Well past the halfway point of our road trip (working towards a Sept 15 deadline), we knew we had to get to our next big destination as quickly as possible. That meant, unfortunately, that we could only spend a couple of hours in super cool Seattle, which probably has a lot more to offer than we could manage.
We took the ferry from Bainbridge Island into Seattle, and immediately hit up Pike Place Market. An incredible year-round indoor market, Pike Place has dozens of fresh farmer stands, fish vendors (including the famous fish throwers), and artisans. It was late afternoon by the time we arrived but crowds of people still filled the walkways. We’d move to Seattle just to have daily access to this amazing market.
We were itching to try some fresh seafood, so we strolled into Lowell’s, a 3-story restaurant and longtime Pike Place fixture. Kristen ordered her standard fare of Fish n chips, while Loren couldn’t resist trying Seattle’s famed dungeness crabcakes and veggies. Both dishes hit the spot.
Even though we aren’t great lovers of Starbucks, we had to stop in at the flagship location, just up the street from Pike Place. We were baited into trying the “clover” brew machine for one Pike Place coffee, and decided to compare it with the regular-brew. There was certainly a difference - clover was much more bold - but all Starbucks coffee seems characteristically dark and possibly over-roasted in flavor. The flagship Starbucks was a really nice space, but we couldn’t dawdle. By 7pm, we were on the road continuing east as far as we could make it.
Around midnight, we’d arrived at the Idaho state line, and made a desperate call to the Hampton Inn, where we got a government rate room and happily arrived 30 minutes or so later in Coeur D’Alene. Yes, it was a bit of a splurge compared to camping, but after 6 straight nights of tent sleep, we could use the comforts of indoor life. It gave us the chance to do a bit of laundry (that’s right, Kristen did all of the laundry by hand in the bathroom sink, not realizing that there were laundry machines that took a few quarters near the lobby) and utilize more wifi before hitting the hay around 2am.
We awoke early to scavenge the complimentary breakfast pickings multiple times, stocking up on bananas, apples, oranges, hard-boiled eggs, yogurts, and teas, before continuing Northeast to our most awaited stop: Glacier National Park.