This past weekend, my grandparents drove all the way from North Carolina to see me. They drove for nine days, stopping in various towns across the United States to coincide with my weekend. I was at market on Saturday in Issaquah with my boss Ashley, so they came to see me there.
After I finished work, they came to the farm, where they met my farm family. I was able to show them around, showcasing my knowledge of various plants and farming practices (this has drastically changed within the past three months I’ve been here). I then packed up to head outside the farm for a weekend of exploring Washington (or at least the Seattle area).
Our first stop was Snoqualmie Falls. The Falls are close to the farm, only about a 20-minute drive from the farm, if not less (I once planned to bike there, but it’s a 35-minute ride. With my little cruiser, I would probably not make it). If you have seen Twin Peaks, this is one of the places that was in the series (I haven’t seen it yet, so I couldn’t tell you the reference point). There is a hotel, the Salish Lodge, that peeks over the top of the falls, supposedly also shown in Twin Peaks (again, lack of reference point). There are two ways to see the Falls. First, by train. You can catch the train in Snoqualmie on the weekends during the summer only. It will take you to North Bend, through Snoqualmie, then to the falls (We didn’t ride it because it was Thomas the Tank Engine weekend. Tickets were obviously sold out). Secondly, by car. There are various parking lots available, but on weekends, they do tend to be more crowded, as it is a touristy area. I saw people it seemed from everywhere (There was even a wedding occurring on one of the greenspaces along the trail down to see the falls). The falls are pretty, but they are definitely smaller than Niagara Falls, which is close to my home in Pennsylvania. Not that I would compare the two, they are each different in their own way. I think it would have been even more exciting though, if I had watched Twin Peaks (Fall semester goals).
After searching around for food options (which are kind of limited for some reason. There aren’t a whole lot of places to eat for a seemingly touristy area), we had dinner at Lorenzo’s Pizza and More, which is in the newer part of Snoqualmie. The Snoqualmie that I am familiar with is the downtown area, which has many shops, and of course, the coin laundry (Read my post on that here!). I hadn’t had pizza since probably May, so this was a welcome change of food scenery. My diet mainly consists of rice or pasta with some variation of vegetables. Occasionally, I throw some chicken in there, but mostly vegetables (Read my post about food on the farm here!). Therefore, we had a Meat Lover’s pizza complete with cheese, ham, sausage, and bacon. It was delicious!
After dinner, we went to our hotel in Renton and began resting up for the next day. (I also had a chance to watch TV for the first time in almost 2 and a half months (I’m currently finishing up Season 6 of Nashville. I’m the kind of person who can only watch one tv show at a time (Don’t judge me))).
On Sunday (technically, my Saturday), we woke up and got ready to explore Seattle. Momaw was concerned about me not being able to sleep in, but my body was awake and ready to go by 5am (Yes, Mom. I am a morning person. Sometimes.).
Our first stop of the day was Pike Place Market. Walking in, I was instantly reminded of my time in Morocco. All the mornings I spend wandering through the medina with the vegetable and craft stalls. Except the difference was everyone was speaking English for the most part (There were a lot of tourists from all over here too, so you’ll catch a blip of another language every now and then). It was crowded and everyone was walking in a million different directions. It was so familiar, yet so different (No bargaining here unfortunately). There were also so many flower vendors lined up against the whole left side of the market. I was mesmerized by the huge flower bouquets that were so well put together (I have recently learned that putting together bouquets are MUCH harder than it looks). I especially loved the bouquets that included huge peonies in them, peonies are my favorite. At the corner of the market, was the famous Pike Place Fish Market. You could tell because of the small crowd surrounding it. There were two levels of the market, the lower level was where fish of all sizes were submerged in ice. The top level was where the workers were packaging orders to send off to customers. In front of the crowd, there was a man talking to customers and answering questions from the crowd. When we arrived, nothing was happening except for the men packaging the fish. Then all of the sudden, he threw a fish to the top level, which it was then thrown back down to him. He caught it right above this one girl in the crowd, who seemed pretty relieved that he did. Momaw didn’t have her camera ready, so she asked him to do it again. And he did! Eventually there was an order and we got to see the fish thrown for real rather than for show, like the last two times. I would never be able to catch a fish (In middle school, I was always put as goalie during the soccer unit in PE and so rather than catching it with my hands, I usually just got hit in the face. This also happened during the volleyball unit. Needless to say, I can’t catch). Also, in Pike Place Market is the original Starbucks. I love Starbucks. My friend Hunter got me hooked on it in high school. In turn, I got my parents both hooked on it. Usually when I’m home, my family goes to Starbucks and gets frappes no matter what season it is. I always have to order for my dad, even when I’m not there (He always tells my mom when she goes to order, “Whatever Sarah usually orders for me”. My mom never knows what that is). I didn’t go in this Starbucks though, because the line was long.
Our next stop was the Seattle Space Needle. The whole time I was there, I was reminded of my many experiences at Disney World (Large crowds, long lines, it was hot, looked like I stepped into Tomorrowland). My grandfather bought tickets for me and Momaw to go up in the Space Needle at 1:30. In the meantime, we explored the surrounding area. There were also many other attractions surrounding the Space Needle, including the Museum of Pop Culture, the Armory, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center. There’s also several little shops and a park. We were getting hungry, so we had hotdogs from a stand called Hotdogs in the Park (If you know me, you know I love hotdogs). At 1:30, we returned to the Space Needle entrance and we got in line for the elevator. We had to go through a security checkpoint and get a souvenir picture taken. Once we got to the elevator, we were crammed in with several other people, much like how I cram 30 bags of cut greens into a plastic bin for market (changed up the metaphors). It took only 41 seconds to get to the top floor (which was much faster than our hotel elevator which only went up 4 floors). The top floor has a wine and snack bar, then you step out into the observation area. It has slanted glass windows with an open-air ceiling, so when taking pictures, you can lean back into the city of Seattle. Everything was so small from above and you could even see Mount Rainier from a distance. I took LOTS of pictures. The view was too beautiful not to. When we finished with the top floor, we walked down the stairs to the lower floor, which had the revolving observation area. This one was not open air; however, the view was just as beautiful. The floor also had see-through glass so that you could look down below. Momaw doesn’t like heights or the see-through glass. So, I had to hold her hand a couple times (that’s what granddaughters are for!). Once we were done, we took the elevator back down (still 41 seconds) and reunited with Grandfather for our next adventure.
Grandfather wanted me to see different parts of Washington, so we decided to go see Mount Rainier. The visitor’s center (or so we thought) was only an hour and a half away, so we drove that way until our cell phones lost service and we hit a dirt road. Along the way, Mount Rainier got bigger and more beautiful as we drove closer. We drove on the dirt road for at least 20 miles before we reached a campground with a beautiful lake. It wasn’t what we were expecting, but it was really beautiful to discover, nonetheless. Apparently, if we had wanted to go to the visitor’s center, we would have needed to take the other entrance. Oh well. It was memorable and I got to spend time with my grandparents (even if it was freaking out about how close Grandfather was driving to the edge of the cliff when going around the curves or laughing about how dusty the car was due to the dirt road).
Unfortunately, Monday was the day that my grandparents would have to leave me, but I still had a full day ahead with them. Momaw loves thrift shopping, so I took her to Issaquah to Value Village, where I have been able to find some good stuff. Then we headed down to Snoqualmie.
As you may have gathered from my previous posts (Check it out here!), I love Snoqualmie. It’s very small, but cute. I took them to the Northwest Railroad Museum, which was open (This is where you can take the train to the Falls). They have a couple trains on display to look at. I also walked down to some of the shops, though unfortunately, most of them are closed on Mondays. So, we headed to North Bend.
North Bend is also small but has a couple of shops and places to wander though. We started off in Boomerang, my favorite thrift store, then headed downtown. Downtown is where Twede’s Cafe (Another Twin Peaks filming location) is located. It is open for business and a lot of people go there to eat. We also went in Selah Gifts, which is a cute little gift shop that has a lot of Twin Peaks gifts and other things. North Bend also has outlet malls, which we wandered around for a little bit until dinner time.
For dinner, I took them to one of my favorite restaurants Rio Bravo. Mexican food is something that I always get with Momaw when I am home, so I thought that this would be a good place to go.
After dinner, it was time to take me back to the farm and say goodbye. I get to see my family only a little bit at a time, so it makes it harder every time I have to do so. But I am so appreciative for the time that I do get to spend with them. I am so thankful for my grandparents for driving all this way to see me, it truly meant a lot. They are in Arizona now, visiting with my great uncle and aunt and will return to North Carolina shortly before I return!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my weekend and looking at the pictures. What are some of your favorite places in Seattle?