The first time I visited Seattle was with my husband in 1997. We had only been married two years and this was our first big trip since our honeymoon. We saved for airfare from the Midwest and traveled in June. We walked everywhere and spent a lot of time in the Pike Place Market, watching the fish monger throw fish, and took in all the sights and sounds. Including the first Starbucks location. Remember this was the late 90’s and espresso hadn’t gained popularity in the Midwest yet.
My husband grew up loving coffee and I discovered for the first time that I liked it too. Espresso was a new thing for us and I discovered that I loved lattes and the accessibility of coffee shops and good (I mean really good) coffee was everywhere. Even later in the week when we drove around the Olympic Peninsula we would find great, freshly-pulled espresso in the middle of nowhere. We loved it. Our town back home didn’t have a single coffee shop and in hindsight we should’ve opened one.
We discovered it actually didn’t seem to rain much, just mist once in a while and it would rain at night, but our days were beautiful. We loved how water was everywhere and that Mt. Rainier dominated the horizon and seemed so quietly powerful. People were so friendly and it was great that one's career was equally as important as what you did to get outside to play. Surrounded by such natural beauty, we could see why.
We realize now, looking back, that we didn’t spend enough time in the city and barely scratched the surface of what it had to offer. We recently headed back exactly 20 years later, but this time with teenagers. We had an amazing time exploring the city streets and waterfront of Puget Sound, showing them the majesty of the mountains, enjoying really good coffee (yes we’ve raised kids who appreciate good espresso, too), taking in some culture (my favs were the Chihuly Gardens and Olympic Sculpture Park and our son loved skating the local parks), and eating really good seafood!
Here's a great photo roundup of our favorites from the trip:
1. View of the Space Needle from Chihuly Gardens
2. Nighttime view of the Seattle Great Wheel on Pier 57
3. Awesome neon sign at Pike Place Market
4. Early spring tulips at Pike Place Market.
5. Amazing seafood at Jack's Fish Spot at Pike Place Market.
6. Cherry blossoms in bloom (with matching Vespa!)
7. View of the Seattle skyline from the Bainbridge Island ferry.