Gray Jay

Mount Rainier National Park

June 10, 2012 - Sunday morning we checked out of our hotel and went in search of breakfast. We found a couple good-looking places in the middle of Seattle, where there is no parking. So, we kept driving and eventually came upon Wild Wheat Bakery Cafe. It was a little crowded, but it was midmorning on a Sunday. The restaurant is large enough inside that we didn’t need to wait for a table, and the waitresses were fast and efficient. We ordered two coffees (it was good coffee), and two omelettes. Tony opted for a mushroom omelette, while Louisa went with a classic cheddar omelette and home-baked bread with different seeds and grains. Both entrees came with home fries. The food arrived quickly and was well-prepared. The omelettes are huge, and all the fillings are good; the cheddar happens to be a sharp yellow cheddar, Louisa’s favorite. The toast was quite good too, particularly when topped with some of the berry jam that’s left on each of the tables.

Snow Bank
Snow in June? Must be on a mountain.

Once we finished breakfast we began a (at times slow) trek towards Mt. Ranier National Park. We deecided to enter through the western edge of the park, and head towards the Paradise area (so named because of how beautiful it is during the Spring). The mountain decided to be difficult and greated us with lots of clouds. Snowbanks flanked the sides of the road and parking lot, making for an early June snowball fight.

Cloudy Mountain
The peak of Mt. Rainier was hidden by the clouds when we first arrived…

We ate lunch at the visitor center – pizza and a BBQ pork sandwich.  The food was actually pretty good, and we enjoyed eating while looking out over the snowbanks.  Normally we would be like to be looking at the mountain, but the weather did not cooperate (at least not yet).  It did start to clear a little bit before we headed towards downtown Seattle, and by the time we reached the base of the mountain the clouds had cleared and we had a perfect view of the volcano that is Mt. Ranier.

Clear view of Mt. Rainier
…but the view cleared up nicely in the late afternoon.

We wanted to get dinner before heading to the airport for our redeye flight back to Boston, so we stopped at Bai Tong Thai Restaurant.  We started with the fresh spring rolls as an appetizer.  They were fresh, crunchy, and came with a wonderfully thick peanut sauce. For entrees we ordered the massaman curry and crispy garlic chicken, with brown rice.  The curry was just alright, the sauce was very thin (too thin); the flavor was good, but I wouldn’t recommend ordering it. The chicken, on the other hand, was perfect – crispy, with a very flavorful sauce.  Tony didn’t mind the thinner sauce on the curry, but also preferred the chicken.  Overall, we really enjoyed our dinner, it was perfect before a long plane ride back to the East coast.

Christine Falls
Christine Falls are located are between Longmire and the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center.

June 11, 2012 – On Monday morning the plane got in a few minutes late, but we still made it to work (mostly) on time.  That evening we ate dinner at the Cheesecake Factory at the Natick Mall.  Louisa had the meatloaf sandwich, which was delicious, and tony enjoyed the pasta da Vinci (pasta with mushrooms and chicken).  We also split two cheesecakes – apple crumble cheesecake and a cheesecake sandwiched between layers of rich chocolate cake.  Both were very good, as usual.

Links:

Wild Wheat Bakery Cafe & Restaurant on Urbanspoon Bai Tong Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon The Cheesecake Factory on Urbanspoon