Seattle!! What a gem! We spent a beautiful whirlwind of 2 days here in the Emerald City and it was an absolute delight, such a great city to explore from scratch without any major plans. My first instinct was noting how laid back and outdoorsy the city felt; it is not a city of high glamour or materialism. It seems to be booming and growing everyday, with new construction and building. In every corner of the city, blue and green surrounds the eye.
The highlights of the trip were our trip to Bainbridge Island and the family time that we were able to spend with my aunt, uncle, mother and cousins in between our time in the city. We planned the trip poorly, but managed to fit in a lot of the items on my bucket list!
Day 1 : We arrived early in the morning at met my mom at our hotel in downtown Seattle. We stayed at the lovely Westin and honestly, it was one of the most luxurious rooms I've stayed in! The down sheets and comfy pillows were by far my favorite part! We got started right away after stowing our bags, and headed first for Pike Place Market. S and I wanted to do some touristy things, like see the fish being thrown at Pike Place and the scenic views of the Puget Sound. We had so much fun with my mom goofing off and leisurely walking past the stalls! My particular favorite were all the flower vendors, who had the most vibrant bouquets with generous heaps of sunflowers, dahlias, snapdragons, and ranunculus. We had lunch at the delicious Sound View Cafes - our table had chicken quesadillas, sandwiches, and fries - and enjoyed our seat. We were perched right above the piers along the Puget Sound, so we had a prime view of the ferries humming along the waterways and disappearing in and out of the fog.
After lunch, we perused a lot of stores and got used to walking the hills of Seattle. We stopped by Beecher's Cheeses and glimpsed at the first Starbucks location - but honestly they were teeming with people and the thought of being stuck in lines was horrible. We made our way out of the Pike Place area and we ended our day shopping by visiting the REI store. Seriously, it was the coolest of stores I've been to. I'm not a big outdoors enthusiast, but after going into REI I wanted to become one! The camping equipment and apparel had me dreaming of redwood forests and open Washington roads.
For dinner we went to visit family in the northern suburbs of Seattle - a simple pizza and wine with the family was SO relaxing and chill. I was in love with the area and was so glad we spent the day entirely outside. S and I had an early start that morning (we were up at 3am!) so I was definitely craving sleep by the time dinner was done.
Day 2 : The original plan was to see the San Juan Islands by ferry but due to our lack of planning and time constraints, we figured that a short trip to Bainbridge Island would satisfy our desires to travel on the Washington ferries. It was! We enjoyed the morning so much, even though it was a bit cloudy and we didn't see Mount Rainier very clearly (darn!). The expansive blue waters and hazy hills in the distance make Seattle so dreamy - I know it rains a lot, but it makes the greens lush and happy. Bainbridge Island was ridiculously beautiful, and as we pulled up we realized that it was quite small and quaint. S and I strolled around by foot and opted to take a walking trail along the water that eventually led up into the town center. We saw the marina, which was quite parched of water as Seattle is experiencing a dry summer. After exploring the woods, looking at the wild berries and all of the boats in the water, we meandered up into the center of town and found the most adorable main street. It was filled with cafes, a bookstore, cute boutiques and gift shops, and other mom & pop stores. Absolutely no chains or franchises (except for maybe a bank). It was charming! My favorite stop was our spontaneous find at the Blackbird Bakery - seriously we just stumbled upon it! - for a latte and a little apple pie. We loved that little bakery!
On our ferry ride back, we snapped photos of the Seattle skyline once it came into view and figured our next move. I was really interesting in snapping some pictures of the city from a high point - thank goodness S is always up for my outrageous ambitions - so I did a little old fashioned searching on a paper map from our hotel. I found that the Columbia Center, the tallest building in Seattle, was the best spot for observing the city and the surrounding water and mountains. It also happens to be the 2nd tallest building on the west coast! Seriously, it was gigantic and quite impressive. We ventured to the observation deck on the 73rd floor for $15 each (ouch) and had a most amazing 360degree view of the city. If it were a bit clearer we probably would have seen Mt. Rainier and Mt. Baker! That was a bummer. But the view was so stunning, we stayed up there for quite a while and really got the most out of the deck. We had lunch at the Columbia Center and planned our way back up to the suburbs for a last family visit.
Our remarkable visit is over, but we cannot wait to be back to explore more of the Pacific Northwest!! I am itching to go back!
- Mercury Coffee based out of Woodinville is seriously amazing coffee - the best I have had in a WHILE! I am so glad I discovered this company, and wish there was a location near me. Check it out! We had a fantastic experience at the cute to-go shack we visited, along with fantastic service. A must-visit. It makes Starbucks taste like dishwater!
- Pike Place calligraphy, flowers, and fish tossing!
- Taco dinner with family outdoors, enjoying the last of the daylight
- The walking trail at Bainbridge Island, and exploring the woods with S!
- Seeing (or at least being pointed in the direction of) Seattle giants such as Microsoft and Nintendo
- The stadiums (S's fave!)
- Seeing the Space Needle at night, peeking through the buildings as we zoomed down I-5
- Hanging out at REI and contemplating camping life - it would be fun to hang out in a tree tent, right?
- Introducing Mom to UBER! :) She loved it and we had amazing drivers!
- Stopping for iced coffees with Mom and S
- The Columbia Sky Deck - seriously amazing views, arguably the best in the city.
- Our hotel - love at first sight!
-Metsker's Maps is a favorite store in our family! I use a lot of their maps in my work, and could spend hours in there - it's amazingly overwhelming.