Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seattle, Soccer, and Celebrations

Spent the last weekend in Seattle, and it was just gorgeous. First off, there was not a cloud in the sky Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and it was 85 degrees all weekend.

Friday night started with a nice dinner with family friends at the Icon Grill on 5th street.Chihuly glass hung from the ceiling and the Orange Drop cocktails were tasty. It was just the thing after walking around downtown most of the afternoon, pausing to purchase things I would never normally purchase while at home, such as obnoxious sunglasses and cherry-shaped earrings (they just seemed so summery).

Saturday was the big day. We were in Seattle to meet friends and celebrate my friend Anita’s wedding, but another reason with equal billing on the dance card was to attend the Seattle Sounders vs. Chelsea FC football (soccer) match at Qwest Stadium. (Shhh. Don’t tell Anita.)

Where do I begin with how fantastic it was? It might not be possible to say. I’ll try anyway. First off, I met my friend Tim and his four mates before hand, and my friend Tom. Tom lives in Seattle; Tim and his mates are transplanted from Scotland (except one, from Ireland) and now all live in Vancouver. We spent quite a while waiting for two of Tim’s mates outside the stadium before the match. Our wait was punctuated with “What a pair of drop-kicks,” and “What a pair of fannies” at regular intervals from Tim and his mates. Finally, we found our seats (naturally on the exact opposite side from where we had entered) shortly before kickoff. As far as stadia go, Qwest is gorgeous. Also loud. It had 65,000 of us in there on Saturday and we made noise.

Now, it isn’t everyday that one gets to see Chelsea FC play in the US (or, for that matter, in the UK because apparently tickets are hard to come by unless you’re a season ticket holder). I went in not caring who I supported, although a petty hate for Chelski (despite being there to see them specifically, a contradiction I didn't care to explore) made me favor the Sounders. Once the match began you had to support the Sounders, because they were doing their best (and it was their midseason, as opposed to Chelsea who is in offseason, and, I am partial to supposing, on a party trip throughout the US).

Chelsea ended up thumping Seattle 2-0, but despite that score, the Sounders did well (we predicted a 4-1 outcome). The Sounders are feisty and dogged, but they were not, and never were going to be, a match for the uppity Blues. Seattle absolutely died just as they got the ball near the box and we spent a fair amount of time shouting for them to please, for the love of the Space Needle, KICK IT TOWARDS THE NET.

It was very obvious that the former Arsenal player and now Sounders midfielder Freddie Ljungberg held the team together and created the chances. Tim said Freddie could still easily do the job in the Premiership (but specified the lesser Wolves club).

We represented Hibernian well with a large flag and my sparkly Hibs shirt. The game was a huge success. Afterwards, we alighted to Kell’s in Pike Place for refreshments. I was drunk by 3:30 pm. I can honestly say I have never been drunk at that time of day before, unless it was left over from a previous night’s fumes.

The rest of the weekend involved a lovely wedding reception at Seward Park , followed by a late cocktail and sushi at Dragonfish on 8th and Pine. It was just gorgeous.

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