Seattle by Foot

Our bikes were safely stashed in the basement. With the tour officially completed, and the steep hills throughout Seattle, I felt justified in trading my cycling shoes for my only other pair of footwear. My Keens sandals just became walking shoes.

Our good weather fortune followed us to Seattle, gracing us with clear blue skies and days reaching the 70s. I shuddered to think that the temperatures back home were stuck in the 40s as I enjoyed two days of lovely warm sunshine.

Our cycling friends, Stephanie and Scott, took us under their wing and pampered us with good company, excellent food and welcoming surroundings. We immediately agreed to their proposal to attend the pancake breakfast at the Swedish Institute. Filling ourselves on light rolled pancakes smothered in lingonberries to the accompaniment of accordion music, we were fascinated by the stories of a young family that had just returned from a year traveling around the world. Our mere month on the road paled in comparison.

We'd been in Seattle several times before, but that still left plenty to explore. The eclectic area of Freemont was just across the bridge, and provided a fun place to walk. It was also a convenient location to meet a friend for coffee, where I marveled at the artistic prowess of the local baristas. Seattle is a coffee Mecca.

Rich was content to adhere to having a rest day, but that term is not part of my vocabulary. So I ventured out on my own walking tour. I thoroughly enjoyed the Queen Anne area where our friends live. It was alive with ethnic restaurants, boutiques, outdoor cafés and of course coffee shops which attracted all manner of customers. People watching at its best.

I made my way down to Seattle Center, which I'd actually never seen before. It was pulsing with activity, largely populated by families. The sunny day seemed to bring out the joy in everyone, particularly those who were playing tag with the ever-changing patterns of water in the huge fountain. And of course, the Space Needle presided over everything.

It was inevitable that I would make my way to Pike Place Market. A lover of farmers' markets, I can't resist the sights, sounds and smells of the vendor displays vying for attention in that vibrant space. The ethnic shops surrounding the market are also a draw, offering so many options to tempt the palate and specialty goods to meet any niche need. Pike Place has always been a favorite of mine.

While my bike rested, my feet got a workout. And I covered just a little more of Seattle's bounty of offerings. It was a good trade off.


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