My Three-Hour Vacation

September 06, 2009

For some reason I still don’t understand, Alex decided that 5:00 AM was the correct time to wake up yesterday morning. Maybe this is just the kids trying to keep me on my toes. All week long, it’s been Patrick who wakes up between 5:15 and 5:45, usually with a dirty diaper. Yesterday, Patrick slept until close to 7:00. Perhaps they whispered to each other on Friday night and agreed to switch roles.

I tried to be super-dad, and I took care of the kids in the morning and let Molly sleep until 8:00. It didn’t work so well. When Molly woke up, I was exhausted and really needed a break from the kids. Luckily I talked her into taking the kids to the Pacific Science Center by herself, giving me a rare and cherished three-hour vacation. From 10:00 to 1:00, I was on my own.

If I get a morning to vacation in my own city, I usually head to Cafe Campagne at Pike Place Market. If I fully engage my imagination, I can pretend I’ve just landed in Paris for brunch, only there’s no jet lag. Cafe Campagne is busy, but I can usually snag a stool at the bar with no reservations and no wait. It’s perfect for an impromptu vacation. As usual, I had the _oeufs en muerette. _That’s two poached eggs over bread with bacon, mushrooms, and a delectable foie gras / red wine sauce. The thing I love about bistro food is it’s perfectly acceptable to get food with a meaty red wine sauce and a huge basket of hot, crispy, salty french fries for breakfast. (Excuse me: pommes frites.)

The second best part of eating at Cafe Campagne is wandering the market afterwards. I’ve lived in Seattle for thirteen years now, and this is the first time I made it to the infamous gum wall in Post Alley underneath the market. Yes, it’s as gross as it looks in the picture.

Gum Wall Admirers

The rest of my trip through the market, I wandered through my usual haunts and enjoyed both the crowds and the explosion of color that you can always count on downtown, 365 days per year. Three hours of tourism in my own city was exactly what I needed to recharge. These mini-vacations are a lifesaver.


Pepper Ring