On our last full day in Seattle we decided to check out Pioneer Square, do the Underground Tour and eat lunch at Salumi, a place we've heard about for years and had been looking forward to ever since deciding we were going to visit Seattle. If you're a foodie, you'll recognize Salumi as the salumeria owned and operated by Mario Batali's father and family.
Unfortunately, I woke up this morning feeling very tired, crabby and run down. This is - also unfortunately - a pretty common occurrence when we do city vacations that involve a lot of walking (versus say, sitting on a beach or at the pool).
Our first stop of the morning was the Athenian Inn in Pike Place Market for breakfast. I'd read that their menu was quite extensive and if something wasn't on it, you probably couldn't have it for breakfast. We found that to be true in a lot of ways. I couldn't decide what to order so I went with my old standby - corned beef hash - while Alan ordered clam hash. Both dishes were very good. Unfortunately, our waitress was having a bit of an off morning and she managed to spill the entire jar of half and half on our table. While jumping to avoid the spill, I ended up spilling coffee on myself which made me even more irritable than I already was. Still, she didn't do it on purpose so I was nice and didn't give her the stink eye. In fact, when we left she thanked us for being so nice about the whole thing. Good karma points for us!
After breakfast we walked over to Pioneer Square, which is one of the oldest parts of Seattle and sits on top of the first city that was built (I learned this on the Underground Tour). The majority of buildings are brick and the area has a really quaint, old America feel that is really different than other parts of the city we'd seen.
Before going on the tour, Alan wanted to see inside the LCS Building which for quite some time was the tallest skyscraper on the West Coast. Built by the Smith Corona (and Smith & Wesson) family patriarch, the building is a thing of absolute beauty. The lobby's walls are covered in marble, there are original light fixtures and the elevators are original too - updated for mechanics, obviously.
The building has a top floor observation deck that we found out is unfortunately closed during the weekdays. But the woman at the entrance was very nice and let us go to the top floor. The ceilings were all hand-carved mahogany and most of the furniture was donated by the Empress of China at the time the building was being decorated. It was certainly quite impressive and I'm glad Alan made me do this detour (even though it was hot and I had to carry my heavy jacket and I was an irritable pill about it all).
The Underground Tour was very interesting and it gave us a history of Seattle that no guidebook or website had been able to until that point. It was great hearing about the city's founding fathers and how Seattle was planned (or rather, not planned) and came to be what it is today. As you can imagine, anytime you've got what is essentially an underground city, there's probably talk of ghosts. Our tour guide - who seemingly hated our group, btw - told us that Ghost Hunters was there a few years ago and verified that indeed, there is paranormal activity down there under the city. Thankfully, we didn't see anything worth writing home about.
After the tour, we headed over to Salumi. Unfortunately, they were closing at 3pm that day for an employee meeting, so we weren't able to eat there but we found a Waterfall garden that had tables so we set up an impromptu picnic there.
After lunch we went to the Elliott Bay Book Company which might possibly be my favorite book store I've ever set foot in. It's absolutely beautiful and if you're any fan of books, you should stop in as well the next time you visit Seattle. I saw Stitched in Time from the author of one of my favorite blogs, Posie Gets Cozy, and a beautifully illustrated children's book whose text was from Barack Obama's famous speech captured so creatively and artisticly by Will I Am and others. I really wish I would have bought the book, but alas, I did not. :-(
After the bookstore we went back to the hotel to relax in the hot tub and take a nap before dinner at The Pink Door. What an amazing little restaurant. You wouldn't know it was there if you weren't looking for it, but I'm glad we were. Some nights they have trapeze artists but when we were there they had a jazz trio and we had a perfect view of the singers. While it would have been easy to be distracted by the music, our food was also very good. Unfortunately, I was still pretty full from Salumi, so I couldn't gorge myself as much as I had wanted to. But yeah, I'd definitely say if you're in the mood for Italian food, staying near Pike Place, and don't know where to go, you should definitely head to The Pink Door.