Free fun in Seattle

I'm always amazed how much fun it's possible to have in Seattle - for free or at every little cost. This weekend was a good example. Back from 2.5 weeks in Albania and Southern Italy (read the blog here), we were missing our city! 

On Saturday, we popped in for the free weekly wine tasting at Esquin Wine Merchants and sampled five wines from Jones of Washington. We also picked up a very good 2006 bottle of French red for $10 in the sale annex in the back of the store. Read more here about how to spend a whole day sampling wines for free at Seattle-area wine shops, and how to use an all-day pass on the bus to get around without driving. 

 It's not too late to get to the Pike Place Market Cheese Festival going on all day today at the Pike Place Market. Click here for details. This is an amazing event - 200 cheesemakers from around the country and the world - all offering free samples. Cheese are for sale, and Seattle's Macrina Bakery also has a stand with samples of its olive, potato breads and more.

 Finally, today's New York Times has an excellent article on where to find the best Seattle sweets. I was glad to see the Panama Hotel Tea & Coffee in the International District make the list. Theo Chocolate is another hidden budget secret. Tours of the factory are $6 which include lots of free samples. I've never been to Full Tilt Ice Cream, but I'm going as soon as possible for the cinnamon-scented Mexican chocolate or ube,  infused with Filipino yam.  

World travel is amazing. I wouldn't give it up for the world, but we're lucky to live in Seattle where much of the world comes to us. If you're considering a vacation here this summer, you won't go wrong. By the way, the Seattle Times' new summer guide is out with lots of suggestions on what to do this summer around the Puget Sound area.  Click here for details.

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