jen yu: canada 2007 - day 7

canada 2007 - day 7

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queen anne, pike place market, pair
july 29, 2007
read about the day
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Generally, I am not a fan of urban settings. However, in the right city with the right people, it can be really fun. Seattle is that city and Erin and Caroline are those people. They have a charming house in Queen Anne and we started off (after a delightful pre-breakfast of fresh fruit and cappuccino courtesy of Caroline) with a walk to Macrina bakery to sample top-notch baked delicacies, followed by a walking tour of the lovely Queen Anne neighborhood. We then returned to the house so Erin could get the car and drop us off at Pike Place Market while she picked up a good friend from the airport. Caroline took us to Matt's in the Market for a great lunch and then we walked through the market which was full of fruits, vegetables, flowers, confections, seafood, honey, art, t-shirts, crafts, and so many neat and interesting things. You can count on Seattle to have a real market! I even found a few fun things for little Ben and Emily.

The Seafood Company is famous for the fish mongers' display of agility and accuracy while tossing and catching giant fish and other seafood across the counter in an interesting interpretation of performance art. There is literally a standing room only crowd that gathers around to watch the spectacle and it was impossible for me to get a picture of a giant halibut flying through the air.

The best part of walking around Seattle was spotting the various Pigs on Parade - 100 pig sculptures commissioned to be installed around the city in celebration of Pike Place Market's 100 year anniversary in 2007. I love pigs! They're scattered throughout the city in random locations. We probably spotted a mere dozen, but it's a bit like a scavenger hunt for all ages.

After the market, Caroline led us to a neat plaza across from the Seattle Art Museum where we found two more pigs on parade and Quantum Man. We then walked past the museum to Benaroya Hall (symphony) to meet up with Erin and Kelley, and to see two Chihuly works in the lobby. I'm a huge fan of his creations. The day was warming up and we found a place to get some gelato to cool down and sample some macarons I had purchased at a bakery earlier.

With tummies full of cool gelato, we piled into their car and Erin drove us to Caroline's workplace so we could get a tour of the buildings and see... another Chihuly! It's a very nice campus. Jeremy and I realized that the grass really is greener on the other side of being a public servant! Amgen also built an attractive double helix bridge as a gift to the city, which we walked across. So impressive. On the way back to the car, we passed through nice gardens along their lunch area where they grow herbs and flowers.

Our next stop was the Ballard Locks where we watched boats of all manner passing through. But the best part was seeing the salmon swimming up the stairs built for them. The first time I spotted one emerging from the water and jumping to the next step, I was amazed at how big the salmon was! They are HUGE. As you make your way across the locks, there is a section at the end where you can watch the salmon underwater through a glass viewing area. My favorites are the Chinook Salmon with their square jaws. I also got a chance to chat with Kelley, who is not only hilarious, but very sincere.

From the locks, we went to Pair for dinner where we waited a good long time at the bar for a table. It's a popular dinner spot and worth the wait for their small plates of wholesome and delicious food. Dinner took as long as our wait, but we passed the time drinking wine, laughing, and talking. I was feelings drowsy and happy. It was a good way to end our trip.

Back at Erin and Caroline's house we said our good-byes to Kelley and our hosts since we would be leaving at 4 am that morning. Caroline, ever the mom, baked a loaf of banana bread as we retired upstairs, packed our things, and passed out.

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