I knew before I went to bed last night that it was going to be a great day. I just didn’t know quite how great. I checked the weather. I checked the sunrise time…oh goody! I get to leap (ok, the reality was more of a stumble) out of bed at 4:40 am…woohoo!..& I decided where today’s Big Breakfast Adventure was going to be. My photography student postponed to a later date, so now I had free reign on location. As I flicked through the Seattle magazine I decided I also wanted free reign on the menu so I picked Chinooks, since they made the list for having one of the two Best Breakfast Deals in Seattle.
Since this morning heralded a perfectly clear sky, I headed on over to Kerry Park. I’d always wondered where you had to go to get “the” shot of The Needle with The Mountain in the background & this week I found out – thanks Ron! When I got to Kerry Park there was a huddle of photogs there to catch the completely cloudless Mount Rainier as the sun slowly lit its sides with gentle hues of pink. It was one of the those occasions where you almost don’t want to get your gear out & start thinking f stops & shutter speeds because you’d spoil the sacred moment taking place in your mind. Sunrises regularly do that to me but the one that sticks most vividly in my mind was the sunrise over Crater Lake in early fall last year. It took my breath away to the point where I was utterly transfixed.
I didn’t get many shots in before the magic moment had passed, but afterwards I was feeling so much better about having torn myself away from the sea of blankets on my bed in order to get there in time. Inspired by the beautiful light I headed towards the Fisherman’s Terminal, nestled on the edge of Salmon Bay between Magnolia & Queen Anne. It was only 6:40 am when I arrived (despite going on an unplanned magical mystery tour of Queen Anne in order to get there) & it was just me & the fishing boats. The water was perfectly calm, the light was perfectly beautiful, the air was perfectly still.
Not only did the color of this fishing boat leap out of the water & smack me, but the name made me smile as it reminded me of my favorite boss ever, so making an image of it was mandatory for several reasons.
I made a bunch of images up & down the water’s edge. It was hard to believe that no one else was there to experience this glorious morning, but I was more than happy to savor the tranquility alone. Then, I suddenly realized I’d been up for almost 3 hours & hadn’t eaten. Time for a Big Breakfast Adventure!
When I reached the front of Chinooks there was a flurry of folks eagerly hovering out front – clearly a popular Saturday morning hang-out. Chinooks is huge. The doors opened & it swallowed us all up with one swift bite. Whether you are seated right against the window or positioned further inside, there is no table with a bad view here. The wall of glass that overlooks the water affords an amazing sight wherever you are sitting. The seating is also cleverly tiered so that if you’re not by the window you can see right over the heads of the people that are. Perfect. (Oh, and I just have to mention the bathrooms at Chinooks. So unexpected…totally Art Deco Hollywood & quite brilliant.)
As soon as I sat down the word “rhubarb” reached out of the tent card on the table extolling the virtues of several wild sounding alcoholic rhubarb drinks & grabbed me. This wasn’t lost on Oliver who promptly suggested that maybe a Mimosa was more appropriate for breakfast. Oliver is clearly a morning guy: big smile, witty, sunny disposition. Since I am a non-alcoholic we settled on Peppermint Tea. Oliver brought my tea in short order, along with the complimentary basket of warm scones with a pot of orange honey butter to slather all over them. I am still not altogether sold on American scones, but with enough orange honey butter loaded on top my mouth was perfectly content.
Once I perused the menu I decided that in honor of its location I should have something fishy for breakfast & quickly whittled it down to 2 choices: Chinooks Famous Salmon Cakes & Eggs or a Seafood Scramble. Oliver came to my aid in making a decision. I asked him why the Salmon Cakes were famous & without missing a beat he declared that it was because they were so good. Having eaten them I have to say…if they are not famous, they should be. I would have been perfectly content with a plate of 3 Salmon cakes and nothing else. Even with Oliver’s suggestion of some grated cheese added to the top of the eggs, they paled in comparison to the taste of that Salmon Cake.
As I sat there musing on whether it was possible to have a more perfect start to a Saturday, Oliver appeared and quietly mentioned that although it would be unorthodox, he could likely rustle up some rhubarb dessert if I wanted it. If? Are you kidding me? Dessert at 7:56 am…is there anything better? Not only do you get an utterly happy mouth but you get all day to work it off.
Wow. That sure woke my mouth up! Of course, half way through dessert my stomach was screaming “Stop! Eyes, you’re twice as big as I am!” But most of the fun was just the naughtiness of having dessert before 8 am, without feeling obliged to eat it all.
Chinooks had to be the most leisurely breakfast ever, so a perfect spot for some true weekend R ‘n’ R. I loved it. Funny though….billed as one of the two Best Breakfast Deals in Seattle, it was my most expensive yet at $28!! That did include my indulgent dessert, but even without that it was still my most expensive breakfast to date. I am not complaining. I’d go back & I’d take people I really like with me.
I just couldn’t stop shooting once I started, so I made one last stop – Shilshole Bay Marina. It was beautiful – the yachts were out, the sun was out, the Olympic Mountains were out. This wasn’t quite the shot that I had in my head when I arrived, but I like it anyway & it will certainly serve as a wonderful reminder of how I felt standing there breathing it all in, feeling immensely blessed to be alive, to have what I have & to have the ability & resources to do what I do.
One truly great day.