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Seattle’s Pike Place Market by Sia Huff

Seattle Oct 2013 017Pike Place Market jump starts your senses. The sight of hundreds of vendor’s lining the rows. The sounds of fish mongers hawking this mornings catch. If you’re lucky you can watch as they entertain patrons with a tossing show. The scent of freshly baked breads and fresh brewed coffee delight people.

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Started in 1907, Pike Place has been a part of Seattle’s waterfront landscape for over a century. Multi-level, this farmer’s/crafter’s market stretches over nine acres. Handmade items created by local artisans mingle with fresh fruit stands, food vendors and restaurants.

The first order of business was something to eat, as after a plane ride from Atlanta, it was supper time. Pike Place has thirty food counters and restaurants. We ate at Athenian Inn and the food was delicious.

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The picture to the left is the view from our table.

I promised myself not to add the weight of my suitcases. After all, fellow PFHT and friend, Susan Carlisle, were there to attend the Greater Seattle Area Romance Writer’s conference. I knew I’d receive a few free books (rubs hands together). Resolve firmly in place, I strolled along mentally ooohing and ahhhing and wishing I hadn’t brought so many clothes to layer. (Later, I’d be glad I had those extra layers.)

Glass blowing is huge in Seattle. I forced myself to keep moving when my feet started dragging and finally came to a stop. A beautiful, heart-shaped paperweight caught my attention. Susan saw my eyes light up. Like a good girl, I talked myself out of the breakable item and continued on until the booth was out of sight.

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I’ve never seen so many unique and beautiful crafts. Painters sold prints of their Northwestern paintings for five dollars. Knitted caps, wooden boxes & spoons & boards, pottery, metalwork, photographs, purses, jewelry, leather, hand cream, all handmade, were a feast for the eyes. Tempting myself had lowered my resistance and I reached the end of an aisle, it disserted me completely.

The teenager is a huge Star Wars fan and Darth Vader called to me. Dale, the artist stained his coppery head on a black tee. I’ve never seen anything like it. Dale and I talked for about thirty minutes and he explained his process of bleaching the image onto the t-shirt, then dunking it in coffee. The strength of the coffee determines the darkness. Remember too, Seattle is known for it’s coffee. The first Starbucks sits directly across from Pike Place. So I gave in to the dark side and purchased one for the teenager and different design for the Marine. After all I reasoned, t-shirt are flat and easy to pack.

The true test came as we had to pass the glass blowers again and that gorgeous paperweightglass heart. My feet slowed, indecision volleyed in my brain, but I refused to touch it. I turned to Susan and asked her opinion. She repeated all that I had said to her. In other words, no. If I had to take a carry-on, I’d need to check a bag, which costs extra money. So the price on whatever I was bringing home would actually cost more.

Ten feet from the stall, my friend turned to me, a guilty expression on her face. Not able to stand it, she handed me a box. “Happy Birthday,” she told me. “That’s why I didn’t want you to buy one.”

My birthday present was getting to go to the writing conference. And whole weekend was one I’ll never forget.

Walt Mussell - January 10, 2014 - 2:26 pm

I love Seattle. We used to visit often when we lived in Portland.

Marilyn Baron - January 10, 2014 - 2:30 pm

This was a great post. I’ve never been to Seattle but your writeup makes me want to visit.

Carol Burnside - January 10, 2014 - 2:57 pm

I’ve never been to Seattle either. The fish market pic reminds me of Hawaii, the fruit/veggie stand pic of a market in Barcelona. The same one Marilyn wrote about awhile back. It certainly sounds like you and Susan had a wonderful time.

Pam Asberry - January 10, 2014 - 3:26 pm

I have visited Seattle once and thought it was amazing. Thanks for letting me see it again through your eyes, Sia!

Susan Carlisle - January 10, 2014 - 7:12 pm

Thanks for the great memories. Pike’s was fun!.

Sia Huff - January 11, 2014 - 9:56 am

Hi Walt,
I didn’t know you lived on the West coast. The area is beautiful. Any insider information for when I go back?

Sia Huff - January 11, 2014 - 10:00 am

Thanks, Marilyn. If you liked Pike Place, just wait, Susan and I discovered all kinds of wonderful places. And I’m sure we just touched the tip.
Seattle wasn’t on my bucket list, but I loved it and want to go back.

Sia Huff - January 11, 2014 - 10:10 am

It was fun, Carol. I haven’t been to the one in Hawaii. Guess I need to go back to Hawaii. Maybe you could give a personal tour?

Sia Huff - January 11, 2014 - 10:11 am

You’re very welcome, Pam. Glad you enjoyed going back. I agree, it is an amazing place.

Sia Huff - January 11, 2014 - 10:15 am

It was fun, Susan. We took Seattle by whirlwind, didn’t we?

Maxine - January 11, 2014 - 7:44 pm

Sia, This was a wonderful blog. We went to Seattle to catch our first Alaskan cruise. Had one afternoon to go to Space Needle, Pike Market and “walk around.” I felt like we ran not walked. Had a quick walk-through in Pike Market. If I lived close by, I’d go every day. Thank you for reminding me why I need to go again!

Sia Huff - January 11, 2014 - 10:34 pm

Great, Maxine, now I have a good reason to go back – an Alaskan cruise. We did the speed version as well. I agree with you, I lived out there, I’d go to Pike Place at least once a week. So much to see and choose from.

Juliet Martini - January 12, 2014 - 11:53 am

Great piece Sia! I will be adding these items to my Seattle list for when I do get there hopefully sooner than later! Can’t wait to read more of your travel blogs in the future — you put me on location front and center!

Sandra Elzie - January 15, 2014 - 1:31 pm

I’ve only been to Seattle once…and didn’t have long in town. You make me want to go back for a longer visit. Great article.

Debbie Kaufman - January 15, 2014 - 4:20 pm

LOL, on the birthday gift! Oh, I do want to go and see Seattle one day, even more now!

Sia Huff - January 16, 2014 - 5:23 pm

Thanks, Juliet. You’ll love Seattle! I hope you enjoy the rest of my trip via the blogs. We did all the sightseeing in less than thirty-six hours. :)
Thanks for commenting.

Sia Huff - January 16, 2014 - 5:25 pm

Glad you enjoyed it, Sandy. Seattle was a bit of a surprise for me. I had zero expectations and fell in love with the place. Of course, we had two beautiful, sunny days. You should go back, you’ll enjoy it.

Sia Huff - January 16, 2014 - 5:28 pm

Hi Debbie. Wait til this week and I tell you about Bainbridge Island. You’d have fun, I’m sure. Hopefully, you’ll get to go soon. Sometimes the best gifts are the ones you give yourself.

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