Ben and I have been to Seattle quite a few times, and even before then it was a destination for me and my girlfriends…you know, back when you could get brands you couldn’t get in Canada like American Eagle, Old Navy, Jcrew and Anthro. So when I have the chance to discover a different side of Seattle I am always thrilled.
Last weekend, I went with my friend Kiko. Her husband sent her away for a girls’ weekend and she needed company, so I took one for the team and went with her. 😉 Because I am REALLY bad with birthdays I failed realize that we left for our adventure on her birthday. I hadn’t made any plans, but the beauty of being in Seattle is that you don’t need any. After checking into our hotel we headed straight for the Pike Brewery. We had heard a lot of good things about this place and wanted to try it for ourselves. It had a good atmosphere, even though it was 9pm (yes, we ate dinner late like real adults) and all the beers in the Pike Sampler were innovative and intriguing.
From there we headed down to the water. A new feature since I had been in Seattle last, was the Seattle Great Wheel. While I am maybe a tinsy bit afraid of heights, night was a great time to take in the glow of the city.
The next morning (I should just mention I had a whole bed to myself: glorious), we woke slowly (well, I woke slow, Kiko went for a run) and headed to my go to place in the market for Pain au chocolate and a cappuccino.
From there we wandered the market, popped into Kiko’s favourite tea shop where we walked away with over $65 worth of tea…yes, it is that good. Come over for a cup one day.
The market always warms my heart, kind of like Granville Island. I love the hustle and bustle, the people coming to sell their flowers, produce and artisan crafts. It’s a coming together of the community.
Once we had soaked in the market we hopped on the D-line and headed to the Ballard district. A couple friends had mentioned this neighbourhood but I have never really made it past Freemont. Leaves gathered on the sidewalk outside kitchy shops filled with overpriced “vintage” clothing, handmade wares and funky botanicals. And by vintage, I mean shirts you would find in your father’s closet – so used, slightly faded but labelled vintage so they could charge you $40 for a 10 year old Brooks Brothers shirt.
|The Palm Room|
We had a hankering for a little spice so we found a Thai fusion place call the Root Table. It was perfect, we knew it from the moment we stepped in and found no white people. Kiko and I shared some root veg fries and a sample plate of different curries. It was more than we could eat, but delicious.
After browsing the shops a bit more the sun was shining and we thought it would be nice to find a beach and grab a coffee. We started to make our way back to where we got off the bus when we were flagged down by some guy selling gym memberships. He was very persistent even though we made quite clear that we didn’t live in the area. Finally I said, “Do you know what I really want? I want to find a beach and sit and have a coffee.” He told us that the place we needed to go was Alki beach. We just needed to hop back on the D-line and it would take us right there. He even walked us to the bus stop.
With no concept of direction or distance, we thought it would just be a short trip but as we travelled back the way we came, passed through downtown and got on the interstate we wondered if the bus driver had forgotten about us and failed to let us know when to get off. Finally, we came to west Seattle and got off the bus. The driver told us to catch the 50 at the bus stop just ahead. It must be just down the hill we thought. We thought wrong. Longest bus ride ever. But we made it and it was beautiful. Two and a half miles of beach complete with a Starbucks and outdoor Salsa lessons.
We walked, we sat, we walked, we talked and the sun set.
We walked some more and dark started to settle in and silently, only to ourselves we recounted our journey…and how we would have to take that journey back…in the dark…
I remarked how it was odd that there wasn’t a water taxi. We speculated on what could be at the end of the side walk as there were still lots of people coming and going. Finally, we saw a large boat and it looked like it was headed right for a pier just up ahead. It must be a water taxi, it HAD to be a water taxi. We were so close to downtown, it was right across the bay and yet it was such a long journey to get to the other side. The boat kept coming and we hurried to find out what it was.
You know now, because nowhere in my reading about Seattle or in my journeys have I ever heard of the water taxi. But basically, we rejoiced. Thank you King County water taxi.
We ended the evening with dinner at Café Campagne and did what we do so well: we talked about food.
The next day we grabbed some souvenirs in the market and headed home. As always in Seattle, short and truly sweet. Until next time…