Collin and I move and travel enough that the idea of being a tourist has died for us. Whenever we encounter a new place, we simply try to imagine life being real there as quickly as possible. Call it a knee-jerk reaction, but we just have to make life happen wherever we are - so for a weekend we "lived" in Seattle, and it was pretty nice! I could see myself doing it for much longer in the future, we'll have to wait and see...
First and foremost, Seattle is an incredibly clean, fresh and green city. The only things scattered on the sidewalks were fall leaves, there were so many different types of trees, there were orchids growing in the planters outside Nordstrom. I realized that a city focused and dedicated to sustainability is not only possible, but worth it! That would be my biggest message to Atlanta: stop talking about it and just do it! You can tell the people of Seattle are in love with their city - they walk to work in the fresh air, clean up after themselves, and they don't spraypaint dirty words on their buildings (very often). Not to mention that they are some of the most humble and kind people I've ever encountered. They are all friendly and helpful, genuinely interested in hearing your story and open to tell theirs. Love them.
Okay, of course, the first thing we did was stop by Pike's Place Farmers Market. What was I expecting? I don't know, maybe some kind of big grocery store? There's everything - gourmet jellies, jams, spices, pastas, and cheeses, arts and crafts, produce and fish, flowers. It's incredibly hectic and over-stimulating, which is usually a recipe for something I'll hate - but I had a lot of fun! Probably because everyone was so nice and funny, handing out slices of fresh Washington apples and chocolate pasta... it was the best.
Right alongside the farmers market is the first Starbucks ever! It's an absolute zoo, I didn't care to even try and go in, but this busker was quite talented.
Right next to the original 'bucks is a "very French bakery" (their words) called Le Panier whose cafe au lait and croissants far surpassed anything I've had at Starbucks. It was strange to me that people weren't lined up outside this place.
That night, Collin and I found a place on Pier 56, Elliot's Oyster House. What a good choice. We mentioned to our server that we were in Seattle for our anniversary and he had the manager send our table a free order of crab cakes (with chili lime beurre blanc... drool) and crème brûlée after our meal! Collin I both got salmon, mine was baked with crab meat and his was Alder smoked. We both tried local beers, Manny's Pale Ale and Pike Ale. I give it five McHugh stars... which aren't necessarily hard to come by, but top pick nonetheless!
The next day we took an early ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, WA. We had considered going to the museum, a Mariners game, a musical... but the ferry was only $13.00 round trip for both of us and we heard good things about simple life on the island. The view from the ferry boat was fantastic - we saw some incredible views of the city from the water!
Bainbridge Island is incredibly adorable. We walked off the ferry and up a hill into town where there were little diners, gift shops, coffee shops... and since it was Saturday we got to spend some time at the local farmers market! My two favorite places were Churchmouse Yarns and Teas and the Harbour Pub. One of the girls at the yarn shop had been to my favorite place in Atlanta, Knitch, and their shop had some incredible patterns. The Harbour Pub had a delicious menu and an unbelievable view of the harbor. I had a lamb burger with chevre and Collin and I split a Canadian favorite, poutine. It was the perfect lunch.
The way back to Seattle provided a pretty amazing view as well...
Our last half-day in Seattle was Sunday, so of course we searched for an awesome breakfast and found it at Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts. This place was incredibly cool and delicious, honestly it reminded me of something I'd find in Athens. Love at first sight! Plus, they served my coffee in my favorite giant Fiestaware mug - the same ones we have at our house!
A short walk away from Top Pot is the Space Needle, and another bit down from there is the Olympic Sculpture Park, a satellite of the Seattle Art Museum. It's not chock full of stuff, I found that most SAM spots are big on local artists, but I did love seeing this huge Alexander Calder laid against the Puget Sound.
After walking to all of these places for a few days, we opted for a cab to get back to the hotel. From there we took the light rail down to SeaTac Airport and said goodbye to sweet Seattle. It was incredible though, and I don't think it'll be the last time I'm there!