Yesterday when we were in Mukilteo, Auntie M took me to visit Ivar's Restaurant. This place is neat because it has a little walk-up food bar outside, so when you are waiting for a ferry you can get some yummy clam chowder or hot chocolate (when it's cold) or ice cream and sodas (when it's hot). It also has a fancy restaurant next door with lots of big windows facing the water so you can eat and look at the water, the ferries, the sea birds, and even (sometimes) seals!
We visited the walk-up food bar in the morning and then later last night we went back to the restaurant for dinner!
I guess Ivar's is kind of famous up here. In fact, the guy who started these restaurants also started the very first Aquarium in Seattle way back in the 1920s or '30s! Here is a picture of him from 1940 walking around downtown Seattle with a baby carriage that had a sign wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. He was going to a big store to visit Santa. And guess what was in the baby carriage? Not a human baby but a baby seal!!!! What a funny guy!!
One of Ivar's favorite things to say was, "Keep Clam" instead of "Keep Calm." Silly!
Anyway, here I am with the girl who works at the walk-up food counter:
And here I am with some of their Christmas decorations, just kicking back:
As you can see, it's pretty casual at the walk-up counter...but inside the restaurant the decorations are both fancy, and fun:
Here's a picture of it from the outside:
After dinner, which was DELICIOUS, when we were leaving, Auntie M noticed these interesting dials by the hostess stand:
She asked what they were for and the hostess told us an interesting story. In October 2003 there was a really big wind storm. It was soooo windy that it made the waves outside the restaurant really huge. As big as the waves in Hawaii that people surf on! The winds were blowing 50-70 mph resulting in huge waves during a storm that lasted 6-9 hours
While the waves got worse and worse, people were eating their dinner just watching them, but the man who runs the restaurant got worried and decided that the waves were dangerous. He was right! Just as he got the very last customer and worker in the restaurant go leave everything and go out front of the restaurant away from the water, a huge wave came and broke through all the windows and flooded the restaurant! Whoa!!!
“People picked up their plates and their beers, went out the entrance, and they walked out onto the ferry dock, and they watched the waves destroy the restaurant,” he said, remembering that day.
Here's a picture of what the inside of the restaurant looked like a few days after the waves crashed through:
Not much was left! In fact, the waves were so strong that they swept away this really large carved fish statue that used to sit on a little dock outside the windows:
Now they've fixed it up and it sits inside the restaurant instead of outside!
It took them a long time to fix the restaurant. When they did, a man named Chris Hopkins painted a huge painting to hang in the front lobby to remind people of the wind and wave storm:
Sure glad that didn't happen when were were there!!! Anyway, those dials Auntie M saw show the current weather conditions. And below them are etching of what the dials would have looked like during the storm. The hostess told us that if the dials ever match the pictures, it's time to stop eating and get out of there!
Pretty incredible story, huh? I bet if old Ivar had been there that day, he would have told everyone to Keep Clam!!
PS~I think that Auntie M is having a little more fun than I am learning about all this stuff. But just wait until I tell you about the really cool place she took me yesteday!