Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sky High

Mr. Monkey woke up early Saturday and captured the sunrise from our balcony.
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We both got in-room spa services. We had to make the most of our time in the suite! Mr. Monkey got a deep tissue massage, and I had a facial. Very relaxing.

I took a few shots of the Japanese garden below before we bid a teary good-bye to our magnificent digs. It pained us to check out. Sigh.
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We were off to our next adventure -- a panoramic Harbour Air seaplane tour.
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Our sky-high expedition worked up our appetites, so we went to John's Place.
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Mr. Monkey enjoyed the John's Place Smoothie ($4.35) with strawberries, yogurt, and pineapple juice.
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Fluffy and stuffed with bacon, tomato, and cheddar cheese, the Weekend Meat Omelette ($9.25) pleased Mr. Monkey greatly.
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Mr. Monkey also loved his enormous side of corned beef hash ($3.95).
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John's Place is known for what it calls the "benny." It's basically eggs benedict. You have the choice of an English muffin or sesame seed bagel as your base. There are 10 types of bennies, including several vegetarian options.

I chose the chorizo sausage benny ($9.95) with the bagel base. The real butter hollandaise sauce was exquisite. Serious yum.
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Not long after our late brunch, we boarded the ferry back to Seattle.
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Armed with hot chocolate (which, oddly, doesn't give me hives) and Top Chef and Flight of the Conchords on my computer, I had a most pleasant voyage.
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During our return trip to Seattle, we even saw some orcas swimming next to our boat. Sadly, I wasn't fast enough with my camera, but at least the sighting was free! We didn't have to pay for a whale watching tour! Ha!

Our next temporary residence was the Hotel Max -- $74 on Hotwire.
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The tiny room we got was right across from the elevator. Very noisy. We asked for another room. Mr. Monkey was rather disgruntled and suspected that Rude Front Desk Guy gave us this crappy room because we got a discounted rate via Hotwire. I think Mr. Monkey was right.
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Our second room was quieter, but it was only ever-so-marginally larger than the first. Hotel Max is artsy and modern and cool, but its rooms were made for munchkins. We knew it was going to be small, but we didn't think it was going to be *this* small. The bathroom of our palatial suite in Victoria was twice the size of these cramped accommodations. Rude Front Desk Guy claimed there were no more king beds available. Who knows if this was even really true? True or not, he left a really bad taste in our mouths. He was just...not very nice to us.
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The housekeeping/do-not-disturb card was cute, though. The room also came with a sweet compilation CD by Sub Pop Records, which included tracks by Mudhoney, Wolf Parade, Fleet Foxes, and my beloved Flight of the Conchords.
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The halls of Hotel Max were rad.
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I took the elevator to several floors to check things out.
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Black-and-white photography adorned each door.
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Our floor showcased rock gods like Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, and Courtney Love. Our floor was my fave.
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After we got settled in, we went to dinner at Palace Kitchen nearby.
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The place was dark and bustling. The food was palatable but not outstanding. I couldn't figure out why the restaurant was so popular. At least our server was excellent.

Goat cheese and lavender fondue with grilled bread and apples ($10). Fine.
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Pork belly confit with mustard fruits ($12). Delicious but not even close to Animal.
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"Plin" a Piedmontese style ravioli filled with roast pork and chard ($18). Decent.
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Sauteed Alaskan black cod on rusticella d'abruzzo spaghetti, black olives, and pine nuts ($25). This was my favorite, but it wasn't worth $25.
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We weren't impressed enough to try dessert. Palace Kitchen serves good food, but neither the food nor the ambiance matched the prices. A big boo to me for picking this place.

Maybe we've just been spoiled by dineLA. Maybe we've forgotten what non-discounted meals cost.

Or maybe we were still pissed off about Rude Front Desk Guy. He was such a pompous ass. What a blemish on what otherwise would have been a perfectly enjoyable stay! Thankfully, everybody else at the hotel was very friendly and professional.

Next: Eating better food for a much better price and reliving our engagement.


  1. Ooooh I like the photos on the doors! Those are really cool.

  2. gorgeous photo of the lighthouse!

  3. I just have no words. The photos tell a great story. Sorry about Harry being a dick and being under impressed by the food but it all looks amazing to me! And Hotel Max seems made for you, actually! (I want to steal the picture of you in the red elevator and pretend like it's me)

  4. this hotel looks right up my alley, but boo to the jerk at the front desk!!

  5. Small planes make me a little nervous. I sorta had to hold onto my stomach while I read through that part.

    That hotel looks cool, but I don't like how small the rooms are. I gotta say, that's one of the reasons we never use hotwire or priceline. I want excellent service when I stay at a nice hotel, and I just think they tend to treat people on the shittier side when the booking is through a discount site. And I want to be treated like a queen, yo!

  6. those photos from the plane are rad!

    and even though hotel max was sucky, I did spy some orange, no?

  7. Small room, but the vibe was awesome! I can't imagine how hard it is to go from a suite to what the rest of us folks have to suffer with ;)

  8. Cool hotel and yay for corned beef hash! lol

  9. very cool trip and pictures!! that hotel max reminds of the hudson hotel in NYC, but really that room is so much bigger than the shoebox room I had =)

  10. my mouth is watering at that corned beef hash. yum.

    love the aerial photography!

  11. such a letdown after the time in victoria. :(

    the plane tour looked cool, but i'm with mboc, i don't do small planes. eeek!

  12. You two are some major ballers. Love the places you get to stay at.

  13. That sea plane tour looks like a BLAST!


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