I’m back in the saddle again. Out where a friend is a friend.
“Back In The Saddle Again” by Gene Autry
I was back in Seattle, and I was happy. First and foremost, I was excited to visit my friend and former college roommate. Second, I was in Seattle. Enough said.
Well, maybe not. There’s always more to say about Seattle and all the wonderful things it has to offer. For market junkies like me, there’s Pike Place Market, which started in 1907 with 8 farmers and grew to 76 within three months. The market thrived until World War II and was on its way to being torn down in the ‘60s until a civic activist led efforts to create a historic area that saved it. Some people might blow it off as touristy, but with 10 million people visiting—myself included—there’s obviously something there. From the fishmongers flinging their fare to vendors selling fresh produce and flowers, prepared food and treats, and all kinds of crafts to musicians sharing their tunes, the market has something for everyone.
Don’t forget about the attractions all around the market too—from the first ever Starbucks to the ever-growing, gum wall that is sticky and gross, yet colorful and captivating at the same time. Then there’s Pioneer Square, the original “heart of the city,” with first peoples’ history, cute shops and restaurants, and some colorful characters. And, of course, there are many other attractions throughout the city, like the underground, Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass, and more. There’s an energizing buzz to the city that I just love.
Of course, I have to mention wine, which Washington State does extremely well. Not far outside the city is Woodinville, billed as a place where “the fruit of Eastern Washington meets the vintners, chefs and flavors of the Pacific Northwest.” In Woodinville alone, there are 118 wineries and tasting rooms; 14 microbreweries, distilleries, and cideries; and 30 restaurants and eateries. No surprise, I spent some time there. What I did find surprising is the craft saké brewery I found in Seattle. My saké experience is limited, and I didn’t think I liked it. The tasting at Cedar River Brewing Company completely changed my mind.
I love all of those things about Seattle. But what I love most is the fact that you have all of the above surrounded by a bounty of what Mother Nature has to offer. From the Cascade Mountain Range to the Puget Sound and Lake Washington to the islands dotting the sound, Seattle’s natural resources are in abundance. And they are beautiful.
This trip, my friend and I took the ferry to Whidbey Island. The journey across the sound was delightful in and of itself. The exploration of Whidbey was the cherry on top, especially when we happened upon a winery tasting room that offered not only enjoyable wines but also the best view from a bathroom ever.
Yes, I was back in the Seattle again. Out where the city is a friend.
If only I could have stayed longer.
(*Bonus points for anyone who got the playful nod to a Sleepless in Seattle scene in the title.)