One Bus Trip
This year’s Spring Seattle Restaurant Week is April 7-18, 2013. More than 160 restaurants participate in this twice a year event (also held in October). Three-course dinners are just $28 and many of the restaurants offer three-course lunches for $15. The website states: “Visit the award-winning hot spots you’ve always wanted to try and return once again to the neighborhood eatery you’ve loved for years during this dining frenzy.”
Tilth is located at 1411 N. 45th Street, in the heart of the Wallingford neighborhood in north Seattle. www.tilthrestaurant.com
Their website describes their food style as “new American cuisine prepared with certified-organic or wild ingredients sourced from as many local farmers we are able to support.”
Tilth’s executive chef and owner, Maria Hines, is a James Beard Award winner for Best Chef of the Northwest, as well as one of Food & Wine Magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs of 2005. In 2008, the New York Times deemed Tilth one of the best new restaurants in the country.
Janice and I met in downtown Seattle for a cup of tea before heading to Wallingford. From 3rd and Union in Seattle, we caught Metro Route 358 heading north. The bus travels along Aurora Avenue, where we exited at 46th Street. We walked down the stairs from Aurora, heading east. 46th meets up with 45th in a few blocks. A lively bright mural and spring flowers brightened our way. Continuing east a couple blocks on 45th we were in the heart of the Wallingford district. We were in the neighborhood well before our dinner reservations, so we browsed the shops along 45th.
Our first stop was to the eclectic Archie McPhee store; home of the rubber chicken (and a lot more!) It’s a toy, novelty, and stocking-stuffer store. Fun place to browse. http://www.mcphee.com/shop/
Up 45th is the Wallingford Center, a former Seattle school building turned into a wonderful collection of stores. You can find cupcakes, yarn, clothing, and gifts at this location. Across the street from the Center is a great little shoe store, and also an excellent travel and map store.
We then headed to Tilth, a bright green two-story house. The special menu for Restaurant week was fun to read; it was a hard choice! Janice and I each ordered different things, and shared bites. My favorite was the wild mushroom/pea risotto. Janice’s yogart/pickled ginger/charcoal lemon was excellent also. And how could you not love Theo chocolate pudding with rhubarb and pistachio? Tilth’s website lists and describes the menu choices.
After a leisurely and filling meal, we each headed to our respective destinations. Heading back to Seattle, I just crossed 45th to the bus stop where I caught Metro route 16 within five minutes. I got off the bus at 3rd and Pike (between Macys’ and Columbia Sportwear), then walked one block west to 2nd Avenue to catch the Sound Transit bus 594 to Lakewood.
Plan on participating in October’s Restaurant week! It’s a great way to try new restaurants for a reasonable cost.
Thurston here to there provides access to a variety of information about travel choices, public and private transportation services, and other transportation-related resources within Thurston County and the greater Puget Sound area.
Check them out at www.thurstonheretothere.org
You DON’T have to dump your car to be a Rebel by Bus.
Last week is a good example. Like many died-in-the-wool Pacific Northwesterners, I love our green and temperate climate… however, come winter I crave blue sky and sunshine. Around February I head somewhere for a dose of sun and warmer temps.
This year my destination was Sedona and Phoenix Arizona. The red rocks of Sedona are simply breathtaking. Every direction you turn is a new formation. The angles and light exposures make every glimpse a new experience.
After a few days in Sedona, I headed to Phoenix (passing through Peoria to watch a Mariner’s baseball game, which was stopped after a couple innings due to rain:-0) I had two attractions on my list: Taliesin West (winter home of Frank Lloyd Wright, architect extraordinaire) and the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden. Taliesin West was very interesting; I thoroughly enjoyed the tour depicting the architect’s philosophy of houses and life.
Now the purpose of this post: I used the Phoenix Metro bus service to get to and from the Desert Botanical Garden. From the financial district of Phoenix (and next to both the Phoenix Art Museum AND the Heard Museum) I caught Bus 17, eastbound from Central Avenue and McDowell. The adult fare was $2.00. The bus travels along McDowell for several miles. I exited the bus at McDowell and 64th. Directly behind the bus stop is a large “Welcome to the Desert Botanical Garden” sign. I followed the rock lined gravel path which led me through the garden’s parking lot to the garden. A huge trio of neon-bright chartreuse Dale Chihuly towers is placed at the entrance. An Adult entrance fee is $18 (60 and older is $15.)
After two days of rain and gloomy skies, the warm sun and blue sky were welcome. The garden has several sections, such as herb, cactus, wildflowers, and displays and information about indigenous people living in the desert.
Trails wandered throughout the park, with vistas to distant mountains and hills. Benches, playful sculptures, and comfortable patio chairs were scattered everywhere. One of the most interesting sculptures was a collection of four huge faces, each comprised of fruits and vegetables from each of the four seasons. Very colorful and clever!
I found the bus drivers to be exceptional friendly and polite. Neither driver knew that their route was next door to the Botanical Garden!
For more information about the Desert Botanical Garden: www.dbg.org
Rex Richardson, who attended the January 26th “How to be a Rebel by Bus” class at South Puget Sound Community College, shared this great trip. Thanks, Rex!
Looking for an epicurean expedition in Seattle at a reasonable price? A three course French dinner for $35 at a convenient location and a view of Elliot Bay? Yes!
Catching an express bus into the heart of Seattle is easy and affordable. Good shopping, the Pike Street Market, the Seattle Art Museum and Benaroya Hall are only a few blocks away from the bus stop. We’ve seen exhibits at the Seattle Art Museum on a Sunday afternoon and wanted dinner after we left.
We discovered a great deal at Maximilien’s French restaurant in Seattle’s historic Pike Street Market, which is located behind and to the left of the bronze pig on the water side of the Market building. On Sunday nights, they have a three course meal for $35 between 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM. On the regular menu, one entrée alone can be $26 – $40. The courses consist of:
Salade Verte or French onion soup
Choice of entrée (from the dinner menu!)
This is the link to the restaurant http://www.maximilienrestaurant.com/ and this link is for the Sunday dinner: http://www.maximilienrestaurant.com/dinner/sunday/index.html. Of course, it is always prudent to check to be sure that the special is still offered.
We’ve only taken the express bus from Tacoma, so I can’t speak for the northern routes. From the south:
Getting there: Starting in the Lakewood or Tacoma area, take an express bus such as the 590, 592, 593 or 594. (See www.soundtransit.org for schedule and fare information)
Exit at 4th and Union and walk around downtown. The Pike Place Market is just a few blocks away; at 1St and Pike/Pine.
Returning: Get the Sound Transit Express at 2nd Ave and Stewart or 2nd Ave and Seneca.
At the Seneca stop, ½ block away and across the street is the Brooklyn Seafood, Steak and Oyster house—a lovely place to sip a glass of wine and wait for the bus, then scurry across the street shortly before its arrival.
This past weekend 20 people attended the South Puget Sound Community College “How to be a Rebel by Bus” class. What a great group! Eyes lite up, and audible “Oh….oh”s were uttered as the attendees found out about bus travel in the Puget Sound region.
I’m positive that people left that day confident and excited about using the public transit systems in our area for leisure travel.
The spring schedule for the South Puget Sound Community College “How to be a Rebel by Bus” series will be available in mid February. There will TWO opportunities to attend to classroom “How to be a Rebel by Bus” (the evening of April 10th at the Hawk’s Prairie campus and during the day on April 13th at the main Mottman Road campus).
Three “Rebel by Bus adventures” will be offered this spring: on March 27th, I will guide the group to Raymond and the Northwest Carriage museum. On April 23, we will go to the Theler Wetlands in Belfair, and on June 1st we head to Seattle and the Theo’s chocolate factory in fun and quirky Fremont.
Looking ahead to this summer, how about taking the bus (or Sounder train?) to and from a Mariners baseball game? What do you think about going to Snoqualmie Falls and the sweet town of Snoqualamie for a train ride to North Bend. Let me know what you think!
After 40 years, Metro Transit has eliminated the free ride zone in downtown Seattle. Riders most effected by this cut in service will be low or no income individuals. I hope Metro and other providers come up with a solution to provide this vital link to community!
Sound Transit Sounder commuter train between Lakewood and Seattle starts on Monday October 8th. Previously the southern-most point of the run was the Tacoma Dome station. The new Sound Transit schedule includes the Lakewood Station.
This past week I lead a group of novice Rebels by Bus to Bainbridge Island. We met on a fall-like foggy morning at 7:45 at the Martin Way Park and Ride in Lacey. The 7:55 am Intercity Transit Bus 603 delivered us to the Highway 512 Park and Ride Lot in Lakewood. From there, we waited just a few minutes, and caught the Sound Transit bus 594 at 8:35, arriving at 4th and Jackson in Seattle at 9:45. From there, we headed west on Jackson Street, in front of the King (Tut:-0) Street Station. (Yes, there is an insertion of “Tut” after “King” on the station sign, and a HUGE statue of King Tut’s dog in front of the Station. A clever advertisement for the current King Tut exhibit at the Seattle Center.)
A few months ago I bought an amazing Living Social deal… an overnight stay at the beautiful Salish Lodge (for longtime Puget Sounders AKA Snoqualamie Falls Lodge), which included credit at their spa AND dining room. What a treat!
To make this trip even more memorable, I took the bus! It is a surprisingly easy trip, with excellent connections. Even though I turned my trip into an overnight excursion, this would make an excellent day trip! (Specifics for making this a day trip adventure are included at the end of this post)
Have you ever been at a bus stop and wondered where your bus is? You don’t have to wonder any longer… the “One bus away” tool (www.onebusaway.org) will answer that age-old question.
There are apps for the web, smartphone, as well as a not-so-smart phone. Here are the “quick start” directions for a non-smart phone.
First, find your stop number. It’s on the bus stop sign or shelter.
- Call 206-456-0609
- Press 1 to enter a stop number.
- Enter your stop number, followed by the # sign.
- Listen as real-time arrival info is read to you over the phone.
How cool is that?
There is still room in the September 5th “How to be a Rebel by Bus”, offered through SPSCC. See www.hawksprairie.org for registration information. The Bainbridge Island (September 25th) trip is full; but there is still room for the September 12th Westport trip.
Last week the SPSCC-sponsored Rebels trip was to the Klondike Historic National Park, located in the Pioneer Square area of Seattle. Gail and I did this trip in our earliest days of Rebels (see the February 2010 post). The two story exhibit tells of Seattle’s connection to the early 1900′s Yukon gold rush.
After lunch and visiting the museum, the group decided to jump on Metro bus 99 (free for another month or so), which travels north on 1st Avenue up to Broad Street. At Broad, the bus turns west towards Elliott Bay (and past the outdoor Seattle Art Museum sculpture garden) and south along Alaskan Way. The bus then turns east up Yesler Way (by the ferry terminals) and through Chinatown. This is a great route to get a glimpse of the waterfront, as well as the edges of Chinatown.
By popular demand, the Rebels decided that we should take the Sounder train to Tacoma. We boarded the first southbound train of the afternoon, at 3:15. This was a first Sounder trip for these Rebels… and were so glad that they choose the Sounder journey! After getting off the Sounder train at 4:15, we walked through the Freighthouse Square terminal to the Central Link train stop. This free shuttle train passes through downtown Tacoma all the way to the theater district. We got off the train at the Union stop, which is across the street from our bus stop in front of the University of Washington campus. We waited just a few minutes for our next Intercity Transit 605 bus, getting us back to the Martin Way Park and Ride around 5:30.
Another very successful day!