Alaska adventure, part 1: Seattle

Dan and I have just returned from a 7-day cruise across Alaska’s Inside Passage with Dan’s parents, a stunning adventure which I will detail over the next few posts.

Our cruise embarked from Seattle, Washington, and Dan and I flew out a few days early to poke around. We had only spent time in Seattle together once before: 8 years ago, when we took a nearly identical Alaskan cruise. We have been itching to go back — both to Alaska and to Seattle — ever since.

Touristy as it may be, I will never visit Seattle without at least one visit to Pike Place Market, with its stalls of crab legs and fresh pastas and lush flowers.

I was not the only person smitten with the market’s flower selection. On our third (yes, third) visit, we stumbled upon a bride and groom snapping their wedding photos among the peonies.

Dan and my favorite discovery from this trip to Pike Place Market: Marnin Saylor and their “Pastry Pets” booth.

Marnin and Saylor are a married team of creators with an impeccable sense of design — their Pastry Pets experience extends right through the packaging, the stationery and business cards, even the little tongs that Marnin used to wrap up our new Maple Bear.

After the market, we also took a side trip to the adorable neighborhood of Ballard. I was on the hunt for a local Art-o-mat, and Ballard hosts the only one in the Seattle area. (See Art-o-mats in Winston-Salem and Santa Fe.)

We found our Art-o-mat within Venue, a quirky gallery-shop comprised of work by Seattle-based artists. Dan brought home a toiletries bag repurposed from an old sail.

Ballard is also home to Hot Cakes, a bakery specializing in molten chocolate cakes. Because of course.

Back in Seattle proper, Dan and I made a last-minute decision to take a spin on the Seattle Great Wheel, a 175-foot Ferris wheel hovering over the bay.

The Seattle Great Wheel would have been tremendous fun… except that I was recovering from a sinus infection, and apparently the combination of inflammation in my ear canal and the motion of the Wheel triggered a bout of vertigo that would last through the entire cruise and eventually send me to the ship’s Med Bay for drugs. Joy!

Coming soon: Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and more!

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