After arriving home from camping along the Olympic Peninsula, we took a day to chill. We got new tires for the car, scheduled an oil change, went swimming in Lake Stevens and just hung out at the house. Both of the Mitchells had to work/go to school, so we had the house to ourselves. It was wonderful to just chill.
The next day we woke up early and drove back into Seattle for our second full day. A and I split – he and A2 went to the Experience Music Project (EMP) museum which is a museum dedicated contemporary pop culture and was started by the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen. You can find more information about the museum here. D and I went on The Underground Tour. It was so neat. The tour lasts about an hour and takes you through the city – the original city that had once been burned down then rebuilt upon (current Seattle sits atop of parts of the original city).
We got to walk through old sidewalks, peer into old storefronts and see some artifacts still down there. I believe the price with the military/student discount was $16 – and worth every penny! The tour guide was funny and it was pretty family friendly (although if you want a more honest/explicit version of the life & times of early Seattle then come back for the evening adult tour). I’m not a huge history buff but this was probably one of my favorite parts of our Washington/Seattle vacation.
After our tour was finished, D and I poked around Pioneer Square. We found a small waterfall garden/park and took a short break before heading back to Pike Place Market for more delicious food and to meet back up with our husbands.
Afterwards we headed to the new Starbucks Roastery & Reserve. It was an okay experience for me. We got to see how coffee beans are roasted and packaged for sale. There was also two tasting bars. The lower one had four or five different methods of brewing coffee to include a Chemex, French Press and the new Clove (if you are interested in how much one costs, like I was, I’ll cut to the chase and just let you in on a little secret: The Clover is currently not for home sale but rather only available to Starbucks Stores and even if you could purchase one, it would cost upwards of $1000. Yikes! And the only reason I know that is because I considered getting one for A for Christmas. THAT was totally shot down).
The upper tasting bar only had the Clover system. We sat at this one and ordered a flight of coffee to share. It is usually served hot to bring out the flavors of the coffees best but we got the barista to make ours cold since A doesn’t like hot coffee. The barista gave us four coffees to try instead of the normal three – which was super nice of him to do. I had wanted to try the Tanzanian (holds a special place in my heart) but they didn’t have any available to sample anymore.
We also got three desserts to pair with the flight. This was actually pretty cool. Eating sweet, savory, tart etc with different roasts of coffee brings out different flavors of both. The tartness of a lemon-blueberry tart might be tasty on its own, but with a Sumatra coffee, the tartness may be more pronounced. Some people think the lemon is more pronounced while others may think the blueberries become more tart or more sweet. It is kind of like pairing beer or wine with different kinds of food.
I had said that the Starbucks Roastery was an okay experience for me. And it was. I think if A and I had stumbled upon it ourselves I think I may have had a better experience. D & A were wonderful to bring us to the Roastery, especially since D is so passionate about coffee and it was wonderful to see her passion in action. I was very overwhelmed and felt pressure to be able to taste the differences between all the coffees as well as the differences in flavors when the coffee was paired with each of the desserts. Of which I could not. Each one tasted the same to me until the very end – until after I had a mini
breakdown cry in the bathroom and then felt embarrassed because I got upset. It definitely showed me a part of myself I need to work on.
It was a super long day but I am glad we got to experience as much as we did!