At a ground temperature of 8 degrees Celsius, I didn’t have a choice but to actually “chill” in Seattle. This is my nth time visiting the city because, before the pandemic set in, I made it a point to visit my daughter and her family every year. They live in a suburb of Seattle – Redmond, where the Microsoft Headquarters is. Yet, every time I visit, Seattle’s attractions never fail to fascinate me.
Seattle is the largest city in the state of Washington, even much bigger than Olympia, the state’s capital. Aside from Microsoft, the other big contributors to the state’s income are Amazon, headquartered in Seattle itself, and Costco, with its headquarters in Issaquah, 17 miles or 20 minutes away from Seattle.
Of course, the mention of Seattle immediately gives one the image of its iconic landmark, the Space Needle. It is an observation tower built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World’s Fair. It stands 605 feet tall and is built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour and earthquakes of up to 9.0 magnitude.
On top of this tall structure is the Sky City, a revolving restaurant that, of course, offers panoramic views and sumptuous culinary delights that the Pacific Northwest is known for. But if you don’t want to take in the calories and would just like to settle for a leisurely cocktail, there is The Loupe Lounge, the world’s first and only revolving glass floor, perched 500 feet above the city.
From the Seattle Center, my sibling and I drove to my other favorite attraction on the other side of town – Pike Place, where the famous Public Market is located. It is the city’s original farmers market where locally sourced specialty food and artisan products are made available in massive quantities. But I go there for other reasons.
I always enjoy having lunch at Athenian, the restaurant featured in the movie, Sleepless in Seattle, not only because it still bears some of the props used in the movie, but also because the food is good. In fact, for so many years, the Chef was a Pinay from Tacloban. Their menu included Kare-Kare and Chicken Pork Adobo.
During one of my visits, I took time out to say “hello” to her and mentioned to her that I had visited Tacloban many times because my mother was from Ormoc. Much to my surprise, she later “gifted” me with “halo-halo” for dessert, complete with ube, leche flan, and all the other Pinoy ingredients this sweet last course is popular for. I found out during my yesterday’s visit that she had already retired and had gone back home to Tacloban.
Another “must do” every time I visit Pike Place is getting my fill of cheese products for dessert at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, widely known as the favorite of TV host Oprah Winfrey. It usually takes me quite some time to figure out which of the dozens of tempting cheese pastries to buy.
I always end my Pike Place visit by having to suffer through the perennially long queue at the very first Starbucks, just to get several bags of the Pike Place Special Reserve coffee. This has got to be the best coffee in the world, a dark roast with an extra dose of caffeine, perfect to give as gifts to family and friends. This store opened in 1971, offering fresh-roasted coffee beans, tea, and spices from around the world.
There are many other interesting places to visit in Pike Place, and in the other parts of the city. I guess that’s the reason why many tourists end up being Sleepless In Seattle.
YOUR MONDAY CHUCKLE
Q: What do dentists call their X-rays?
A: Tooth pics!
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