in the unlikely event it’s still around in a couple days).
THREE. If you are going to make cream cheese frosting (and why wouldn’t you?), be sure to let the cream cheese come to room temperature and then whip it mercilessly so that you end up with the most velvety, silken, clump-free topping ever.
Then garnish with orange zest, chocolate jimmies or like I’m doing today, a little holiday ghoulish cheer.
Ok, so, gotta dash. I need to set up my MEGA Halloween Treat Station.
Do you live in Portland?
Come by my house– my Trick or Treat Table is going to be one of the best in the ‘hood.