So Much to See and Do in Bellevue! Part 2

By Sara Tantillo, AAFCS Professional Development Manager

IMG_4851Tuesday started bright and early, with a walk around Bellevue to take a look at the site for this year’s “FCS Completes the Circle” Fun Run/Walk, a beautiful park near our conference hotel. Once we had our morning walk, we hopped in the car and headed into Seattle for a busy and fun-filled day!

We began the day at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, a one-of-a-kind space where they roast IMG_4863several different kinds of beans, offer exclusive roasts and give you the chance to try brand new and unique food and drinks. The excursion that includes a visit to the Roastery will give
you a chance to learn about how coffee is grown, selected, and roasted, along with a tasting session and tour of the Roastery. We met with Events Specialist Renee Frechin, to get a quick tour along with a lesson on the many ways to brew coffee! Once we’d finished the “work” part of our visit, we grabbed breakfast—lattes with a coffee exclusive to the Roastery, Paradeisi, and two breakfast sandwiches—one with fennel sausage, spinach, and egg, and one with squash and sprouts! Delicious!

IMG_4867Our next stop was the iconic Pike Place Market. Seattle is very walkable, so we took a stroll down to the Market, located right on the Elliott Bay. Pike Place was established in 1907 to allow farmers to sell directly to consumers and prevent price-gouging by wholesalers. The commitment to providing the community with local produce, fish and meats, and goods remains today. Eventually stores, arcades, and restaurants were added—including the very first Starbucks. There’s more to Pike Place than the famous Pike Place Fish Market—fruit and vegetable vendors, cheeses, chocolate and other desserts, pasta, and many artisans! Private Events Coordinator Ashley Coggins walked us through the Market and gave us a taste of the tour, and then we spent some time exploring on our own—we had to stop each other from buying perishable items, since we had to fly home, but we definitely picked up some non-perishables in a few of the stores!

IMG_4868After Pike Place, we continued our walk through the city—stopping briefly to admire these vintage sewing machines used as a window display! Our next stop was at the Seattle Architectural Foundation, where we met with Grace Travaglini to discuss the Art Deco tour of the city. We’re so excited about this tour, which will give you a chance to see many of the buildings with Art Deco influences, while getting a taste of the city on foot!

IMG_4874.JPGOnce we finished at the Foundation, it was time to head over to Seattle Center, home to some of the city’s best museums! We stopped for lunch at the Seattle Center Armory, where those who are attending the Global Perspectives on Wellness excursion will eat. The Armory contains many local eateries—and attendees with have the chance to select their favorite! We had delicious and healthy salads at Plum Pantry, a vegan restaurant where you can also get fresh juices; smoothies; “protein rich bowls” with grains, legumes, veggies and more; pasta; soup; and sandwiches. Of course, we had to take a moment to get a quick shot with the Space Needle!

097After lunch we headed over to the Nordic Heritage Museum, which showcases Seattle’s vibrant history of Nordic immigrants. Adult Education Coordinator Jeremy Ehrlich showed us around the museum, both in the public galleries and a few “backstage” peeks! We were very excited to see their textiles collection, and excursion attendees will enjoy a lesson on historic Nordic clothing along with one on preservation of textiles.

114Once we finished our visit to the museum, we headed right back to the Seattle Center to visit one of my favorite museums of all time, Chihuly Garden & Glass. We were lucky enough to enjoy a full tour of the museum with Tourism Development Sales Manager Lisa Schmidt, who gave us lots of info about glass artist Dale Chihuly—but also allowed us to quietly experience the majesty of his work! We were able to explore both inside and outside, where the glass pieces integrate seamlessly with the vegetation.

128After a stop in the gift shop (of course!), Lisa sent us on our way over to the Space Needle. The Space Needle will be an “add-on” option to the tour of Garden & Glass on Saturday—you’ll tour the museum with everyone else, but stay longer to head up 520 feet to the Observation Deck, where you’ll enjoy 360 degree views of the city. I’m a wee bit afraid of heights—but the deck is so safe that it didn’t bother me at all!

By this time, the sun had set—both literally and metaphorically on our visit! The Space Needle was our last stop on the trip. The Gates Foundation, located a short walk from the Seattle Center, will also be part of the Global Perspectives on Wellness excursion—but we were not able to fit a visit into our packed schedule!

Finally, it was time for dinner! We headed over to my favorite Mexican restaurant, Agua Verde. If you’re taking the time to explore Seattle, I highly recommend it—particularly the Bacalao tacos, but also the mango quesadilla—if you’re eating on your own, make sure you get a half portion, as the quesadillas are huge!

IMG_4906After dinner, we headed back to the hotel, packed up our souvenirs, and headed straight to bed, as we had to leave the hotel at 5am—as you can tell from this blurry photo! We were sorry to say goodbye to Bellevue, but so excited to get into planning this year’s conference! We are SO looking forward to the 107th Annual Conference—and we hope you are too! As well, this year we have a comprehensive rundown on our website of many of the things to do in Bellevue and Seattle—along with a few fantastic deals to help you extend your trip!

Registration for the conference is now open—and the early-bird pricing is good through April 15th.  Please visit our conference site to learn more, and we hope to see you in Bellevue!



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