Summer in Seattle came a day early this year. No rain and a temperature over 70 degrees on the 4th is truly a rarity. This year, we got both. Though I don’t do well in the heat (at all), I try really hard not to complain about it once it arrives because… well, because it’s just a little over 80 and that’s about 25 degrees cooler than the rest of the country right now. It’s also so rare that we get this kind of heat that we do appreciate the change. It’s just amazing how quickly one adapts to a local climate and how much hotter 80 feels than I ever imagined it could. We made the best of this sunny weekend, though.
B’s brother and sister in law bought us the Royal Argosy A Taste of History lunch cruise as a Christmas gift. We chose this weekend back in December, trusting that the weather would hold up. It did better than hold up. It was the nicest weekend we’ve seen in many, many months.
We didn’t know what to expect from the cruise. We scoped out the menu online (turns out we looked at the wrong menu), but other than that, we pretty much had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We didn’t even know it was a history cruise. That was a big bonus. One of my favorite aspects of Seattle is the richness of the city’s history and how much there is to learn. From the ghost stories to the straight historical facts, it’s all fascinating.
The meal started with a little work for the guests. The servers brought around small trays each holding a jar of heavy cream, a small ramekin of salt, and a dish of strawberry jam. Want butter with your sourdough bread? You better start shaking! Of course, they’ll help you out with it if you ask, but where’s the fun in that? About 10 minutes of shaking later, we had whipped butter.
The historical tour menu features modernized renditions of meals that would have been popular in Seattle during the Gold Rush. The bread, salads, and dessert were served while the rest of the menu was buffet style. The salad was a Crab Louie that I very much enjoyed. B turned it down, of course.
The buffet had a selection of items that included things like pickled vegetables, roasted tomatoes and green beans, smoked salmon, chicken croquettes, oysters fried with bacon and egg, potatoes au gratin and roasted celery. I don’t make plates look beautiful for a living, so you’ll have to excuse the state of my plate.
The food was honestly a bit of an odd selection, but I understand why. There were certainly food combinations back then that don’t make make a lot of sense to us now. It was an enjoyable meal, though, with lots more food than one could ever need at lunch. I admit B and I weren’t all that focused on the food for once. It was a really beautiful day in Seattle and we were anxious to get to the upper deck.
Once on top, I literally took about 200 photos and when we found a spot to stand where it wasn’t too windy, we had a great time enjoying the water and admiring the beautiful homes along the way. We finally headed back downstairs to the dining deck in time for dessert. On the menu was Strawberry “Shortcake",” served not with shortcake, but with a Fisher Scone (a staple in the Pacific Northwest for 100 years). The scone was good, but I’m not the biggest scone person in the world, nor are strawberries my favorite fruit, so I didn’t make too much of a dent in my dessert.
It was a beautiful day on the water. Though there was a little safety on our part choosing the first weekend after the 4th of July for our adventure, but we were still extremely lucky to have such a beautiful day. Here’s to at least a few more weeks of weather like this.