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Pacific Northwest Excursion - Day Ten

Day One - Tacoma
Day Two - Hood River
Day Three - Hood River
Day Four - Depoe Bay
Day Five - Depoe Bay
Day Six - Cannon Beach
Day Seven - Port Angeles
Day Eight - Friday Harbor
Day Nine - Orcas Island
Day Ten - Seattle


Friday, July 20, 2001

We slept in, then went downstairs to Octavia's for breakfast. We were moving a little slowly, having over-indulged the night before. Keith had an omelette, and Lori ordered scrambled eggs, which was accompanied with two sausage links and potatoes. All entrees came with incredible bread that was one inch thick and toasted. We checked out, and at 11 a.m. got in line for the 12 noon ferry. The ferry lines began right behind the hotel. It was turning to be another nice day.

We got on the ferry - our largest yet, with two levels for the passengers. We bought some spring water and fresh popcorn to munch on the ride. The ferry stopped at Lopez Island and it was interesting to watch the cars loading and unloading from a viewpoint of standing on the ferry looking down. We arrived back at Anacortes and Maggie told us we had an 80-mile journey before we would reach Seattle. We had tuned back into the talk station, and learned there was once again heavy traffic southbound on Route 5 (where we were). Since it was Friday afternoon, we were expecting this, so as soon as it got heavy, we took an exit and re-programmed Maggie.

We found our hotel easily - we were staying at Hotel Edgewater. The hotel has their own parking lot but it is valet parking and a fee is charged. We were OK with that, because at least we knew the car was secure. We had reserved one of the premium rooms. It was on the third (top) floor and was waterfront, with a balcony containing two Adirondack chairs and a table. There was rustic wood trim in the room and a sloping ceiling. The decor was northwestern (which could also pass for Adirondack), with plaids and rough-hewn wood. There was a wood corner fireplace (gas) with two stuffed chairs and a bear footrest. There was a minibar. The bathroom contained wood accents and a wood floor.

The lobby was very rustic, with its plaids and stone fireplace, and looked like an Adirondack lodge. It reminded us somewhat of Disney's Wilderness Resort. This was definitely not your garden-variety chain hotel, the kind we would see on business travel.

We got a map of the area from guest services and realized we probably did not have enough time to do what we wanted to do (we had wanted to take the underground tour, which lasted an hour and a half, and it was already after 4 p.m.). We decided to visit the Space Needle. We walked up several steep blocks (again, we were getting our exercise) to the Space Needle, bought tickets, and ascended to the top. The 20th Annual Bite of Seattle event was going on in the park, with 50 restaurants providing samples of their food. There were also live bands playing and rides. We finally understood method behind the madness of the talk radio station's alternative party, Bite This, Seattle.
It was a clear day and we could see a lot from the top of the Needle, but not Mount Rainier, which we had glimpsed on our first day in Washington, over a week earlier. We took some pictures, than went down to the bottom where we bought our requisite tacky shot glass. We walked back to our hotel.

The waterfront near the hotel was not a big restaurant area, and we didn't feel like driving in the city or getting a taxi or public transportation, so we had decided to eat at 67, the hotel's newly reopened restaurant. We had called downstairs and had made a reservation. Since we were in the city and the hotel looked a bit more cosmopolitan than other places we had been, we dressed a little - not a lot, but just a bit. Lori wore make-up for the first time on the trip.

Even if you don't eat in the restaurant, it is worth it to just take a peek inside at its fantastic decor. It was fabulous, a mix of rustic and hip modernism. The reception desk was actually a tall aquarium with fish swimming in it. There were light wood tables and twig chairs. The outside wall was all glass and overlooked the water, and there was a deck with a see-through glass railing that contained tables. It was fairly bright and the sun was headed down, so we decided to eat inside. The curved inner wall of the restaurant was covered in bark, and there were several inset circular booths. There were unique chrome hanging lights that hung low, with long rows of chrome beads hanging down around them. On one end of the restaurant (the bar end), 16 TVs formed one multi-grid picture. On the opposite wall (behind the sushi), there were 8 gas see-through fireplaces set high into the wall.

We went with the requisite local bottle of wine. Keith had a salad and lamb ossobucco, and Lori had a tomato and goat cheese tart (great). She tried to have a rock shrimp appetizer as an entree but when it was served it contained mushrooms (not mentioned on the menu). Since she is allergic to mushrooms, the server suggested she re-order something else. She chose the crab cake appetizer accompanied by avocado, which was very tasty and delivered promptly. The server took the shrimp appetizer off the bill and said he learned something about asking future patrons about any food allergies. We had an after-dinner drink at the bar, then retired early to our room and sat on the deck watching the boats before heading to bed.

Saturday, July 12, 2001

Not much to say for our last morning. We had breakfast in 67. Keith had a spinach and feta omelette, a little heavy on the spinach (a little spinach goes a long way). Lori had one of her favorite breakfasts of the whole trip - eggs over hard and sausage accompanied by very crunchy shredded hash browns and English muffins. After breakfast we packed our bags and headed downstairs. We had a few things in the car to get rid of (namely the disposable cooler) and the valet took care of it for us. We programmed Maggie to take us to the car rental return at SeaTac Airport. It was a Saturday morning and we made it in under 30 minutes, but were grateful for the verbal directions, as there were multiple split exit ramps that Maggie was extremely helpful with. We bade farewell to the Pacific Northwest and found the gate for the plane to take us home.

Tips: Even in the summer, the weather in the Pacific Northwest can quickly change. Be sure to have a jacket, pants, and an umbrella. Sunglasses are a must for boating. Nearly all restaurants are extremely casual and patrons are accepted in shorts and jeans. Just as anywhere else, patrons are expected to wear shirts and shoes. Check with your innkeeper/host/hostess/guest services as to whether reservations are necessary. Binoculars were provided in many of our rooms but it is a good idea to take your own.

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