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Friday July 8- Snoqualmie Falls, Boehms Chocolate Factory, Seattle China Town, Underground Tour, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, German Restaurant

We were on the road early this morning taking the dogs to their grooming appointment. We had made the appointment a week ago, based on internet ratings. The place was in North Bend, about 13 miles east of where we are staying.  We drove east on Rt. 202, through Fall City and on  through Snoqualmie, which is a cute little town. The place was packed, as they were having a “Thomas the Train” day, with a zillion kids happily climbing all over the place.

We dropped the pups off at 9AM and returned west about 5 miles to Snoqualmie Falls.

This is the highest falls in Washington State, at 270 ft. The Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Project is Puget Sound Energy’s oldest power-generating operation and the world’s first completely underground power plant.

Next, we found on the GPS that there was a Chocolate Factory in Issaquan,

and not being ones to by-pass chocolate, we followed the “witch in the GPS’s” directions to the Boehms Chocolate Factory. Julius Boehm (1897-1981), of Swiss-Austrian descent, immigrated in 1940 and with a partner opened the first Candy Kitchen in the north end of Seattle. In 1956 the company moved to Issaquah where he built the Edelweiss Chalet. They offered tours of the factory, but were fully booked for the day. They have outside windows where you can take a self-guided tour,

which we did. We tasted some of the chocolate and bought a couple of pieces. (It was about $18 per lb, so a few pieces were enough).

We ran back and picked up the dogs, and they looked very cute. The gals at ‘U Dirty Dog’, had put feathers and bows on them!

We took them back to the motor home, then decided to run into Seattle. We went straight to China Town for an excellent lunch at Shangai Garden Restaurant.  The place was packed for lunch and the food was wonderful. .

After our lunch, we drove a few blocks over to Pioneer Square.  It turns out Pioneer Square is a triangle!

That was not all we learned about the history of Seattle. We decided to take “Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour”. This is described as a “ Hilarious History Tour Beneath Seattle’s Sidewalks”. Yup, that’s what it was! The tour begins in Doc Maynard’s Public House,

a restored 1890’s saloon, straight out of a western movie, on Pioneer Square. The history lesson starts with a hilarious introduction to the history of Seattle. They just proved that the Federal Government isn’t the only government which is corrupt and idiotic. Bill Speidel has a book, called “Sons of the Profits”, which we did not buy, but I did order it from Paperback Swap for free. His theory was that history should be fun, and that many stories in history are never told. He felt, that if history is told in a humorous way, people will learn to enjoy history. We laughed for the entire 90 minute tour. We lucked out, the gal who did the introduction, Guen( pronounced Gwen), was the one assigned to our group for the  entire tour.

She was a hoot! We literally ended up walking around under the city. Turns out the original city was built on sawdust and with wood. There was a big fire in 1889, which destroyed the city. So they re-built it on the cheap, with the main floors being on the second or third floor. This all occurred since they built basically on the mud flats. Needless to say, there were a lot of “seamstresses”, who of course did no sewing, so there were a lot of jokes about their occupation. Once the government figured out that if they taxed” the ladies of the night” “services”, they could pay for the city services.

    After the tour, we went to the Pike Place Market.

The history of Pike Place Market is as rich and colorful as Seattle itself. Its nine acres and more than a century of operation encompass thousands of fascinating stories — tales of immigration, internment, renovation and urban renewal — all that help explain why Pike Place Market is called “The Soul of Seattle.”

Here is a snapshot of how the Market came to be. Between 1906 and 1907, the cost of onions increased tenfold. Outraged citizens, fed up with paying price-gouging middlemen too much for their produce, found a hero in Seattle City Councilman Thomas Revelle. Revelle proposed a public street market that would connect farmers directly with consumers. Customers would “Meet the Producer” directly, a philosophy that is still the foundation of all Pike Place Market businesses.

On August 17, 1907, Pike Place Market was born. On that first day, a total of eight farmers brought their wagons to the corner of First Avenue and Pike Street—and were quickly overwhelmed by an estimated 10,000 eager shoppers. By 11:00 am, they were sold out. Thousands of would-be customers went home empty-handed, but the chaos held promise. By the end of 1907, the first Market building opened, with every space filled.

A century later, Pike Place Market is internationally recognized as America’s premier farmers’ market and is home to more than 200 year-round commercial businesses; 190 craftspeople and approximately 100 farmers who rent table space by the day; 240 street performers and musicians; and more than 300 apartment units, most of which provide housing for low-income elderly people. “The Market,” as the locals affectionately say, attracts 10 million visitors a year, making it one of Washington State’s most frequently visited destinations.” Taken from http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/visitor_info/market_history.

We wandered through the top floor of the building. That was mainly the ‘farmers market’ part of the market. We sampled various cherry products, pepper jellies, cheeses, nuts and flowers.

Since by this time it was late in the day, we could not find any breads that we wanted, and many of the vendors were starting to pack up for the day. We watched the “fish throwing”,

which we have seen on the Travel Channel and History Channel. There were several street performers. 

We bought some chocolate covered cherries. Since we still had time on the parking meter, we wandered along the waterfront, looking in the shops. Here is one of the Ferries coming into port.

We decided that we wanted to find a German Restaurant for dinner. The first place we found on the GPS turned out to just be a pub, with appetizers. So we went to a place called “The German Restaurant”. The restaurant was about as impressive as it’s name. The food was not all that good. Bob had a sausage and I had hunters schnitzel( same as Jaeger Schnitzel with a mushroom sauce); we both had spatzel and red cabbage.

From there, we had “ the witch”, needless to say after she “recalculated” numerous times,  find us a way back to the RV park. She did pretty well, taking us through Redmond. Redmond seems to be pretty upscale, at least the area that we traveled through. We think we passed the Microsoft Offices, but were not sure as we did not see a Microsoft sign. 

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