Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Eastern Washington Day Two

How do you follow-up a picture-perfect day? Do it again! Vince & I grabbed a quick brunch at Pybus Market and headed to the bike rental shop to pick up a bike for me to ride (he'd grabbed his bike the night before). Then we set out to bike "the loop;" a nice bike trail that just about spans the entire town. It felt great to get outside and get active- especially after all the food we'd been eating hehe. After we'd worked up a decent sweat and freshened up at the hotel, we decided to head back to Leavenworth to do a little more sightseeing and try the local cuisine...

The Munchen Haus- heaven for brat lovers

And people who appreciate good beer!

Score- this was my favorite find

Oooh- the place to find some great house-made 
mustards, onion, and...sauerkraut :p

My dog of choice- the Big Bob bratwurst (1/3 pounder!)
topped with jalepeno and garlic mustards... good 
thing Vince had some too lol

Another great day. Vince's parents met us in Leavenworth, and it was nice to get to know them better. Great end to a great trip :)

Day One in Eastern Washington

Fresh from a good night's sleep at our new resting place in Wenatchee, Vince & I were ready to hit the road again (or at least after breakfast). We decided to head down to Wenatchee's new market building- The Pybus Public Market. That turned out to be a fantastic idea! The market was great; lots of local produce, locally-sourced food, good places to eat, and some well-done coffee. Ahh.

Shot of the interior

Some of the cafes- it was hard to decide where to go!

We finally picked the Pybus Bistro, which was a good call. I had a 
perfectly-executed omelet and probably the best croissant I've ever had (not 
to mention we had some yummy mimosas to round out the meal)

Full and caffeinated, Vince and I set out for Lake Chelan, a beautiful lake about 45 minutes from Wenatchee. I am glad I had such a good tour guide; gotta hand it to Vince for being a driving champ!

Lake Chelan

We admired the view of the lake and strolled the city's cute downtown area for an hour or so before heading back to Wenatchee to pick up Vince's mom before heading to Leavenworth- a storybook of a town in the mountains with Bavarian roots.

Pit stop at a fresh pressed cider mill

It was neat to see how they made their cider! On to Leavenworth...

Local brewery in Leavenworth

Some of the many cute little shops

OMG- an AMAZING chocolate shop where the confections are locally made

Great local charcuterie

Local bookstore

The weather was so perfect- we had to go check out Waterfront Park


And wow again- breathtaking

Vince & I on one of the paths

Back in town...

Dinner time at Visconti's Italian restaurant (yeah I know, Italian in
a Bavarian town, but it was really good)! Great end to a
picture-perfect day :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Seattle- Day Three

Happy with our apartment hunting activities from the previous day, we set out to do a last day of sightseeing in Sea-town. First stop: breakfast...

I have to admit I was a little skeptical, but I was so glad Vince wanted
 to go here; totally awesome. Had some great bacon, eggs, & the 
best buttermilk biscuit I've ever had- perfect explorer fuel...

Next stop: the Melrose Market in Capitol Hill. Very nice!

One of the MM vendors- mmm

Woohoo! Kaladi Bros. in Seattle (Kaladis is an AK-based
coffee company)! Way to represent!

Cool eclectic spice, candy, & herbal remedy shop in Capitol Hill

Hehe- some local art we saw on the way to the Ballard area

The bell in Ballard- a very cool neighborhood with a
Scandinavian background

Turned out that this day was the 50th anniversary of the Scandinavian Constitution and there was a ton of festivities. Vince and I had fun seeing the European flair and checking out the area for an hour or so and then decided to head back downtown...

The new Great Wheel at the pier- a must!

The view from the wheel- amazing :)

Our choice for dinner- something a little lighter...

...but still delicious! Our rolls of choice: Mr. Perfect & The Steetfighter

Time for a nice relaxing evening back at the hotel and some good siesta before the next part of our WA trip- a little road trip to Vince's neck of the woods in eastern Washington :)

Day Two In Seattle

Day one was great, but it was time to do a little homework. Vince & I are thinking of moving to Seattle in the fall and we needed to start scouting out potential places to live. Our first stop was The Greenhouse apartments in Colombia City. They were nice, but we fell in love with the next place we visited- The Station at Othello. Nice apartments, friendly staff, great views of Seattle, and close proximity to parks and bike trails. Perfect!

The apartments in Othello- very nice

Did I mention they are close to the new Light Rail? Super handy

Our next place to check out: Seward Park. So nice to sit
by the lake and soak in some sun

Dinner time- Vince was new to Thai food, but I convinced
him to give it a shot...

I knew he's like it- here is what his garlic shrimp looked like... 
garlic & spice & everything nice- mmm. Two thumbs up!

First Day In Seattle

With California behind us, it was time for the second part of our trip! Vince and got to Seattle, picked up his truck, and got acquainted with our new hotel room. We were ready to explore after a healthy morning of sleeping in :p

First stop- Pike's Place...

What is this?! A cheese shop?! We pretty much slept through
breakfast, so a grilled cheese sammie & some tomato soup sounded perfect

FYI- this is Beecher's cheese HQ in Seattle ;)


Time to walk off some of that cheese! We decided to walk
down to the pier area and check out the scene- cool new sculpture!

Lol- well we walked off some of the cheese, and then Vince
zero'd in on Gelatiamo! I couldn't say no...haha

First day in Seattle was definitely a home run. After our indulgent day of dairy, we went relatively light for dinner- Greek food at Lola's. Had some excellent lamb kabobs and sautéed asparagus; mmm. Time to rest up for the next day!

Last Supper in Napa Valley

All I can say is that Vince & I definitely ended on a high note! Although I didn't think of it in time to get a reservation at The French Laundry, we did manage to get in at Thomas Keller's other Yountville establishment- Bouchon. What a treat...

I was so excited when I spied this hehe

We had to at least look at the bakery before dinner...

Now those were some pretty croissants

The main event!

Bread, butter, and pistachios

Bone marrow appetizer with a fantastic sauce! This was definitely not
something inside my comfort zone, but it was pretty delicious; much better 
than it sounds, and I'm glad I tried it! Cheers to trying new things!

My smoked octopus salad- super tender, super fresh, and super good

I was going to have the steak & frites, but I wanted to try and save room for dessert. Luckily, Vince got it- those were the best fries I've ever had! Garlicky, fresh, herbalicious, and drizzled with truffle oil- oh my... not to mention the steak was done to perfection ;)

Heaven on a plate! Chocolate mousse with a dark chocolate
ganache shell and some classy gold foil for pizzaz... yum

Totally could have ate this all myself haha! But we shared :)
Great end to our last day in Napa Valley!