The Emerald City!

Saturday, October 9, 2010 - 
Seattle...what a beautiful city to visit during our anniversary trip!  We had started north of the city and in Vancouver, but were really excited to make our way to downtown Seattle to see what the city was all about.  It was a wonderful experience: we got to see so much, eat some fantastic food and drink some great brews and vintages.  And the views - lots of great things to look at!  Thank you to all of those who reached out to friends in the area to give us the "must see's" of the city, the information was invaluable.  Alas, another photo recap (and I'll get to the food, wine and beer soon!):

After getting to our hotel, we quickly dropped our bags off and made way to the sports area of Seattle.  I wanted to see where the Seahawks and Mariners played their home games, and there was also a brewery in the area we wanted to see. We didn't go inside (though there was a Mariner's game that evening,) but I can say both vicinities were quite impressive.  Outside of Qwest Field, more specifically the Seahawks pro shop, there were these huge sculptures.  I have no idea what they meant, but they were so interesting.  I LOVED the big mit outside of Safeco (Mariners), I couldn't resist to sit down in it.  Elysian Brewery was a great spot to relax after walking around (though the lack of pumpkin brews was a disappointment, more on that later...)

After lunch, we walked around the Pioneer Square - a historical yet eclectic district where "the home" of Seattle really is.  We learned so much about Seattle's history - why you may ask?  Because we decided to take an underground tour of the city.  Did you know the city built itself ontop of itself?!  Let me explain briefly - there was a fire that destroyed Seattle, and in dealing with high tides of the ocean, they built themselves higher than the original city.  There are sidewalks one story down from the real streets.  It was an interesting and amusing tour of the area.  I highly recommend you take it if you ever visit the city.  After, we walked around the shops and made our way back to the hotel before cleaning up for dinner at Etta's, one of the restaurants of the renowned James Beard receipient, Tom Douglas.  Nom.

We began the following day by making a stop at SAM - the Seattle Art Museum.  The Renaissance, where we were staying, has free tickets for their guests so we took advantage of this opportunity and strolled a few blocks to see some great exhibits.  It is a gorgeous, two level museum with both modern and traditional exhibits.  My favorites included the car exhibit in the entrance, the huge mouse that was staring at a sleeping man, and the Chinese garment made out of army dog tags.  Amazing.

When people think of Seattle, most think of Pike Place Market.  And why shouldn't one - we absolutley were excited to make our way there after the museum.  We grabbed drinks from the original Starbucks - isn't anything too spectacular though I did have the best soy pumpkin latte of my life (hubs got a mocha) - and then began our journey through the market.  We spent the majority of the day smelling fresh flowers, tasting the best smoked salmon jerky that could have possibility been made, and touching all of the crafts that were for sale in this farmer's market.  Cheeses, homemade pastas, sauces, honey...there was so much to taste - but the wonder of it all was the seafood.  I love seafood and had had no problem gawking over the salmon, halibut cheeks, clams, oysters, name it, everything looked divine. 

We started to snack in the market, but I saved my appetite because I was dying to try Matt's in the Market - I was extremely happy that I did because the food was amazing.  We also made a stop in The Tasting Room, a fantastic place for flights of wine in Post Alley (I admit, we spent a lot of time in there!)  And of course, a stop at the gum wall was a must.  We were having a great time (I mean really, I'm in this fabulous city with the one I love, what could be better?!) and then hubs stopped to buy me some flowers.  Gorgeous, and extremely reasonable on cost.  I am quoting him, "If we lived here, I'd give you flowers at least three times a week."  Put that in the books people, it is now written down!  After a stop at the hotel, we meandered our way to Serious Pie, another of Tom Douglas' restaurants, for some much talked about pizza. 

We spent our final day visiting the University of Washington, as I always had this 'thing' about wanting to attend there.  The women of the Sigma Kappa Mu chapter took us on a tour of their beautiful home, as well as showed us around the area of the Greek life.  We also made a stop in the University Store, where I got my hoodie from the University - Go Huskies!  I had then wanted to try Poppy for lunch, but alas, it was closed on Saturday until dinner, so we grabbed some sushi instead.  We then hopped on a city bus (side note - it is free in the downtown area until 7pm...everyday...isn't that amazing?!) and made our way to the first spot that made us feel like a tourist - the Space Needle.  The views were great, but I do have to say I was a little disappointed as I thought it was taller.  But still, beautiful view of the city. 

We had an early flight the next morning, so we ate some dinner (we have this tradition about relaxing in the hotel room and getting room service on our last night - no idea why, but we do) and watched some tv before saying our goodbyes to the Emerald City.  Was it sad leaving?  Absolutely.  I love Seattle - it is a modern city with young history, a city full of vibrant food, culture and landscape.  Will we go again?  Absolutely - there is still so much more to try, see and experience.  After all, isn't that what traveling is all about?