Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The bluest skies you'll ever see are in...

Seattle. And the hills the greenest green in Seattle. Like a beautiful child, growing up, free an' wild. Full of hopes and full of fears, full of laughter, full of tears, full of dreams to last the years, in Seattle...(lyrics courtesy of God and Perry Como)
I'd originally planned four more Seattle posts: Seattle at night; Seattle art; Eating in Seattle; and Seattle and Victoria. Too much? Then you might be glad that as much as I'd love to go back, I've got other things on my mind these days. And however many images I show, I think the only way to get a true feel for this gorgeous city would be to go there and walk around in it, which I hope you all do one day. I know that before I went I looked through a lot of guidebooks and saw a lot of photos, but I still didn't really know what to expect, except maybe a lot of grungy hipsters, militant vegans or nerdy Rick Steves types. Maybe even a Frasier or Niles. Anywhoo, Seattle, a synopsis:
I found this and several more in a city bus, in some of the spaces usually reserved for advertisements. A pretty good idea, I thought. I'd much rather read a poem than an ad trying to sell me something.

An actual poet...Some interesting grafitti...The Seattle Art Museum or the SAM... This car thing is a depiction of an accident, and one of the few works of art I was able to photograph.

And this...
is the other one. Sorry. I was really kicking myself for picking this, this kitschy painting (which I think was once owned by Elvis) out of all the amazing works in the SAM to photograph before the guards marked me as a major camera risk. Oh well, it is pretty cool actually. It's called Big Blonde in the Woods. Another work of art which make me think, hey, if this can make it into a major city museum, then darn it...!

This... is a wall covered in gum, in case you can't tell. Care to guess how many pieces of gum are stuck there?

Wouldn't you love to eat here?...(well, maybe not after that wall)...This place, Cowgirls Inc. American the only dance club L. and I were able to find, a bar unlike any place we've ever been to before. So we were at first pretty intimidated (and almost went to see a movie instead) with the patrons being ninety percent male and the four (how can we compete with these) gorgeous women dancing on the counter. Not to mention the huge and scary bouncers they had everywhere. But after a beer, and a fun but very short ride on the bull... we figured, oh, what the heck, and got on the dance floor. It was then we realized we'd been afraid of nothing because of course, with so many men around us, we had no shortage of dance partners.

This... is the metro bus tunnel, which came as a total surprise to us. We were expecting trains, the usual thing one finds in an underground metro tunnel.

And one of our breakfasts (fascinating, huh?) a selection of Pike Place Market goodies: Beecher's Flagship cheese and macaroni and cheese, a baguet, candied smoked salmon, a raspberry cheesecake, and coffees. There were grapes too but we forgot to put them in the picture. I must say the food everywhere we went was excellent. In fact one of our most memorable meals was in this bar called Curves during happy hour. Down here four dollar happy hour food usually means something overly salted and greasy. Up there it's the best oyster stew I've ever had.

And these Pike Place pooches... were providing their owner with easy money, perhaps paying for their own vet bills.

L. and I were really impressed by how clean Seattle was. If you've ever been to San Francisco you'd understand why this would impress us so much. As L. said, even the dirt looked clean. Not a stray weed in the entire city. And the water...!Looking over a pier in San Francisco one would never be able to see all the way down, even in water this shallow. All you'd see is an impenetrable layer of grayish green murkiness.

We were also impressed by how safe the city felt. Maybe this isn't really so, but to see obviously non homeless people sleeping on city benches at night, as if taking cat naps after one too many drinks with buddies downtown, something that would never happen in our part of the world, said a lot to us about this city.

Bald eagle we saw en route to Victoria B. C. Imagine how long it took to build that nest. I took over two dozen photographs in pretty Victoria. Like this one... But, this... is the only one I found interesting mainly because I really wanted to buy every single pair of shoes I saw in this window.

OK...I once vowed I'd never show a photograph of myself on this blog. But I'll show this one, a photograph I inadvertently took of myself, because of the contentment on my face. (And because it's too grainy to make out my flaws!) Seattle was a hard city to leave. L. at the airport felt her legs nearly fail her as we rushed to catch our plane, as if her body was screaming to her, don't leave! You've been so happy here! Aaaah, Seattle...


  1. Cheryl ... oh so lovely to see you at last! What do you mean flaws? You are so perfect just the way you are! Thank you for another engaging post. Seattle looks so incredibly inviting with lots of vibrant creativity going on. Wonderful! Have a sweet and magical day, dear friend. :) x

  2. Hi Carol Anne, I should be sleeping now but I'm so glad I stayed up long enough to read your message. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos, it's a poor substitute for the original. I hope, well, I'm pretty sure you will have a wonderful and magical day, too!

  3. Love the pix. They give a more personal view of Seattle, not the typical tourist Space Needle, etc. I love the shoe pic, and the breakfast - OMG, how decadent!

    But I gotta disagree on the blue sky thing. Though it's probably cliche, I think Montana probably has the bluest sky (and ND runs a close second). Teehee....just my opinion, though!

    Have a great day!

  4. Oh, I really like 'Big Blonde in the Woods'.

    "major camera risk"
    Snort, that happens to me all the time. It's a hard job but somebody gotta spy, might as well be me.

    Great post!

  5. AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME! Such an amazing trip and to see a piece of it thru your eyes was really fun too! Thanks for the pictures and the stories!

  6. Well, if your goal was to make me want to go there, you succeeded. Some really nice photos.

  7. What fantastic photos. And yes, you do look utterly content. I think you are definitely a West Coast girl at heart. There is a special rhythm to things on the West Coast, long and slow like the tide mixed with a deep breath. It's your place alright, and you should look to go back.:)

  8. Hello, gorgeous!!! What a beautiful post and a beautiful you. thank you!!! You have made me home sick. I need to go for a visit if only for the macaroni and cheese and the smoked salmon. Yummy!!

  9. Photos are really lovely and the text too is great..Thanks for sharing..Unseen Rajasthan

  10. Hi Embee, I thought of including my own post card like photos. But then decided to show more unique things others, and I'm glad I did. That breakfast, yes! Those Pike Place picnics we had every day has had a lasting effect on me. I keep wanting to mosy over to our local farmer's market to gather up the best pickings. And a dessert or two. Unfortunately the farmer's market is only once a week.

    And oh! bluer skies in Montana and ND? That's a reason to travel round the world, to figure out once and for all who has the bluest skies....ah, travel.....

  11. Hi Dutch donut girl, hee, hee, I like the big blonde too! And, oh! it was too bad they didn't allow photography in the SAM. It really was an excellent museum.

    Hi Shanster, your welcome, welcome, welcome! being able to share them here, I have to say, did make the trip and the photograph taking all the more enjoyable. Thanks for the appreciation!

    Hi Chris, thanks for appreciating my vacation photos! I hope you visit Seattle yourself one day.

  12. Hi Sophia, hmmm, you may be right about that. When I'm in places like NYC or DC, places with a frenetic energy and a palpable must get ahead-ness in the air, I'm always looking for places of sanctuary. Also, I almost posted another picture of myself as well, one of me in Cowgirls Inc. taken by one of the guys there because I looked super happy. But I also looked slightly drunk too, with my tongue sticking out for God knows what reason. Attractive, huh? So I didn't, thank goodness.

    Hi La Belette Rouge, thank you and thank you! Home sick! I would love to think of Seattle as home. And that macaroni and cheese, Beecher's called it the world's best and I think they might be right. Oh! that stuff was gooood. Nothing like kraft mac and cheese. So I doubt my little nieces would like it, since it doesn't have that tell tale fake cheese taste. The salmon was pretty darn good too. I got some for my nephews (who love dried meat in bags like that) and since I haven't gotten around to mailing it to them yet I've had a hard time not reclaiming it for my own.

    Hi Unseen Rajasthan, thanks! I really appreciate that. These are some of the things I most love about travel and life in general - music, poetry, art, dancing, fashion and really well made food. And it's always more enjoyable when I;m able to share.

  13. ooooooooooooooooooh, i have always wanted to troll around in seattle, esepcially at the seattle art museum. now i want to even more!!!!

  14. Hi Drollgirl, it is oh so nice there, though not being able to take photos in the SAM was a major disappointment. Next time, I'll have a better go around strategy...You can get ridiculously good Seattle deals on priceline,com btw.

  15. Lovely reading and a very personal way to tell your trip (no "beautiful ones" on the way to Victoria Island...). Appreicated a lot!

    Was also pleased to read all the comments on the preceding post, including yours! To answer your question; I must have some 1965 Sausalito photos (somewhere in the cellar... where?).

  16. Another great post. I love the pics and Seattle is top of my list of holiday destinatons.

    And thanks for your kind words on my blog - next chapter of my story is out tomorrow. xx

  17. Seattle has changed since I lived there back in the 80s. Glad to see it's so hip now. But remember that it's summer. You'd hate the constant rain!

  18. You can tell by the quality and content of the pictures that the beauty and wonder of Seattle was captured by an artist's eye.

  19. I like the girl in the forest painting :) Go Elvis!

  20. My husband and I got engaged on a road trip to Seattle! Love that town.

  21. And Mount Ranier floating above Seattle on a sunny day? Did you see it? Lovely images (you, too!), and I also smiled all the way through for memories of my Seattle childhood. But I remember more rainy days and am glad you saw Seattle in the sun.

  22. Hi Peter, ha, ha, Oh I took a lot of those! But looking over them again I realized they were more interesting in person than in photos. Maybe too much the usual thing, I suppose. Or the lack of contrast with anything in the foreground.

    The '65 photos - that'll be interesting! If you show those. I love seeing an artist's early works.

    Hi Helena, thanks! And oh good! Your how I came to England posts have me totally engrossed. It really is a lovely way of recalling a memory. And I'm trying very hard not to anticipate what happens, but it does feel like the kind of thing one wishes would happen to them. Sigh....

    Hi Dedene, we heard from locals that the weather had just changed in time for our visit. Now its a bit hard to imagine Seattle in the rain, though I remember the movie The Ring was filmed there. How gloomy Seattle felt in that film!

    Hi Beth, gosh, thanks! I really appreciate that since I was a little unsure about these photos, I admit.

  23. Hi Braja, hee, hee, that painting does have a strange kind of appeal, doesn't it? It's so...cheeky? Unexpected? What's a big blonde doing in the woods, anyway?

    Hi Miss Amy O, got engaged on the way to Seattle! I would so love to do that. I love that town, and that entire region, too.

    Hi Beth, I did! And I took tons of pictures of it too! Mt. Rainier hovering over the city, Mt. Rainier from a ferry boat, Mt. Rainier from the airport! I'm so used to hills. A mountain - not to mention two imposing mountain ranges on either side of me - was really a sight to see. I especially loved sitting in a waterside restaurant, with our desserts and coffees, as the sky darkened and the lights across the water slowly became brighter and brighter. Beautiful.

    I'm glad it brought back pleasant memories for you. I'm glad I saw it in the sun, too. Now Seattle and sun have been imprinted on my memory forever.

  24. Wow, Seattle looks truly amazing! What a lovely post and eh interesting breakfast...
    I'm just dying to see America!

  25. My my! Seattle looks like a good time. I had no idea it was sooo "happening" over there. hehe.

  26. Hi Feist, Seattle is amazing, a really fun, beautiful and laid back city to be in. Hope you make it over here one day. If you make it to my neck of the woods, I'll take you over to some of the clubs.

    Hi Yet, It was neverending fun, for sure. It is pretty happening. Since the grunge scene began there, I expected a lot of people who belonged to that up there. But there were some really chic, like London or Paris chic, up there. I was pleasantly surprised. And I wished I'd brought at least one pair of pretty shoes!

  27. Wonderful post, Cheryl...
    So much to dig into, appetizing and delicious!

    -- Great job of capturing the feel of the city... I like how you focused in on what things that affected you.
    -- I, too, like the idea of poems on the city bus... only wish the author's name was there. Oooo, and I wish Mr. Brett Dean McGibbon the best in his self-publishing endeavor... that's the kind of thing I love to see!
    -- Big Blonde in the Woods: At 5 years old, I saw a very similar painting (maybe it was this one) and remember how strongly I wanted to be a REALLY BIG LION and EAT HER UP!!!! Seeing it now... same animalistic response; slightly different interpretation.
    -- Cowgirls Inc. seems a bit like Coyote Ugly.
    The higher the guy to girl ratio, the more need for huge and scary bouncers.
    -- Metro bus tunnel??? Very confusing, especially with the tracks and all, but also very visually stimulating... nice photo!
    -- How incredibly cute those multi-colored, soft and cuddly Pike Place pooches are!
    -- What a great shot of the eagle and nest!!! I thought it was small at first until I realized that white spec was the eagle's head...
    -- Victoria B.C. seems nice... next time travel up to Vancouver for the "Amsterdamishly smoky" coffee shop atmosphere ;)
    -- Those shoes are beautiful... I'd like to make a few fashion shoe art tiles, and these inspire me!
    -- Thanks so much for showing a glimpse of yourself, you magnificently amazing and beautiful woman, you!!!

    VERY satisfying post, Cheryl!! Thank you...

  28. that is a wonderful post!

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Hi David, thank you. The poet - yes, me too. I helped him out by buying one of his cheapest offerings. Wanted to buy the most, but alas...
    Big Blonde- hmmm, this tells me a lot about you.
    Cowgirls - true, and the later and drunker all the guys became, the gladder I was for the bouncers.
    Bus tunnel - confusing, yes. When I saw a road instead of deep train tracks I was really taken aback. Yet more evidence of Seattle design ingenuity.
    Love Vancouver, went to school there for one glorious summer.
    Shoe fetish, eh?
    Thank you for the compliment! Men should say that to all women as a matter of course. I'm glad I didn't show drunken me with my tongue sticking out now.

    Thanks Magiceye! And how happy I am to know someone called Magiceye!

  31. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you will wipe from your mind Mr. Hoskins' comment about the BB painting, as it has been stricken from the record for obvious reasons."

  32. I'm so glad you loved my fair city! You managed to capture in words and photos so many of the things I love about it here. The only scary thing I saw was that the only club you went to was Cowgirls. Yikes! I think there are much better places to go.

  33. Oh, and the "bus tunnel" is soon to be the "bus and light rail" tunnel! Woo Hoo!

  34. Hi David, hee, hee...

    Hi Maya, I really do love Seattle. The things that frustrate me about where I live, bad public transportation, litter, spotty food and coffee quality, seem to not be a problem up there. And we had a feeling there were other and better clubs, but alas, being strangers to the city, we walked all over belltown looking for one because we'd heard this was the place to go. But maybe because we're used to SF where you can hear a club two blocks away (Seattle clubs must be more discreet) we couldn't find any. And oh, that explains the train tracks!

  35. I have relatives in Seattle and would love to visit some day.....

  36. I've always wanted to go to Seattle and your photos & stories make me want to hop on a plane today!! What a fabulous trip you had -- thanks so much for sharing it!!

  37. soooo coool, I have always wanted to go to Seattle - now I am desperate to go, that gum wall is incredible.
    Love the cars - I missed that exhibit in New York, I am glad you got to see it!

  38. You visited Seattle and you didn't say hi?

  39. Thanks for the review on our Mac & Cheese! We appreciate you taking the time and would love to thank you with a sampling of some new frozen sides we’ve been working on – all just as cheesy as our macs! If you’re interested, shoot your contact/shipping information to and we’ll drop some in the mail. We’re happy to delete your info after we ship you the goods, just let us know! Thanks again!


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