Tag Archives: Pacific Northwest

Visiting the Pacific Northwest Part 3: Pike Place Market

So we just got back from Pike Place Market and that was a really great experience.

On the way there I was able to snap a picture of the famous Space Needle from the freeway (sometimes a little traffic can be a good thing).

Jenn directed us to a parking garage and after some serious maneuvering by Stephen into a compact spot we were on our way.

There is so much to see in the market. It’s like one really huge bazaar. Also it is like a pregnant woman’s dream with all the snacks and food available along the way. They have every kind of food you could imagine: Thai, Chinese, Italian, seafood, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican, etc.

There are also pastry shops and of course that famous Seattle coffee all over the place. There is this one cheesecake shop that sells little cheesecakes that are like 2-3 inches in diameter. There are so many flavors and it all looked so yummy. They also have these totally amazing cheesecake truffles. It is basically a ball of cheesecake dunked in really delicious chocolate. I had two New York style cheesecake truffles and Stephen had a Mexican chocolate one that had cinnamon and cayenne pepper in it. He said it was the perfect combination of spices and chocolate.

For lunch we went to Pike Place Chowder which has something like nine different kinds of chowder. We all went with traditional New England clam chowder.

We saw the very first Starbucks at 1912 Pike Place:

I didn’t get coffee there. I had a yummy chocolate mint mocha from a non-chain coffee shop called Local Color which also featured tons of art from local artists.

There were so many flower vendors. Flowers were everywhere. Tulips are in bloom right now so we saw a lot of those.

Little Kaela was able to con Jenn into buying her a $5 bouquet because “flowers are for princesses.” Jenn said she’s a sucker for that kind of stuff. I think if I had a little girl I definitely would be too. 🙂

We picked up a couple souvenirs, but nothing too annoying or unuseful. First we got a really great piece of artwork:

It was a little pricey, but it is large and we really need art for our house. We also got a cute onesie for Baby Wuertz:

Then before we left we got some really good, fresh donuts from a donut vendor (so good with my coffee) and some clams for dinner at the fish stand where they yell and throw the big fish.

Oh! We also have a story that illustrates just how laid back this place is. So this woman is driving through the market and getting frustrated at all the pedestrians. She starts honking her horn really loudly and this guy comes out taps on her window and says, “Hey! We don’t do that here.”

I love the metropolitan feel of this area yet the laid back nature of it. It just feels really comfortable. I also love how in the the area that the Halls live all of the houses, and I mean ALL of them, are exactly the style of house that is my favorite. There is so much nature and greenery all around too. I think the Pacific Northwest in general is one of my favorite places we have visited on vacation so far.

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Visiting the Pacific Northwest Part 2: The Oregon Tour

We set off on our tour of Oregon late Monday morning. Our first stop was some historical houses in Salem. We saw the Bush House built in 1877-78. It has a huge amount of property with really pretty gardens all around. Everything was in bloom. It is closed on Mondays though so we didn’t get to go inside.

Then we headed over to the Deepwood Estate which is next door and shares the large property of gardens. The Deepwood Estate was also closed that day.

We stopped off at the state capitol building for a quick picture and then we got on our way with the rest of the trip.

We headed out of town to Silver Falls State Park. We could have gone on a whole hike that would have taken us around the park to see several different waterfalls and behind them. It is a fairly easy hike that is actually paved, but I get out of breath a whole lot easier these days so we just hiked down far enough to get some good pictures of the south falls.

Even from that short amount of hiking I was totally out of breath when we got back up to the top. Dang squashed organs. We were stopping off at the bathroom before heading off to our next destination when we happened upon a small family of deer.

Then we headed towards Portland, stopping in Oregon City to see the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. We just barely missed the closing time by about 15 minutes so we didn’t get to go inside. There was some historical stuff on the grounds though so we checked it out.

Paula wanted us to look like travel weary settlers complete with bonnets. I tried to be a good sport about it, but it was not the picture I wanted so we took one of those too.

I have to say that covered wagons are a whole lot smaller than I expected. It is crazy to think that people actually traveled across the whole United States in one of those. I get uncomfortable in our very comfortable Accord after only a few hours. Yeesh.

Paula really wanted to take a picture with this buck we saw when we came into the park, but there was a sign that said “no climbing” so she settled on standing next to it.

Then we headed into Portland to get something to eat. The original plan had been to go to a lighthouse on the coast afterwards, but we ran out of time. And we were hungry so we decided on Portland.

We found a parking garage. It was really the first parking garage that we came upon. We should have tried a little harder to find one though. It was really, really old. The stairwell smelled like paint and had a rickity wooden staircase that we almost thought we got stuck in. None of the doors opened back. We finally decided to try the door that said “Emergency exit alarm will sound” and made it out onto the street. And that door didn’t open back up from the outside, but we at least figured we could go back around to the car entrance and get back in.

So we pretty much went to the first restaurant we saw which happened to be Jake’s Famous Crawfish. Apparently it is one of the top ten seafood restaurants in the nation and a famous Portland historical landmark.

Our food was delicious and the restaurant is really cool looking and pretty huge inside. We even had the most heavenly mini berry cobbler made with locally grown Oregon berries. It felt even better that instead of eating somewhere like The Cheesecake Factory which you can find in any major metropolitan city, that we ate at a place with history.

So then we headed back to the parking garage and it was closed! We had a total freakout moment and thought we might have to spend the night in Portland. We called the “emergency” number listed outside the parking garage and got the door code then got our car back luckily.

Yesterday we made our way to Bothell to hang out with the Halls and today Jenn is going to take us Pike Place Market. I can’t wait.

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Visiting the Pacific Northwest: Part 1

It is already Monday and we’ve been on our trip since Friday at 6pm so I figured I’d better get to writing before I forget it all.

Friday at 4:30 I had piles of outfits and toiletries everywhere and some stuff still wasn’t done. I was completely exhausted though. I called Stephen and gave him a warning. I then tried to take a short power nap, but it didn’t really help. I got up and started putting all the clothes and stuff into our suitcases. They were so full that the zippers were really hard to close. I struggled with the zipper on the larger of the two suitcases for five minutes before completely breaking down into nearly hysterical crying. It was pretty pathetic and not the way I had planned to start our trip.

I pulled myself together and managed to squish the clothes down to finally get the suitcase closed. Stephen got home and we finished the last bit of tidying up then we were on the road. The day before Stephen had purchased The Chronicles of Narnia unabridged audio book for us to listen to. So we popped in The Magician’s Nephew and became enveloped in the story.

We stopped at a Rally’s in Selma for dinner. It wasn’t very good. No wonder not many of those exist anymore.

Driving to Sacramento wasn’t that exciting. There’s not much to see in the valley and it was mostly dark anyway.

We finally arrived at the Vizcaya at 11pm. After a little confusion at the front door (they close at 10:30) we got in touch with the night clerk and were let in. The very limited parking is a bit of trek around the property so we headed back to get our stuff and then settle into our room.

The Vizcaya is really just like staying in an old house. It kind of smells like an old house. The carpet could use some updating, the doors creak, the sink drips and everything is pink. Well not everything. Stephen was just a little overwhelmed. It was cute and quaint though. I didn’t get any pictures of our room or the hotel though because it was too late. Perhaps on our return stay.

We layed down in the four poster bed and Stephen finally was able to witness the baby moving and feel it too. Then we went to sleep.

The next morning we enjoyed our complimentary breakfast of Belgian waffles, eggs and fruit in the small dining room with some of the other guests. We packed up our stuff and headed towards Oregon. Things began to get progressively greener and more mountainous.

You start to be able to see Mt. Shasta towering above everything before you even get to Redding (which is where we stopped for lunch). Having never been this far north before, I didn’t know if we would get a really good view of Shasta from the I-5. I could see that it was pretty close to the freeway, but it seemed like the mountains surrounding it would keep going and obscurring the view every so often. So when we saw a vista point turnoff south of the giant volcanic mountain we immediately took our opportunity to get a shot of it.

We soon learned though that things do flatten out and the better view actually comes after you get north of it. There wasn’t an official turnoff point though so Stephen wouldn’t stop. I got this shot as we were driving by rolling down my window:

The rest of the drive was really green and beautiful. There are a lot more mountains, trees, greenery, rivers and creeks. We saw hawks and even a family of deer. We finally arrived at my sister’s in Salem at about 7pm that night.

The next morning we got up for church. She’s working here as a youth pastor and it was her first time preaching. I’ve seen her really bomb at speaking in front of people before so it was really neat seeing her actually make it through and do a good job at it.

She was having her small group over that afternoon so we headed out with her boyfriend, Matt and decided to check out The Enchanted Forest theme park. The park is owned and created by a local Salem man. The whole thing is pretty cheesey and I think there are actually quite a few parts that most small kids would get freaked out by. There are a lot of cave structures that are very dark. After being at Disneyland last weekend this was just not up to par.

It did kill most of the time that we had to be away though. After Paula’s small group was done meeting we all went bowling. On the way there we passed this wicked looking building that used to be an insane asylum (officially Oregon State Hospital) and was actually where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed. I didn’t get any pictures though because we were in the car.

Bowling was tons of fun even if it wasn’t necessarily something touristy.

So that about does it for our first part. Today we’re actually going to go see some Oregon sites.

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