Sumptuous Seattle

Trip Start Apr 15, 2011
Trip End Feb 04, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Thursday, September 15, 2011

Get to the station super early. Organise my train pass and book my first bunch of tickets for the states.  Discover I could have used my rail pass for the Vancouver to Seattle leg after all, doh! But I think I would have run out of time on the pass anyway.  The train is spacious and comfortable and there's free wifi, perfect.  I sit and watch the scenery slide by, admiring the view and trying to catch up on my blog but the scenery keeps distracting me.  Seattle is awesome.  My host Becky and her boyfriend Jack are friendly and welcoming.  Becky is a foodie like me and takes me to all her favourite little bars and pubs and food places.  I’m only meant to stay for two nights but end up staying for all four because we’re having so much fun hanging out together.  We spend the weekend with their friends, hitting excellent food places, going to parks and museums and coffee and donut places and topping it all off with the most amazing seafood dinner on Sunday night. 

Seattle is a city I could easily live in if I wasn’t going home to Melbourne.  It’s friendly and cultural and interesting and the food is wonderful and cheap if you know the right places.  Pike Place market down by the water is amazing.  There are stalls and stalls of fish merchants stacked high with ice and a plethora of freshly caught seafood.  Florists sell bunches of brightly coloured flowers for as little as $5 and I vow if I ever live in Seattle I’d have fresh flowers every week.  The fruit and veg stalls are piled high with amazing fresh produce and stall holders hand out slices of fresh juicy nectarines.  There is a rule at the market the stalls all have to sell local produce.  With the exception of a few stalls started before the rule came into effect everything is locally produced and sourced.  Often people working on the stall are involved in its production. 

Jack and I hit the market and stop by Pike Place Chowder to grab some lunch before meeting Becky.  Chowder is not very common in Australia or England.  It’s a thick, almost stew like soup, usually with some sort of seafood.  The clam chowder at Pike Place is world famous and has won several international awards.  We grab a large pot to go with some other flavours including smoked salmon, a seafood mix and the special of the day.  It’s all good but hard to tell which is which.  The clam chowder is defiantly the best and I can see why it’s won awards.  Before we meet Becky we do a brief detour past one of Seattle’s lesser know, slightly more gross attractions.  Down a small alley way is Gum Wall.  It started a number of years ago when people waiting in line to the near by venue would stick their chewing gum on the wall while they were waiting.  Over the years the gum built up and built up until it is now covered with several square meters of indelible, brightly coloured, pre masticated chewing gum.  It’s interesting in a rather gross kinda way.    

Another day we hit the Seattle Asian Art Museum in the grounds of Volunteer Park with beautiful views over looking the city.  The museum is small but fascinating with some exquisite pieces from different parts of Asia.  The small selection of kimonos are particularly beautiful with silk screen print and dragons and bats embroidered in shimmering golden threads. 

On my last day in Seattle we hit some more touristy but not stuff, swinging by Gasworks Park where scenes from 10 Things I Hate About You with a young Heath Ledger and Julia Stills was filmed then hitting a local market.  The market is interesting but kinda small and I’m more interested in the Theo chocolate factory with its free samples.  The chocolate is organic, made on site and comes in a range of unusual flavours such as coconut curry, fennel, fig & almond and chai.  There’s just enough time to swing by the Lenin statue before going back through Pike Place market for ingredients for our seafood feast.  We dine on fresh mussels with white wine, fat juicy shrimps cooked in garlic butter, pearly white oven baked scallops, roast veg and a selection of the most amazing mushrooms including a bright red orange wild harvest, shitake and an nut brown field.  It’s a lovely way to end a wonderful social weekend and I’m sorry to be leaving. 

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