The Seattle buzz is a caffeinated mix of walks, ferries, and shopping

Sunset  – September 5, 2004

We started our first morning in Seattle, natch, with a fresh dose of caffeine ― this time from Tully’s Coffee in Pioneer Square, a 10-minute walk from Belltown or a short ride on the free downtown bus. We then joined Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour for a peek at the subterranean sidewalks that remain at the original street level of Seattle. The popular tour was totally fascinating ― well worth it, we decided, for $10 each.

Because we’d just seen them from below, we now had a new appreciation for the violet glass set in the sidewalk ― like skylights for the underground ― as we strolled through the home-furnishing district along Western Avenue, close to the waterfront. We stopped in Asian Style and Antique Importers, and I couldn’t help but imagine redecorating our home with the fine vases, antiques, and scrolls I saw. But in the interest of keeping the weekend within budget, we moved on.

I had to stop shopping anyway, because we had a boat to catch. We hopped on the Bainbridge Island ferry at its downtown dock and were happy to be out on the water, watching the gray towers of Seattle’s skyline recede.

The disembarking crowd led us to Bainbridge Island’s small town of Winslow. Gray clouds were gathering, so we ducked into Café Nola for soup and salad. By the time we were done, the sky was clear, so we took our time browsing the small town’s antiques and craft stores.

We took the long way back to the dock, walking a tree-shrouded trail through a park along the island’s shoreline. On the return ferry ride, Jim was relaxed enough to take a quick snooze before we docked.

Making our way back to Belltown, the European charm of the little neighborhood bistro Le Pichet drew us in. The food was superb innovative French, but the ambience was casual. Solo diners at the counter struck up conversations with each other, and many called the waiters by name.

It was a clear, cool evening, and the view of the bay at night was something to savor. We popped into Maximilien in the Market at Pike Place Market for yet more coffee and watched the lights of the boats serenely crossing inky Elliott Bay.

The Tab
$350 BUDGETDay 2
Tully’s Coffee
Caffeine and pastries

Underground tour
Peeking at Seattle’s underside

Western Avenue
Perusing houseware district
FreeBainbridge ferry
Views of Seattle skyline

Café Nola
Lunch on Bainbridge Island

Downtown Winslow

Le Pichet
Tasty French meal and wine

Maximilien in the Market
Coffee with a view of Elliott Bay


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