"The bluest skies you've ever seen are in Seattle
And the hills the greenest green, in Seattle" ....
You may remember these lyrics from the theme song to an old TV show called "Here Come the Brides" years back. The song is a little cheesy, but we locals all believe these lyrics are true! A little over a week ago, one of my college roommates from Minnesota came to Seattle for the first time. She and a friend came to attend a conference at the World Vision Headquarters and flew in a day early to do a little sightseeing. Their timing was perfect because it was beautiful, sunny day...so Seattle got a chance to show off!
I picked them up at their hotel near the airport and we headed out to one of Seattle's iconic tourist sites...The Pike Street Public Market. One of our first stops was one of the fish markets. Business was a little slow so there weren't any fish flying around, but Barb and her friend, Janie, were amazed by the size of the scallops, the Dungeness crab, and the prawns on display. Living in Minnesota, you see and eat a lot of fish caught in lakes and rivers...but not seafood like this! We continued on past the flower vendors, the vegetable vendors with some of their unusual offerings, and the fruit vendors...again, they were in awe of the size of the local berries for sale. Janie asked if I shopped at the Pike Street Market often, but I said no...we can get most of the produce and seafood sold there much closer to home.
Wandering on, we stopped in at Beecher's Cheese shop and tasted their famous Flagship white cheddar...yum! Stopping at the original Starbucks from 1971 was next on our route...of course! We sat and enjoyed iced coffee drinks since the afternoon was so warm. Though Barb and I had not seen each other in over ten years, and I had just met Janie, the conversation and camaraderie was easy and comfortable. Shared history and experiences...or sometimes just shared faith, is all it takes to make a connection.
Having a little more time before our dinner reservation, we took the steps down the hill climb and walked over to one of the newest waterfront attractions, The Seattle Great Wheel on Elliot Bay. At 175 feet in height, it was the tallest Ferris wheel on the west coast when it opened in 2012. Though Barb has a fear of heights, she bravely boarded the 8 passenger gondola car and up, up, and away we went! The view of the from the wheel was spectacular that day, with the ferry boats coming and leaving, a tug pulling a large container barge, and sun glistening off the water and Olympic mountains in the distance.
After a little confusion on my part about the location of the Ivar's Salmon House on Lake Union, we finally arrived and enjoyed a delicious dinner of Clam chowder, Knife and Fork salad with bleu cheese and candied walnuts, and Coconut Shrimp and Scallops. With the sun setting over the lake and the Space Needle standing proudly, we had a lovely end to a wonderful day.
Isn't it fun to see your city or local sites through someone else's eyes? I had a whole new appreciation for the beauty of Seattle and am glad it's just a fairly short drive to the city for us.
There is much more to see and do in the greater Seattle area, but that was all we had time for that afternoon and evening. I hope Barb and Janie come back sometime so we can play Show and Tell again! More than that, it was fun to catch up on one another's lives...to share the joys and sorrows of the past years...and reminisce about good memories from our college years. How blessed I am to be able to say when I think of Barb, "I thank my God every time I remember you." (Phil 1:3).