Gray skies and craft beers
17.05.2016 - 18.05.2016 64 °F
It's so good to be back to wifi!
After two super relaxing days on the Empire Builder, we have safely arrived on the West Coast. The rest of the trip was truly beautiful. When we entered the Great Plains of Montana, some guides from the national parks came on to narrate the vistas around us. We learned a lot and surprisingly REALLY enjoyed it! Being in the lounge above the bar car may have enhanced that enjoyment a little.
We made a friend in the lounge car, too! The great majority of our fellow passengers have been retired couples who are traveling to see their adult children, or are just vacationing like us. They've been wonderful (for the most part) but sometimes hard to relate to, for us. So, we were thrilled to meet someone our age from Leavenworth, WA and hang out with her for a while. She even came to dinner with us as we entered Glacier National Park. Nothing will bring people together like snaking through the mountains while dining on Amtrak-grade Pad Thai. The pictures hardly do it justice.
After the park, it was a short trip through Washington before arriving in Seattle! We were so excited to get off the train and get some real food, we had been packed and ready to go about for about 3 hours before that.
From the train station, we walked with our big backpacks right to the Puget Sound to hop on a ferry to Bainbridge Island. From the ferry we were able to see all of Seattle. I was hoping to see a sea lion, but there weren't any around at the time.
The island was so pretty and cute. We stopped for a quick lunch and then ditched our packs behind the counter so we could walk around. Those things are heavy... While exploring, we found the COOLEST community garden that's ever existed behind a church. It really gave me a lot of inspiration for my future gardening projects. They had their own greenhouse, little bee houses, and even a "Little Free Library" (a community book exchange program found all over Seattle) full of organic gardening books. We showed ourselves around inside and no one seemed to mind.
It happens to be craft beer week in Seattle, so we came back to the mainland to check out the local offerings. We stopped by Elysian brewery in Capitol Hill for dinner and fabulous beer. However, the event they putting on included karaoke during dinner hours. Normally, this would have kept me there all night, but this was possibly the worst excuse for karaoke that I've ever heard in my LIFE! And I have heard a lot of bad karaoke. I don't want to be cruel, but I suspect they have never heard a truly talented karaoke singer in this town. We had to get out of there.
Good thing we did, too! While exploring the neighborhood (we saw a huge co-op!) Claudia had to use the bathroom so we went to a place that sounded promising--Chuck's Hop Shop. Little did we know, it was like a beer drinkers paradise! They say they are the house of 1000 beers, and I believe it. They had about 50 beers of ALL kinds on tap, and every beer you could imagine in bottles and six packs. It was like a beer store and a bar at the same time. Claudia and I were like little kids in a foreign candy store. It was so much fun! Most of the selections were from west coast microbreweries so we'd never heard of them. We did find a few home-state brews though. And since people in Seattle bring their dogs everywhere, we even got to hang out with some really chill pups. It was nice since I've been missing my kitty a little bit.
Needless to say, we were ready for bed after leaving that place. Today, we are heading to Pike Place market for lunch and a quick pic of the space needle before we rent a car and drive Portland, OR. I hope I don't get hit with a flying fish!