After our visit at Pike Place Market and the Market Magic & Novelty Shop we began our trek back up the gradual incline of Pike Street to our hotel. In the next 45 minutes I would experience…umm…something.
More than once.
Before I go any further I want to share something with you about my aunt that I haven’t up until now. This petite, sweet, kind, very spiritual lady who has been my best friend my entire life. The one who has been there for me always and second only to Phoenix in the complete unconditional love I’ve experienced from another soul in this lifetime. She is incredibly generous to others and works hard for causes as well as volunteering her personal time cleaning up dog pens in animal shelters or helping to protect seals in Hawaii. Yet none of this would have ever occurred had she not been a fighter many years ago.
She is a two-time cancer survivor.
The very first intersection walking east from Pike Place Market is 1st Avenue and Pike Street. The traffic was stopped at a four-way stoplight and would be moving from my left to right when the light turned green. I decided to step out into the street and take a picture. The following all occurred in about 20 seconds time.
I scooted out swiftly to do an initial quick focus. I had forgotten to turn on the camera.
My aunt, “Hey honey…”
Me, “Hang on…”
I brought the camera back up to my right eye then pulled it back down. The lens cap was still on.
Her more assertively, “Mike, you need to…”
Me, annoyed, “Hang ONNN…”
I was finally ready to have my very non-National Geographic moment and I snapped the shot…to be met with the sound of…
“MIKE!!!!!”, my aunt again.
Arrgh, me, “WHAT?!”
Her, “THERE IS A BUS STOPPED BEHIND YOU!!!”
I spun around, “SHIT!!” as I stared up face to face with a calm, smiling bus driver waving and looking down at me. It was one of those public transportation buses that runs with stealthy silence and had been stopped at this ultra quick light exchange!
I leaped back to the sidewalk in one step and looked at my aunt, “Why didn’t you say something?!”
Her, giving me a double take, “I should smack you. On second thought…” FWAP across my upper arm!! She smacked me.
My aunt thinks I’m part adventurous, part creative and part crazy ass for doing stuff like that. Then she motioned for me to follow her down 1st Avenue instead of back up to the hotel.
She said, “Have you ever had gelato?”
I said, “No, I haven’t but have always wanted to try it!”
My aunt, “Oh my gawd, you will love it. Look, there’s a gelato shop right here! Do you want to check it out?”
Me, “Heck ya!”
For those of you wondering how I could go through this many years in life and not tasted the decadence of gelato. I just don’t have an answer for that one. I’ve had many incredible life experiences but that intoxicatingly creamy, velvety delight? It wasn’t until today that our paths would cross. Thank you Bottega Italiana in Seattle, Washington.
*Editor’s Note* I was snagging photos to put out on social media and caught something by total accident for the first time. Look up top left corner past the Bottega Italiana sign. There is an owl!! No, it’s not real but I had to zoom in to make sure!**
From their website, “Quality takes precedence here, so it is no coincidence that our creation has been voted ‘best dessert in town’ and ‘best gelato’ by locals in numerous publications. This is authentic artisan gelato at its best! Each flavor has its’ own unique recipe and is made in small quantities to ensure freshness. Our pistachios and hazelnuts come from Italy, and our produce is fresh and local.”
My aunt and I perused the case, as it’s chilled to keep each member of the royalty at their perfect consistency. All the fruity and savory players were on display to entice and seduce you. Then I saw the one, like a light ascending from heaven, as the music played. The one that I had to have.
We grabbed our seats on a wooden bench next to the window I mentioned above. I had absolutely no idea what it would be like.
Do you remember your first time? You know…
I scooped my first spoonful and apprehensively slid it into my mouth. My lips gently clasping down on the back of the cupped part of the spoon and then I slid it back out slowly. There was a sugary, nutty aftertaste as the flavor of caramel danced on the taste buds of my wanting tongue. I closed my eyes. I moaned. It was exhilarating and I wanted it again. And again. I wanted it badly. I’m telling you it was that kind of food porn experience for me.
She and I sat quietly at that point just taking in the moment. The following is why there are no pictures of her dessert or me looking out the window onto the sidewalk and street. Everything became a blur in minutes.
As I sat on the bench seat enjoying the view my eyes began to well up as a thought and emotion completely overcame me. As I type this the same emotion is hitting me again as I recollect the moment. For 11 years Phoenix sat next to me at the computer and I spoke to him of traveling. Seattle, Washington was always my first choice for a restart of that journey. I had actually planned for the two of us to drive to the Emerald City this last Fall. He always sat listening intently, making constant eye contact with me or at the computer if I pointed something out on the screen to him. I wanted to tell him right then while sitting in Bottega Italiana that I had finally made it back to Seattle.
I’m open-minded to all things in life and that which people experience.
A splash of a light-golden fur flashed by the lower part of the window and it wasn’t until it passed by the full length glass door that I could see it all.
It was a Golden Retriever.
I could only mumble loudly, “Did you see…I’ll be right back…” to my aunt. In the process of nearly knocking over the table, my gelato and wiping out my Canon camera as it nearly swung into the steel door frame and tripping over another table.
I dashed outside and just saw him going around the corner. I bolted up to the corner and carefully peered around while being cognizant and ready to snap a photo. Only to be met by a sea of people flowing directly in my path and walking towards me.
He was gone.