Pike Place Market, Paddleboarding and Bite of Seattle

IMG_1587The weather was beautiful and hot again this past weekend but we had a great time exploring downtown Seattle both Saturday and Sunday with business colleagues and friends.

Brian’s boss was in town for a few days from Italy and wanted to walk around downtown and experience Seattle’s main attractions. He didn’t give us much direction in terms of what interested him so we decided to just hit a few tourist spots and then point out other places he could explore on his own after we dropped him off at his hotel later in the afternoon.

We started Saturday morning at Pike Place Market, which we last visited when we vacationed here years ago. This was our first time experiencing the market since moving here, and it was as chaotic and busy and interesting as I remembered!

We tried a few taste-testings as we walked around, including:

  • Eastern Washington wine (I had a ‘bold white designed for red wine drinkers’– it was really good!)
  • Hot sauces and salts (I will be going back for the hot salt–they recommended adding it to guacamole, which would be delicious)
  • Jelly and pepper jellies (the guys thought it was pretty good)
  • Chukar cherries (my new favorite of which is the Cabernet cherry– a tart cherry dipped in a Cabernet-infused dark chocolate)

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After taking a few pictures and having our fill of shuffling through the crowds, we popped into the Pike Brewing Company for lunch. For a light appetizer we tried the radishes with sweet cream butter and truffle infused salt– Brian claims he will never eat a radish without butter again!

We were all happy with our meals, and I was especially glad I substituted my fries for Bok choy in a light thai sauce– it was amazing! I tasted a few beers from Brian’s sampler and liked the Monk’s Uncle, but I was more than happy with my Publican Red wine.

After lunch we walked down to Miner’s Landing at Pier 57 to enjoy the Sound. We couldn’t talk Brian’s boss into a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel, which didn’t hurt my feelings because the line went on for days, but we did enjoy a few passing boats and I took some pictures along the water.

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It was a little warm standing in the sun, and we weren’t sure we wanted to tackle walking 20-30 minutes to Seattle Center in it either. Instead, we hopped on the Seattle Monorail and buzzed over to the Center’s hub.

There were tons of people milling around and visiting the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass and the food trucks and booths set up for the weekend festival.

We paused to people watch near the fountain and then walked through the arts district (I don’t think that’s what it’s actually called, but that’s what I call the strip of buildings that are home to the Seattle International Film Festival, ballet, theatre, etc.) and past the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and EMP Museum.

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We took a break at Citizen Coffee, which is about a block away from the Gates Foundation and EMP. It’s not Brian’s favorite place because it’s a lot of patio seating and there is no air conditioning inside, but I really like the vibe.

I had an awesome drink with some kind of grapefruit-infused liquor, blood orange slush and prosecco– it was cold and perfect for sipping on the patio as we escaped the heat.

It was almost dinner time so we took the Monorail back downtown and deposited Brian’s boss at his hotel near SeaTac. It was a fun but long day!

IMG_1478On Sunday we headed downtown just before lunch to meet our friends at the Bite of Seattle food festival at Seattle Center. We saw all of the booths and trucks the day before, but we were excited to actually check out and try some of the fare!

Unlike other food festivals we’ve attended, this one didn’t have an entry fee or tasting tickets– you just paid at each booth.

We snagged a few freebies, including a prickly Thai fruit that tasted a little like white grapes, before sharing some lobsters puffs, pork belly tacos, and a beef and cheddar piroshky.

The tacos were in small steamed buns and had a little kick to them, which was nice, and the perosky was so fresh we had to hang out in the shade and wait for it to cool down!

Our next stop was the beer tasting arena where we were supposed to use an allotted number of tickets to taste available brews from some of the local breweries. Somehow Brian and Ian managed to keep snagging free beer– they would start chatting with the volunteers and next thing you knew they were just having a half a tasting glass of this or that. I’m not sure they even used half of their tickets the entire time!

There were several really good ones, including a hoppy IPA from Fremont Brewing Company, and we also secured some more freebies!

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We finished off our tastings with some gourmet hot dogs– our friends had some kind of jalapeno cheddar dog while we tried a Louisiana hot link. It was spicy and tasty, but they were gigantic– you definitely needed to share with a friend!

We wrapped up at the festival and then drove to Lake Union for an afternoon on the water. It was perfect– I think Seattle experienced day-of record-breaking heat, and in those conditions, there is no where I would rather be then in the water!

Our friends made reservations for us to try Stand Up Paddle Boarding for the first time! (This video from REI shows you how it’s done, if you’re not familiar.) They assured us it was easy and that they had never seen anyone fall in while doing it.

I can assure you that is not the case. Brian fell in moments after we hit the water, and I fell in at least three times during our two-hour adventure. (First time I lost my sunglasses, second time I did an awesome knee smack and the third time I wind milled backward off the board … ha! Luckily the water felt awesome so I didn’t mind ending up wet!)

We paddled over to Gas Works Park and along some big crabbing boats and some lovely house boats, hopping in the water every now and then to cool down. My triceps were appropriately sore the next day so I think it was a better workout than I imagined.

It was so much fun– we can’t wait to try it again! Another awesome weekend in the books!

One thought on “Pike Place Market, Paddleboarding and Bite of Seattle

  1. Michael Bing

    Remember we loved the Pike Place Market too!! Hope the boss was impressed! The paddleboarding looked like fun and sure the water felt good! Cooling down for Brian’s trip here, supposed to be nice rest of the week. He won’t believe it has literally rained every day! Still working on Grandma’s book. Quite a project. I will send it to you on-line when we are finished. You will enjoy some of the stories. Think Ramona and my next trip will be Kent so might need your pointers again on what to see there. Probably the first week of August. Glad you are really enjoying the weather and taking advantage of your weekends!

    Love,

    Mom

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