June 8, 2012 – Friday night we headed towards Boston-Logan to hop a direct flight to Seattle, WA. The bad news is traffic was a bit heavy, but it was a Friday night and I think the Red Sox were in town. The other bad news is parking at Logan is ridiculously expensive, but nothing new there. The good news is we found a relatively short security line. The better news is we at dinner at Potbelly Sandwich Shop before getting on the plane. Their food is consistently good, and they keep their prices standard (even for the airport locations).
Our 6ish hour direct flight went smoothly, although we got to Seattle after midnight. Seattle’s rental car counters are all “in terminal” – but you need to take a bus to get to them. And after midnight, any sort of rewards program quick checkout operates in off-hours mode. This means that you either need to know that you have a car pre-assigned to you (and go find that car)… or do like we did and wait through several lines to get someone to give us a different car. Lesson learned. But, we made it to the hotel, and had a great night’s sleep (even if it felt like 4am).
June 9, 2012 – Saturday afternoon was booked with wedding fun (congratulations Nate and Erin!), but we had the morning to ourselves. Of course we headed towards downtown Seattle, passing the football stadium and shipping ports along the way. First up was Pike’s Place Market. Actually, before we got to the market Louisa was distracted by Belle Pastry, so we stopped and had a mocha and an eclair. The mocha was smooth, creamy, and slightly chocolatey, and the eclair was very good, with a thick pastry cream and silky chocolate topping. Then we headed to the market, watched the fish guys (literally) throw some fish, then fought our way through the crowds and back towards the car. Of course, along the way we happened to find some nice views of the water.
Then we got back in the car and drove towards Mukilteo. Once you get outside downtown Seattle the scenery changes from concrete high rises to rainforest-like conditions. Trees are large and vegetation is dense, with ferns and underbrush covering the ground and little bushes and small trees filling in any gaps between their larger neighbors. The mountain ranges also become visible, even if it happens to be a cloudy, foggy day like this one.
Once you reach Mukilteo we recommend parking down by the lighthouse. There’s a little park there and a boat launch, and plenty of parking. We walked over to the pebbly beach and down one of the floating docks. It was only about 20′ long, but divided into multiple sections, all of which were bobbing in the waves. We paused to admire the view, then got back to dry (non-moving) ground. This seemed like a particularly good idea since Louisa was at first unaware that the docks were actually moving.
We watched a commuter ferry depart for the nearby islands; it’s only $4 round trip and takes about 15 minutes. It seemed like a great deal, but we were on a time crunch and instead opted to tour the lighthouse. The outbuildings have been turned into mini museums describing the development of the local area and the illustrating how the water has impacted local life through fishing and maintaining the lighthouse. Visitors can climb the spiral staircase to the light, which is still functioning. We also spotted a few fighter jets fly overhead on their way to a nearby airshow.
We wanted to grab lunch in town before heading towards Snohomish and the wedding festivities, so we stopped at Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing walk up window. We ordered fish and chips and a large chowder to go, and ate a picnic lunch in the car. The chowder was good, with a medium-thick base and lots of clams and potatoes. It also came with the traditional clam chowder crackers, so that was a bonus. The fish and chips were very good and a generous portion. We went with the traditional cod, which was thick cut, tasted fresh (no fishiness), and fried until golden. Neither the fish nor the fries were too greasy. We really enjoyed our lunch, and would definitely get a to-go order again.
After lunch we got cleaned up (yes, we did use the public restrooms to change into formal dress clothes) and drove towards Snohomish. We got there early and got one of the last spots in a little parking lot off the main street. Town was very crowded, so we would recommend parking down a side street and walking a bit. There’s also a pretty paved trail along the river; we didn’t get a chance to explore it, but it looks quite nice. We did have time for coffee (since we were in Seattle and all), and stopped at a local coffee shop called Java Inn. Our drink of choice was a mocha breve, which was just as creamy, chocolatey and delicious as we had hoped. Seriously, I think it would be difficult to go wrong when buying coffee from a local shop in the Pacific Northwest.
By now it was getting close to wedding time, so we drove a few blocks to the Belle Wedding Chapel. The next few hours were spent listening to vows, eating (salmon and capers, cheese and crackers, raspberries and blueberries, spicy Asian-inspired beef), drinking (coffee and Izze), eating cake (chocolate cake with mocha frosting – fabulous), dancing (all afternoon, please and thank you), and toasting a beautiful couple. After the festivities were over we headed back towards Redmond and had a relaxing evening of French toast (thanks Faith!) and playing with the Abbie.
Bonus Silent Cat Video – Starring Abbie: