Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Starting in Seattle

How many things would you plan during a 24-hour period? On your vacation?!? Well, if you're me - or my mother - five seemed to be a good number. Excessive? Perhaps. Fun? Most definitely.

We landed in Seattle at noon and had until noon the following day to check out of the hotel and make our way to the pier. Right after ditching our bags at the hotel, we hopped in the car and headed downtown to lunch at Pike Place Market - clam chowder that was heavy on lemon and thyme, cioppino, and deep fried oysters.

Then we blazed past the line out the door of the original Starbucks, with a smirk and "resist corporate coffee" running through our heads, and headed out for the Fremont neighborhood to use my gift certificate to Theo Chocolate on a factory tour for four. We donned Caribbean Sea blue-hued hairnets for a sixty-minute taste and tour where we learned more about that Seattle-based organic, fair trade chocolatier. I've tasted their chocolates before and enjoyed them. But after learning about their practices and policies, I adore them, especially their fantasy flavor line, including their fig, fennel, almond in a dark chocolate; bread and chocolate; and coconut curry. Innovative, delicious, and good business practices. I'm a fan!

We rendez-vous'd with my parents to go up the Space Needle, which definitely was not on my list of to-dos - but the 360 degree views were stunning. We even paused long enough to sample some organic, local beer. We tried the Leavenworth Whistling Pig Hefeweizen from Fish Brewery out of Olympia, Washington. Cheers!

I've always loved Dale Chihuly's work. So, when I realized that he had a permanent exhibit in the shadow of the Space Needle, it was a must. Breathtaking colors, shapes, and textures. And we all had different favorites. By the end of that adventure, we were all starving. So, I asked one of the gals in the giftshop: where do you like to eat around here? She smiled then jotted directions to an Indian restaurant named Chutney. We strolled through the park, away from where all the tourists were eating, and dined on some truly delightful curries - a fish curry, a chicken curry, and a lamb curry - with the most airy naan I've ever had. It was amazing.

And if that weren't enough excitement for this stop, we squeezed in brunch with Eve, one of my friends from high school, and her family. Eve picked us up at our hotel and chauffeured us to one of her favorite brunch spots in West Seattle. It was nice to watch our boys skip stones together along the shoreline.

One of these days, we'll have to go back to Seattle for more than 24-hours. The city has a personality, some spunk, and lots of great places to eat and explore. Definitely my kinda place.

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