Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Road Trip Day 1: Seattle

I have a bucket list. I started it a few years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer. Visiting Pike's Market in Seattle, Washington has been on my bucket list for a long time.

When I first started mapping out the route Doctor J and I would take from Portland to Yellowstone, I was looking at following the Columbia Gorge. But, Doctor J suggested going north from Portland to Seattle and then heading east. I thought she was crazy to go three hours out of our way, no matter how much I wanted to visit Seattle, but Mapquest agreed with her.

The drive from Portland to Seattle was quick and beautiful. I was taken by the bright yellow flowers that lined the drive. Doctor J told me there were actually an invasive species that grows uncontrollably in this part of the county.

Driving into Seattle on I-5 this is the first view of the city that you get. The Space Needle sticks out. Maybe on my next visit, we will be able to visit the Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden and Glass. We only allotted ourselves three hours to be in Seattle so we focused our efforts on Pike Place Market and Coffee.

 Our GPS lead us straight to the water front. It took me a few moments to realize the waterfront I was standing before is the Pacific Ocean. It was not raining during our time in Seattle but it looked like it could rain at any moment.

 Pike Place Market is home to the original Starbucks Coffee. The line to get inside the Starbucks was out the door and down the street. There was a musician playing right outside the door. It made me smile that he was playing "Kansas City" as we walked up. The energy at the coffee shop is pure playfulness and fun.

Doctor J has a friend who lives in Seattle. She use to live in Portland but she is from Oklahoma. We met her outside the original Starbucks. She served as our ambassador to Pike Place Market. 


There are so many vendor's and crafts that it is easy to get caught up in the prettiness. 

Once we entered the market, the flowers were the first thing that I feel in love with. Huge bouquets of flowers for only $10.00. If we had not been driving across the county, I would have purchased a couple of bouquets to take with me. 

 The flowers come in every available color and variety. They even had peonies tulips. I have never heard of the combination but they were beautiful!

There were so many flower vendors.  One right after the other. Just went I thought I could not ooh and aw and more, I did. Our ambassador, who visits the market frequently, was also oohing and awing over the same sites. It made me feel like less of a tourist.

 Fruit and Vegetables are another thing that just grow so much better in the Pacific Northwest. I knew this, I learned it during my first visit to Portland. Pike Place Market had so many wonderful fruits and vegetables that once again I wished I had more room in the already super packed truck to take things home with me!

 I have no idea what these things are. They were unusual and interesting. I enjoyed my sample of the OMG Pear (which someone at the market renamed the Taylor Gold).

Kansas City has a wonderful Farmers Market. It is one of my favorite places to visit during the spring-fall months. But the food available at this market is not even close to comparable. Wouldn't it be wonderful to visit this place every week to gather your weekly menu?!

Truffles? The only truffle I had ever seen before this was the chocolate variety.

 We oogled over this donut shop for a long time. I am not sure the photo does the donuts justice. The bottom row all had names that started with Texas. It was a direct reference to the size. These things were HUGE!  My proud moment of the trip...I did not purchase one. I saved those calories!

Seafood. Would a trip to Pike's Market be complete without seafood? Of course not. Pike's Place Fish Market is the most famous of the seafood vendors but it is not the only vendor selling sea food at the market.

Packed in ice the variety of seafood is just as amazing as the variety of tulips.

Rows and rows of crab. Buckets of shrimp. The large shrimp I have ever seen. All asking...begging me to take it home.

Even squid. Although, it really did not beg me to take it home.                                   

I had this vision of what Pike's Fish Market would be like. I expected fish flying nonstop. But the reality was a little different. If someone bought a fish, it flew back to be wrapped. They also chanted and talked and rang bells. It was exciting to be there. 

We hung around as long as we thought was socially acceptable and we saw one fish fly through the air. I circled it in the photo above. Our ambassador told us that the fish that was flying was probably a "poorer quality fish"  that they would use to entertain the crowd. If an actual customer was buying seafood, it would only be tossed once.

We did not actually see that part but we enjoyed watching this fish make it to and from the ice to the counter. 

 We were at the market from ten in the morning till noon on a Friday. It was super crowded the whole time.

 In addition to the vendors there is also a lot of artist around to entertain you. We were not in such a hurry that we could not stop and enjoy the moment. I am so glad we did!

Doctor J and I enjoyed lunch from vendors at the market. We shared BBQ Pork Hum Bow from Mee Sum Pastries and a small bowl of macaroni and cheese from Beecher's Handmade Cheese. Both places had amazing food and I am so happy that we ate on the waterfront, listening to local artist and eating local food. 

We concluded our Seattle trip with a stop at Vivace for coffee. Apparently, "Emeril Lagassee described Vivace's espresso as the best coffee in the US if not the world."

Vivace was next door to REI, who was having a large sale. It took everything for Doctor J to remember she had no room in the truck for extra's as we passed by. At Vivace, she got an iced coffee and I got a vanilla skinny latte, but I think the barista forgot to put in the vanilla. Vivace is known for their "milk art" and we were not the only tourist in line to get coffee.

One thing is true. The coffee had caffeine in it and we needed that caffeine for the next leg of our trip.

We left Seattle around 1:00-1:30 p.m. It was our goal to make a pit stop in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho but to stop for the night in Missoula, Montana. Little did we know that even the best laid plans encounter obstacles. 

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