The Vibe: Who doesn't love an airport during the holidays? Harried parents drag over-sugared children to baggage claim only to discover that the giant box of toys they had to check in St. Louis ended up in Tampa. Exhausted travelers stuck for yet another four hours thanks to a plane being delayed in New York take up all five seats in a row to nap, leaving other passengers no place to sit but the floor.
Then there are the dozens of people tasked with picking friends up--whether helping them manage both a baby and luggage on the train--or just skipping the rail and driving everyone home. And of course, if you're one of those people, it's inevitable that you checked to make sure the flight left on time only to learn on getting to their airport that the flight was rerouted to Boise thanks to storms and will now be two hours late. Lucky for you there's a place you can drown the frustrations associated with Christmas traveling on this side of the security line.The Café: Vintage Washington (17801 International Blvd.) is an airport rarity--a decent place to get food and booze that doesn't require a ticket.
The bartender on Christmas Eve was a woman who knew the origin of every wine on the menu. They aren't all from Washington, but I got over that thanks to her generous interpretation of what a 6 ounce pour should look like.
At $6.50 to $12 a glass, you can drink for less than some mediocre Belltown bars. And despite all the chaos, the barkeep insisted on holiday cheeriness that managed to infect even the most bah-humbug looking drinker at the bar.
Add in a bowl of crab corn chowder and you've got yourself a fine way to kill two hours before helping your friends lug a screaming child and a mountain of gifts back north.