So! I promised you all a wee peek into the life of a travelin' bull. Last week I went with John to Seattle (the bluest skies I've ever seen are there!) to help him sell some fine, fine books to the fine, fine people at Amazon.com. Hi Mister Mulliner! Hi Mister Parsons! Hi Miss Mathisen! I had a dandy time helping sell you some books! Then we all went out to lunch.
All bookselling work and no exploring play makes Bully a dull bovine, however, so we took advantage of some free time to go explore. I didn't get a chance to go visit Internet pal o' mine Tegan (one of these days we gotta hook up, Laura, not least so I can meet the troll!), but inspired by a December post of hers, I conjoled and bounced up and down on the passenger seat of the rental car until John drove me to Redmond to The British Pantry, a dead brilliant (as I learned to say in London) British food and souvenir shop, with two, count 'em, two attached restaurants: a lovely tea and luncheon room and a proper British pub!
I had saved all my shiny Elizabeth-faced pounds and pence coins from my London holiday to buy myself a treat, but it turns out they took American money! I bought some Smarties and some lemon curd and that delightful sweet among sweeties, the delectible and fragile Cadbury Flake! The only disappointment was that although I hoped they would stock it, they did not carry Lilt, the world's finest soft drink, a light and sweet pineapple/grapefruit soda that is my favorite beverage of choice in London. Oh well! Another good reason to go back to London proper as soon as possible, or even to Manhattan's version of The British Pantry, Myer's of Keswick.
But going to The British Pantry was a bit of all right (again, as they say in London). Any place with a proper English pub is fine by me. One day I shall open my own, and I shall call it The Bull with Comics.
The next morning before I headed to the airport, I just had to stop somewhere I'd never been but which ever-hip Marty Gosser told me about: Downtown Seattle's Top Pot Doughnuts! Seriously, as much as I love sweetened fried dough, how could I have missed this place before? It is the doughnuttiest!
In my book, any place that has cool neon is okay by me, and that it also has doughnuts is a double-frosted treat of delight!:
From the moment you step inside and get in the busy but fast-moving line you know this ain't no ordinary Dunkin experience, nosiree Bob:
And if you think there isn't variety and choice, hoo boy, you got another think comin', pallie!:
I chose a warm apple fritter (fritterlicious!), the aptly-named Double Trouble (a chocolate frosted chocolate fried cake), and the Incredible Hulk of the Top Pot Doughnut Universe, the mega-sized Bavarian Cream! That's the B-Cream in the foreground, and lemme tell ya, that's not merely perspective that's makin' it dwarf the others. This thing is so heavy light cannot escape it. (Lucky I brought my flashlight!) If I had eaten the Bavarian Cream first I wouldn't have wanted the other two! Luckily I also got an uncannily appropriately-named cold beverage to wash it all down with.
However, Top Pot's doughnuts are not its only attraction. In the best tradition of "come for this thing and stay for this thing," you'll want to spend extra time exploring and surveying the two-level café because Top Pot's walls are lined floor to ceiling with bookshelves and books:
I mean, how you resist a doughnut shop that stocks both Ellery Queen and Zane Grey? I can't, that's for sure!:
I even found a book I think Clor would like!:
So, don't say "nuts to that"...
...say "I go nuts for doughnuts!" Top Pot Doughnuts! They're the delicious part of any trip to Seattle, I must say.
But all visits to fantastic doughnut shops must come to an end. As I mentioned, it was a short trip, or at least (I say with increasing drama) was supposed to be! (Have I piqued your interests yet, Bully-fans?) On Friday morning, there I sat in lovely Pacific Northwesty Sea-Tac Airport, home of a dandy fine food pavilion which is just like going to a very nice food courtum, except you have to go through security before you can eat. I don't mind going through security; I get to ride through the X-ray machine so all the secret intelligence agents can see I am just filled with fluff and beans and not actually sharp knives or needles or a Daisy pump-action airgun that you kids will put your eye out with. So after a delicious early lunch of fish tacos, I waited to board my Delta flight back across country to JFK airport, when the gate agent announced that the flight was overbooked, and anyone who wanted to volunteer to take a later flight would receive a $400 voucher for future travel. Well! I am a bull with a very good eye for value, and I scurried up to the desk quicker than anyone else and raised my hoof enthusiastically. Imagine my surprise when the deal, as Bob Barker might say, just kept getting better and better: not only was I offered a $400 travel voucher, but, as the next open plane was the following (Saturday) morning, I would get a free hotel room overnight, plus a meal voucher for that night, plus the seat the following day was in first class! To coin a phrase, hoorah! I'm all over that deal. So I had another day in Seattle (albeit one without a rental car), a lovely posh hotel room, a nice meal, and then wiggle-room in my wide first class seat all the way back home the following day. Mind you, it wasn't as high-class as my (bought with miles) business class flight to and from London, but hey, free orange juice! And in the end, I got back where I needed to go, if 24 hours later, and when I got in on Saturday night I hugged Gus the Cat and my sister Marshall and told them all about my adventures. May all your journeys be as full of delight, doughnuts, and first class upgrades. (And yes, Delta flies to Gatwick Airport in London, so I'm already eyeing that voucher. Hooray for travel!)