SEATTLE, WA - In the summer of 2016, my husband and I traveled to Peru with five of our friends. We hiked the Inca trail, with the end goal of basking in the beauty of Machu Picchu. The REI tour we took and the guides we had left a lasting impression. So when we heard that Edwin, our lead guide was going to receive an award as one of the best guides of 2016, some of my traveling companions and I decided to fly across the country to surprise him at the ceremony in Seattle.
A trip out of Newark on a Thursday morning, I catch a 6:45 am flight. Thank goodness for great friends willing to give you a ride to the airport so you don’t start your day in a panic, wondering if a taxi will show up, or if an Uber or Lyfte car will be in the area.
The (non-stop!) flight itself is uneventful, but the scenery as you fly over the Canadian Rockies is breathtaking. There are plenty of snow-covered mountains for as far as the eye can see. It’s a great way to end a long flight as you’re just thirty minutes away from landing.
I was the first one to arrive; my friends wouldn’t get to the hotel until evening, so I decided to check out the Seattle Aquarium on Pier 59. How fun, especially as I texted my sister-in-law pictures of Nemo and Dory to share with my 4-year and 7-year old nephews. Needless to say, they had a lot of questions, and wanted to know when they could meet them!
On Friday, we had brunch at Cafe Compagne, “a classic Parisian brasserie in the heart of Seattle’s Pike Place Market.” Our waitress was delightful, and she shared the fixings for two of their very delicious cocktails, the French 75, with gin, simple syrup, lemon and bubbles, and the Market Steps. made with absinthe.
The day turned out to be gorgeous, with no rain to dampen our travels, so we hopped on a ferry to Bainbridge Island. We were rewarded with stunning views of the city, including the Space Needle. But oh, the wind! Our hair was whipped up in a frenzy when we dared to stand outside on the deck.
After our ride, we took full advantage of the beautiful day, and headed to Fremont Brewing Company, a family-owned craft brewery. We ordered two flights, and sampled our way through the afternoon.
Friday night was the ceremony for our guide. He was fully surprised that we showed up to support him. We had shared so much together on our trip last summer, so there were both tears and laughter at this reunion.
My friends and I had no idea how much time we would get to spend with Edwin, so we were thrilled when he agreed to join us at Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge, a Cajun and seafood restaurant for brunch on Saturday morning.
Afterwards, we spent the day wandering, and ended up at Pike Place Market, the public market overlooking the waterfront. A trip here would not be complete without some fish throwing!
Saturday evening, we dined at Pomegranate Bistro, a “sassy eastside neighborhood bistro” located in Redmond. I had the good fortune to have my cousin and her husband join us as well!
Alas, the trip comes to an end, and I sit here waiting… and waiting… for my flight back to Newark. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be tired tomorrow.