In a city of proud traditions and stores of pride (if at times ironic), it’s a big deal when something like the presence of the Blue Angels stands out as something special. A staple at SeaFair, the Angels announce their arrival with weeklong practices in Seattle over Lake Washington, thundering overhead with more Gs than most of us have in our bank accounts.
The nice thing about the practices is that it allows people like us to watch the Angels in action without having to sit through most everything else, particularly the crowds. With a late breakfast under our belts and a lawnchair in tow, we made our way to a friend of Kevin’s house on the far side of the lake to park the car and walk to the water’s edge. A moment of watching a neighborhood osprey was shattered with the thunder of afterburners as, from across the lake, the angels screamed across the water and over our heads. It was on.
The jets flew for an hour in repetitive formations which were anything but unimpressive. Flying high in formation, then breaking off toward the different neighborhoods of the city, and, my personal favorite, playing chicken and flying head-on at full throttle and rotating in opposite directions at the last moment to avoid collision. Pure awesome.
Fat Albert made a few appearances, as did a large military helicopter (a chinook?), but they paled in comparison to the Angels. We eventually made our way back up the hill to the car and started home in heavy traffic. As annoyed as I was by the congestion, I was happy to know that I wouldn’t be doing this on the actual day of SeaFair.
Our timing back in Seattle was right between meals, which allowed us to hit Paseo, a famous Caribbean sandwich shop on the off hours. Normally commanding a line around the block, this purveyor of meaty deliciousness offered no resistance as we walked in, ordered, and sat down at one of four highly coveted tables. The food was delicious, as always, and as we got up to leave a line began to form; timing, it seemed, was really in my parents’ favor on this trip.
Venturing into a movie store for the evening since we wanted to be sure we had time to rest before the early AM wakeup (we’d be heading to Victoria, BC on the Clipper) and after much deliberation, ended up with a copy of “How to Tame Your Dragon”, which finished off the night along with the Olympics.