This was my first time in the Pacific Northwest, and I must now join in the chorus of voices who just rave endlessly about the area. The natural environment is beyond gorgeous, there is clearly a huge appreciation for the arts, the food is incredible, and people overall seem very pleasant. We were spoiled with sunny weather the entire time, and we had to remind ourselves towards the end of the trip that the norm for the area is actually overcast and rainy.
This post will only describe a bit of what we saw in Seattle, and includes only a few pictures from the many, many photos that I took there. One day when I have more time, perhaps I will be able to share more. More photos to come from our time in Vancouver and Portland as well!
Well, as mentioned in a previous post, what seems to define trips for us more than anything is the food. And that remains true for this trip. Oh the gluttony we indulged in! Our favorite place by far was Paseo, with their Cuban sandwiches that you could literally smell from 3 blocks away. I have no pictures to prove that we were there because we couldn’t wait to eat the sandwiches! The Midnight Cuban Press sandwich was by far the best thing I have ever eaten in my life. Salty, savory, creamy, spicy, slightly sweet, crunchy, chewy, perfect. Another fun and favorite food experience was this taco bus, Tacos El Asadero. They sold Mexican street tacos for $1.25, which made our wallets and taste buds wonderfully happy! The kitchen was set up in the back of the bus, and there were a few stools inside, but mostly people just sat outside and enjoyed the grub from there.
Next we of course had to go to Pike Place Market. The fresh seafood and produce were an absolute delight for the senses.
Speaking of a delight for the senses, we went out of our way to find really good coffee and we were not disappointed. We read rave reviews about Espresso Vivace and their white velvet latte was pretty ridiculously delicious. We also got a good supply of beans from Stumptown and are now enjoying their Holler Mountain roast at home.
One site that we were surprisingly pleased with was the Chittenden Locks, which is this amazing engineering system of controlling the levels of freshwater and saltwater using gravity alone, such that the rise and fall of the water level within these “locks” is what allows boat traffic to navigate in an orderly manner through the waterways. The Locks help to prevent the mixing of seawater from Puget Sound and the freshwater of the local lakes. The system also includes a fish ladder that helps salmon through their migration patterns. It sounds very technical and yes, a tad boring, but when you’re there on a beautiful day, it makes for a lovely and relaxing outdoor activity, and it’s actually really fascinating to see how the system works. You can even see huge salmon leaping out of the water, and the sea lion who hangs around will catch himself a hefty meal every so often. In the picture below, the sea lion is at the bottom center of the picture, welcoming all the incoming boats.
Another thing that stood out about Seattle was the strong appreciation for the arts in this city. When a community turns a wall once marred by gross gobs of chewed gum into a lovely display of art (albeit in a lovely-gross kind of way) you know you’ve got some creatively-minded people dwelling in these parts.
The Olympic Sculpture Park is another incredible and fun display of art. Here are just a couple shots from that huge space.
And then there is, of course, God’s art. The green, the water, the evening glow of sundown, they were all unlike what we would ever find in Southern California. Just breathtaking. The two shots below were taken near Puget Sound.
We couldn’t miss a chance to ride the ferry, otherwise known as the poor man’s cruise. (I kid. Sort of.) But it was quite lovely since we caught it right at sundown, so the light on the way to Bainbridge Island was gorgeous, and then we got to see Seattle at night on the way back.
Finally, the last couple of shots were taken at or near Kerry Park, which provides one of the best views of the entire Seattle skyline and coast. If these don’t entice you to go up and visit for yourself, I don’t know what will! I’m already counting the days when I can return to explore and enjoy more of this fantastic city.