It was a gorgeous day and everyone knew it. The Burke-Gilman Trail was teeming with bikers, rollerbladers, dog-walkers, runners, skateboarders and hippie-ish wanderers dressed in oddly-striped leggings, and colorful skirts (we were in Fremont, after all).
Alison needed some "new" furniture for her apartment and I tagged along, remembering my own Fremont find--a rather large, unnecessarily heavy whitewashed desk with lots of drawer space that saw me through the writing of my thesis over a year ago. Over the summer, that desk made its way down Interstate 5 with some boxes and a mattress, which were then stacked unceremoniously in my parents garage. They remain there waiting for a new life, but I digress.
This was Alison's day to find furnishings. We strolled North 34th Street, avoiding clip-board carrying campaigners wearing goofy glasses and hats, and tasting samples of Golden Delicious and Gala apples and the last peaches of summer from Wenatchee. We passed orchid growers, Venus fly traps and the recycled furniture vendor from whom I bought a dresser to match my desk. I could hear his faint European accent as we walked by and I remembered him telling me "not to worry" in a dreamy voice when he dropped off my buy a few years ago. I had locked myself out of my apartment with the dresser in the hallway and the $10 that I owed him on the wrong side of the door (with my cell phone and keys).
Alison examined boxes and chests, tables and cabinets looking for adequate storage and a certain je ne sais quoi to add to her Capital Hill studio. In the flea market portion of the bazaar, inside a dimly-lit parking garage, we both poured over "deluxe junk" and haggled over the price of a nifty baroque picture frame with mesh in place of the picture to display jewelry.
We finished the bargain-hunting portion of the day by making a deal with one enthusiastic vendor for a pair of matching aqua-green oak pieces for less than their sticker prices. Soon we drove off toward Ballard in search of the Ballard farmers' market with Alison's car full of good finds.
We never did find the Ballard market. I'm pretty sure we missed it. We may have budgeted our money well in Fremont, but we didn't do the same for time. That's okay, though, because it was the perfect day to visit the Ballard Locks after a hearty bowl of clam chowder. Alison had never seen this nautical wonder and I was happy to re-acquaint myself with how it works (the Ballard lock system allows all kinds of boats to pass from the fresh-water Lake Washington ship canal to the salt-water Puget Sound).
We saw all kinds of boats waiting to pass--power boats out for a day cruise, sailboats, cargo ships and commercial fishing boats returning with catch from Alaska. We watched wistfully as kids rolled down the grassy slopes on either side of the canal--arms, legs and hair flying.
Then, it was time to leave. We crossed back over the foot-bridge where I snapped this Dantesque photo of our pedestrian shadows projected on the seawall below us.
That was my well-spent Seattle Sunday.