While we were in Hollywood, Michael found out that he had to also add Seattle to our upcoming trip to the West Coast, and he was able to rearrange our flights so I could still go along with him. That last trip in February started out with a quasi-bang: the night before we left, our phones started buzzing because Southwest had canceled our flight to Seattle and booked us on a flight with two stops that would entail an 8-hour flight (at best) and one plane change, ironically, in Oakland, as that’s where we were only supposed to go originally.
Not having any other choice, we sucked it up and went along with it. The flights were long, though it was pretty cool to see the Rockies up close and personal in Salt Lake City. The major snag was the fact that our connecting flight to Seattle in Oakland was over an hour late, which didn’t put us to our hotel in Seattle until 11 PM local time, or 2AM EST. Thankfully we were able to get a bottle of wine from the hotel shop and we went to our room to decompress and get to sleep as quickly as possible.
We did…OK, actually, and I woke up to knock out a freelance project early in the morning so I could get over to Pike Place Market while Michael had his meeting. Because we knew we would have so little time there, M specifically booked a hotel that was within walking distance of the market because he was just as excited for me to see it as I was. (He had the opportunity to go there years ago and knew I’d love it.) Once I got my bearings and made my way over, I was immediately charmed.
Pike Place Market is absolutely HUGE. It’s way bigger than just a farmer’s market because there are levels dedicated to a number of small stores, there are several restaurants to grab a bite, and apparently they also provide low-cost housing as part of the larger structure. I spent a good 45 minutes or so just walking around to take it all in and to figure out where I wanted to grab a late breakfast/early lunch.
Since it was a Tuesday at the end of February, not every place in the market was open, but thankfully Lowell’s Seafood was, and I got in right before they were going to stop breakfast service and switch over to lunch. I ordered the house-cured king salmon platter because it looked good, and settled in to chat with the bartender a little and just take everything in.
I’m so glad that I ordered that salmon, because MY GOD, it was fantastic. King salmon is rich and buttery but also somehow really delicate, and it was so delicious that I wanted to cry. The house-pickled red onions helped cut through that fattiness, while the capers added an extra dose of acidity. I needed several moments to get through this meal, and I savored the hell out of it.
I had plenty of time before I had to head to the airport, so I decided to have a beer before I walked back to the hotel to grab my bags and a rideshare. I ended up chatting with a cool girl who worked downstairs at the nearby Market Grill, and we apparently got along so well that she gave me one of their famous salmon sandwiches to take with me to the airport. It made it through security, and I split it with Michael (because restaurants in the Sea-Tac airport do not frown on this) prior to our flight to Oakland.
It was an absurdly short trip, but long enough to make me really want to go back and spend some serious time not only exploring Pike Place more, but to experience Seattle properly.