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Expat wanderer

Adrift in Anacortes

Totally by accident, we fell into one of the very best meals of our trip, and that is saying a lot, because Seattle is full of great food.

We were hungry. AdventureMan thought he had spotted an Italian restaurant, but it turned out to be Mexican – and closed. Across the street, though, we saw a continuous line of people heading into a restaurant called Adrift – Swell Food for Salty Dogs. We decided to take a look.

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I want you to note the garbage can – another tip of the hat to Anacortes past as a canning town, an effort led by the same artist from the previous post, Bill Mitchell, who created more than 150 murals in the town. There are also several of these garbage cans, done to resemble classic canned fish from Anacortes. They are eye-catching.

One look at the menu – it is extensive – and we knew we could find something to like. Once inside, I was wow’ed by the copper-top bar, being kind of a copper fan. But could we even be seated?? It is Mother’s Day, we have no reservation, but we are happy to sit at the bar.

AdriftInterior

 

It isn’t easy to choose what to eat. There is so much on the menu, and we were in the perfect place to see it all coming out.

AdriftCooks

 

AdventureMan settled on their Salmon and Corn Chowder, and their Troller Tuna sandwich. The chowder was superior, awesome, and the tuna had little, if any mayonnaise, it was tasty and perfect.

AdriftChowder

 

AdriftTrollerTuna

 

I ordered the Steamers; little clams in a “drunken” sauce of white wine and garlic and parsley. It was DIVINE, served with foccaccia bread to sop up the clammy, garlicky wine broth. I haven’t been so delighted in years.

AdriftSteamers

Because it was Mother’s Day, AdventureMan ordered a Blueberry Meringue pie. Well, as an Alaska girl, I really do love blueberries, but he really really loves meringue. We shared it, and we were both happy. They gave us so much of the real whipped cream that we shared it with our neighbors at the bar, a group of bikers (of the bicycling sort) enjoying their food as much as we enjoyed ours.

AdriftBlueberryMeringue

If you get to Anacortes, find Adrift, on Commercial Avenue, and eat there. It is purely fabulous.

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May 9, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anacortes, WA for the Ferry to Sidney

Did I mention the traffic on I-5 in Seattle? Seattle has beautiful highways, a gorgeous freeway build back decades ago when Seattle traffic was a lot lighter, and mostly law abiding. The nature of the Seattle people is noticeably civil, but the traffic has doubled, and doubled again, and the roads are no longer adequate.

They have plans, great plans for better public transportation, more bike friendly routes, more adequate secondary routes, and in the meanwhile – traffic can be gridlocked.

We haven’t experienced any of it. We’ve been so lucky, arriving at a relatively low traffic time, arriving in great weather so there are fewer weather-related slow-downs and accidents. We never had a problem our whole time in Seattle, including this morning, as we arose a little early on a Sunday morning to make the trek from Edmonds to Anacortes. We are on the 0830 ferry going to Sidney, on Vancouver Island. We made our reservation months ago, as advised. We have received texts reminding us of our reservation and the need to be there 90 minutes before departure, so we booked an overnight in Anacortes to be sure to be there.

Early Sunday morning, there was light traffic, and we zoomed up the interstate, arriving with plenty of time to explore before lunch.

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There is so much to love in Anacortes, but one of the things in the old part of Anacortes is something called the Anacortes Mural Project 1993.

ANACORTES MURAL PROJECT

(from the City of Anacortes, WA website)

The intent of the Anacortes Renaissance and Revival Confederation, which Bill Mitchell helped organize, is where the idea of murals first surfaced.  Intrigued, he brought several images to the group’s second meeting, got a thumbs-up, and by the third meeting, took charge.  “I had the time and the background, education, and experience to be able to head up a mural project and I had a work space.” Equally important was “enough talented friends that I felt I could put together a crew.”

            The Anacortes Women’s Club sponsored the first mural – Fred White and his 1891 safety bike – for a scant $50.  Mounted May 3, 1984, the mural was christened with a bottle of Miller Hi-Life.  In a shower of beer and broken glass, the Anacortes Mural Project was launched. 

Bill Mitchell and murals

Murals are sponsored by families, friends, businesses, the City, Chamber, and local service clubs.  Mitchell owns the murals, to insure they can’t be moved to someone’s private residence. “This keeps the project together but it also makes me responsible for the maintenance.”

            One of the original goals of the project was to inspire the town’s merchants to spruce up their buildings.  It gratifies him that a decade into the AMP, the downtown had a new spirit. “People had been painting their buildings and there was a new feeling of optimism downtown that I would like to think we helped to create.”

            Mitchell meant to end the mural project years ago but can’t seem to let go.  There are still too many characters and scenes he’d like to capture.  And if along the way he can inspire other towns to give it a go and recover their mojo, that would be just fine with him.

This is a joyful project, as you can see, each mural sponsored by the building on which it is posted. It gave us joy, too, discovering as many as we could. They are everywhere!

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“Setrocana” mystified us, until we learned it is the name of a made-up mermaid, and is the spelling of Anacortes, backwards 🙂

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Anacortes is on a peninsula/island surrounded by Puget Sound water traffic lanes. If you lived here, you could have a view that changes with the minute, weather, water traffic, aquatic life.

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OldCannery

 

AnacortesMansion

May 9, 2016 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Bureaucracy, Character, Community, Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Road Trips, Travel | , , | Leave a comment