…are in Seattle! Ellen travelled to Seattle for work and thought it would be a great place to visit again with Bob, so they made sure to get a ferry schedule and venture across Puget Sound to the big city.
On the ferry from Bainbridge we met a helpful local man named Sean who not only took our photo but helped orient us to the terminal, the return-ticket process, and the best walking routes to and from the Pike Place Market. Wherever you are, Sean — thank you!
He pointed out Mt. Rainier and it was great seeing it this way, knowing we had hiked so close to it it seemed we could touch its snowy peak. We also looked at each other and said, “Looks like they’ve had more snow there, doesn’t it?”
The Park Place Market was even more crowded than I remembered it, so we did a quick walk-through, and got back out into the (relatively speaking) more open space of the sidewalks and shops in the neighborhood. Amazing how lunchtime in a city can be claustrophobic after so many months of smaller towns and open country!
We happened upon a recommended restaurant — Etta’s — and were lucky to get a table by the window where we watched people in the park across the street have their lunches on the lawn or rush along the sidewalk, some of them carrying bags with French bread loaves sticking out, others with bunches of flowers in their hands. Friday shopping before the weekend — or maybe it’s always this way.
We didn’t buy much, despite being psyched for some shopping, but were glad we picked up some rolls and muffins at the Alaskan Sourdough Bakery near the terminal building on the waterfront. The marionberry and blueberry muffins were especially good. Paired with coffee from the ferry terminal, noshing on them made our wait for departure (delayed for some reason) go by much faster.
On the news that morning we heard about a scare in Washington, DC, where the Coast Guard conducted training without notifying the general public. We were glad we’d heard the report when suddenly some CG boats zoomed up on our ferry, big guns at the ready.
Not usually a big deal, but on 9/11 it’s easy to get nervous when you see the military out and about. And as the guns on the boats shifted angles and crossed our path, a chill ran through me, too. The ferry service made an announcement about the training exercise, so we didn’t experience the scare that those on the East Coast felt. Before long the CG boats zoomed away from us to trail a ferry heading toward the city. (Does this mean that in the case of an emergency everyone in Seattle would be safer than those on Bainbridge Island? Just askin’.)
If we could fly like the birds into the city, we would have gone more than once during the time we spent in the Olympic Peninsula, but with a busy, hour-long drive to the ferry, then another thirty minutes on the ferry to get to Seattle (plus a return trip), we opted to stick around the Peninsula instead.
And there was plenty to do there!