Downtown Seattle in Spring

Dad found himself in downtown Seattle again on a beautiful spring day. Seattle is a great city for urban safaris. There are lots of little shops and restaurants to discover, and unique people watching and sightseeing opportunities to enjoy.

As he turned off First Avenue, Dad was thrilled to see a parking spot. As he backed into the parking spot he saw a sign for a restaurant in his rear view mirror. It was lunch and Dad thought, “Why not?”

Dad walked into a shaded courtyard. He admired the fountain in the center of the patio as he passed, and then he entered a door on the side of the courtyard. It was mid-afternoon, and there were only one other pair of diners in the restaurant. The restaurant was small and quaint inside. In the front of the restaurant, there were only half a dozen tables inside. In the back was a larger room for banquets, and perhaps for overflow in the dinner hour.

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Dad enjoyed a nice Sicilian meal, and then headed back out into the brilliant sunshine. Next destination was on First Avenue. Dad figured he would do some walking, so before he headed out, he changed from his dress shoes to his hikers.

On First Avenue, Dad stopped in the Federal Army Navy Surplus store. He drifted through the store, taking in all the exotic sights. The astronaut helmets were definitely worth a little extra time. There was nothing he needed in particular, so he drifted back out onto the sidewalk.

From there, he meandered down towards the market. Dad always likes to pick up fresh vegetables, desserts, and fresh bread at the market stalls. Then he often stops at the Italian specialty store, and the deli.

He started off buying some arugula and finnochio at the vegetable stalls. Next was a baguette at the bakery. Then he moved over to the Italian specialty store for some prosciutto, orecchiette, and a nice but not too pricey chianti.

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From the market Dad maneuvered across First avenue, and headed up Pike St. The cherry trees were blooming along the sidewalks, providing just a modicum of shade to all the pedestrians. A few doors up the hill was the Seattle Coffee Works.

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Seattle Coffee Works is world renowned for its focus on producing the worlds fines coffee. The shop does not limit itself to just espresso machines. It has French presses, vacuum coffee machines, and Chemex brewers. The initial experience was overwhelming. People were everywhere enjoying coffee and standing in line to order. Dozens of conversations were going on around him. There were boards listing types of brewing systems, types of coffee, best types of brewing systems for different types of coffee, and all kinds of coffee accessories. This just might be the most complicated cup of coffee Dad had ever ordered, including those times he had ordered coffee in some language other than English. Who could have imagined ordering coffee could be this complicated. Finally, in the face of overwhelming confusion, Dad decided to wait in line to ask one of the counter people for some guidance.

The nice young lady behind the counter suggested he pick a type of coffee first and then the brewing method would follow from there. Dad thought about it and then picked a Guatemalan coffee. The young woman then suggested that they use the Chemex brewing method. Dad agreed, and then waited with great anticipation for his coffee. He watched the barista working on his coffee. While the Chemex method was not as visually engaging as the vacuum method, Dad still gave it his full attention. When the coffee was finished, Dad headed back out into the bright sunlight, and strode off down the sidewalk towards Gelatiamo.

Dad walked uphill towards Gelatiamo with his coffee. Of course, as he stepped off a curb while trying to take a drink, he shot coffee all over his shirt.

“Oh well”, he thought. “Now I don’t have to worry about getting gelato on my shirt”. Dad is ever the optimist.

He arrived at a crowded Gelatiamo, and made his way to the counter. He ordered a small cone with salato caramello and straciatella. Armed with his gelato and coffee, he popped his sunglasses back on and headed out the door.

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Dad took a leisurely stroll back to the truck in the sun, so as to be sure to finish his gelato before having to climb behind the wheel. He returned to the truck via Pike’s Market again. A ferry cruised by out in the bay.

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Dad arrived back at the truck with just a few minutes to spare on the parking. All in all, it was a well planned, well executed, and well enjoyed trip.

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