Continuing West: On to Seattle

After a few days in Baltimore we kept moving on west to Seattle.  Since neither of us had ever been to Seattle, we wanted to spend a few days there before moving on to Japan.  Plus, we flew the pets separately and we know that it is best to give a cushion when traveling since bags can get lost and planes can get delayed (like the pets when we moved to Lajes, and if we did not have a day or more cushion we would have had a problem and missing our flight was not option, but then again either was leaving the pets behind).  So we did 2.5 days in Seattle.  Luckily, the pets were on time and no delays (last time they have an unexpected overnight in Houston).

Flying in to Seattle was awesome because you get to see Mt. Rainier from the air.  These were my best attempts at getting a picture.
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I managed to get an even better one from the ground, but it is still a little hard to see.  It was absolutely amazing looking.
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Don't laugh, but for lunch we did not have much time so we just ended up at Applebee's.  This is always a bad choice for us, but it was nearby and we were hungry and in a hurry.  Ryan ordered a plate of three items just to get a little taste of different things that we have not had in a while being overseas.
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I ordered this BBQ shrimp plate and was extremely surprised to discover it only had 370 calories and was actually really good (or I was just really hungry).  Again, I was surprised, if not beyond surprised, at how good this was.  The shrimp were served over with a side of veggies.
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Dinner the first night was at Ivar's Salmon House, which came highly recommended by my grandpa.  By highly recommended I mean he said we absolutely have to eat at this location of Ivar's or else...and he was right.
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First off, the view on the lake was just amazing, and it was a beautiful day.
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You could even see the Space Needle in the Distance.
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I loved the Indian decor and the lake view.
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Inside boasted more Indian decor and some canoes hanging from the ceiling.
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Dinner started with some delicious cornbread.
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For dinner, both Ryan and I ordered salmon, which is smoked over alderwood.  I had the Sockeye Salmon and Ryan had the Red King Salmon.  Bother were great (we shared a little with each other of course).
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 After a good night sleep, we headed out to find a Starbucks, which would be easy since there is not a shortage of them in Seattle.  When we used the Garmin to find the closest one, we also checked under attractions and discovered that Jimi Hendrix's grave/memorial was just 4 miles down the road.  Naturally we decided to check it out.
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Although this is just the memorial area, he is actually buried in this cemetery.

After that fun detour, we headed downtown towards Pike Place Market since that was the major activity planned for the day.  Here are some pictures of the downtown area, which I took as we were walking from the car to Pike Place Market.
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Pike Place Market is a major attraction in Seattle and a must see, not to mention I think I read somewhere that it is the oldest farmer's market (public market) in the US.
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So of course I just walked around taking pictures of just about everything.  It was an amazing sight to see and I loved all the local produce and seafood vendors.
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The seafood was really fun to look at.
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Lots and lots of crabs!
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Lobster and scallops too!
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No trip to Pike Place is complete without a visit to Pike Place Fish Company.  This is the place where they toss the fish.  So fun to watch, but very hard to catch in a picture.
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See, I tried to catch the flying fish in the picture, but it didn't work out so well.  Oh well!
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More crabs!
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This was actually very cool and tasty.  This is salmon jerky.  They gave us a small sample and it was really good.
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A friend of mine recommended we try the mac and cheese from Beecher's, so when I spotted Beecher's I got really excited and knew we would be in for a treat.  As you can see this place is popular and the line wrapped around the building.
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They make the cheese right there and you can watch.
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Here is the mac and cheese.  The wait wasn't as long as I would have expected.
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But there was not much for table space so we made do just standing around.
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At least we got some entertainment while we ate.
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After lunch, which by the way was extremely delicious, we bought some local, organic cherries.
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After a short walk (to aid in mac and cheese digestion)...
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we headed to the first Starbucks!  This is the original location, where it all started.
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Check it out...here I am with the official documentation.
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Once we were all done at the market we took a walk over to the Space Needle.
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I was told not to bother going up, just take pics from outside.  I agree with this because for the price, combined with the weather and poor visibility, it just didn't seem worth it.  But it was cool to look at.
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After that we headed to the Experience Music Project, which is just behind the Space Needle.
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This was a fun display made from guitars.
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It was also very heavy into Nirvana, for obvious reasons.
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Next up we sat by the fun fountain and watched the kids run in and out of the water.
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Then we took a stroll by some unusual sculptures.  Yes, that tree is made from metal.
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We were there during Fleet Week for Sea Fair, so we had the unexpected pleasure of getting on a free tour of the USS Sampson.  Here are some pics from on and around the boat.
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The tour was very cool and we got to see quote and bit and hear from different people with different jobs on the ship.

From there we needed to find some dinner before heading home for the night.  We stumbled into a great find, The Pike Brewing Company, which is a microbrewery and restaurant right at Pike Place.
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Wouldn't be right to not enjoy a brew here.
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We also took the time to sample some local cheeses to start.  Definitely a good choice.
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For dinner Ryan and I ordered the salmon sandwich and fish and chips, which we shared.  Always nice when you like the same things as the person you are dining with.  Both were good, but the fish and chips  I think was my favorite.
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Now don't laugh, but on vacation we visited the Ikea.  It was right around the corner from our hotel, and we did not make it to the one in Baltimore.  We were looking for space saving ideas for our new place in Japan, which we knew would be small.
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I thought their little pet adopting van was so cute, but I can't bring any more home, especially because there is a 6 month quarantine for Japan, and only allowed 2 pets on base.  Plus, I have my hands full with 2 already, but it is always fun to look.
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For the afternoon of our second day we headed to Woodinville, AKA Washington Wine Country.
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Before any wine could be sampled we knew we better eat.  Thanks to the Garmin, we found this awesome little place, The Twisted Cafe.
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The sold these funny little pasta chips that are locally made.
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We both ordered a half sandwich (veggie for me and turkey for Ryan) along with some tomato soup.
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These pasta chips were so funny!  This place was a really good choice.
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Wineries tend to close early, like 4 o'clock, so we had limited time, but enough for 2 wineries.

First up was Columbia, which is a pretty well known winery.
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Very nice grounds.
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Cute store inside and friendly staff.
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We went with a sampling of 4 wines each.  For $5 you can pick 4 wines off their tasting list.
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Next up was Chateau St. Michelle, which is another big name winery in WA.
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The grounds here were well maintained as well.
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They had a fun tasting room also.  Just a tad more pricey at $10 for 4 samples.
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Certainly a fun time if you are into wines.
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Lots of wines for sale, and yes we did buy some at each of the locations.
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Then we walked around and spotted some ducks and fish.
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For dinner we stayed in the area of the hotel and ate at a cute little restaurant/microbrewery called The Rock Wood Fired Pizza.
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One last chance at some US pizza.  Ryan went with meat and I did a veggie pizza.  It was pretty good.
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Dessert was a great treat for us since we love frozen yogurt and didn't get any yet on the trip to the States.
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I always get plain yogurt with something chocolate and strawberries, so this was no exception.
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Ryan loaded up on the fruit.
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Well, that does it for our time in Seattle and in the States.  The next morning we were at the airport super early to catch our flight to Japan.  More on that to come!

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever been to Seattle?  Favorite par if you have been?  Ever been to a winery?  What's your favorite frozen yogurt topping?

5 comments:

Jessie said...

I won't laugh at either your Applebees trip OR Ikea trip ;) I LOVE exploring Ikea! I'm impressed by the grilled shrimp dish with veggies - I guess it's been a while since I've been in an Applebees.

I'm glad you enjoyed Seattle! Peter and I loved exploring the Pike Place Market - foodie heaven. Have a safe flight to Japan! Almost there!

Mer said...

Wow you did a lot! Don't tell Anthony Bourdaine that you went to Applebees ;-)
I have been to Seattle and I loved Starbucks! Also loved the market and we actually went to an event @ the EMP so that was fun!
I have been to MANY a winery :)
My fave frozen yogurt topping has to be oreos or cinnamon toast crunch (that was my Garden Room dessert, ha!)

Gina; The Candid RD said...

I have never been to Seattle, but I would love to visit one day. The market looks wonderful and full of unique (and fresh) foods! Man, I bet that fish was amazing. I feel like it was almost sinful for them to turn that good salmon into jerky! But, I bet it tasted delicious.
Favorite fro topping? Hot fudge and oreos if I'm being "bad" , fruit if I'm wanting to stay healthy!

Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian said...

What a great trip! I have been to Seattle a couple times. I love it!!
There is just so much to do. I loved all the neat restaurants and bars. I especially loved Pikes Place.

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

I've never been to Seattle, but I definitely want to visit one day! Looks like you had a great 2.5 days there! My hubby would be so excited about the brewery! He recently got into craft beer and has to visit every small brewery he can find...

Hope you are getting used to life in Japan!

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