Day 1: Seattle Layover

That doesn’t sound like a very inviting blog post title, but trust me – John and I agree that this was the best layover either of us has had.  We delayed a little too long before finally booking our tickets for this trip, and the only ones left at the price we wanted included over 5 hours in the Seattle airport before the 10 hour flight to Paris.  It wasn’t exactly the way we hoped to spend our day, but went for it anyway because of the cost.  Plus, one of my good friends from high school lives in the Seattle area, and we thought we might be able to leave the airport for part of the time and visit with him.  It turned out that he himself was taking an extended vacation beginning two days later – but was still willing to take a significant portion of his Saturday to drive down to the airport (quite a long way from his home), pick us up, and bring us to the famous Pike Place Market.

It was snowing when we landed (!) and continued snowing as we drove through Seattle. The wintery weather was great – it was very pretty, plus we got a parking spot on the street just steps from the market entrance.  I’m quite sure that would not have been possible on a warm and sunny Saturday morning.  Brunch was the first order of the day; we ate at Lowell’s, on the third floor, overlooking the bay that shelters the downtown area from Puget Sound.

The menu had all sorts of delicious looking seafood items, but I couldn’t resist the vanilla cinnamon french toast, despite having had waffles when we first woke up (at 4am).

Those butter packets look like normal cold pats, but they were entirely melted – I couldn’t even pick the first one up without delicious hot butter spilling all over the french toast.  It was OK, though; I normally wouldn’t put a lot of butter on my food, but we were on our way to Paris and planned to enjoy our meals thoroughly, not worry about how many calories or saturated fats they may or may not have.  We eat quite healthfully at home, and enjoy relaxing and indulging ourselves on special occasions.  (Like vacation.  You can’t go to Paris without eating pastries, right?)

The coffee was not the tastiest ever, but pretty:

And it went well with the french toast.

John had an omelet with oysters and bacon, which I ate several bites of, in exchange for a couple slices of french toast.  It was delicious.

Bryan had a strata with hash browns and gravy.  Looked equally tasty!

I have no compunction about taking pictures of our food (and other people’s) in restaurants, despite the loud shutter being a little embarrassing.  We were served all sorts of photogenic food during our trip; unfortunately I do not have shots of everything.  About half the time I was too hungry to think of snapping a photo, and only after we finished eating realized how nice the item had looked.

We ate, and talked, and laughed, and caught up.  We hadn’t seen Bryan since he attended a wedding in Pflugerville 2 and a half years ago.  (I almost said a year and a half, but on second thought it was definitely before the Olympics, so it had to have been in the fall of 2009.  The years are slipping away.)  He’s doing well and seems happy, which is good to hear.

He snapped our photo, too.  This may be one of the few photos of John and me on this trip that I didn’t take at arm’s length.

(It was St. Patrick’s day, and as you can see, we were all dressed appropriately.  I think John was afraid of being pinched.)

By the time we finished breakfast, the snow had stopped and the sky had cleared a little.

We didn’t go down to the water, though; we walked up and down in the market, marveling at the seafood, flowers, and produce, and sampling everything on offer for sampling.  (Including rose-flavored jelly, dry chocolate pasta, apples, smoked fish, other fruits…)

This is the famous fish stall at which, when a customer places an order, the fish gets thrown around and packaged and thrown around some more.  It’s quite a show, and many people were standing around waiting for someone to order something.

This was one fish shop’s smoked-fish case.  They all sorts of different flavors and varieties, sweet and savory, tender and jerky-like, and all were available for free sampling!

I am not sure what sort of fish these cheeks are from, but they’re evidently the most tender and tasty part…

These lobster tails were HUGE.  The fishmonger (lobstertailmonger?) said they’re 1.5-2 lb each, I think.

He told us that on Valentine’s day, they had an even bigger one that someone bought as a treat.  Here he is, showing us that it was as big as his forearm.

WarningAVERT YOUR EYES from the following photos if you do not want to see gross DEAD FISH.

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These are pretty funny with their tongues sticking out….

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OK, dead fish photos over and done.

We had the brilliant idea to buy some food for dinner, and came away with a pound of sugar snap peas (although the lady only wanted to sell me 1/2 lb – she thought a full pound was too much for 2 people), a pint of perfect raspberries, and a half pound of smoked salmon.  No photos of our actual food – but it was an excellent airplane dinner.

We are extremely grateful to Bryan for taking up such a large part of his day and making the long drive to see us.  It was a fantastic beginning to our trip, and we felt happy and relaxed and prepared for the long flight ahead.  If you ever have to have an extended layover, I highly recommend having a good and generous friend living in the city in which you have to spend it.

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4 thoughts on “Day 1: Seattle Layover

  1. A very special layover indeed! It conjures up memories of the market when Dad and I visited before you came along. Thanks for the beautiful photos. Bryan does look happy — more mature and happy.

    • I’m glad you liked the photos… I felt like I was taking them on the fly, holding out my camera and clicking as we rushed by the pasta boutique or the vegetable stands. I think Bryan and John wanted to walk, not stand around looking!

  2. Dry chocolate pasta… is that dried wheat pasta that has some chocolate flavoring in it? Sounds interesting. The market looks pretty cool in general.

    • Yup, that’s what it was. We were surprised at first that they were handing out dried pasta to sample, but it was pretty tasty. It wasn’t sweet at all – it tasted like pasta with some cocoa powder in with the flour, maybe. They recommended serving it with olive oil and powdered sugar, or chocolate sauce, or fruit, I think. I can’t really remember. I just googled “what to serve with chocolate pasta” to see if there were any recommendations, and there are a surprisingly large number of hits. (27 million)

      Maybe I should try this in my pasta extruder…..

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