So, let us return to the Day Of Eating in Seattle. When I left you, I was frolicking (read: slowly trundling rubbing my stuffed belleh) through some beautiful nature. Which was lovely. But food waits for no vegan, so once I left the park I walked about five minutes and waited for a bus, as I decided my next stop was a bit of a hike and I'd already had a bit of a hike this morning. My tootsies were feeling a teeny bit sore.
The place was Araya's, a vegan Thai restaurant I had heard amazing things about. The lovely Sidecar ladies had told me they had an all you can eat lunch, so this seemed to be the way to go.
This is the buffet. Nothing was labeled, so you just had to guess by looking. I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't a bit more exciting, to be honest. But really what I was was really, really full. Still.
This were my plates. I only managed one and a half plates, which is a pretty sad effort for an all you can eat. I was struggling a bit, at this point, but I tried my best because this is what one does on an eating food holiday. Gluttony is a tasty sin. The food was pretty good! Except for the spring roll, but that is because it was not fresh but had been sitting at the buffet, so was kind of warm and gluggy. I would love to go back to Araya's one night with a non-stuffed tummy and a couple of people and order up a storm from their regular menu - it looks amazing and I have heard such good things!
Araya's is in the U District, so I had mapped out some afternoon activities for myself before eating again. I meandered around the streets a little bit, and passed some nifty things.
Tim Minchin is an Australian comedian who I find hilarious. I saw him in Brisbane earlier this year. He was also in the US at the same time I was. Our travel plans actually did cross in Portland, but I didn't go because I am lame. Next time he is in Brisbane, I will see him for sure! Anyway, it was fun seeing his name up. I also found a really cool comic shop that I browsed through, later on this year Seattle is going to have some awesome geek girls convention thingy. I want to go! I also passed a cinema playing Forks Over Knives, but with no convenient screening times for me. Boo!
I had decided to spend the afternoon at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, which is at the University of Washington. They had a beautiful exhibit there, The Owl and the Woodpecker, which was a photography exhibition by Paul Bannick. The photos were stunning, and there was lots of nifty information about owls and woodpeckers and how they contribute to their natural environments. Lovely. They also had a Wolves exhibition, which was about wolves and how the changes in environment and human attitudes had impacted on wolf numbers and habitats. It was heavy on the stuffed wolves though, which I do find creepy. The best bit about it was a notice board where kids had put up their thoughts about wolves, most of them were amazingly compassionate. I hope they don't lose that. The rest of the museum includes a pretty comprehensive pacific nations section downstairs, as well as the general museum stuff: dinosaurs, rock specimens, prehistoric skeletons and the like.
The map that saved my day also can sometimes cause someone to stop into an extra restaurant just because it is nearby. The museum closed at 5pm, which was way too early to go and have dinner, so instead I stopped by here.
Hillside Quickie's Sandwich Shop. Seriously, vegan students at the University of Washington are spoiled for choice! This is a pretty low key little restaurant, but the guy behind the counter was very chatty, telling me about their other restaurants and locations as well. I was still working towards my plan of pizza for dinner, so I didn't buy any of the sandwiches. But it would be rude to leave with nothing.
So I bought a cookie. A chocolate chip cookie. The plan was to take it back to the hotel and eat it tomorrow on the train. But I forgot that in the US cookies are very soft and don't hold up well to extended travel in bags. Also I was just given it on a piece of paper. So I ate it, and it was good. I obviously needed a little something to give me the strength to walk up to dinner.
I wandered back up University Way until I reached Sidecar for Pigs Peace for some shopping fun times. The lovely ladies from the morning had gone, but the new ladies there were just as nice and lovely! I really like this little vegan shop (even more than Food Fight in PDX, I think!), it had a great range of food and some really cute stuff as well.
This is my little haul from Sidecar. I didn't buy too much, as I was planning on heading to Portland next with Food Fight and no sales tax, but I wish I had bought more from Sidecar. They had some things there that Food Fight didn't have, in the end. I got some Justin's Peanut Butter Cups, which I have decided are the Best Peanut Butter Cups. Also this super cute new wallet. It didn't come in pink, but the adorable kitty design overcame my need for something pink. I also bought some vegan floss. I had just bought some a few weeks earlier in brisbane for almost $12... these ones were about $4.50 each! They also sell cute badges there. If you make a $1 donation to their jar, you can have a badge. But if you are able to, you should leave a big fat donation in their jar. The money goes to Pigs Peace Sanctuary. Having had to spend time in an intensive piggery as part of practical work for vet school I've seen the horrors of this industry first hand. So help the piggies!
Then it was next door to Pizza Pi for dinner. Thank goodness they sell personal sized pizzas! A larger one may have killed me! I had the garlic sauce favourite, which I had heard about somewhere as being one of their best (though they have a huge menu, it was hard to choose). White garlic sauce, black olives, mushrooms, sausage, spinach and Teese. The garlic sauce was amazing! So yummy. This is a good pizza. I did find the spinach was layered a bit thick, so it got a bit soggy, but oooohhhhh.... good pizza. I am kind of sorry I didn't get the Tropic Thunder though. Too many choices, so little time! I am also sorry that I was too full to try one of their dessert pizzas and their fruit pie pockets for dessert. Also it was very hard not to order Cheezestix... and I wish I had because I didn't end up having any cheesesticks on my trip! The indigestion would have been worth it! Again, this is a place to go to with an empty stomach and a few people and order up a delicious storm!
After dinner, I caught a bus back to my hotel. I was sooooooo full, and it was super light outside still (it was the longest day of the year), so I decided at 8pm to go for a walk. Full disclosure: the following photos contain no food. But they are pretty!
I thought this would be a good chance to walk to the Olympic Sculpture Park and see what it was all about, seeing as I would not get another chance and it is mentioned in all the guide books as a must do.
On the way, I passed by a beautiful community garden in Vine Street. It was lovely. See the pretty flowers.
This is a large cube that sometimes has installations in it. I kind of like it just empty and as is. Olympic Sculpture Park is a public green space down by the waterfront that has large statues scattered throughout. It is beautiful People were sitting with friends and families having picnics or reading or just watching the sunset. Brisbane seems to recently be in love with trying to pave over and make ugly every public place, I think wrongly thinking it makes the city feel more 'cosmopolitan'. So much to learn, little Brisbane, so much to learn.
My favourite sculpture was called Love & Loss. I really couldn't take a photograph of the whole thing and do it any justice, it is something that you actually need to experience in reality to get the full impact. So if you are in the area, go and see it. You can sit on it, too.
This seems to be the sculpture that is in all the publicity for the OSP. You can see that the Space Needle is not too far away in the background. Underneath this sculpture, there was lots of plastic chairs for people to sit on and watch the waterfront.
This sculpture was huge, like giant waves or ships or something. It kind of gave me shivers walking through it.
The sun starting to set over the waterfront. Stunning. I decided to walk back through the Seattle Centre and catch the monorail back to my hotel. I am glad I did, as it gave me a chance to see other bits of the Seattle Centre I hadn't see yet.
Like this beautiful whale fountain. I love this, and you could walk right up to it and through it and around it. It was the end of a long, gorgeous day (did I mention the weather was perfect, 26 degrees Celcius and sunny... Seattlites were beside themselves with glee!) and walking by this cooling fountain was a lovely end.
The fountain had cute little critters surrounding it. There was some fish, a hermit crab and an octopus, and this adorable little winged piggy. I see how the others fit in with the whale theme, but I don't know what inspired this little guy. But I wish had one of my very own!
I caught the monorail back to the Westlake Centre, and my hotel was just around the corner. Here is a picture of downtown Seattle at nearly 10pm, still light! It was a wonderful way to spend a summer solstice! No winter solstice for me this year!
After this big day, I finally climbed into bed and had a good sleep.
Next post shall be my last morning in Seattle, and a train trip to PDX!