Day Three…Pikes and other seafood

Once again the day starts with uninviting cloud cover.  Rain is becoming just a memory however and breakfast awaits.  After, as we go to the car, the clouds begin to disappear and the sun breaks free.  This makes our excursion decision for the day much more enjoyable.

Pikes Market in Seattle is quite the place.  Yes…it’s a farmers market, but certainly one of massive proportions.  Covered, for the most part, three floors and sitting on the waterfront.  Vegetables, flowers and seafood abound, interspersed with deli’s, restaurants and cafe’s.  Parking in the area can be challenging.  However if you arrive early enough (between 9:30 and 9:45) and are willing to pay ($27 for 3 to 10 hours) you can park directly across the street.  Most people would say that’s a ridiculous amount when cheaper solutions are available, albeit somewhat further away.  True enough.  My 84-year-old mother, however, has both mobility issues and strong opinions on comfort and convenience.  I’m not only a good son, but also appreciate peace in the family.

Morning and part of the afternoon were spent taking in as much of the market as possible.  Given our impending relocation to a cruise ship, buying a lot of fresh anything didn’t seem prudent.  Lunch from Beecher’s Cheese Factory was our only real takeaway (along with a fridge magnet for mom).  But, there were two items I would definitely have liked to enjoy on a very personal level.  One were the fresh Morel mushrooms.  Have a peek at the picture but don’t drool on the screen…it’s just messy.

The second item was one that I have had the pleasure of enjoying with very good friends but much too far in the past.  Since then I haven’t ever seen them, which financially, is probably a good thing.  This delicacy is the giant lobster tail.  Again, take a look at the picture.  These beauties are about 1.5 to 2 pounds each.  Yep…that’s not a typo.  Physically, they are about the same size as my forearm from wrist to just past the elbow and about as thick.  If done properly, broiled in the oven with butter, garlic, paprika…the end result literally flakes like a buttermilk biscuit.  One other thing.  One tail will easily feed 4 people.  This is just one of those bucket-list items if you happen to like lobster tail.  🙂

The balance of the day is spent investigating some varying blends of local ‘grape juice’.  Given that there are over 600 wineries in Washington state, this is not a single-day endeavor.  Ste. Michelle was our first stop.  It has a very interesting history.  Prior to WWII it was a dairy farm.  Then, during the war, it became a vegetable farm helping to feed the troops.  Since then it has evolved into its present state as a very successful winery.  We managed to escape (after proper quality control testing procedures) with 5 bottles.

Being the designated driver, especially with certain goals trying to be achieved, has its drawbacks.  My formal wine tasting was now pretty much over for the day.  However I did manage to enjoy one swallow of a truly unique blend from Airfield winery (in Prosser).  From their aviation series, the name is Lightning.  It is a blend of Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne.  Ripe peach, citrus and vanilla highlight this truly enjoyable white.  The 18 months spent in American Oak bring to the fore the soft, buttery reminiscence of another American favorite – Chardonnay.  If the two bottles of this even make it to the ship, I’ll be pleasantly surprised.  The bigger problem?  I checked…they don’t export their wines.

Two other stops bring nothing exciting so off to another stop that ~some~ people felt necessary.  The Outlet Mall.  Thank goodness for an updated Garmin.  Mother didn’t do a lot of looking around and my own investigations were limited.  A shirt and swimming trunks were the best I could accomplish.  My wife, however, seemed to be more than a little satisfied with her new Couch…er…no….Coach…purse.  It will never cease to amaze me how many purses a woman can own and yet never have quite the right one or quite enough.  Ah well…remember…peace in the family.

Mother is getting a little tired and by the time we get back to the hotel, supper is waiting.  Back to the room to put the feet up once more, sit back and mull over the next day’s activities.  A quick check of the weather network shows a return of the rain (apparently it brings out the green in everything).  Maybe the ferry to Bainsbridge Island tomorrow….

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