Thursday, May 9, 2013

fun in the sun on a saturday in seattle

 Last Saturday I headed down to Seattle, bright and early, to spend the day with my daughter.  Her husband was out of town for work (again in the UK) and with the sun shining it was a great day to travel south, if for no other reason than to try out my new sunglasses.... speaking of sunglasses do you know that Seattleites buy more sunglasses per capita than anywhere else in the US?  I guess when you go for days without needing them you tend to misplace them, hmmm??  Although "official" sources say it's because of the brightness of our gray days and still needing them for brightness but not actual sunshine, etc, etc... huh, really?  I think we just loose them.

Any who... Our first stop was Pike Place Market.  If you are ever in Seattle you MUST visit this 106 year old farmer's market... the flowers alone are unbelievable and you wouldn't believe the prices!  Where else can you get a ginormous bouquet for $15!  Certainly not the florists and not even the grocery stores...

Since we arrived on the early side I was even able to snap a picture of the flower aisle... normally you can't get a picture, in fact normally you can barely move through the crowds of people perusing the goods for sale, think shoulder to shoulder here.

See?  Hardly a soul around yet.  You can get a good look at the age of this building just by checking out those pillars!

After getting my flower market photos, we'd be back to actually pick out some flowers, we headed down the aisle to a restaurant that's been here for 57 years (even their sign says so...).  I'd seen/heard about Lowell's on the Food Network... (an old Rachel Ray travel show perhaps) and we were headed there for breakfast, if it's good enough for Rachel well it's good enough for me!

I went with the Market special of eggs, hashbrowns and bacon... my daughter went with the Eggs Benedict with crab... and yes, they were both delicious!

After ordering our breakfast we headed upstairs with our number to find a table with a view... and what a view this place has of the Seattle waterfront.

After breakfast we managed to snap a picture of the ORIGINAL Starbucks across from Pike Place Market.  Usually there is a line out the door, I guess tourists like to visit this one... maybe they aren't aware that there are many additional Starbucks within a block or two?  And the menu is the same?

Before heading back to the car we went over to the park that is just outside the market.  You can look south and see the new (opened last summer) HUGE ferris wheel on the waterfront.  It's similar to the one I rode on in Niagara Falls.  I hear this one takes you out over the water which is pretty amazing.

The road in front is the Alaska Way Viaduct... a bit of a political nightmare in Seattle and Washington as far as having this aging, elevated road replaced.

A zoom shot.  Not sure why I love Ferris Wheels so much... especially since riding on one isn't my favorite thing with the "heights thing" and all.

The port area is in the background...

Looking west to northwest across Elliott Bay and the Puget Sound you can see the Olympic Mountains, I'm sure many of you thought those must be the expected clouds on our horizon but nope, it was a bright-blue-clear-sky kind of day.  On a sunny day, Seattle and Western Washington are pretty amazing places... I guess that's why we put up will all those gray and sometimes wet days!

We then headed east and south along Lake Washington, at 22 miles long it is the second largest lake in the state.... Seattle is sort of smushed in between the Puget Sound on the west and Lake Washington on the right.  Traveling "back up the other side" of the lake through Bellevue and north to a little town named Woodinville.  Our destination?  This fabulous nursery or garden center,  Molbak's.

Way back in the 1980's my husband and I lived in this area.  I remember a couple of trips to Molbak's, one even with my daughter as an infant, however it wasn't anywhere as large as it is now.  This place is amazing for both outside plants, inside plants and even tons of gift and decor items.

The have a little cafe as well and check out these cute lights!  The lights are in inverted clay/terra cotta pots... very cute for a patio or outside area!

Perhaps you are wondering why I would drive all the way to this nursery?  Well I'm on the lookout for additional roses to go along my driveway.  And yep, I found a beauty!

The buds start out like a typical rose... a very pale pink center surrounded by a creamy white...

But then they turn into these gorgeous blooms.

And the scent?  Yes, there is one... it's a traditional rose scent and very mild, yet somehow so fragrant at the same time ... just perfect to cut a few and bring indoors.

Oh, and in case you're wanting one for yourself the rose is "Bolero"

I also couldn't resist this little Delphinium... a paler lavender color than my existing ones.... and while we're here, isn't my little cement garden gnome aging well?

After our trip to Molbak's we headed the rest of the way around the north end of Lake Washington and back south (yes, we basically circled the whole lake that day) to University Village... one of my favorite shopping spots of all times.

My destination?

I was finally getting my knobs for my Craig's List cabinet that I redid back in February?  March?  I knew I'd be heading here eventually and didn't want to pay shipping for just 2 knobs so I've patiently waited.  Fortunately they had a few, just 5 of the babies, in the store!  I only needed 2 so all was good.

While my daughter was trying on some shirts, I headed over to another favorite at University Village, Ravenna Gardens.  This quaint little garden store if full of fun little plants and inside the small shop are tons of gift items and garden items...  Outside they have some of the cutest little buildings and sheds.  Over the years they've been different styles and materials... a few years back they had a little building similar in size to this one but made from old, reclaimed windows and some fun galvanized metal roofing... Just like the one I'd like to someday have in my garden with a fun, comfortable little bench or glider.  The perfect spot for a day of reading at home, don't you think?

Our final stop of the day at University Village?

You just can't head to University Village without a Trophy Cupcake... I had Strawberry Lemonade, it was delicious and I forgot to snap a picture.  I even brought a chocolate with vanilla frosting home for Mr. Red Gate Farm.

Before heading north and home to Red Gate Farm we went to the Phinney Ridge area for dinner at a Mexican restaurant.

And on such a beautiful day we could even sit outside on their little deck overlooking the street.

And perhaps you're wondering about those fabulous tulips?  Yes, they are tulips.  And they were my purchase at the flower market at Pike Place Market.

You wouldn't believe how heavy two dozen of these babies are... it took a large, heavy vase to hold them all!

The ladies at the market pack them well with a little plastic bag full of water... they spent the day (and it was hot) in my trunk but still looked fabulous when I got them home.  Perfect in the lime green vase on my dining room table.

Wow, didn't really mean for this post to go on and on but it did... I guess I got a little sidetracked with just about everything!

Hope the day is warm and the sun is shining, wherever you are,


  1. Wow, I've never seen such gorgeous tulips! Sounds like an absolutely perfect mother-daughter day Chris! If I ever get to Seattle, I hope you'll be my tour guide!

  2. I love Seattle and when I was there for the big garden show in February I had a lovely walk down along the water on that old wooden walkway. I really wanted to go on the Ferris wheel but it was getting late and windy! Seattle is a wonderful city - thanks for the tour and the tips on some places I haven't been. I'm heading down there next weekend and will see if I can find the University Village.

  3. What a great trip - how did you fit so many stops in?! Enjoyed this so very much. I've seen a few Public Market photos from facebook friends who have visited Seattle. Must be THE place! Love the roses, and those tulips - oh my - they are so luscious and peony-ish!! Thanks for sharing the beauty and fun :) -Tammy

  4. What a lovely day, and so well documented!!! I lived there for ten years and didn't know half of all that!
    I love Molbaks and U village...Pike Place makes me a little crazy, but it would have been worth it for those tulips!!!!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful day! Those roses are gorgeous, as are the tulips!! I have been to Pike Place Market once years ago, and it was fun! Have a wonderful Friday! xo Heather

  6. Great post, views, flowers, places to visit, garden house old window ideas, breakfast place . . . and so much more . . . loved this Chris . . .

  7. Oh my gosh! Those tulips are gorgeous, as are the roses - I will take note. We'll be in Seattle in about 6 weeks, and I'll have to look for the Ferris Wheel. Can't wait to see Pike's Market again. . .What a lovely day you had; thanks for sharing it!


Please, feel free to leave a comment... it really makes my day! Chris