So, this post is about seven years too late. (Okay, maybe just a few months… but I think one Earth year is equivalent to seven Internet years, right?)
Anyway… Seattle! Such an impressive city. Perhaps, living where I live, I'm just accustomed to a certain level of dysfunction (no offense, LA, you know I love you!). When my good friend, Bianca, and I dropped into town for the weekend just to explore a new city, we did not expect it to be a) entirely walkable, and b) so clean!! I'm talking entire, five-block stretches of sidewalk with no trash— what a novelty! (Again, no offense, LA.)
Here's another great thing: sunshine! Yep, we did not experience that classic rainy Seattle weather. It was bright, sunny, and about 70 degrees the whole time. Actually, the combination of the warm temps and the evenings made crisp by the sea breeze reminded me a lot of San Francisco.
They like their retro signage here, which I am totally on board with.
We stayed in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, which is funky/lively/youthful. If you walk further up the hill, there is a more residential area with the most picturesque victorian homes you've ever seen. I was a big fan of those bright pink astromeria flowers (which we saw planted in front of almost all the homes). Doesn't get any cuter than this. ^^
On our first day, we stopped for sandwiches and pastries. This bakery is a little out of the way unless you happen to be wandering aimlessly through some of the more residential parts of Seattle and pretending you live there… which is half the fun of travel, if you ask me. Also: you can't really move anywhere without first sampling the croissants in the area— these get a full seal of approval from me, by the way.
On our second day there, Bianca and I decided to get ultra touristy and visit Seattle's Starbucks Reserve location. Cheesy, I know… but also pretty fun. I don't talk about this often, but I've always been a fan of Starbucks' branding— and this was like Starbucks on crack. They have all sorts of beautiful mugs and coffee accessories for sale and an area to taste their reserve blends. Let it be known that Starbucks has indeed caught on to pour over coffee. They just save it for their reserve locations.
Pike's Place market is something else, man. I have never seen a market this gigantic before! There are stalls upon stalls of fresh produce, fish, flowers, and tons of other goodies, including restaurants, prepared foods, a bookstore… the list goes on… I have a feeling we didn't even scratch the surface of what it has to offer and we spent a good chunk of time exploring.
After Pike's Place, we were tired but not hungry thanks to really great clam chowder with rosemary in it, which we got from one of the fish vendors at the market. The natural next stop was drinks, so we hit up Bookstore Bar in the Alexis hotel. We sat in a quiet corner table and drank kir royals (because vacation). It was like sitting in an upscale library or what I imagine a really well-paid professor's office might look like, but with a bar in it. Obviously, we loved it.
Never try to compete with Bianca for the "best hair" award. You will loose every time. I think she missed her calling as a walking Pantene ad.
We have a Stumptown coffee here in LA and I'm a huge fan. Even though we can get it back home, we wanted to honor Stumptown's Seattle roots (and drink delicious cold brews).
Melrose Market was a total change of pace from Pike's Place— much smaller and more focused on restaurants and specialty vendors like a florist, a butcher, a beer shop, and Sitka & Spruce (a restaurant we missed this time, but will definitely make a point to visit next time— their menu looks amazing). Definitely one of my favorite stops in our day.
On our last day, we visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum, which a good friend had recommended to us. It's a museum dedicated entirely to the glasswork of artist, Dale Chihuly. If you've ever seen the colorful, fluid style of Venetian glass, this is similar. The color and movement in the large scale instillations reminded me of blooming coral or schools of colorful fish… kind of like being at the aquarium.
Ferris wheels (or rides of any kind) are not really my thing, but riding the Seattle Great Wheel was absolutely worth it. We took the two photos above and the one below through the glass window of our little car. We planned our ride around the sunset, so we had a better chance of catching a good shot. You know, just one of the many stunning date nights Bianca and I have planned in our friendship.
Thanks for showing us a good time, Seattle!