Falling in love with Seattle in 24 hours

28 Dec

It’s been a very relaxing holiday season for me this year. No travel at all. Well, guess it’s a great thing given the nasty blizzard we’ve been dealing with in the last two days.

Christmas is gone but the New Year of 2011 is something that keeps the holiday spirit still up. I wish all my readers are enjoying the holiday season as I am.

Before we say goodbye to the year 2010, I suddenly realize there is one trip I haven’t gotten a chance to blog about. An unforgettable weekend trip to Seattle a few weeks ago. You may call me crazy because I got on a 6-hour long flight to the west coast just like hopping on a cab in the city. I flew out Saturday morning and got back Sunday night, managing to spend a little bit over 24 hours in the raining Seattle and realizing how much I have fallen in love with her.

The typical Seattle weather

The rain started before I land and that was how the city welcomed me, which I did not mind at all. Growing up in Chengdu, a major city in southwest of China, I have pretty much gotten used to raining and cloudy days. Actually I love the weather a lot. It reminds me of home.

The warm and comfortable light rail from the airport to downtown cost $2.5. Is there a better way for a city to showcase its hospitality by offering almost-free but pretty decent public transit from the airport?

My first stop, the Pike Place, a local farmers market where you can find fresh seafood, vegetables, fruits, handcrafted decorations, homemade sweets and the very first Starbucks shop.

Pike Market

A latte from the first Starbucks shop. It didn't taste any better though.

Seafood at Pike

Fruits at Pike

The most fascinating thing about Seattle is that you can find so many local stores–coffee shops, bakeries and restaurants, which do not have franchises in other cities. This also means you need to come back here often if you truly love the seafood, the people and the rain here, which is exactly what I will do in the future.

Latte from Starbucks' neighbor, a local coffee shop. So much better.

To best use my 24 hours, I did a highlight trip on Saturday: Pike Place–Space Needle–Waterfront–Elliott Oyster House. The highlight of this highlight trip was no doubt Elliott Oyster House. The super fresh and fat oysters from the Pacific Ocean were phenomenal. The champagne ice sauce only added the excitement of the oysters. Every flavor worked so harmoniously, like an orgy in my mouth.

Oyster plate from Elliott

My main course clam linguini

The second day, I came back to the Pike Place again. While I was taking some photos of golden smoked salmon in one of the many seafood stands, a middle-aged guy who appeared to work there asked me “hungry?” I laughed “always!” He grab a big piece of smoked salmon with a plastic bag and handed it to me. I was totally shocked and excited about this quarter pound free smoked salmon.

Smoked salmon. I just couldn't resist.

And it tasted like heaven. His strategy obviously has been proved to be very effective–I ended up getting over two pounds of the salmon.

Then it was about time to leave. I paid another $2.5 and got to the airport very smoothly. The rain stopped as my flight was about to take off. I knew I was already looking forward to see the next rain in Seattle.

One word for Seattle--fabulous!

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