Jul 23, 2008

Ichiro vs. Matsuzaka in Seattle - イチロー・松坂対決 in シアトル

Fun times in Seattle again!

Today, I took an Amtrak thruway bus from Vancouver to Seattle again. It was going to be the last time I visit Seattle before moving back to Japan.

Once arriving in Seattle, I went straight to the Collins Pub near the Smith Tower for lunch. Why Collins? Because they serve the best Ahi Tuna meal! The Ahi Tuna sandwich you can get at this pub is absolutely sensational. They use a huge portion of Ahi Tuna, which is wrapped with some pickled ginger, ocean salad, greens, and wasabi mayo. Collins is a really good place for good lunch (I have never had dinner there).

In my 6th or 7th visit to Seattle today, I finally joined Seattle's famous Underground Tour. I was a little bit concerned about the tour after reading some very negative reviews about the tour on the internet. A few people who have been on the tour even went further to say 'a classic example of getting carried away after building good reputation'. It turned out that, as soon as the tour started, I knew I wasn't going to be disappointed.

Sam, our tour guide, was brilliant in engaging us tourists with jokes (both good ones and cheap ones) and most importantly all the stories behind Seattle's emergence. I didn't even realise that, within a matter of a few blocks in downtown Seattle, there's so much history. I also didn't realise that there's a bit of "rivalry" between Seattle and Tacoma, which meant that there were lots of jokes taking the mickey out of the latter. In the end, I was delighted to join the tour and it was good value for money. Yes, as some travel reviews mention on the web, there were some innuendos and cheap jokes that did not fly well among some tourists.
However, everything else more than made up the tour.

After the tour, I was obliged to do a bit of shopping. I ended up buying four pairs of trousers from GAP, which only cost me US$90. Bargain.

I went to Seattle Mariners vs. Boston Red Sox with one of my good old business partners. I chose this second game of the series because this is probably, for the time being, the last time I was going to see the battle between Ichiro and Daisuke Matsuzaka live as well as to eat Safeco Field's famous stinky garlic fries. With confidence high after winning 10 games and losing only 1 game, Matsuzaka was on fire. Until the end of the 7th inning, he only conceded two hits. Having said that, he was very tense when facing Ichiro, and gave away two walks. It was alarmingly one-sided to Red Sox by the beginning of the 8th inning as they led by 4-0. Mariners finally made it a bit more interesting with two runs in the 8th, including RBI from Ichiro. In the end, though, Matsuzaka was rescued by another Japanese pitcher Hideki Okajina and Papelbon. In terms of personal fight, though, it was Ichiro's win over Matsuzaka. The battle between Daisuke and Ichiro is very personal, and I thoroughly enjoyed it yet again.




シアトルについてから真っ先にスミス・タワーの隣にあるCollins Pubにランチを食べに。なぜ Collins か?ここでは僕が知る限り最高のAhi Tuna(キハダマグロ)料理が食べれるから!ここで食べれるキハダマグロのサンドイッチはほんとに最高。かなりおっきいキハダマグロにガリ、海鮮と野菜のサラダにワサビマヨが挟まってる。Collinsはランチをするには打って付けのバー(ここで僕はディナーを食べたことがない)。

6回目か7回目のシアトル訪問にしてやっととっても有名なUnderground Tourに参加した。正直、ネットであまり芳しくないユーザーの評価を見たこともあって、ちょっと不安だった。評価を書いたユーザーの中には「有名になって調子に乗る典型」まで書く人も何人書いた。結局ツアーが始まってすぐにその不安も吹っ飛んだ。




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