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SEATTLE Washington & Olympic Nat'l Park: Caviar Pie Isn't Yucky!

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Sep 17th, 2009, 06:46 PM
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SEATTLE Washington & Olympic Nat'l Park: Caviar Pie Isn't Yucky!

SEATTLE & OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK TRIP REPORT – WASHINGTON STATE:
CAVIAR PIE ISN'T YUCKY!

August / September 2009

WASHINGTON (state)
My husband and I spent 2 nights in the wet and delicious town of Seattle during our 7-day romantic getaway to the state of Washington at the end of August 2009. We also visited one of our nation's most gorgeous national parks...the impossibly green Olympic National Park in Washington state. Frenetic waterfalls, peaceful lakes, majestic mountains, temperate rainforest, and wild coast...the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state has it all in abundance! It reminds me of the magical south island of New Zealand.

SEATTLE
Even in August, the dryest month in Washington state, we enjoyed getting sprinkled with a bit of rain. I appreciated the appeal of rain while I was sipping an extra-strong cup of steaming hot Americano in a little cafe called Local Color, in the colorful & authentic Pike Place Market in Seattle.

We enjoyed an earful, an eyeful, and a mouthful of the colorful Pike Place Market in Seattle, walking distance from our hotel! Most markets that I've explored elsewhere turn out to be disappointing. But Pike Place Market is delightful, although crowded. Colorful veggies, fresh seafood, including squid with their purple skin still on, and whole fish with their eyeballs still intact...street musicians harmonizing...the irresistible scent of fresh bakery items... Pike Place Market was my favorite site in Seattle! It was founded in 1907 as a farmer's market, was saved from demolition in the 1970's, and today is a National Historic District.

MAYFLOWER PARK HOTEL, SEATTLE

Our comfortable and friendly hotel, Mayflower Park Hotel, was walking distance to Pike Place Market, in downtown Seattle. It is connected to a modern mall, where you can conveniently ride the Seattle Monorail for $2 to the Space Needle. The monorail only goes for about a mile, but provides a fun glimpse of the city.

I recommend the Mayflower Park Hotel for its excellent location, and helpful staff. This is a historic hotel built in 1927, back in the days when travelers evidently were content with cozy but smaller rooms. We were very pleased with our small, comfortable room, especially since we booked our room for a great price on hotwire.com! They do offer some larger rooms and suites.

Mayflower Park Hotel
405 Olive Way, Seattle, WA
ww.mayflowerpark.com

If you're traveling with kids, don't miss the funky water fountain that resembles a space ship from an outdated science fiction movie. The fountain is easy walking distance from the Space Needle, and it has a creative combination of water spurts and music. Watch your camera as the fountain may unexpectedly squirt you! I'm not sure if the fountain is turned on year round or not.
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Sep 17th, 2009, 06:57 PM
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SEATTLE DINING:

Seattle is a wonderful city for sipping excellent coffee, and enjoying fresh seafood. We also enjoyed the fact that there are tons of local cafes & restaurants, which are owned & run by locals...as opposed to boring chains, which we try to avoid. Here are our favorite places for coffee, bakeries, or meals in Seattle:

COFFEE in SEATTLE:

Local Color
1606 Pike Place, Seattle WA
www.LocalColorSeattle.com
(Local coffee & art; Jazz on Friday & Saturday nights)

FOOD in SEATTLE:

Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar
1916 Pike Place, Suite 16, Seattle 98101-1056

Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar is a tiny & casual eatery where you can get fresh seafood for moderate prices for lunch. We loved it! We found it by accident as we were wandering around Pike Place Market. It's a couple doors down from the original Starbucks in Pike Place Market. Look for the address “1916” on the outside of the building. Go through the entryway and you will find yourself in a little nook with several shops. In the back of this nook is Emmett's.

When we found Emmett's, we popped inside as I remembered someone had recommended it. Sure enough, we enjoyed wonderful salmon chowder, and seafood & chips, which included oysters, shrimp, and fish with fries. We were delighted that our lunch was fresh, tasty, and moderately priced. The seafood & chips was about $8.95. Since Emmett's cultivates their own oysters they are able to offer them year-round.

I didn't actually know that I like oysters until I had them at Emmett's! Now, don't everyone start flocking over there, because it's tiny and you'll all be crammed in there if you arrive at once!

Macrina Bakery & Cafe

All I can say about Macrina is...go there, sniff the delicious scents, and don't cry when you realize you only have room in your tummy for one or two items...when you really want to eat everything in site, it all looks and smells so lovely!

They have 3 locations...we walked to the “Belltown Cafe” (Macrina) at 2408 First Avenue. They have a yummy and creative selection for breakfast, lunch, or a treat. Their coffee was good although I've forgotten whether I had coffee or an espresso drink. I don't think I had any bad coffee in Seattle...that's more than I can say for my home-town of San Diego!
www.macrinabakery.com

Andaluca Restaurant
Fourth & Olive, Seattle, WA
at the Mayflower Park Hotel
www.andaluca.com

Our first night in Seattle, we were tired so we ate at Andaluca Restaurant right in our hotel. We splurged for the price-fix menu at $30 each. While the food was tasty, we felt it was overpriced, compared to other meals we enjoyed more on our trip. However if you are staying at the Mayflower Park Hotel, it is certainly convenient that they have a gourmet restaurant right at the hotel. However in my opinion I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there when there are so many other places to try.

Steelhead Diner
Pike Place Market
95 Pine St., suite 17, Seattle, WA
www.steelheaddiner.com

Now Steelhead Diner is a worthy splurge, and it is definitely worth it to go out of your way to try it! WOW! I highly recommend the Steelhead Diner for a splurge dinner, or to meet friends for drinks and appetizers. We made a reservation for 3 people in advance. It's a busy place.

My sister, who lives in Seattle, joined us for dinner, and I tasted her “Kasu Marinated Oregon Black Cod”...amazing! My Grilled Klamath River King Salmon was also excellent. My sister forced us to try the savory starter called “A Slice of Caviar Pie”. It was fabulous, creative, and memorable! Prices are in the splurge range, but the food is worth it, and fresh seafood is often pricey. The Caviar Pie was $14.95. (The black cod was $21.95 for a half order or $28.95 for a full order; the salmon was $19.95 for a half order, $27.95 for a full order.)

We love seafood, but there is also beef, chicken, and pork on their menu.

Mussels and I don't get along, but I enjoyed watching my husband and my sister devour the biggest, and best looking mussels I have ever seen. They said they have never had better mussels anywhere else. For $14.95 there was a generous pile of mussels, plenty for 3 people as an appetizer, listed in the Savory Starters section as “Totten Inlet Mediterranean Mussels in Purgatory” with toasted garlic, crispy basil, spanish chorizo and orange zest.

Did I make anyone hungry?! (Thanks to my little sister for treating us at the Steelhead Diner!)
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Sep 17th, 2009, 07:01 PM
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TO BE CONTINUED: COMING UP NEXT:

-PORT ANGELES, WASHINGTON (3 nights)
-FORKS, WASHINGTON (2 nights)
-OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, WASHINGTON (gorgeous!)
-VICTORIA, CANADA (interesting day-trip on ferry)
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Sep 17th, 2009, 07:04 PM
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You sure made me hungry, Melissa! And I love Seattle although it has been way too long since I have visited there. Thank you for the interesting and beautiful trip report. It is very informative also and should be a good guide for those that will in the future visit beautiful Seattle.
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Sep 17th, 2009, 08:37 PM
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Wow, you sure made me proud to call Seattle home. I came here when I was just a little girl, have lived all over the world, but always come back here...it will always be home.

Today we had a wonderful Indian summer day, watching the sea birds on the water, and now the stars are coming out...thanks for the great review.
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Sep 17th, 2009, 09:51 PM
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clarasong: Enjoy those Seattle stars! Not only is your home city a fascinating city of waterways and hot mugs of coffee...it is also a gateway to a wonderful national park that I think sometimes gets overlooked... I can't believe I waited over 50 years before visiting Seattle and the Olympic peninsula of Washington!

LoveItaly: There are a couple more memorable meals that we had when we left Seattle and visited the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state... If you're still hungry tomorrow I will probably have time to post the rest of the trip report. I think we ate our way through Washington...we surely burned off those calories hiking up Hurricane Hill though!
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Sep 21st, 2009, 12:39 PM
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Waiting for more. We are leaving on Saturday 9/29 no real plans just an open mind.
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Sep 22nd, 2009, 09:01 PM
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6abc: If you are coming to seattle, and the weather looks to be good for the next week or two (it was 85 today), I think the best advice is to enjoy what's up close first, then expand if you have time. If you look in the US Fodors book for 2008, the things I suggested and was quoted were (to get a full taste of our wonderful part of the world), that you keep it simple. A walk along the waterfront, a tour of the waterfront, a cup of Clam Chowder at Ivar's, do the Monorail to the Seattle Center, dinner in the Space Needle, a walk on ferry ride to Whidby Island, etc...All this without a car.

If you have a car and a bit more time, do the Olympic Penn...and take your time...it includes some of the most beautiful country in the world, and I'm counting the Swiss Alps!! I said to DH, why do we need to go anywhere else, it's heaven right here. Hope your trip is wonderful...

At this moment, I am watching the dying of the day over Puget Sound, calm water, sea birds calling, and a sliver of a moon. Love, love, love it here.
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Oct 15th, 2009, 05:41 PM
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I'm enjoying beautiful memories as I write my trip report. Sorry it's taking me so long! Here is another section, and there is still more to come:

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, WASHINGTON STATE

WOW! The Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state is an awesome wild beauty! It reminds me of the stunning south island of New Zealand. I can't believe it's taken me 53 years to get there!

We rented a car in Seattle and took the car ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. The ferry is actually fun with picturesque views of the water and coast. We left the sassy city of Seattle behind, and in just a few hours we drove to the wild and peaceful Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.

The Olympic Peninsula is blessed with big blue lakes, waterfalls, green and mossy temperate rainforest, and wild seacoasts. We really enjoyed our nature hikes, scenic views, peace and fresh air.

Where to stay on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington? We chose to spend 3 nights at The Meadows Inn, a peaceful b&b outside of Port Angeles, and 2 nights at a small motel on a river outside of Forks called Quillayute River Resort. This worked out great and I recommend both accommodations! More details on these accommodations below.

PORT ANGELES, WASHINGTON

The town of Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula isn't cute, but it's convenient, with lots of good restaurants in town. Since it's the largest town on the northern Olympic Peninsula, it makes a good base for visiting the Olympic National Park, and for taking a ferry over to Victoria in Vancouver.

We loved staying at The Meadows Inn, a b&b in the peaceful countryside, about a 20-minute pleasant country drive outside of downtown Port Angeles. We drove into town only for tasty dinners, preferring to spend our time outdoors exploring nature. We also drove into Port Angeles to take the ferry over to Victoria for a fun day-trip.
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Oct 15th, 2009, 05:50 PM
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WHERE TO STAY:

The Meadows Inn, Port Angeles
3182 Blue Mountain Road
Port Angeles, Washington 98362
www.themeadowsinn.com

We loved our stay at The Meadows Inn! It's a 20-minute drive through pleasant countryside from the inn to either Port Angeles or Sequim. What is outstanding at The Meadows Inn is the full gourmet breakfasts, and the wonderful QUIET.

The Santa Fe room at The Meadows Inn is blissfully quiet, ultra clean, and romantic. We could have sworn the huge & very comfortable King bed was big enough for 2 couples! The bathroom has a jacuzzi tub with nice jets and is big enough for 1.5 people. (We both fit in the tub but my husband, who is 6 feet tall, took up most of the space!) The shower for 2 people has 2 shower heads! There are even 2 sinks on 2 separate counters in the bathroom. Toilet stall in its own small room which is ideal.

We definitely recommend the Santa Fe room for a romantic getaway!

Bruce and Annie are welcoming, organized, and efficient. Bruce is a professional chef and each morning he cooks a gourmet breakfast! We enjoyed our breakfasts so much that I asked him to write down each day's creations for me. This is what we ate during our 3 days of delightful breakfasts:

Cantalope & strawberries
Apple Upside Down French Toast
Apple Chicken Sausage
Brie in Puff Pastry

Papaya Boats with Berries
Crab & Leek Quiche
Potato Gratin
Zucchini Casserole

Pineapple Boats with honey, mint lime dipping sauce
Lemon Blueberry Souffle Pancakes
Maple Pork Sausage Links

Yummy! We were spoiled and I didn't want to go home and eat my own cooking. The coffee was excellent and my husband enjoyed his tea. Also home-made dessert was left out for us each evening after we returned from dinner. We always missed the afternoon appetizers, since we were always out enjoying the hikes and sites. There was one guest who was allergic to shellfish, so Bruce made him his own omelette since he couldn't eat the crab quiche.

The entire Inn is amazingly clean. We had a wonderful time at The Meadows Inn. We always drove into Port Angeles for dinner and I didn't see anyplace downtown that I would have wanted to stay. I preferred staying in the quiet countryside. I think The Meadows Inn is a great retreat or romantic getaway for adults. They don't accept children under the age of 12. I wouldn't recommend it for teens unless they are very neat and quiet teens. In conclusion, highly recommended for a romantic getaway, especially for foodies! The Santa Fe room is an ideal room for anyone who likes it very quiet.
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Oct 15th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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HURRICANE RIDGE TRAIL, OLYMPIC NAT'L PARK

Hurricane Ridge is 17 miles south of Port Angeles. We enjoyed a quick stop at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor's Center, which has a lovely view.

Few things make me feel so ancient as to find myself out of breath half way up the 1.5-mile hike up to Hurricane Hill on the Hurricane Hill Trail! I kept having to stop to catch my breath. Is it worth it? Yes! The view at the top is amazing! I think it took us almost 3 hours to walk up, enjoy the view, and then walk back, because I was so slow on the steep parts.

Hurricane Hill is 5757 feet high above sea level. If the weather is clear, you can see all the way to Victoria across the Puget Sound when you reach the top! We had fantastic weather for our walk!

Poetic Musings on Hurricane Hill Trail :

I gaze at the peak of a mountain which is frosted with a white glacier or snow. It is so quiet, if I hold my breath, I can hear the snow.

A brown flying grasshopper makes a clicking sound. I notice the clicking sound of a grasshopper for the first time ever, because it is so quiet. My soul is joyful and I can feel my blood pressure settling into a peaceful zone. Here and there, I hear a few birds tweeting. We pass ferns on the slope. A rusty orange butterfly flits by.

There's a cold wind in the connifers....the Douglas fir and subalpine fir are pruned by the wind. We saw 4 birds called Ptarmagen, including 1 baby. The baby was stranded on the opposite side of the trail from his mother, calling in alarm to its mother...

Wow! The 1.5 mile climb was worth it for the view down to Port Angeles, and across the gorgeous baby blue Puget Sound to Victoria in Vancouver, Canada.

We're in a cloud sandwich...there are white clouds below us and above us. Beautiful view! There's a ferry boat on the water far below... I see the Dungeness Sand Spit...a very long finger of land in the water.

A merengue of fog covers Port Angeles below us. Port Angeles, crowned with a white merengue, is framed by mountain slopes. Beyond Port Angeles, the sky is blue, with white fluffs of clouds and warm sun on the beautiful Puget Sound.

Sitting on the top of Hurricane Hill, I study the 3 shades of blue...sky blue, overhead...fades to a light blue at the Horizon...and the water is baby blue, a pure blue, joyful color. My husband takes photos. We smile at each other and share a hug, storing the moment in memory.

TO BE CONTINUED! COMING UP NEXT:
--Sol Duc
--Victoria
--Port Angeles Dining
--Quillayute River Resort, Forks
--Forks Dining
--Hall of Mosses Trail, Hoh rainforest
--Rialto Beach
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Oct 15th, 2009, 09:06 PM
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OOPS! #-o CORRECTION to above info: Those birds we saw on the Hurricane Hill Trail weren't Ptarmagens...they were Blue Grouse! Sorry about that mistake.
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Oct 15th, 2009, 09:11 PM
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clarasong: Yes I agree it's heaven up there where you live!

6abc: Sorry I couldn't finish my trip report before you left for your trip to Washington! I hope you had fun!

TRIP REPORT TO BE CONTINUED
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Oct 16th, 2009, 06:56 AM
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Oct 16th, 2009, 10:41 AM
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Gotta bookmark this report! My husband is dropping hints about Seattle.
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Oct 18th, 2009, 02:04 AM
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Dayenu: Seattle is a unique city, and it's a great jumping off point for the beautiful Olympic National Park of Washington! I hope you get to go. You'll enjoy it. My Mom and Dad, who are seniors in their 70's, also visited Seattle recently. My Mom's favorite thing to do when she visits Seattle is to ride the ferries.

I'll try to post the rest of the trip report as soon as I can... I love working on this trip report, it brings back great recent memories... I'm just doing too much at once...

TRIP REPORT TO BE CONTINUED
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Oct 24th, 2009, 01:19 PM
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I was reading your report, please continue on.
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Oct 25th, 2009, 10:05 PM
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Dayenu: if you are coming this a way, I suggest you wait now; winter is here, it's raining and blowing, and not very good hiking weather. We have had a wonderful summer, green and lush, and now we must pay....it's nasty out there tonight!!
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Oct 29th, 2009, 08:06 PM
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spirobulldog: Thanks for the encouragement. I'll try to post more of the trip report this weekend! Maybe I can finish it. It's hard to type with a chub-chub wiggling on your lap! (A chub-chub is my 5-month old grandbaby who is suddenly very active and curious.) You are my inspiration for finishing this trip report.

TO BE CONTINUED! COMING UP NEXT:
--Sol Duc
--Victoria
--Port Angeles Dining
--Quillayute River Resort, Forks
--Forks Dining
--Hall of Mosses Trail, Hoh rainforest
--Rialto Beach
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