Notes from a Pacific Northwest road trip – Chihuly Glass Museum, Space Needle, oysters
Of all the things to see in Seattle – including the famous Pike Place Market – the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum is an absolute, absolute must-visit location.
Situated right below the Space Needle, the museum was a gorgeous, bursting-full garden with masterful glass sculptures. And the best thing was that the glass pieces looked like they should be there with the vines, flowers, trees, and rocks.
Inside the museum, the dark walls showcased the twisting, sea-like sculptures. To work glass like that, with its myriad colors and shapes and attitudes – it is a startlingly beautiful talent. My favorite piece was the rainbow ceiling with a million different shapes and colors beaming down at the people below. My second favorite was the seascape design. Lastly, I would not mind having one of those molten lily-pad-shaped bowls as my own, that’s for sure!
I’m just going to create a gallery from the Glass Museum here and let you marvel at the beauty of this place:
And the brilliance of the Garden, where glass and grass are interchangeable, was stunning on a warm, sunny day. The glass seemed to glow with life as the sun played inside it. The black grass set the background for some beautiful black glass. The conservatory glass, with the autumn-like flowers draped from the ceiling, framed the hulking Space Needle just above the museum. It was a great place to take some fun photographs as well!
If that so far hasn’t convinced you to visit this wonderland of glass, then I’m not sure what will – other than they also have a great cafe in the garden grounds where you can enjoy the art and the food or a coffee on a beautiful, sunny summer’s day.
After having lunch in the garden, we walked to the Olympic Sculpture Park closer to the waterfront and had a good wander in there.
Before packing it in and calling it a damn good road trip, we still had yet to enjoy some Pacific Northwest oysters. We had held off for this whole trip, and now, it was time. My sister had found a place already … one with a literary theme, of course. It couldn’t be helped with two former English lit majors in the car.
“The Walrus and the CarpenterWalked on a mile or so,And then they rested on a rockConveniently low:And all the little Oysters stoodAnd waited in a row.The time has come,’ the Walrus said,To talk of many things:Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —Of cabbages — and kings —And why the sea is boiling hot —And whether pigs have wings.’…O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,You’ve had a pleasant run!Shall we be trotting home again?’But answer came there none —And this was scarcely odd, becauseThey’d eaten every one.” – “The Walrus and the Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll
The timeless poem, also recited in Alice in Wonderland, became the name of the oyster bar, The Walrus and the Carpenter, and quite aptly so, as we were about to devour some half-priced oysters that afternoon. Happily, we were in line for the event and waiting for the bar to open, as many, many people began to show up for half-priced oyster happy hour.
From the briny to the tart to the somewhat startlingly sweet, we supped on four different kinds of oysters from the region and enjoyed some cheese starters. With a little shot of lemon juice, they were perfect.
I found that I enjoyed the briny, salty, tangy ones the most – though the overlarge oysters were a bit hard to gulp down quickly. And heaven knows, there was no way I want to chew an oyster.
After oysters galore, it was back to the apartment early for a game of cards, last minute snacks of Molly Moon’s ice cream and wine, and some final packing before the three of us split ways the next day – Mom and my sister on separate flights back to Chicago, and me, back to Hong Kong to start my fifth year of teaching overseas.
If it’s one thing I have learned over those five years is that I still have so much more to learn.
And that there were more adventures to be had than I could imagine.