Notes from Windward: #66

Off to the Big City

      I am a city girl, with a country girl's soul. As much as I cherish the view of Mt. Hood on our morning walk, the sounds of the little girl sheep, and garden fresh tomatoes, I also love extraordinary city skylines, dive bars with grungy patrons, and walking around an undiscovered neighborhood only to stumble on a quaint art gallery with a quirky name.

a small part of Portland's Japanese garden


     We began our travels at dawn on Friday, casually spending our day wandering the Pearl District and two beautiful gardens atop a hill in the city, the Japanese garden and Rose garden. After quite a bit of walking, we took a break to rest and enjoyed a late dinner.

      Saturday it was off to Mt. St. Helens with some family that we had met up with in Portland. Seemingly unimpressive, the mountain is actually erupting right now as you read this. A rather energetic ranger with twenty years experience at the park gave an informative spiel on the volcano, its past, present, and future. After taking a few photos of a very sweet Korean family at their request, we walked our way back to the car for the drive to Seattle. Ready for an evening in the city, Katie and I phoned a few friends of ours that were a bit more familiar with the city than ourselves.

Mount St. Helens up close and personal


     After a pitcher at a local dive bar, a brief walk into and out of a dance club, the shared idea to indulge in a bottle of champagne at a swanky lounge, a casual walk in the park well past midnight followed by greasy food at a drive-in, we sensed the expiration of our evening which was soon becoming morning. Well spent and with good company, Katie and I rested up for our Sunday in Seattle.

     Though it was hard to get out of bed, we managed, and quickly found ourselves at Pike's Place market with friends and family. An incredible abundance of cheese, fruits, breads, vegetables, flowers, teas, and more surrounded us. Unsure of how much we could truly carry back, I admired everything and purchased very little . . .though it was hard to resist a tiny cheese shop and a small variety of local and organic chocolate.

Seattle's Pike's Place Market


     At the end of the market was a splendid little park along the water where we sat with some hot cider and admired the view. By the time our cup was empty, we were ready for more adventure time. We wandered the streets admiring the quirks of the city and eccentricities its citizens; alleys with no people, but an abundance of flowerboxes in bloom, middle aged men playing music in the street from instruments of their own creation, and more dreadlocks than one thought existed.

     A slow walk eventually ended as we decided to call it a night, a little too sleepy for a another night on the town, we opted to get cleaned up and prepared for our travels home.

     However, I couldn't resist the market Monday morning. We were close enough to walk and I was pretty certain I needed some bread and pears to enjoy with our cheese and chocolate I had already purchased. So, just past 8 o'clock in the morning I walked down the unavoidable steep hill that leads you to the market and quickly found the goods I was seeking. Finding that I still had some time to spare, I walked a bit more, as I still needed to snag a real cup of Seattle coffee, a dream for a former New Yorker that comes from the land of transparent coffee and the lack of desire to consume Starbucks. I found my coffee at a small shop with a name I will never remember and sat, listening to the locals, enjoying the sounds of large garage-like doors opening for the day.

      Of course, my cup went empty as it did in the park, and I knew it was time to regroup with Katie and bid adieu to Seattle. We grabbed our backpacks, said our good byes to friends and found our seats on the train.

Katie ready to head to Windward


Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 66