Monday, June 15

What you can('t) find in Olympia

Every once in a while, we cross the border and visit the Washington State, mostly for a long weekends.
 Contrary what most of the border Canadians do, we don't go shopping  in big outlets or buy containers of milk. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it's just not our thing.
We go to have a good time and fun.

Few weeks ago, we went back to Olympia, small capital city of the Washington State. Not too far from us, if you don't count two hours of waiting time a the border (it was long weekend ??!), passing Settle, you find yourself in an idyllic little town, with the Capitol Hill building at the top of the hill. It looks like a White House, but most of capitol buildings look alike in the United States.

City had a marathon event, organized that weekend, with Start/final point right in front of our hotel (one of the two in the city). So everything was quite cheerful- hotel full of families waiting for the dad and moms to cross the finish line.

Exploring small city like this was really enjoyable, with nice cafes that offer live folk music over the weekends, entertaining city center with fun water fountain, free tour of the Capitol Hill, idyllic park near Capitol lake, where you can also eat your lunch or handmade ice-cream, right on the grass. Right in the city center is also great supermarket with loads of cooked food and good choice of local and international wines. Along the marina, right on the waterfront, you can find amazing little restaurants that offer fresh local seafood with very affordable prices. And not only seafood!

Localy made ice-cream and more
The Cafe's social justice library
All with loads of  great live music
What really impressed me in this little city is the artisan lifestyle that everyone are proud. In the city, you cannot find large department stores or food chains, all area is dedicated to unique little stores, cafes, boutiques etc..

Right across the lake is The Traditions Cafe, with live music and jamming where you can jump in, if you feel like playing, have handmade delicious ice-cream or pie and read about world's social justice, right from the small cafe's library. Cafe also sell and support international crafts and handmade products.
 (Cafe completely up to my ideal standards!)
Pottery cafe is very active over the weekend!

You can also do something crafty yourself in pottery cafe, where for little bit more then cake and coffee, you can make and paint your own cup or plate and they will send it to you, if you are not staying more then few days in the city.

Food is far from boring. Considering the size of the city, international selection of restaurants is amazing: from classic American vintage dinner style and cooking to international: Asian, Italian etc..
During a day, you can pay visits to several artisan bakeries or food stands, and enjoy the soup or pack a sandwich for your sailing trip that most of the people practice here. 

Highlight of my trip would be my diner at La Gitana, Spanish pizzeria, not only because of the pizza (which I give high mark for thin crust and variety), but the atmosphere and original authentic music and flamenco dance I was able to participate among other restaurant guests. Local flamenco dancers with their founder , thought me how to dance this Spanish gypsy dance I dreamed to dance, ever since I was a child.  But, beside the group of amazing dancers, music that was played and sang that evening, performed by some stunning voices and passion, exalted already boiling atmosphere.

I just can't wait to came back again!

Pulling the scarf from my neck, was greeted passionately among everyone, especially the main flamenco dancer, so we continued dancing together!

I wish I can play here the music and songs they played, the voice and guitar was just pure 10.

I can only say praise to the places I visited and here is my list of what not to miss in Olympia:
La Gitana,
Anthony's Hearthfire grill,
Aya sushi,
Pho Sai Gon
New Moon Cafe,
Sidewalk Cafe,
and of course The Traditions Cafe

And can I just add that bus transit in the city, like in many others in US, is free! Unlike in Vancouver!

No comments: