Spring has sprung when I arrived, and what a perfect way to welcome it by visiting the Tulip Festival at Skagit Valley, which happened to be the midpoint between Vancouver, and our weekend destination, Seattle. The festival occurs yearly from April 1-30, so last April 28, we were right in the nick of time before the tulips completely whither.
Rows and rows of vibrant tulips greeted us as an early Mother’s Day celebration. There were colors ranging from orange to purple and red, even yellow-red and yellow-blue! The rain and cold weather did nothing to dampen our spirits because we were surrounded by such beauty.
The next day, we set off to see the city’s main attractions, starting with Pike Place Market. Down the road, we were intrigued by a long line outside Piroshky Piroshky. Without really knowing what it was, we fell in line for the hype train. We were greeted by the smell of hot bread and a choice of flavors between sweet and savory. I was definitely delighted with the garlic and cheese bread, as well as the apple cinnamon.
Right next door from Piroshky stands the first Starbucks Coffee in the world! It’s fascinating to see that aside from holding the original logo, the store itself, with its chestnut brown interiors, is actually quite small, reminding people of the mainstream coffee chain’s humble beginnings.
The market itself sells all sorts of things- pieces of art, fresh tulips, fruits and seafood and even the Guiness’ world record for spiciest chilli sauce!
Here’s a little bookstore selling both new and used books, but what I appreciated were the notes people left after reading them. Got myself quite an interesting read, “If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler,” due to its metafictional nature (it’s about a reader trying to read a book of the same title and addressed in second person, then in third person).
Another area that caught my attention is the gum wall, whose name speaks for itself- loads of chewed up bubble gum stuck by random people on these walls. Loving the dangling aesthetic and the bubble gum scent! Careful not to come too close, you might get some stuck on your hair haha.
But bubble gum isn’t the only thing poppin’ in Seattle. Making our way through the Museum of Pop Culture, we discovered more about Seattle’s homegrown talents. It is after all, the birthplace of grunge where rockstars like Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains hail. What really excited me was seeing Jimi Hendrix’ memorabilia on exhibit. Josh is a big fan, with Jimi’s influence being the reason that he got his stratocaster. Seeing Jimi’s strat in person felt surreal, and I’ll definitely come back so he could see it too.
Then, seeing the Nirvana exhibit got me nostalgic, their songs drawing me back to my teenage angsty days and that one time I was asked to play bass for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” when a friend’s bassist backed out at the last minute.
The MoPop isn’t just about showing the lives and creative process of such great talents, but also engaging the visitors with interactive music lessons. At the Sound Lab, you get to choose any instrument and they’ve got computer guides that’ll teach you the basics, a few songs, plus you’ll be able to record your songs or jam at a studio booth!
At that time, there was even a Marvel exhibit, but time didn’t permit us to go as the museum closes at 7. Unfortunately, most of the Space Needle was under construction too.
With that, we headed back to Vancouver in the promise of returning here someday. Seattle is a charming city; our weekend trip was but a glimpse of its arts and music scene, and coffee culture.