Seattle Summers, there is no more magnificent place to be. Sunshine drying out the rain that has been falling for the last nine months and perfect temperatures that range from 70 to 85 in the heat of the day. The sky is brilliant blue with the occasional white fluffy cloud that looks like a giant popcorn kernel and there is a light breeze keeping the air fresh and clean. Looking south east over the Puget Sound you can clearly see Mt. Rainier in the distance sparkling in the sunshine like a giant pointed ice cube. Everywhere you look is greenery. My friend Connie on her last visit stated that she had never seen so many colors of green.
The neighbors have ended their winter hibernation and are out walking around town. The lawnmower army is marching around every lawn on the street and all is good with the world once again. Here in Burien, about ten minutes south of Seattle it is now the most bustling time of the year. Activities abound all over this quaint small town that features a glorious Puget Sound shoreline and the quiet pleasures of small town living. Summer brings about all kinds of activities to enjoy in the great weather, from outdoor concerts and festivals to the annual Fathers Day Car Show that takes over the entire downtown area.
My personal favorite summer event is the weekly farmers markets. When you think of Seattle, the Pike Public Market is one of the first things that visitors want to see. It is spectacular and the seafood and produce are unmatched anywhere. All of the very top restaurants in the area shop the market daily.And it is the only place that I have ever found fresh monkfish. The entertainment value of the fish mongers tossing the giant salmons and the street entertainers make it a very full day to stroll through the market area. And of course the original location of a mega giant coffee chain that will remain un-named is right outside of the market.
That takes care of the tourist experience. For everyday living there is no match for the local weekly farmers markets. Every corner of the metro Seattle area has one. In Burien, Thursday is our day. From 11AM until 6PM the Town Square Park is filled with all sorts of vendors and treats. The array of organic and pesticide free fruits and vegetables is amazing. Peaches that are so sweet and juicy that they drip down your arm as you try to eat them, crisp Washington apples of a million varieties and every sort of vegetable that you can think of and some that are new and surprising. Like my new favorite, Kohlrabi.
You will also find an array of flower vendors. Forget about the flimsy bunches of flowers that you find at your grocery store. For five or ten dollars you can get a huge bouquet of just cut flowers of some very unique varieties. I especially enjoy the few weeks that the peonies are in bloom. I had never seen such large and beautiful bouquets as you will find in Seattle at the farmers markets!
One of my must haves from the Burien weekly market is the marinades and Balsamic Vinegar from one of the vendors. A company called OMG sells a barrel aged balsamic that is the best I've ever had. Grouped with the fresh tomatoes, basil and some fresh buffalo mozzarella, you end up with a Caprese Salad to die for.
Down the road in idyllic seaside Des Moines (Washington, not Iowa) in a park right at the marina is their weekly market held on Saturdays. It's not only a huge market complete with food trucks and entertainment, but a beautiful setting as well. As you stroll along the boardwalk and gather your produce and all other sorts of merchandise including a wine tasting booth with the sea breeze to cool you off, you'll find a nice place to sit and watch the weekly entertainment and see the yachts come in and out of the harbor. It's a fantastic way to spend a Saturday.
You can get more information on the neighborhood markets at www.seattlefarmersmarket.org