Friday, September 18, 2015

{ Travel } Exploring Seattle's Chihuly Garden & Glass and the Olympic Sculpture Garden (#IFBC)

Chihuly Garden and Glass located in the Seattle Center and the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Garden near the waterfront are must-see's when visiting the Emerald City


When I was packing last Saturday, the weather in San Diego was in the upper 80s, the humidity thick and muggy; I was dripping with perspiration just standing still. The combination was nearly unbearable – and it had been that way for weeks. Summer weather in San Diego doesn't usually start until late August with the heat often lingering through October. My dresser drawers stood open, clothes moving from them to the bed to the suitcase then back to the drawers as I wrestled with what to pack. I checked the weather app on my iPhone. Seattle's weather forecast called for low to mid 60s with some chance of rain. Normally, I would not be looking forward to spending precious vacation time in a cold, rainy city but at that very moment, the thought of being enveloped in the cool grayness of the Puget Sound filled me with excitement.

I'm visiting the Emerald City to participate in the International Food Blogger Conference starting today and running through Sunday afternoon. It's my first time at this conference and my second blogger conference ever so I'm super stoked. The conference focus is food, writing and technology and I'm looking forward to soaking up new tips and tricks to continue growing the quality of this site's words and visuals. I'm looking forward to several of the sessions not to mention, spending time with a room full of folks who are just as passionate about food and blogging as I am. Plus, we'll have the opportunity to taste lots of local eats and drinks from some of Seattle's best local restaurants. So, you know, there's that. Yum!

I came into town five days early to get some exploring in before the conference starts. I've had time to clear my head of the stress and grief it's been filled with over the last month. Bonus, I've had a chance to catch up with a good friend who lives here in the Seattle area, and, in the name of research, eat more baked goods then I've allowed myself to partake of in over a year.


I started my first full day in Seattle with a visit to Chihuly Garden and Glass located at Seattle Center near the Space Needle. As a former arts photo editor, I've known of and admired the work of glass artist Dale Chihuly for years. However, nothing prepared me for the spectacular exhibits housed in eight galleries, the awe-inspiring Glasshouse and the lush gardens that immediately had me looking around for the Caterpillar and Cheshire Cat from Wonderland because the gardens are just that whimsical and fun. I'll let the photos do the talking here for a bit:

The Glass Forest

Northwest Room

Sealife Room

Persian Ceiling

Mille Fiori

From the Ikebana and Float Boat Gallery

Chandeliers

Macchia Forest

The Glasshouse

And finally …
The Garden

Walking around the Seattle Center, worked up an appetite. It was a weird time, not quite lunch and not quite dinner time either. After pondering some of the recommendations given to me before I left San Diego, I made a quick 4 minute drive over to the neighborhood of Belltown and visited Macrina Bakery and Cafe.


When I asked the gal behind the counter what the most popular lunch item was, she said that it was hard to pick because the menu changed weekly according to what is in season. Already, I liked this place. She mentioned that having said that, the Demi Baguette was pretty much a staple. It's a ham and cheese sandwich with fresh greens. 


When food is this simple, the quality of the ingredients have to be spot on and this was. The sandwich was made fresh to order, the bread warm with a thin, snappy crackling crust and tender interior, just what a good baguette should be. The cold ham and cheese provided a refreshing contrast to the warm bread and the slight peppery notes of the greens bring it all together. Simple, clean whole food that let's the ingredients take center stage is what makes this sandwich satisfying.


Along with a large double decaf latte, I also ordered an Italian Plum Roll that I wound up packing up to go as the baguette and coffee more than filled me. The coffee, by the by, was delicious. Piping hot, just like I love it with thick, creamy foam. The roll was good, though a little tough but that was most likely from eating it much later that evening after dinner. So I won't put that in the "miss" column because the flavor was delicious and the interior of the roll was soft and buttery with wonderful sticky plum and nuts (pecans, if I had to guess). 

After satiating my hunger, I meandered over to the Olympic Sculpture Garden just minutes away from the bakery. 


Spread over 9 acres, this public park contains a collection of medium to large sculptures with plenty of grass and seating. The park, an offshoot of the Seattle Art Museum, is open 365 days a year and is free to the public. 


The park, located near the waterfront, is filled with lots of chairs, affording sunset views of the Puget Sound. Contrary to the solitude I choose to express in these photographs, there were waves of people walking their dogs, jogging, eating at some of the tables located at the then closed cafe, and couples strolling hand in hand, stopping to admire the sculptures. 


Visiting all three places made for a wonderfully relaxing afternoon. Next time you're in Seattle, make time for one or all three on your must-do list. I don't think you'll be disappointed one bit. 

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Address: 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109
Hours: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Phone: (206) 753-4940

Macrina Bakery and Cafe

Address: 2408 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
Hours: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Phone:(206) 448-4032

Olympic Sculpture Park

Address: 2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: 206.654.3100 & TTY 206.441.4261

As a Citizen Blogger for the International Food Blogger Conference, I received discounted registration in exchange for creating a minimum number of posts related to #IFBC, subject matter to be of my own choosing. Photographs and opinions expressed in these posts are 100 percent my own.

2 comments:

  1. How I envy you your visit to the Chihuly Museum and Garden - one day I will get there - meanwhile, enjoy IFBC!

    ReplyDelete