Saturday, August 13, 2011

Jet Setters (Part 1)

MW and I took a long, much needed vacation last week and had a blast! It was something that he had planned for us and we enjoyed every last detail immensely. Since we were gone  A WHOLE WEEK I'll break up the pictures and storytelling into three Parts: Arrival/Ellensburg/Leavenworth, The Gorge, and Seattle.

We left early last Wednesday and thanks to the benefit of time travel change, we landed in Seattle around 10am. Our friend EMC lives in Ellensburg, WA where she is finishing her Master's degree and living in a cute little apartment. EMC picked us up and took us deep into the heart of Seattle for a few hours, where we had our first glimpse of the famous Pike Place Market.
This was my first picture of the market. 
It was unexpectedly sunny.

I'm in love. Yes, with a market. If you've ever been, you would understand my amorous feelings. It's bustling with life from early morning through evening. It smells glorious. Every few feet you encounter a new item for sale and a new smell: fish, flowers, cherries, teas. I was in pure childish delight. 

Tasting the goods at an Olive Oil Shop

We were famished and snuck down Post Alley, a side street near the market full of restaurants and shops to find some grub. EMC recommended Sister's, a delightfully European cafe with foccacia paninis. 

Stormin' Norman, a Post Alley Singer

Sister's European Snacks

Outrageously Good. 

MW had some Chowder as well. 
Surprisingly, this is the only time we had Chowder

After lunch, we meandered a bit more but mainly went back into the market to get ingredients for our next meal.

We then made the 2 hour drive to Ellensburg, with a quick stop at Snoqualmie Falls to take in the beauty and splendor of nature. 

That night, we consumed lots of regional beer and enjoyed a delightful patio meal cooked by EMC.

I love the hat and mittens here

Confession: I had never had salmon before. Same goes for MW. But this made me wish I had been eating it all my life. EMC slathered these delicious little morsels with a rub consisting mainly of brown sugar and some red pepper flakes. A rub we ultimately bought 3 cans of before departing Washington. We picked up the asparagus fresh at Pike Market. Eating this on EMC's patio was one of my favorite moments of the trip. Even though we were consequently harassed by a trio of 9 year old neighbors who were crushing hard on MW...

The next day we took a trip out to Leavenworth: a little slice of Bavaria in the middle of Washington. As a student of German (in high school) I was very excited to get a little taste of Germany.  Along the way we encountered beautiful windmills that generate energy that is even used by the University (according to EMC). They were everywhere and really quite awe-inspiring to see nature providing energy in such a simple but efficient way. My inner eco nerd was thrilled. 

This is a sight I would love to see daily. 

EMC feels tropical

Bowler hat? Yes please!

Pharaohs don't smile. 

Sign inside candy store: Children must be accompanied by an
 ATTENTIVE adult at all times. 

Walls of Wonderful Taffy!

Nutcracker store was a little out of control

These guys worked a gourmet cheese shop. 
It was MW's favorite stop in the town. They provided ample samples and were quite kooky. 

The cheese shop was, admittedly, my favorite as well. We tried a large number of the cheeses they had to offer and it took some discussion, but we decided on splitting three types: English Cheddar with Caramelized Onion, Cave Aged Swiss Gruyere, and a Boxing Cheddar from Australia. 

To stave off the hunger that was welling, we ate lunch in town at Munchen Haus, a Bavarian Grill and Beer Garden. We each got a "Big BOB Brat" on a perfectly toasted bun. 
The Beer Garden

We liked this glass we procured one for our home as a souvenir

I'm not one for hotdogs, but this brat was BOMB

EMC and I were happy ladies once our bellies were filled. 

Munchen Haus outside

The best way to finish off a meal of bratwurst?

And teeny tiny espresso cups.

Upon leaving Leavenworth (Auf Wiedersehen!) we stopped at a fish hatchery. Fish hatcheries help the environment by ensuring that US demands for fish are met without depopulating the areas of popular fish (such as trout). We got there just in time to visit the small museum and feed some fish. 

Already I was in love with the scenery and enjoyed taking in the mountains every chance I could. But our time in Ellensburg came to an end and we happily loaded up our gear, bought groceries to feed a small army, and hit the road the following day for George, WA in anticipation of The Gorge. (Part II to come soon!)


  1. I loved this blog. I just have one thing I'd like to say: BRATS ARE NOT HOTDOGS.
    xoxoxo <3

  2. HAHA whoever this was, I agree and have already reprimanded her.