Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Waterfalls, Lavender, and Seattle

This morning, we headed over to the best breakfast place that I have ever had the fortune to visit: The Oak Table Cafe. After all of these years, it was still terrific ... how one place can make the best bacon and eggs with side of pancakes so far beyond any other I've tried ... it just blows my mind.

After fattening up and checking out of the hotel, we started west again on Highway 101. We stopped by Sunny Farms, a really nice farm market and picked up a few munchies & drinks for the day. It was raining out, but that's rather typical for this area.

We drove through Port Angeles and out to Crescent Lake, where we stopped midway to take the hike to Marymere Falls. Even with the drizzle, it turned out to be a very nice hike and not crowded at all. Even got to see some banana slugs.

From Marymere Falls, we headed back towards Port Angeles and decided to take a small side trip up the Elwha River. All the different times that we'd been past that park entrance and never went ... odd. Anyway, it was really pretty up that way, despite the fog and rain, and we got some great shots of one of the reservoirs.

From there, it was time to gas up in Port Angeles. At that point, I grabbed the local paper: thePeninsula Daily News. Why? The day before, two very bizarre (one tragic) incidents occurred. The first was some idiot who got drunk and led police on a high speed chase through downtown. Not that odd, except for how it ended .. his car drove off a pier and flew 180 feet into the bay. Yeehaw! See this article for the amusing details.

The second article was more tragic in that later I found out that one person actually died. A family was coming down off of Hurricane Ridge and lost control of their RV, rammed several cars, and went off into a 20-foot deep ravine. "Luckily", this happened closer to town, and not way up in the hills, where a vehicle could plunge several hundreds of feet. That article is here.

Our last stop before leaving the Olympic Peninsula was in Sequim at the Purple Haze Lavender Farm. This is one of my wife's favorite shops (last time we brought home several splays of dried lavender on the plane), so since she couldn't be with us both I and my mom picked her up some lavender stuff.

At last, it was time to bid au revoir to the Olympics and head to Seattle. We drove down and caught the Bainbridge-Seattle ferry just in time for downtown Seattle rush hour. Good times! The trip over was nice, though very overcast and cold. We didn't have far to drive to make it to the hotel over on 5th Avenue (right next to the Monorail tracks).

After all of the driving and rainy weather, we decided to just stroll down the block to find a place to eat. We were recommended to Amore, a small bistro, and were not disappointed! During dinner, I tried an Alpine Weizen Bock and a Maritime Pacific Imperial IPA. Food was delicious!

After this late dinner, the parents were ready to retire. I watched a bit of TV but was still keyed up, so I decided to walk down 5th for a while. It was almost balmy (for Seattle) and the rain had stopped; perfect evening for a stroll. Within 15 minutes, I round myself walking into the Seattle location of Rock Bottom. I ambled up to the bar for a sampler and tucked in. I sampled Daylight, Faller Wheat, Peashooter Pale Ale, Rain City Red, Brown Bear Brown, Flying Salmon Stout, and Hop Bomb IPA. This was my first experience at a Rock Bottom, though I'd tried a few at festivals. I still have not been to the one in Pittsburgh (Homestead) and I'm still not in a hurry.

The more interesting part of the experience was striking up a convo with the guy two seats down at the bar ... long story short: he was up from L.A., first time in Seattle. Turns out he's originally from Williamsport, PA and had two siblings who attended the university where I teach. Furthermore, it turns out he's the brother-in-law of the lawyer who did the closing on my house two years ago. Small world freakyness!!

After that, I walked back to the hotel and called it a night.

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