I think my favorite part of being out here is the complete ease of taking a weekender. I described leaving New York as giving birth. I haven’t given birth, but I imagine that when I do one day that I will stop and say “This IS like driving out of New York.”
In Portland, Nancy tells us to drive about 10 blocks and make a couple slight turns and we’re off.
This past weekend was Seattle. We left around 9 a.m. and headed North into the happy puffy clouds and blue skies of Washington. Yes – it was a very nice day. It’s actually warming up, so we no longer have to dress like pillow people.
The drive to Seattle is quick – I mean, it’s the 5, so the view isn’t so hot, but it’s only the 5. I like trips like that because they give Jaime and I the chance to have some great conversations – conversations about life, about next steps, about things that stress/frustrate us, and the sudden absence of Ashley Judd’s career.
We got to our hotel with enough time to walk the dogs and explore before meeting my friend Molly and her partner, Genevieve for lunch at Steelhead Diner.
I had the sausage po’boy and Jaime had a salmon cake with lump crab meat and a bowl of roasted vegetable chili. Jaime’s choices were highly recommended – mine, well – it was a good dish, just wouldn’t order it again. We hung out with Molly and Genevieve for a good while, laughing – sharing stories – and then we hugged and ventured on our separate ways.
Oh, the market. You know I love me some markets. There’s something about walking through the buzz of vendors selling their hand-made (or total touristy crap) wares that excites me. The calls of jewelry vendors talking about river Jasper, the offers of blueberry jams and vinegar tasting spoons, the quintessential throwing of the fish. Pikes Place Market was much larger than I expected, an endless covered path of anythings branching to lower, winding floors with vintages signs marketing a peep hole to view the “world’s largest shoe” or an endless coin collection or a random bronze sculpture of a squid hanging over a t-shirt shop. You could literally spend a day there, or at least spend most of it eating. Samples of dungenous crab meat with cocktail sauce in tiny cups (btw, an abomination to sauce such a delicacy), a piece of salmon jerky or sweet candied almonds and home-made doughnuts. Yes, please. And it was certainly a mad house of tourists filming flying fish (as did we), taking pictures of themselves in front of the postcard-perfect market sign (did that too) and trying on earrings and other things with freshwater pearls (check).
But you can only take it so long. The market was a little too crowded, so we swung by The Confectional. I got Jaime a chocolate mint cheesecake truffle and I had a qaudroople chocolate mini cheesecake. We ventured back up the 45 degree hill to the hotel. My friends, there is something hilarious (to me at least) about what I must have looked like – eating cheesecake and climbing such a steep incline.
The cheesecake was forgettable and made me feel guilty – Jaime loved her truffle, however. (note from Jaime: too rich, too good)
We dined with our friends Mykol and Evan at Seatown Seabar & Rotisserie. [enter Jaime again] Holy crap this place was good. Totally unassuming, totally empty, totally delicious. We ordered nearly everything, or so it felt that way: duck rillet with raisons, poached duck egg and caramelized onions on toast, bread with lardo (ew), soups, steamed salmon, porchetta roulette with rapini and polenta. Oh my. Sweet gluttony. Delicious everything. And with a view of the water from the tip of the, then, quieted market.
Then we ventured up to Capitol Hill to go exploring. Our first stop was Molly Moon’s handmade ice cream. Yes! It was delicious. Naturally I had chocolate. But it was SO rich – like chocolate melting in your mouth. [more from Jaime] They made their ice creams from scratch, pairing interesting and sometimes local combinations: balsamic strawberry, honey lavender, salt caramel… the line, not surprisingly, was out the door. And it was cheap!
We decided to round up the evening with one round at Elysian Brewing Co. I’m still surprised by the amount of brewpubs out here. Sampled the Mens Room Ale (irony) then off we went.
We turned in early so to have enough time to play in Pike’s place market before we had to leave. First we went to La Panier for some morning yummies. I had a raspberry croissant. It was heavinly! Like the perfect jelly doughnut made a baby with a buttery and perfect croissant. I could have had 9. I only had 1. Jaime had a crudités of peppered goat cheese, tomatoes and cucumbers. Mmmmm.
Next we stepped into a store which featured a nervous cashier and a TON of smoked fish and jerky. We got some salmon jerky and headed next door where I could stock up on uniquely flavored chocolate bars.
Finally we ventured back into the market with high hopes that it wouldn’t be so busy – and it wasn’t! There were amazing booths – really artistic stuff. We stopped by a jewelry booth and actually got my earrings and necklace for the wedding! The woman was so excited. She had been there for 30 years and made us promise to come visit the next time we were in town.
After that we came upon another booth where I found the perfect birthday gift for my little niece. Then we ventured out and made our way to the Nordstrom Rack. Have you been there? It’s my favorite.
The ride home was a breeze – we even got to sing along with Bohemian Rhapsody!
And then came dinner. See – we spent 16 hours staring at crab legs that were grossly priced by the pound, so Ms. Jaime decided she would get some when we got back to Portland. So – [enter Jaime – again with the food commentary] – I NEEDED to get some Alaskan king crab legs. These wickedly priced delights are worth every penny. I also got some cocktail shrimp and sauteed some kale, and we ate right off the butcher paper. A perfect ending to a weekend of (clearly) eating our way through Seattle.
Overall, Seattle was a lot of fun. Would love to go there during the summer – apparently the sun goes up at 5 and doesn’t set till around 10. We also have some lovely friends there. BUT – we prefer Portland, just feels a little cozier.