Seattle is known for its Internet entrepreneurship, coffee, rain, Earthy-granola crunchy lifestyle preferences, and the great outdoors. Let’s be blunt here–there are no fat people in Seattle. There are about as many vegan restauarant choices as there are Starbucks, and after inhaling plates of organic tofu and sprouts, the Seattle residents don’t hesitate to go hike a mountain or kayak a lake. I remember I once bad-mouthed tent camping when I lived out here, word spread around the office that “Kate didn’t like camping,” and by the end of the work day, I was socially ostracized. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but at the office water cooler or vending machine, even the pasty pale tech geeks at my company were like “I heard you don’t like camping. Is that true?”
And how can you not love the outdoors when you’re surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lakes? The mountains have been hiding behind the clouds since we’ve been here, and today is our last chance to catch a view. But even so, the city skyline also offers a unique vista. Here’s the quintessential Queen Anne shot. People are always surprised to learn that the Space Needle doesn’t sit in downtown Seattle. That’s because all of the shots of Seattle are taking from this hilly neighborhood called Queen Anne, which makes it look like the Space Needle is jutting out from the center of the city.
Even the kids draw the city this way. This is a handpainted tile created by a neighborhood kid and is part of a wall along a Queen Anne playground we visited yesterday. Mount Rainier looms in the background.
The kids also get that coffee is central to Seattle culture. I found the spelling of this tile very charming.
And what goes better with coffee than donuts? Seattle has always been an intensely creative city, and this donut shop in Capitol Hill isn’t an ordinary pastry pit stop, but a soap store that happened to sit next to our favorite Japanese restaurant, Aoki. Anna paused to admire the sweets. I went nuts at this place and bought for everyone and every occasion I could think of, teachers, friends’ birthdays, future Christmas gifts. I also bought myself a bath donut, a bath fizz shaped like a glazed donut and covered with rainbow sprinkles. This trip has given birth to the new phrase “drop a donut,” which means to drop a decorative bath fizz into a hot bath. And that’s exactly what I did yesterday because I had a sore back after another day of sightseeing. Let me tell you, dropping a donut may turn your bath water an unappetizing shade of puse, but it feels awesome, so just keep your eyes closed and let this bath concoction do its mojo.
It’s our last full day here, and I know returning to the grind on Monday is going to feel brutal. While I’m stuck in traffic Monday morning, I’ll think of this image:
Or this one. This amusement park sits at the base of the Space Needle and it’s where we took Anna, Aidan, and Rowan yesterday and enjoyed a classic afternoon of childhood fun.
I like this next one too. Seattle features colorful hand-painted porcines that can be spotted throughout the city. The pigs celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pike’s Place Market, which features a giant brass pig sculpture near the famous fish-tossing fish mongers. This brass pig is an icon every visiting kid has sat on, every tourist has posed in front of. The pig art is quite cute, and Anna liked this one that sits in the Pacific Place Mall.
I liked this little piggy, who went to the market.
I’ve been on the lookout for sculptures shaped like bacon and sausage, but no such luck. I learned from reading Seattle magazine that in this city, you have to order dessert to find the bacon. Crushed candied bacon topping sorbets, ice creams, and tarts, are a hot new trend in this town of foodies. Tilth, a restaurant in Wallingford, offers a white corn creme brulee with this funky crumbled candied bacon on top. Not to be outdone, a downtown restaurant called Zoe features a peanut butter mousse torte served with huckleberry sorbet, caramel, and a cookielike bacon Florentine. These people know how to bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and throw it onto a bowl of mousse. Now that’s creative.