(The gogobaroness Holiday Re-Run Series! The 3 part installment of my June trip to Seattle!)
Sunday - overcast & famous drizzle
Breakfast #2 from Macrina Bakery - quiche with arugula, walnuts and grapes - it didn't last beyond a few steps from the door - it was too tasty.
by 9am I make it to the Center for Wooden Boats I come across an original steam boat being prepared for the day - with real wood fire for the steam engine!
The family in line front of me for the FREE event was there returning from last weeks attempt to sign up for a sail boat - it seems like it's the most popular choice - since I was second in line - I managed to get signed up for a charming sailboat called the Aime - it was scheduled to set sail at 1pm - I went back to the dock on the water to hang out - saw a local bearded guy pumping out water from the boats - I eventually asked him where's a good place to get food - his recommendation was Pho Cyclo that opened up another location on Aloha and Dexter which was a few blocks away - and turned out to be Pho noodles super fresh and hot. Their house special of slices of beef, meat balls, tripe and melting chunks of fat in the light broth... an escape from the chilly morning was definitely a winner.
My return from Pho Cyclo - I run into bearded guy again - when at the register the cashier saw me still chewing on basil and offered me another basil sprig - I graciously accepted - so I passed on the gift to bearded guy as thanks for the lunch spot.
the Sail on the Amie was relaxing and educational as the captain chattered on gaily about the history of Seattle and the charms of the sailboat itself.
I was proud of the shot I got with the space needle on the right of the mast and the downtown skyline left of the boom.
After the gorgeous sail I run into bearded guy for the third time - he asked if I wanted to grab a beer with him if I had nothing else going on - I figured a beer wouldn't hurt me. He was courteous to ask if I wanted to take the public bus or a ride in his car - " if anything I will jump out of the car and run if I have to".
This bearded guy has a name - Reed Lane working for Boeing working on contract aircraft as a radio engineer, and his wife was out of town taking care of the husband of an elderly couple who hired her to travel with them to Alaska - he was hanging out trading 3 hours of volunteering for an hour of sailing at Center for Wooden boats. Traveled to Odin brewery tasting room in Fremont - I got to pick his brains about how to scramble/encrypt a radio signal when radio is a wave frequency.
I got a tour of Gasworks that was right next to the brewery - the insides were painted bright colors and the locals were attempting to parkour its iron gears.
Behind Gasworks - there was a mighty battle ensuing with full bodied armor renaissance dudes. Then proceeded to the houseboat dock that he and his wife used to rent from. Bright colored houseboats in charming scale floating - moored in a semi permanent manner.
Reed was hungry so I got introduced to Ballards best food joint - Paseo Carribean Food. The streets were empty - but this joint was packed full of people. They were famous for their sandwiches - "lightly toasted baguette slathered w/ aioli, fresh cilantro, pickled jalapenos, crisp romaine and carmelized onions" I got the marinated pork shoulder and Reed got the boneless chicken sandwich.
Migrated up to Golden Gardens Park north of the expansive Shilshole Bay Marina to eat the sandwiches with a view.
The way back into Downtown/Belltown veered into Queen Anne for me to digest with a coffee (it turns out not everybody in Seattle is a coffee drinker). The houses were colorful and the gardens well tended in the neighborhood.
He dropped me off in front of the Hostel and I thanked him for the awesome tour of the Seattle. ( I was originally thinking I'd check out Ballard by bus - totally manifested in a different way)
Monday- overcast & famous drizzle - with sunny afternoon in between.
Breakfast #3 from Macrina Bakery - Bacon egg onion brioche sandwich with coffee.
Back down to the Elliott Bay waterfront - I finally get around to writing my postcards - I was sitting on the only public ping pong table on Pier 62/63 and as the drizzle came down - I had the umbrella over my head while crouched under it indian fashion trying to keep dry as I scribble my posts.
As 10am got closer I migrated over to Pier 66 where the Alki Kayak Tour was scheduled to start - I wasn't sure so I knocked on the office and asked the kind lady inside if this was the right place for the Kayak tour. Later as I was waiting for the the tour guide to meet me - she poked her head out again and offered to make me a cup of coffee afterwards because it looked so cold out, and will most likely be cold after the trip.
"I would love to hang out with you later!"
and I was definitely cold - in flip flops in preparation to be in the kayak, yet even with two sweaters, I was finally warmer when the guide Matt geared me up with a over-sized rain jacket and the Kayak skirt to secure me from falling out.
I was the only person who booked for Monday so it was just Matt and I. Decided to take the two person tandem kayak - he advertised the tandems can go faster and farther and I was excited to see what distances these locally made sea worthy kayaks could travel. We went northward up along the coast by the Olympic Sculpture Park, through inlets along the industrial granary where large Hong Kong vessels were loading up their cargo, all the way to the southern end of the Shilshole Bay Marina.
Matt was originally from Rochester NY, and a Environmental Science degree holder who has traveled summers to Alaska, winters to Belize occasionally been to New Zealand for many tour guide gigs. Now he was getting ready to start Graduate School at Washington University in Environmental Policy - he was very knowledgeable about the biology and history of the Puget Sound area.
The sun came out on our way back to Bell Harbor on Pier 66 - Matt estimated we traveled 6 miles! My shoulders were sore from pulling so much water!
I stopped by the office to accept the offer of coffee from the nice lady I met in the morning - she had prepared for me a steaming cup from a Keurig machine, and as Pati and I started chatting a Marina customer walked in to inquire about the correct WiFi code if it was "one, one" or "L, L" - it was "L, L" for BeLL Harbor. As we were yammering away a fellow worker shows up and Glen told me later he was surprised to find out we just met.
Another Marina guest comes in - I was sitting in the tallest swivel chair with a cup of coffee in my hands - the guest walks straight up to me and inquires about the WiFi code - I confidently respond its "L, L" - Pati and Glen burst out laughing with their bellies once the guest leaves the office.
I hung out with them for a while and got recommendations for food for I was famished after the 3 hour kayak trip. I was trying to get to the Chowder Place in Pike Public Market but it got so congested, I ended up at the Chinese Bun place where Glen frequents and got a BBQ Pork Steam bun and a Curry Beef Bread with crunchy crust on top. I eat it on the same pier 62/63 from the morning, and passed out for an hour nap in the sunny warm cozy sun.
I was overall really tired and exhausted from the day, but refused to waste it, I wanted to have a relaxed evening - I stopped by at the hostel to discard some excess layers and promenaded to Westlake Ave. to their Whole Foods - ended up with Seared Albacore Sashimi and Raw Cow milk cheese to pair with the famous Beecher's Crackers. Picnicked on this feast once again on the dock of choice on South Lake Union. It really surprised me I was the only one really taking advantage of the fabulous view on the water at the end of the dock. Nobody was fighting me for the space - maybe because it felt like it was more of Center for Wooden Boats property...
Reed was volunteering that afternoon as he noted on Sunday , after he was done with his shift - we grabbed a beer on the north side of route 99 bridge at the Nickerson Street Saloon - and I proceeded to educate the bartender - that the pint glass he was filling up with the extra beer head pours from all the taps - is called a New Jersey Turnpike - the authentic rendition is from the drainage grills that catch the excess pours and then dumped into a pint glass - which the bartender was somewhat disgusted by the thought - but very entertained to think he has a way to get back at unsavory customers.
Tuesday, Wednesday left to go!