Pike Market & Bainbridge Island Seattle
It was just beautiful: the food, the culture, the people, the architecture. I could easily live there!
— Patrick you say that about EVERY city you visit.
This was my high school best friend Patrick talking about some European city they’d visited and he’d taken a liking too. His wife, Tara, was responding.
And it’s true, Patrick could happily live in almost every city he’s ever visited.
Me, on the other hand, I’m not quite as easily pleased as Paddy. I think North Nomad thinks I’m a little pessimistic, but I like to think I’m just pragmatic!
Every experience we have – whether it’s a movie, visiting a city, going to a zoo, seeing an art exhibit, I like to deconstruct it and talk about the positives and negatives. Everything has a positive and a negative to me, and I like the balance of talking about all sides of an experience.
So it’s unusual for me to ever declare I could happily live in a city.
Seattle, however, now that is a city I could live in. My caveat was my follow up: If it wasn’t in America, of course!
My visit to Seattle came with a distinct purpose: visiting Wai Ching Bridal. I’d seen Chrissy’s gowns and I was hellbent on getting one. We spent two hours with her trying on dresses, and that was it. I visited one store, tried on a variety of dresses, and picked one.
That left me, my mother, and my sister with the best part of a week to explore Seattle.
Despite Seattle’s reputation, we barely saw any rain in Spring. We spent a lot of money on fine dining, we ate a hipster Mexican joints, we shopped at boutiques, and did all of the tourist attractions. The two things I loved the most were Pike Markets and Bainbridge Island.
Usually when people talk about markets, I roll my eyes. Most markets I’ve been to have been universally boring, across the world. I’m not even blown away by them in South East Asia (yes, that will make many a budget traveller AGHAST at that revelation!).
But Pike Markets has a beauty to it that I’ve yet to see in other markets. I was fascinated by the cheese making, and the buskers singing, dancing and balancing musical instruments on their noses. The rows of vibrant red, orange, pink and yellow tulips managed to distract me from the smell of the crab vendors, selling the infamous New England crab.
I was also fascinated by the 2 hour long queue outside the world’s first Starbucks. Only in America! My poor mother couldn’t get over how awful the coffee was everywhere in America – I doubt she’d ever experienced anything other than espresso in her life before arriving in the States.
The cafes in and around the markets were amazing. Cheap, cheery, and catered to my sister and I who don’t eat animals, and my mother who is extremely healthy (but does eat animals on occasion).
Our other favourite Seattle excursion was the ferry to Bainbridge Island. At $8 a return trip for 45 minutes, you feel like you get your money’s worth with a lovely ride and beautiful views.
Bainbridge Island is a cute, quirky little town. The shops and houses are very quaint, and you feel like you’ve stepped back in time in some English village about 50 years in the past.
I am pleased to report, however, that we found the best coffee my mother experienced in America at a café on the island. She effusively told the staff how wonderful it was, and they looked a little bemused. Perhaps the people of Bainbridge Island are oblivious to drip coffee on the mainland. 😉
Sated with wonderful coffee, we headed back to Seattle for more fabulous food and wine!
Have you been to Seattle? What was your favourite experience there?