Hack Seattle and Lake Sammamish

Hack Seattle and Lake Sammamish
Hack Seattle and Lake Sammamish

Airstream Adventures: Hack Seattle and Lake Sammamish

written by Kevin Max

Hack Seattle: Urban Experience without the Hassle


The idea was to hack Seattle—to find a suitable spot for a 25-foot trailer and close enough to the city that you could drive in, walk or Lyft around to partake in urban delights. After a prolonged search, we found no good options for the Airstream. Then we looked a little farther afield in Bellevue.

Vasa Resort Park on Lake Sammamish is a privately owned lakeside RV park that also has a beach, swimming area, a dock and good views if you luck into the spot we did, fronting the lake. Just 12 miles east of Seattle and on the outskirts of Bellevue, Vasa made for a faux-Swedish launch pad for urban excursions.

Any good urban hack should involve the icons of American culture—eating, drinking, shopping, soccer, Pike Place and Uwajimiya markets.
On the first day, we sipped coffee in the Airstream and looked out over the blue morning sun on Lake Sammamish. Birds were first to recreation, preceding kids by an hour. We laced our running shoes and headed for East Lake Sammamish Trail, a mixed surface that runs parallel to the lake. A good architectural tour indeed!

Airstream Adventures: Exploring Bellevue


The ensuing theme for the day was Bellevue. We drove into the bustling center of consumer cravings in downtown Bellevue. Bellevue Square and The Collection in Bellevue kept my wife busy in picking up “basics” by the bag and makeup in exotic shades. “Don’t worry, honey, I needed this,” she said. “These are just basics!” Even the basics seem complicated to me.

A typical male, I suppose, nothing makes me hungry like sheepishly following my wife through aisles and stores. It all made me wolfish. At Pogada, a restaurant with Croatian cuisine and white tablecloths, I tried a seafood-laden cappellini dish and Croatian favorite. Sarah put in for a Greek tuna salad with lemon vinaigrette—pairs better with basics.

While Sarah retrenched among the shops, I popped in to the Bellevue Arts Museum and took in the Electric Coffin’s evolving Future Machine exhibit. Right on Bellevue Way and across the street from shopping, the museum caters well to the overstimulated shopper. This unpretentious collection of art is well worth the visit and respite from retail.

Before retiring to the Swedish Vasa resort, we ate that night in the airy Tavern Hall, a light-filled space on the scale of a German bierhaus.

Airstream Adventures: Exploring Lake Sammamish


Every morning is better with French press coffee. Drip seems neither strong enough nor hot enough. Pour-overs don’t mingle water and coffee long enough, just a fleeting kiss. French press is ceremonial and full of process, ending with a plunge like a Tibetan Om. Do not jump foolishly and with haste into this day, it exhales.

We drove a few miles to Cougar Mountain, a quiet reserve in the middle of a suburban network. There are 35 miles of trails on this peak. Running them is an up-and-down recreation, more challenging than the flat Lake Sammamish trail.

That day’s Seattle schedule was a full one. Sounders game day is electric around CenturyLink Field. We hoped for a good match, of course, but also to see the Sounders send D.C. United back to their humid homes with another loss and a little less united in a 4-3 win.

Already in South Seattle, we took a car to Uwajimaya, the iconic market for Asian goods. If you don’t know what you want, it sometimes makes sense to follow a camp counselor with a dozen kids in tow. They all clamored for and converged on one product in the snack aisle, like piranha attacking flesh. Like a vulture watching from above, I swooped in to pick the carcass clean. I had found a new favorite—cylinders of rice crackers rolled with seaweed paper.

Airstream Adventures: Pike Place Market


We hopped a Lyft back to Pike Place Market, where we jumped in the lunch line for the popular Lowell’s. A classic element of the market and “Almost Classy” for the past sixty years, Lowell’s is known for its fresh seafood. Not one to defy tradition, I ordered the king salmon potato croquettes, while Sarah had the belle of the ball, a market seafood salad.

Though its arteries may be clogged with traffic, Seattle is a healthy, walkable city. We wandered in and out of Capitol Hill, up to Queen Anne along the docks on the Sound and finally to the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Pike Street. The French press must be fed.

Before heading back to Vasa, we popped into Ethan Stowell’s Tavolata on Capitol Hill for red wine and a Manhattan. The new venue from the Stowell empire is a great spot that opens to the elements, and the elements were perfect this day.

We stopped at a supermarket with controversial dinner creations in mind. Back at the RV resort and in full view of the lake, I made the Lake Sammamwhich, Beecher’s cheese melted over ham with tomato, caramelized red onion, sliced fig, a spot each of mustard and mayo all served on a toasted ciabatta roll. The setting sun rolled out a golden canvas over Lake Sammamish.

On our way out of town the next morning, we returned to Pike Place for to-go salmon and mussels and a bundle of flowers to cheer the ride home and offset the fishy odors.

RECIPE


DifficultyBeginner

Simple and perfect camping food dedicated to Lake Sammamish. Serves 2.

The Sammamwich

Yields1 Serving
Prep Time12 minsCook Time7 minsTotal Time19 mins

 2 ciabatta rolls, sliced, buttered and grilled
 4 slices of high quality ham
 4 slices Beacher's Cheese
 1 tomato, sliced
 1 red onion, sliced thinly
 46 figs, sliced like thick ham
 Arugula
 Brown Mustard
 Mayonnaise

1

Prepare all veggies first by slicing and setting aside.

2

Either grill or heat on stovetop the ciabatta rolls face-down until light brown.

3

Remove to plates and, using the same pan, melt cheese over ham.

4

Put ham and cheese on the grilled face of the bottom pieces of ciabatta rolls.

5

Artfully add veggies.

6

Combine mayonnaise and mustard, then apply to grilled side of top of ciabatta rolls.

7

Put it all together and serve with dill chips and a green salad.

Category

Ingredients

 2 ciabatta rolls, sliced, buttered and grilled
 4 slices of high quality ham
 4 slices Beacher's Cheese
 1 tomato, sliced
 1 red onion, sliced thinly
 46 figs, sliced like thick ham
 Arugula
 Brown Mustard
 Mayonnaise

Directions

1

Prepare all veggies first by slicing and setting aside.

2

Either grill or heat on stovetop the ciabatta rolls face-down until light brown.

3

Remove to plates and, using the same pan, melt cheese over ham.

4

Put ham and cheese on the grilled face of the bottom pieces of ciabatta rolls.

5

Artfully add veggies.

6

Combine mayonnaise and mustard, then apply to grilled side of top of ciabatta rolls.

7

Put it all together and serve with dill chips and a green salad.

Lake Sammamich Ham Sammich

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