Saturday, May 7, 2011

My first time to Seattle

With all the traveling I do, it's hard to believe that I've never been to Seattle. I think I've visited or passed through every other notable large city in America (except Philadelphia and New Orleans are still on the list). But Seattle, I had yet to get there until this past week. Now I didn't get to see much of it but I got a taste and that taste will draw me back (hopefully soon!).

I flew out with some radio folks and friends from Centricity Music for a radio event in Winthrop, WA. We had the opportunity to retreat to the mountains for a few days to hear new music from downhere, Jason Gray and Aaron Shust. A fun time in a breaktaking environment.

We flew back into Seattle from Winthrop on Thursday and were not scheduled to fly back to Nashville until Friday. So Thursday afternoon/evening we had the chance to drive into downtown for lunch and to look around a bit.

I guess when you only have a few hours and you've never been to Seattle before, it seems best to hit the Pike Place Market. Seems like the one touristy thing to do. So we did.

Pike Place Market
We ventured down for lunch and landed at the Athenian Inn at Pike Place. My friend Jen thought it was the place where they filmed the scene with Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner for Sleepless in Seattle. She was right. When you walk in the door to the host stand, there to the right are the counter and stools and the two stools on the corner are marked with plaques. And yes, I did snap a picture on my phone.

It says, "Tom Hanks Sat Here / Sleepless in Seattle."
My vegetarian eats there: The veggie sandwich with hummus, avocado, lettuce, tomato and sprouts on toasted wheat bread.

After lunch, we just wandered through the market. We saw the fish counter where they throw the fish. It was a fish being thrown -- mildly entertaining.

Then of course, we had to stop by the Pike Place Starbucks. It was a pilgrimage of sorts for this former Starbucks barista. It wasn't much to look at and the coffee tasted the same but if you're there, you gotta go.

Ta-dah! First Starbucks Store
They have a system here. One barista forms a line near the door and directs customers to open cash stations to place orders and pay. Then you wait at the bar for your drink. All the mugs and such on the shelves are for display only; to purchase you point at the one you want from a sheet at the register and they have them boxed up in back already waiting for you. There are no tables here; you don't hang out. You come in, get your drink and/or your souvenir, and you continue on your way. Even though the traffic must be something fierce while you're open, at least you don't have a front of house to clean and customers to kick out at closing time every day. And no drive thru. I'd take that.

So that was my first trip to Seattle. I texted my friend Leslie, "Why have we not come here together?" Neither of us had an answer. Some day, soon hopefully.

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