Saturday, June 7, 2014

Iconic Seattle experience

Yesterday we did it all. We slept in for starters. Our AirBNB on Upper Queen Anne is comfortable and even luxurious.  We made it to Danielle's parking garage with 5 minutes to spare for the early bird special. When we got up to their apartment Lee was already working on a conference call.  Danielle and Kate were packing up for our trip to Pike Market.  
It was an easy walk on a perfect day.  The sun was bright and warm.  We walked pat the original Starbucks cafe.  
Danielle piloted us to Le Panier for a real French experience:perfect coffee and pain aux raisins and pain au chocolat.  
Our first goal was the fish market where we watched the show as the Fish Guys yelled and tossed fish.

 Danielle was on the lookout for dinner and had her own special vendors. We checked out a great little jewelry shop with Native American art and crafts.  As we strolled through the crowds we occasionally found a spot to take a photo of the Olympic Peninsula.  
We wandered past the glorious flower stalls that Danielle had raved about ever since she first came to Seattle.
She took us to her favorite vegetable spot where she bought corn and purple asparagus.
 And then on to her fishmonger where she bought a beautiful piece of Alaska Salmon, and we tasted the best smoked salmon I've ever had.
Tasting in Pike Market is miles ahead of tasting in Costco, although maybe that's where Costco got the idea (Costco is from Kirkland, WA near Seattle).  
We got our own bouquet and by then our bags were heavy and we had to head home.
 We did stop briefly in the park, and found Danielle's favorite hat maker,  but then we divided the heavy foods and walked back.  
Lee was just finishing his work day and joined us for cheese and crackers. 
Our next expedition was to the Chihuly Museum and the Space Needle. Peter stayed at the apartment and met us for the Needle.  The museum was a knockout.  The glass is stunning. Each room was surprising and enchanting.  I loved the room which showed his interest in Native American designs. One wall was a mosaic of Navaho blankets.
 The layout was chronoligical and the obkects showed his growing skill and inventiveness.  The black spaces radiated light and color.  
The final space is a large glass room with garlands of glass flowers suspended from the ceiling.  
The pièce de résistance was a garden planted with flowers that coordinated with the glass shapes growing in their midst.  It was a perfect collaboration between landscape artists and glass artists.  
It was also great to see a version of the green glass tree which grows in the MFA courtyard in Boston.
The Space Needle shoots up beside the garden like an overgrown weed.  Peter joined us, and Danielle walked home to fix an early dinner. It was the perfect day for the Needle.  We had a 360 clear view of all the places we had visited in the previous week.  We even saw Mt Baker finally.
The mountains in the Cascades had hidden it from us the whole drive.  And Mt Rainier was splendid.  
Lee pointed out his office building, their apartment and our AirBNB location.
We walked back to the apartment for dinner:  salmon, corn and asparagus.
Then we changed our clothes for the evening show.  Danielle had found us great seats for the Pacific Northwest Ballet production of Giselle. What a perfect way to end the day.  The music was beautiful, the story was romantic and the dancing was exquisite.  What a perfect day!

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