July 18, 2013

Whence First I Found my Sea Legs: Port Townsend

I don't feel I can progress much further into Photography month without completing this post, which I've been sitting on for about a month and a half.

At the beginning of June, I took an early morning ferry ride to Port Townsend to visit my friend, Miss K. (I ask you: Is there anything more thrilling than waking up before everyone else on a weekend? And then driving your car onto a seafaring device that will ford you to a different town? Not to mention reuniting with one of your best friends after so long a time? I don't think anything excites me more than the prospect of travel. Simple, sweet inertia.)



Goodbye, sad city of grey-washed gloom!

My inertia carried me over an island, along a freeway, 10 miles in the opposite direction along the same freeway, 10 miles back in the direction I'd originally traveled, over a windy bridge, and through almost every street in Chimacum. When I picked up K, we were rearin' for adventure. And adventure we found!

Port Townsend, WA is about 2 hours from Seattle, whichever route you take. It's on the north end of our peninsula, and you must cross an island called Bainbridge to get there (at least on this route.) Because it's a port town, it hasn't lost much of its original culture -- there's lighthouses, taffy and ice cream shops (I don't know what is inherently ocean-y about these sweets, but you always find them in coastal towns -- salt, perhaps?), old docks, nautical-themed shops, and architecture like this:

photo courtesy of Sequim Daily Photo

I fell in love with this structure, called The Hastings Building. K and I went so far as to ask to the Birkenstock store underneath it if we could get upstairs. No luck -- it was being renovated. I'd be totally thrilled to tour this place!




K and I started our day with catch-up and a cup of coffee at Tyler Street Cafe. Before this, she took me over to the lovely ivy-covered building which houses the local Leader newspaper, for which K works.



The cafe had a really great art deco feel, to complement the Victorian architecture.


Then it was lunch time at the amazing Waterfront Pizza. This was definitely in the ranks of one of the top pizzas I've tasted in my life. Just seeing the photo makes my mouth water in memory.

It seems no matter where I travel, I am certain to find an adorable bike begging me to take its picture.

Somewhere around here, my phone died, and K gladly obliged snapping anything and everything I asked her to. As a result, many of the photos you'll see hereafter are a joint effort -- her framing and my editing!






K showed me this boutique she loves -- Conservatory Coastal Home -- and I immediately fell hard as well. It's like a nautical version of Anthropolgie, except not so obnoxiously scented or expensive. We both loved how they arranged their inventory in color clusters. K was drawn to the orange/pink section, while I kept finding myself in the blues and greens. 





I couldn't convince K into this cheesy diner, which was decked out in full 50s fare; she said it was a total tourist trap. Instead, she took me down the street to her favorite, Elevated Ice Cream Co.



After this, we decided it was high time to walk off our snacks. We shopped up and down the main row, seeing everything from bead shops to cooking stores, antique to steampunk shops, earrings to anchor-print pashminas. By the time we reached the west end of the main drag, we both found ourselves quite thirsty. So we found some of these:


We briefly considered grabbing margaritas as well, but then we found out about Gallery Walk: this amazing phenomenon where you can wander through all the art galleries after hours and enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks -- whatever they choose to offer.

We stumbled into the first place we saw and were offered a local beer straight from a keg.
At the next gallery we found miniature eclairs, salted mixed nuts, and two kinds of wine.
At an eastern-themed furniture store there were two trays piled high with chocolate-covered candied ginger.
The fanciest gallery served champagne and those truffles with liquor inside -- the kind you have to stuff straight in your mouth, or risk certain dribbling.

It was like trick-or-treating for grownups.

In the midst of the gallery walk we ran into these guys:



And after all that, it was time for me to head home. The ride back was brilliant -- I saw so many colors to play with on the Sherwin Williams app, I didn't know what to do with myself. It was quite trying to focus on the freeway when stuff like this was passing me by:



My brother was going to throw away these glasses ?!? - I ask you!

What a lovely way to spend the day! I wish every week brought adventures like these. It's hard resisting the urge to spend every penny I have on car rides, train rides, airplanes, and visits to friends. But in the end, I notice, it's always worth it.

The photo team, in a shameless bathroom shot.

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