Eating Our Way To, Through and From a Seattle Mariners Game

For my husband’s birthday, I was thinking Elton John tickets. He suggested an excursion to watch a Mariners game. I was sure that I was in for the equivalent of watching paint dry.

As the weekend progressed, I realized that baseball is the secondary sport for most ballgame viewers. The primary sport is eating and drinking. T-Mobile Park’s ‘All Levels Food Roster’ lists over one-hundred and fourteen food and drink outlets. Being the ‘plus one’ at a Mariners’ game definitely has its advantages!

In full disclosure, our eating expedition began well before we arrived in Seattle. It actually started shortly after we left home. With a two-hour drive to the Victoria Clipper, we needed coffees to fuel our journey. Hello, Ladysmith’s Old Town Bakery. I swear that our car stops there automatically.

Old Town Bakery: Ladysmith’s Best Buns

Although the Clipper offers fewer food choices than the larger BC ferries, it is licensed. With a two-hour and forty-minute journey, no Wi-Fi, and friendly in-seat service, it can be hard to resist having at least one small drink. Besides, nothing quite spells celebration like “c-h-a-m-p-a-g-n-e.” At the end of the ride, turkey provolone sandwiches were available at half-price. As tempting as that was, we passed (so that we did not miss a better dining opportunity at our destination).

Later that evening, we discovered The Cafe Paloma located near our hotel. As my husband and I both love Mediterranean food, we didn’t have to think twice. The menu was simple, delicious and affordable. We even indulged in taking a piece of baklava back to our room. That was a wonderful call!

We were so full that we were sure we wouldn’t want breakfast the next day. Not so! A continental buffet (including waffles, hard-boiled eggs and ready-made breakfast sandwiches) was both convenient and complimentary. We loved everything about The Best Western Plus in Pioneer Square, including this buffet. Their breakfast room (minus the waffles and eggs) is open free-of-charge all day long. If in Seattle again, we will definitely be back.

After breakfast, a leisurely wander through Pioneer Square took us past historic brick buildings, brightly coloured street art and galleries galore. It also led us to very inviting cafes and eateries. Since Seattle is known for its coffee, we felt compelled to stop for a small cup. The centrally located Caffe Umbria was a perfect choice. They also provided an exquisite piece of dark chocolate with our drinks.

We then made our way to the stadium. No longer offering mere peanuts and Cracker Jacks, it was a food-lovers Disney Land. Honey-glazed back ribs, clam chowder in a sourdough bowl, steamed crab legs…The gastronomical array was intoxicating. For those with allergies (or incredible restraint), there were multiple vegan and gluten-free options. Label us unimaginative, we indulged in hotdogs, beer and peanuts. As temptation was always in our visual screen, the damage to our diets could have been much worse.




After the game, we took refuge from the cold and damp weather at nearby Jimmy’s on First. Piping hot Spanish Coffees warmed better than any wood-burning fireplace ever could. As a bonus, Richard caught live coverage of the Seahawks game. I practiced my food photography skills.

You’ll be pleased to know that we took a small siesta back at our hotel before heading out again. We couldn’t possibly be hungry, right? Wrong! After a dazzling ride on the Great Wheel,  we did what one does in Seattle. We headed for seafood. The Crab Pot did not disappoint. Although they focus on selling all-inclusive, messy steamed crab dinners to large groups, their shrimp tacos are very worthy of mention. To make ourselves feel better, we substituted the fries with salad. Incredible restraint, I know.

After this, we were seriously done eating….at least for the next eight hours! The following day, we grabbed coffees and prepackaged breakfast sandwiches before rushing to our early morning ferry. Although I was sure that we wouldn’t want to eat on the ride, who could resist one final indulgence?

Perspective is an incredible thing. If my husband had written this post, he would have taken an entirely different angle. To honour all those who share his point of view, here is what was most important to him.

Mariners Win
Sunday, September 29. Seattle Mariners win against the Oakland Athletics 3-1.

By Retirement Reflections

Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.

76 replies on “Eating Our Way To, Through and From a Seattle Mariners Game”

I am incredibly grateful for this little corner of the blogosphere. It has allowed me to experiment with my voice in writing while making meaningful connections along the way.
The above is my draft of Assignment #3 for my Travel Writing Course. The instructions were to write about a weekend excursion, considering different formats, highlights, periods of time, transportation, eating, shopping, etc.
Fortunately, Richard and I had already planned a trip to Seattle for this past weekend. For this piece, I have struggled with writing in the style that I have developed here on this site, for this media, with readers with whom I already have a relationship. The nagging echo in my brain is if travel writing for an unknown audience, should I reign in that voice, take fewer liberties with expressions and grammar and be more formal?
So once again, I (shamelessly) bring my homework to you requesting any feedback that you have, this time on what I have written. Would you suggest I be more formal, use less colloquial expressions, kill the ellipses? I’d greatly appreciate any thoughts, corrections or suggestions that you have. Once again, I will submit this post and all comments with my final copy. Thank you in advance.

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Oooh, thank you so much for this post, Donna! Visits to Seattle are definitely on my list once I live on the island. I know I’ll be referring to this one again when I am able to plan such a trip.
As to my thoughts on this piece – Donna, I love less formal posts on travel (everything, really!). I want to get to know the writer, and that is how I connect with the content. “If Donna likes Seattle, then I will probably like Seattle too, because I connect with Donna” is my thinking. I don’t know if other readers feel this way, but I certainly do. I have a harder time relating to bloggers (travel and otherwise) who don’t let their personality shine through. The downside of being more personal is you may not appeal to everyone but I think the upsides outweigh this as you will gain a following of people who relate to you and your writing style.


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Hi, Deb – I like your thinking! Ironically, I was a much more formal writer before I began blogging. From some excellent modelling on other sites, I have learned to relax with my writing, take some risks, experiment and have fun. A downside is that now when I try to squash that informal voice, it refuses to stay quiet!
BTW – I’d be happy to join you on a Seattle get-away trip anytime.

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Hi, Lisa – Richard and I were thinking of you and Rand this past weekend. While we were in Victoria, we found ourselves near the MEC store. Richard said, “we should visit Rand and Lisa.” I replied, “Wrong MEC store, wrong city!” 😀


Well done again, Donna! Your post brought back fond memories of Seattle for me. As to my thoughts on travel writing, there are many reading styles just like many writing styles. I know when I prepare for my travel to a new destination, I read both formal and less formal travel guides, articles, blogs, etc. so keep writing in your own style.


Great job describing your trip. I like the less formal approach, much easier to read and connect with. We went to the SF Giants game on Sunday and it was a very emotional one because our manager is retiring and some of players may not be back next year either. I was pretty good at staying on my keto eating plan so I really appreciate your pictures of the different foods. Looking at the pictures does not add calories or carbs! We have a lot of the same with the crab sandwiches and the clam chowder in the sourdough bowl. I had a tri-tip sandwich with no bun 🙂 Unfortunately, our Giants couldn’t pull off a win against the hated rival Dodgers. 😦


Sadly, the team PC follows, the Cincinnati Reds, rarely see a W at the end of a game. But Paul is loyal through and through. You absolutely had to have ballgame food at the ball game. But look at all of the other culinary delights you enjoyed over the weekend. I was not a fan of Seattle when we visited last March. But had we experienced half of the delicious venues you did, I am sure I would have enjoyed my stay more.


What a fun way to celebrate a birthday! I have a few months to think of a way to celebrate mine, but you’ve given me a few ideas (it definitely will include food 🙂 ).

I like the personal, less formal writing style. I just read a magazine article about a girls trip to Boise, ID, and I really enjoyed the author’s friendly style. It made me want to visit Boise too. And, as the Queen of Ellipses… I fully support your use of them!


So very cool. Looks like such a fun time. Does Edgar Martinez still have his restaurant on the third base side.

I remember living there back in the day when the old Kingdome was around and going to Sneakers across the street. #MLSTL.


Wow! You DO know how to watch a game! My husband and I were in Washington DC last week and we went to a Nationals game. We didn’t buy anything to eat or drink but the family of four (two parents, and two little boys, probably 5 and 7) ate their way through ice cream, popcorn, hot dogs and that was just the kids. The parents had all that plus several cans of wine and glasses of beer. I figure they spent over $100 on food alone. I don’t think anyone but the dad saw any part of the game. Except the 7th inning stretch where one of the kids made it onto TV by dancing. They were cute but distracting as they were sitting right in front of us.


Hi, Dawn – I just saw your post about that game (plus your other adventures). Your photos are amazing!
I admire your restraint about not buying any food or drink. In our defence, it was lunchtime….and Richard’s birthday celebration! Still, we did not spend anywhere near $100 on food. Hopefully, we were not distracting to anyone else around us. Wait….there was no one else directly around us. We were the only ones in our row!


Wow Donna – all that food! It’d be enough to convince a non-sporty person like me to go to a baseball game too! Glad his team won, and glad you got to eat all that fantastic food (and drink!) It’s good that an act of love was so well rewarded.
Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂


What a timely post. I’m giving serious thought to relocating to the Seattle area from Hot-as-Hell Houston. You’ve provided me with many more fine reasons to consider it. The coffee and the food! I went to a Chicago Cubs game this summer with low expectations (because I’m not a ball fan), and was pleasantly surprised by the “total experience” of it all. It sounds like you had a fun trip, with something for everyone!


Hi, Tracey – I agree about the ‘total experience’ of a major league baseball game. I was greatly impressed!
Super exciting news that you are considering a move to Seattle. We would be neighbours! I love living on the West Coast. Do you follow blogger Dee Dee Tilley? She lives in the Seattle area and could be an excellent resource!


I’m with you. Watching a baseball game is as exciting as folding laundry. But it you throw a foodie tour onto the mix, I’m in. Great food and travel post.


Hi Donna, I love that you are sharing your homework assignments with us as we get to benefit by travelling with and we gain weight at the same time 🙂 . Your writing style is very easy to read and I too prefer the less formal approach for travel blogs. It is so much more like a chat between friends this way. I enjoyed seeing the game through your eyes, the food you ate and where you stayed. It sounds like a great weekend so thanks for letting us join you 🙂 #mlstl


Love your heading photo, Donna! My morning smile:) I have never seen champagne offered before? I will definitely look for it now. Good to note about the Seattle recommendation. Great food photography. Definitely some drool on my laptop this morning. Great job on the post. I liked the mix of information, personality, photography. I loved it!


I love Seattle. We’ve only been once but had a great time visiting the Needle and Pikes Place etc. We did take a ferry out to Bainbridge but not Whidbey.
When we go back, I’ll visit some of the places you mentioned.
Nice post and your food photos are excellent.


Haha, love it! I live in Oregon and go Seattle frequently and it’s a foodie’s dream! Your choices look amazing and I’m sure you have no regrets! Looks like a fun weekend! #MSTL sharing on sm


I was going to ask what happened about the game, I thought you’d forgotten to tell us, but there it was right at the end! I have been to Seattle many years ago but didn’t have very long there, and your post definitely makes me want to return. I don’t often read impersonal travel posts, the 10 things to do in XYZ type. If I want to know those things I can look them up or buy a guide book. I want to know about experiences, how someone felt about a place. That’s what I get from this piece – very enjoyable. And lots of food and drink never goes wrong in my view.


Hi, Anabel – Thank you for this feedback. Based on discussions in our travel writing class, I experimented with drafting this post in different ways. In the end, I scrapped those attempts for what felt more natural to me.
BTW – Your comments on my last two posts have confirmed that you need a do-over trip to Seattle and Vancouver Island!! :
BTW – The score was 3:1!


Hi Donna,
I got hungry (and thirsty!) just reading this post…a great guy’s birthday trip for sure.
And as far as the assignment, I always enjoy informal posts more as a reader. They seem more relate-able to me and allow more of the author’s voice to come through and seem more natural.
Just my 2 cents.


I can’t possibly critique this post – too much drool on my keyboard! Seriously, I enjoyed the travel/foodlogue. Your voice was perfect – natural and honest. Who cares about baseball? Bring on the cafes and bars, fish and waffles and…. you get the picture. And the ending was perfect. 🙂

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Hi, Donna,
I’ve always felt that blogging is less formal than writing, say, an essay or a magazine article. A blogger slowly gathers an audience and ultimately talks to that audience as friends so, less formal is better in my opinion. Most of my blog is travel writing and I want to describe the experience to my friends and have them want to visit it with me. You made me want to visit every cafe and restaurant in this post (and made me hungry as well)! I give you an A+. Joe

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I would love to retrace all your steps and indulge with you side by side. I don’t know how you stay so thin! I was waiting for the baseball part, and you didn’t disappoint. I love that you ended with a big sign, Mariners Win! Ha ha. What I love about this blog is that it’s all about the journey along the way, all the little and big things we discover along the route to where we are going.

You never disappoint, Donna.

So much fun!

Susan Grace


Hi, Susan – How could anyone not like you? It’s simply not possible! You have such an incredible mind for detail, and you use it to make people feel important. I wish that you had been at the baseball game with me too. We could have enjoyed that Spanish Coffee together!

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I loved this post. It made me hungry and I have just eaten lunch. I prefer the personal style and love posts where the writer is not trying to advertise something.


Thanks, Ann – One of the reasons that I have never wanted to monetize my blog (other than sheer laziness :D) is that I want to write about topics that interest me without putting pressure on myself. I never want to write something because I ‘have to” or because I am “trying to sell something” .


Oh my gosh, I understand what you meant in the beginning by – equivalent of watching paint dry. If it’s a ball and you can bounce it, kick it, throw it, toss it, etc…then my hubby has to watch it on TV or see it live in person! Me, I am not interested. Sounds like you all had a great time and yay for your husband that the Mariners won!!


Hi Donna – sounds a great couple of days and making the most, with restraint! … I miss the seafood! I’m glad the Mariners won – for Richard’s sake … cheers Hilary


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