Exploring the Pacific Northwest…5.2008

day one            saturday, may 3, 2008

the girls are on the move again....well some of us are (we really miss the rest of our group)

sherri, mona and I were delivered, by danny, to the airport early this morning.  our happy airplane took off at 7am with a brief stop in denver then onto seattle.  the skies were gray, wet and overcast when we landed, but we were all smiles anyway.  the first fun stop was while we were still in the airport...it was a talking water fountain.  most of you know, things like that super-amuse me...

the next thing I noticed was all the flying fish on the floor all through the airport...pretty cool.  (there are lots of flying fish stuff in Seattle...we couldn't wait to see the real thing!)


we drove straight to downtown, wanting to visit Pike Place Market.  but before we left the parking lot, mona pulled out her new gps unit....uh oh.  i've been through this struggle before (see the wisconsin trip) and I was sure this was going to be another tortuous challenge

Pike's Place Market is a one-of-a-kind experience.  there were tons of people there (not a place for the claustrophobic), activity, color, smells, and sights....anoverload for your senses, but lots of fun.  the Market is not a place to miss if you get to seattle

the flowers here are so amazing...they're pretty cheap, so colorful and more unusual than what you see in kansas


the fruits and veggies are everywhere



the fish and seafood is abundant and you see so many different kinds.....



but, the most famous fish place in the market is always surrounded by lots on onlookers....just waiting to see the "flying fish"....and we saw them throw a couple into the crowd (the photo on the far right, is one of the workers catching the flying fish!).  several years ago, the owner of Pike Place Fish Market wrote a book..titled "FISH" (clever huh?) anyway, it's a little book about how to conduct business and treat employees...definitely in my collection of "best business books"


there are so many different items for sale in the market:   t-shirts, handmade soaps, candles, jewelry, dried fruits, baked items; the list is practically endless!



one of mona's friends from bellingham washington drove down to spend the day with us 

 mona kept telling us what a fun person cathy is....and she was so right.  we ate at a little cafe in the Market, overlooking puget sound.  I had soup & 1/2 sandwich:  a grilled caribbean tuna sandwich and salmon bisque; sherri had the same soup and salad, and mona had bbq salmon sandwich (cathy had already eaten, but mona "treated" her to some ....water).  the food was really good, the atmosphere was wonderful and meeting cathy was a hoot!


besides lots of people in the Market, the blocks that surround the Market are just as busy and crowded and give "one the opportunity to shop, shop, shop"      


mona, our wonderful chef, loves to shop in "sur la table", a big kitchen storeI thought this guy with the green hair selling all of these "chile pepper dangly things" was greata visit from the "three girls" to the "three girls bakery"; sherri bought us sweet treats to munch on later in the day       


to there's also street entertainers on the corners (this one is multi-talented playing more than one instrument at a time); there was also another guy that  wheels a full-size piano down the street to his corner each day; he played nice too


one of the huge cruise ships waiting to depart;  and one of the many ferry's crossing the sound


since we'd all gotten up at about 3:30 am, we needed some caffeine.  we sat down at "Tulleys" coffeehouse; there are many of these around seattle sherri and I ordered the same thing--a decadent "extreme chocolate mocha"....mmmm....it was great and really hit the spot

the weather had been rainy off and on all day, but always cloudy and pretty chilly, so the hot drinks warmed us as well as energized us.  it was a great time to sit, laugh, chat, rest, get to know cathy better and gear up for more window shopping in the galleries and stores downtown



 mona and cathy trying to prove how "nice they are"; blown glass hats in one of the galleries; and sherri choosing which new "instrument" she would like to play


 a "tea" bar and the Pike Brew Pub (this is where we SHOULD have drank beer)  


 I've only been to Seattle once before and the only two things I bought at the Market were a large bouquet of flowers and a great Seattle sweatshirt.  I was glad to see the "sweatshirt designer" was still there and in the same spot....with new designs.  so I made my first purchase and bought one....I really love it


 this is one of the sculptures in downtown....really cool "wind blown umbrella".  we saw this after we left the Market and walked to get some wine and blood orange soda....the makings for one of our favorite beverages...sangria....or as we've renamed it "mona's fruit marinade"


 cathy, sadly, left us late in the afternoon.  we had all laughed so much and had a blast; it was really great to have met her 

so the three of us retrieved our car and drove the few blocks to our hotel .....but not without some surly, confusing and argumentative directions from mona's gps.  our hotel, a sheraton, had a view of downtown and if you leaned to one side, a view of the sound.  we unloaded our stuff, checked out the room, I changed into warmer clothes and then we left 

we drove to REI....a super-cool gear store.  we all spent some time there shopping, but didn't do much buying


our next stop was a place I'd read about on the internet and was also told about by a barista in Lawrence:  it's the Vivace coffeehouse and they're known for their wonderful and beautiful designs in their coffee and they didn't disappoint.  the coffee was fantastic, the designs were amazing, and the baristas were very cool!



it was about 9pm by now, and our next stop was for dinner. we'd read about a brewery, close to our hotel.  it was awful!  we soon discovered it was a chain, and a few bites into the meal, verified that the food was yucky!  and to make matters worse...the beer was bad too....and to make matters super-worse....it was expensive.  we're usually so fortunate... we left most of our food, some of our beer and headed back to the hotel. 

mona thought her gps unit needed a name (to which sherri and I could think of several not too nice ones) but decided on "minnie".   the only connection, weak at best, was the brand name of the unit "garMIN"

the night was still going strong for all of downtown....but seattle is not a city to be put to bed early


 however, that was not the case with the three of us....we were dead on our feet.  after arriving back at the hotel, I was asleep in about 15 minutes...and I slept really well.


mona bought a sunglass-strap and a cool t-shirt


 my purchase was a "flying fish" sweatshirt and sherri bought postcards and some fun socks (see, I'm not the only one with a sock addiction)


it had been such a wonderful day...full of so many sights, sounds, smells, people, a new friend, a big city....and tomorrow.....it starts all over again!

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