Sunday, July 14, 2013

Seattle

We are just starting our fourth week in the Seattle area and love it up here.  The first week and a half, it rained at some point each day with a couple of days of just solid rain.  The upside is that we have not seen rain since.  We are amazed at the cool and sunny days and enjoying every minute.

Our first stop was an RV resort in Bothell, just north of the city.  It was an easy 20 minute drive to get in to the city during non-peak traffic times.  We stayed for two weeks, allowing us plenty of time to explore the city and the surrounding towns.  During this period, Gerry hit a milestone birthday and it was his desire to celebrate in Seattle with our best friends of over 40 years.  It is amazing to realize how special long term friendships are.  The four of us spent the weekend at the Hotel Andra in the heart of the city and enjoyed these sites:

Pikes Place Market

The Space Needle
From the bottom of the Space Needle



From the top of the Space Needle

Chihuly Glass Museum






Columbia Center Observation Deck (73rd floor)
Pioneer Square
Water Taxi to West Seattle for Sunday Brunch

Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery Tour

Restaurant choices:
Lola's in Hotel for breakfast
Mistral Kitchen for dinner
Elliot's Oyster House for lunch
The Herb Farm for dinner
Bagel Shop for breakfast
Salty's Waterfront Seafood Grill for Brunch

The food highlight of the weekend was our 9 course dinner at The Herb Farm in Woodinville.  This small, exclusive restaurant serves dinner Thursday through Sunday featuring herbs grown on their grounds and all the foods locally sourced.  They change the menu monthly based on what's in season and available to them.  The theme for June was the "Nine Songs of Summer" featuring various vegetables with a complementary protein and wine.  Dinner took a little over 4 hours and was everything we imagined it would be.

Here are the 9 courses:
Basil Soup with little bite size garnishes served with a Columbia Valley Sparkling Wine


Carrot course - Charred carrots with carrot vinaigrette with Lemon Balm and Sockeye Salmon served with a Sparkman Cellars Riesling

Artichoke course - Artichoke Agnolotti, Roasted Artichoke, Spinach, Artichoke-Oregon Olive Oil Nage served with a Rose

Morel course - Wild Morel-Stuffed Galantine of Chicken with a Morel Ragu served with a Pinot Noir

Onion course:  Caramelized Onions, Deep-Fried Pickled Onion Rings, Leeks, on Roasted New Garlic Puree with Twice-Grilled Wagyu Steak served with Cabernet Sauvignon

Corn course - Sweet Corn Souffle, Corn Milk with Lemon Thyme

Currant course - Red Currant Jelly, Black Currants, Whipped Rosemary Cream

Strawberry course - Oat Straw Ice Cream, Warm Strawberry Juice, Strawberry-Saskatoon Berry Parfait

Cherry course - White Chocolate-Dipped Rainier Cherry, Montmorence Cherry Pate de Fruit, Bing Cherry Granola Bar, Cordial of Cracked Cherry Pits served with Muscat Ice Wine

It was a fabulous, fun and food-filled weekend adding memories to the lifetime of shared times with our friends.

We decided to experience Seattle by staying in different areas and so me moved RV parks to Poulsbo on Bainbridge Island.  We stayed there for 5 days which was plenty of time to explore the area.  I also did what I call a Twilight Tour by driving to Port Angeles where Edward and Bella had dinner at Bella Italia and then to Forks and finally to La Push.  It was quite entertaining to visit the places I read so much about and saw in the movies.  I so loved the beauty of the Olympic National Forest area that I convinced Gerry to spend a week there.  From there we traveled to Gig Harbor just outside of Tacoma which has a wonderful little harbor town area with lots of little shops and several restaurants all along the water.  It was a lovely area to spend almost a week.

We are now in Port Angeles which borders the Olympic National Forest and Park area.  We spent the day yesterday visiting Victoria, British Columbia which we just loved.  Victoria is an area that neither one of us had been to before.  We visited the Butchart Gardens which were breathtakingly beautiful.


We had lunch in the city center and quickly visited The Empress Hotel before boarding the ferry for the return trip.

We made it a short visit just to check out the area without leaving our 6 month old puppy penned in for too long.  We loved the area and will certainly put it on our "Let's Explore Further" list.

After spending 3+ weeks exploring the city and little towns, I am really looking forward to exploring the nature spots on the Olympic Peninsula.

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