Sunny Seattle

We both said multiple times during our day in Seattle, “If it was always this nice, we might live here”—it was a simply gorgeous day to be out and about! After touring Seattle Fire Department’s Station 5, we walked north along the piers enjoying the view of the ferries, West Seattle, and the Olympics.

Seattle Waterfront views

Seattle waterfront

Sprocket thought we were torturing him with all the looking at water but no swimming:

Sprocket, Seattle waterfront

Forrest, Seatle Waterfront

After being on the waterfront for awhile, we headed up to Pike Place Market to find some lunch. We saw the original Starbucks (packed as always!):

Original Starbucks

We watched them toss fish at Pike Place Fish Market:

Pike Place Fish Market

Pike Place Market

Finally, we found a place to sit down and eat our pierogi and gyro. Sprocket was just enjoying the huge variety of smells in the market:

Sprocket in Pike Place Market

Once we were done exploring downtown, we headed over to West Seattle where we met up with some friends, Chris and Katie. Since it was such a beautiful evening, we put their boat in the water and headed over to Bainbridge Island for dinner at the Harbour Public House. It was really fun to catch up and hear about their adventures in Panama (now I can’t wait to go there some day).

Downtown from West Seattle

Bainbridge Island ferry terminal

Beth and Forrest

Olympic Mountain sunset

Touring Seattle’s Fire Boats

Forrest, Sprocket, and I decided to go walk around downtown Seattle a bit. Forrest had never been to Seattle (and neither has Sprocket) so we started out on the waterfront. After we stared at the fireboats from the Ivar’s pier for awhile, Forrest sent me up to the door of the station to ask if we could have a tour. To our surprise, not only were they happy to give a tour to two volunteer firefighters from Colorado but they let Sprocket join us! (My dog was seriously impressive: wonderfully well behaved, didn’t flinch at the grated ramps, or jumping on the boat. He’s awesome.)

Seattle Fire Boats

Forrest, Beth, and Sprocket

Seattle Fire Department

Seattle fire boats

Seattle Fire Department Station 5

For information on official tours of the fireboat, please visit the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Station Tour information page.

Priest Lake

After work on Friday, Forrest, Sprocket and I headed for Priest Lake. (About 2 hours to our northwest.) Robin, a work contact turned friend, had invited us up to spend the weekend at his lake place. We didn’t have any plans and it was a new place to visit so we were more than happy to accept his invitation!

Friday, we arrived at the lake and spent most of the afternoon relaxing on the deck and chatting and went out for dinner. We all called it a relatively early night so we could get up early on Saturday to head for “the Upper Lake.”

We didn’t get quite as early of a start as we would have liked on Saturday (but then, who does when they’re on vacation?). Forrest and I were up early took a walk with Sprocket before we returned to the house just as Robin was waking up. The three of us enjoyed some coffee and the newspaper before getting down to the boat about nine thirty.

The sun was shining and it was beautiful! We did sort of a “tour of homes” along the shore as we headed north towards the upper lake. By the time we got to the entrance of the “thorofare” (the passage connecting Lower and Upper Priest Lakes) I was down to my bathing suit enjoying the sunshine.

At the Upper Lake, Sprocket swam (and swam and swam); we ate our lunches; Forrest, Sprocket, and I went for a walk; and we all just generally enjoyed the sunshine. The upper lake is fairly quiet—there aren’t any roads that approach it and motorboats aren’t supposed to tow skiers or tubers up there—which was a nice change from the lower lake. After a few hours up there, we returned down the lake. After we unloaded the boat, Forrest and I (and SP!) went for a swim. The sunshine felt so good!

We spent the evening, as evenings on the water are spent, looking out over the lake before gorging ourselves on some steak, salad, and corn all of which were topped off by a huckleberry cream pie!

We had such a great weekend out on the water. Thank you so much to Robin and Patty for being awesome hosts. All three of us had a great time!

Sorry. I don’t have any pictures. I didn’t bring the new camera and the batteries in the little one died…and someone (me) hadn’t put new spares in. So no pictures of the lake, SP riding in the boat like an old pro, etc. etc.

Day 10: New Iberia, Louisiana to New Orleans, Louisiana

Our day started in a downtown parking lot of New Iberia after our night on the town. We briefly stopped at the city park to use the restroom and get ready for the day. Leaving town, Forrest stopped at a doughnut shack and picked us up a glazed and an old  for afashioned–they were really good! (Now I’ve got to find him a beignet here in New Orleans.) I loved the drive down Louisiana 182…there were all sorts of random old houses of all sizes. After awhile though, we realized that we’d be to New Orleans by two o’clock if we didn’t find some other explorations. So we turned south on LA 317, a road towards the gulf with no towns marked on the map.

The road passed over the Intracostal Waterway just as Sprocket started to demand a stop. Forrest drove us down a small road leading to a small plant on the waterway. Just as we got out of the car, a 15 passenger van pulled in behind us. It was a crew for a tugboat getting ready to go on their 28-day shift. Two of the young guys hung out with us and told us all about the job while they waited for the Miss Mollye D to pull up. When the boat got there they invited us aboard for a tour–quite spacious digs compared to the Wecoma!

After we left the Mollye, we headed further south. We found ourselves at Burn’s Point recreation area on Cote Blanche Bay on the Gulf. Sprocket enjoyed getting himself wet and then covering himself with sand. We drove around a bit on dirt levee roads looking for alligators before we headed for Morgan City, hoping to get some cajun food for lunch. After a disappointing stop downtown, we had almost resigned ourself to some non-local food when one of the gas station attendants told me about Rita Mae’s Cafe and promised us that there would be good southern food there.

When we found Rita Mae’s it really was just an old house converted to a restaurant. The service wasn’t exactly friendly, but my crawfish Étouffée was amazing, Forrest’s smothered pork chop was more so so. From there we headed north towards the Mississippi River to check out some of the plantations. They were all closed before we got there (not to mention tickets were really expensive) but I got to walk around the grounds of Oak Alley for a bit.

After letting Sprocket run around in the parking lot for a while, we were still undecided about where we’d stop for the night. As we drive east on LA 18, it became apparent that we weren’t going to see much more amazing along the route and that we were starting to get really close to New Orleans, so I called Meg to see if it was alright that we showed up early. She and her roommates were more than happy to have us a little bit early and we joined them at Juan’s Flying Burrito: A Cajun Taqueria on Magazine Street when we got into town. After dinner, we followed Meg back to her house where it was great just to catch up with her and of course to get showers! Sprocket loved all the attention from everyone as always.