Thursday, June 2, 2016

Mount St. Helens & Pike Place

Pike Place Public Market Center Farmers Market
There are two things in Seattle (that I've experienced so far) that never go as predicted: a) the weather, and b) plans. That's not necessarily a bad thing; the forecast called for sunny skies in the upper-70's/low-80's this week, but instead, this afternoon has brought a healthy dose of the cloudy grays Seattle is known for. Later this evening, a soft rain seems eminent. I dodged a bullet coming here, as it will be high 80's and 90's in San Jose.

Mount St. Helens and Spirit Lake Panorama

As for plans, the week began with a dearth of ideas, though by Monday evening, a tentative schedule emerged. Tuesday, Pike Place and Chihuly Glass; Wednesday, hiking local hills; Thursday, University of Washington; Friday, Pacific Science Center; Saturday, flight to Berkeley. Unfortunately, the hike at Mount St. Helens on Monday wore me out more than I thought it would, so Wednesday turned into a day of rest. Thursday morning Megan was sick, so UDub was postponed as well. Luckily, these two days have given me plenty of time to catch up on blogging. I'm still quite exhausted so this writing is not my best, but I wanted to share some of the amazing experiences I've had so far in Seattle.

Mount St. Helens

To review, Monday was a hike at Mount St. Helens, almost 100 miles south of Seattle. The lengthy drive along the highway led me to muse about the distinctions between cities of the West Coast. I found only subtle differences between Seattle and San Jose — the land off the side of the highways a little more rugged, the trees growing a little denser, a little greener. The parks, however, were all the same — piles of rock with green stuff. I've never been a fan of hiking, but Megan is. To her, the 8 miles we climbed that day was just a "little walk." To me, it was the most exercise I've done in months. When I took a shower this morning, I'm pretty sure it looked like my legs were purple. It was a new experience, but not one that I'm eager to replicate any time soon.

Cascade Range and Spirit Lake Panorama

Tuesday, in an attempt to combat the soreness by "walking it off," we went to downtown Seattle via bus. At first, when we arrived at Pike Place, I wasn't sure what there was to do. After walking around a bit, smelling the delicious baked goods at Piroshky Piroshky, seeing the first Starbucks (as the birthplace of Starbucks Coffee, there is a store literally every two blocks, and I'm desperate to try out the new cold brews that are only available in Seattle), and eating a very scrumptious, very overpriced Caribbean pork sandwich, it seemed like there wasn't much to do at all. Feeling mildly disappointed, we walked into the marketplace itself. Strolling around for a few minutes, I understood why Pike Place was a landmark. The market is amazing. It has so many things, from farmer's market peaches bursting with aroma, to local artisans with handmade crafts, including the adorable DonutCat. We even saw two rounds of the famous fish toss. Reenergized, we took another trip around, stopping by the Local Color coffee shop, Beecher's Handmade Cheese, and Ellenos Greek Yogurt stand.

Ellenos Greek Yogurt at Pike PlaceDonut Cat Pastry Pals Snap and Share Keychain by Marnin and Saylor

Next was the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. The pieces were beautiful, but fairly repetitive. My favorite display comes close between the Persian ceiling and the Mille Fiori room. There's no way to describe it through words and do it justice (at least, not without prodigious talent out of my reach). To keep this post from stretching on too long, I'll let the photo collages speak for themselves. I'm sure there are plenty of photos online as well if you're interested in admittedly better quality or larger images (or visit in person if you're ever in Seattle!) With that, the day was over. We're definitely going back on Friday to explore a bit more (and hopefully I won't be as sore).

Chihuly Garden and Glass Chihuly Garden and Glass Display Collage Chihuly Garden and Glass Display Collage

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