After a few days in Tacoma, I hopped on the Sounder train and headed for Seattle. I’ve taken the bus between Seattle and Tacoma many many times but this was my first time on the Sounder. I had power outlets and I learned that if I choose my car better I could have wi-fi next time. It only cost me $1.25 more than the bus which was totally worth it.
Once in Seattle, I booked it from King Street Station up to Seattle Coffee Works where I finally got to meet Lauren of Better In Real Life! Lauren and I have been internet pals for a long time but we haven’t ever actually gotten to meet up; she was super supportive of me while I fought against sexism in Idaho. She was absolutely wonderful and we had a great time chatting while waiting for another internet pal, also named Lauren. She had flown in from Boston to spend the weekend with Liz and I and then got to meet the other Lauren as a bonus!
Lauren and I set out in search of food in Pikes Place Market but soon decided that ice cream was what we really wanted. Sadly, we discovered that Bluebird Ice Cream was closed but that Molly Moon’s was open. My vanilla bean and honey lavender scoops were so good that I devoured them before I grabbed a photo. Lauren and I headed to Elliot Bay Book Company to kill some time before wandering over to Taylor Shellfish. I’d been craving oysters so we got a bottle of pinot gris (a bottle that was both affordable and had won awards for pairing well with oysters) while we waited for Liz to get off work.
Once Liz arrived, we ordered a spread of oysters and we toasted to the kick off of a great weekend. Anyone sitting at tables around us would never believe that the three of us had never physically been in the same place at the same time before. As we enjoyed our oysters (a nice selection of Fanny Bay, Kusshi, Kumamoto, Shigoku, and Olympia oysters if you’re curious).
Apres oysters, we bused back to Liz’s place where she made us some scrumptious tacos and then we headed to Percy’s & Co. for some cocktails. My cilantro gimlet was delicious but the highlight was getting to meet Liz’s bestie Siiri who I feel like I know without ever having actually met. Our next stop was Conor Byrne where we watched Liz and Siiri’s friend Tom sing.
Liz had to work the next morning, so after Tom’s set we headed back to her house and bedded down for the night. I’d had such a fun day “meeting” people that I felt like I already knew and I could hardly believe the weekend was going to get better when Liz, Lauren, and I headed for the San Juan Islands.
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve spent any time in Seattle. I meant to go up and spend time walking around downtown enjoying the holiday season in the stores and Pike Place. Instead, I did a whole bunch of walking. It was awesome:
You know how people that just get you make your life? Yeah.
And then when their roommates bring you coffee in bed?
The next morning, the walking continued:
I met another fabulous internet friends: Mike of Mike Off The Map. We definitely had a conversation that went like this:
B: “Have you heard about the Bells traverse?”
M: “Yeah, I’ve heard it’s pretty sketchy.”
M: “I’m down…let’s do it!”
I love hanging out with people like this. Move to Colorado anytime Mike. Or stay in Seattle and adventure with me whenever I’m here.
I also think I’m part elf and love love love making Christmas surprises happen. I located rullapolse (Norwegian pressed lamb) and my family has been missing it at Christmas for the last two years. I had to throw in a couple of Norwegian cheeses for the gastronomic pleasure of all (well mostly me) as well. My 88 year-old grandmother let out the MOST gleeful Christmas scream of the year (seriously, beat ALL the kids, hands down). Made my Christmas.
I kept on with the walking and wandered south from Ballard to downtown to catch the bus back to Tacoma. 12 miles of walking hither and thither + friends + Christmas Elfing = totally successful trip.
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.
Sprocket thought we were torturing him with all the looking at water but no swimming:
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!):
We watched them toss fish at Pike Place Fish 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:
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).
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.)
Saturday June 2 was National Trails Day. As part of the celebration the Foothills Rail-To-Trails Coallition has organized the Rainier To Ruston relay event. 2012 was the 10th anniversary of the race and it was the “Drunken Damsels and Whiskey Warriors” 2nd year! In what turned into a combined effort, Ezra, Jolleen and I put together a team for last years race and wound up having a ton of fun. It didn’t help that we had the most gorgeous weather last year.
This year, we’d planned on spending the night at my aunt and uncle’s house (last year we ended up staying there as sort of a spur of the moment decision). Uncle Morgan had a campfire going and the team enjoyed a few beers and some good conversation before heading to bed.