Road Tripping: Seattle

I can’t believe it’s been over two months since we were in Seattle. It was a really quick trip, but we managed to see a lot of the city. We got in late in the afternoon and parked by the pier. We had about an hour until my friend and his wife could meet up with us so we wandered around. 

Pike Place Market was just down the street so we headed there right away. I’m not sure what is up with this gum wall, but it’s huge. N thought it was pretty gross and I kind of do too. Interesting to photograph, but I don’t think I could bring myself to touch it and add my own piece to the wall.

We wandered the market a bit and then went in search of parking to meet up with my friend and his wife. I hadn’t see Lucas since he came to Calgary for Stampede Week in 2006. We originally met in France while studying in Rennes in 2005. He played tour guide and showed up some of the main sites downtown. We eventually decided on Ivar’s for some seafood on the pier. It was great catching up and hearing about everything they’d been up to since I’d last seen him (there’s a lot. They’re pretty worldly and impressive people!) They were generously putting us up at their home just outside Seattle so after dinner we headed back to their house to rest up for the next day.

Our first stops after breakfast the next day were the Ballard Locks and Fish Ladder. They were built to link the freshwater of Lake Washington to the saltwater of Puget Sound. There is also a fish ladder built to allow easier passage for salmon to return to Lake Washington and navigate the locks. There are glass panels below the waterline so you can watch the fish swim up the ladders if you’re lucky. We waited and waited, hoping to see a salmon swim up the ladder, but it was wasn’t until we were just walking out that one finally made an appearance. It swam so fast that we didn’t get to see much. It’d be really cool to be there when a lot of salmon are making their way to Lake Washington.

We had visited Pike Place Market briefly the day before but wanted a little more time to see it and try some seafood so we headed back there. The rain held off and gave us the opportunity to wander the market. We tried some fresh crab and marvelled at the amazing seafood. The rest of the market was great too, but that scale of seafood isn’t something we see at home so we were spent most of our time in awe of the seafood.

 
We tried to visit the first Starbucks, but the line outside was insane so we took dumb pictures outside instead. It was possibly the most touristy moment of our trip. I worked at Starbucks long enough to grow an intense appreciation for good coffee and small roasters, of which there are plenty in both Seattle and Portland. I appreciate what Starbucks has done for this industry. It really wouldn’t exist if someone hadn’t come up with the idea to open this little italian style cafe and try to sell the idea of lattes, americanos, and cappuccinos to North Americans. Thank you, Starbucks. 

Lucas had mentioned we should check out the library. It’s a pretty cool building and definitely well worth a wander if you’re looking for something to do downtown and are interested in architecture. We didn’t stay long, but we wandered all the way up to the top. This is the top floor of the library.

Afterwards, we decided we’d seen enough of downtown Seattle and headed up to Capitol Hill. This is such a cool area of Seattle. We were ready for a break, some beer, and a snack so we wandered the area looking for a good spot. We stumbled on Oddfellows and decided it looked like a good choice. We shared some charcuterie and a couple drinks. I absolutely loved the space and was sad to have to head back to the car. I would have loved to have had more time to explore Capitol Hill. I guess that means we’ll have to make another trip out to Seattle.

We headed to the Walrus and the Carpenter for dinner that night. The restaurant is in Ballard, which is another really cool neighbourhood. They don’t take reservations and it is a pretty popular spot so we showed up and had a two hour wait ahead of us. Luckily this gave us a chance to wander around the area and grab a drink on a patio. Again, another neighbourhood I’d love to have more time to explore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter is a little Oyster Bar in a beautiful old restored building. They also have a lot of small plates and a beautiful wine and beer selection. We ordered a bunch of delightful things along with both fresh oysters and fried ones. It was a delicious meal and the perfect end to our food tour of the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, it seemed too cramped a space to pull out my SLR so I only have grainy iPhone photos of the meal. Trust me, these don’t do it justice.

We woke up “early”the next morning, grabbed coffee in the beautiful town of Edmonds (Lucas picked a beautiful spot to call home!), and hit the Interstate. We stopped for some quick outlet shopping before crossing the border back into Canada; it was time for Kelowna and a very exciting half marathon!

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