Pike Place Market in Seattle that is. We headed there a couple of Fridays ago. Weeks before we made arrangements to meet a friend there who would be up visiting from CA. Great excuse to get us to Seattle, the market, the Seattle Art Museum and to enjoy some tasty food. We tend to avoid crowds and Seattle in the summer. Like many of us, visitors become the encouragement to visit the popular areas around us.
Being a commuter M-F, my approach to using the Puget Sound highways, freeway and ferry system involves preplanning. Making numerous trips to Seattle for meetings throughout the year, up and down the crowed Interstate 5, I'm willing to go above and beyond to catch a ferry for the journey if possible. It rarely is.
I am a planner by trade and that tends to drift into our personal plans when traveling in this region. Get me out of the area and I'm happy to wander, no planning necessary. All this chatter is explanation for the photo above of the EMPTY ferry terminal. After factoring in the distance to the terminal, Friday morning / summer vacation traffic volumes, various ferry departure times, locations of road projects in Seattle (currently there are many, including the developing underground tunnel near the waterfront) limited parking options, our friends bus schedule, the rain and more, we were set. Ha.
You get the picture (above), we were over planned and way too early. I raced to get us there in time to hear the man at the ticket booth ask; "you realize the next ferry isn't until 7:20 AM right"? (it was 6:20 AM) "Yes, expected more cars on a summer Friday" says I. "Yeah, says he, the 6:15 was packed".
Ahem. In my defence, there was one person ahead of us.
After departing, the clouds began to slowly lift, just enough to see the Seattle skyline as we crept closer.
Then it was off to migrate with the expected Seattle morning mob, all vying for the well hidden all day parking areas. I would share my secret spot with you but...
From our breakfast window on the third floor at Elliot's, at the market, the new ferris wheel was in view. Apologies for the rain drops on the window. Our friend met us there and we had a great time catching up before heading out to explore the market with the building crowd.
Always a ton of beautiful flowers from the numerous flower vendors.
The fish vendors carry an amazing selection.
Starbucks first coffee house is at the market. We were headed there for hot chocolate, before realizing there was a line to get coffee a block long. Seriously! Clouds and rain = coffee in the NW.
There are numerous street musicians at the market but the guys playing in front of Starbucks were really good. No doubt brought in to keep the folks in line, in line. And they were happy, as were the line members that gathered throughout the day. The funny bit is knowing there is a bigger and faster Starbucks half a block uphill.
The well known fish booth with the fish tossers is always a crowd pleaser.
And the folks at this vegetable stand with their threatening sign never cease to make me laugh.
Make no mistake, they are serious. My first trip to the market, decades ago, I didn't see the sign. The resulting verbal lashing wasn't pretty. The displays are beautiful though I'm thinking back and don't remember purchasing from them since then. Not out of obstinacy, but fear.
The colors were bringing smiles at the Mexican market as well.
The day transformed into a beauty and the three of us had such a good time. We spent two to three hours in the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) alone. We never tire of it and the docents at the museum are just great. SAM is a treasure and now they allow folks to take photos of things in their private collection. My camera was hot by the time we left. Will need to check with them before posting any of the results here however.
Following a lovely dinner and goodbyes, our ferry timing had an odd element of the early morning version. Instead of being the second car on the ferry that morning, we were the second to the last car on that evening. It was a miracle I tell ya. The wait would have been an hour plus. The ferry goddess was watching over us. She must have known how absolutely FRIED we were. Couldn't even muster the energy to get out of the car for a parting shot of the city. Finally went for a bouncing shot from the rear view mirror. Pathetic, I know.
City shapes and textures remain some of my favorite bits to work with after catching them with the camera. This fragment and the first image of garlic spears will be fun reminders for us of a terrific day spent with a dear friend.