Seattle was the favorite stop on this little trip, hands down.
That’s not to say the other cities and drives weren’t enjoyable- all were lovely places- but Seattle somehow felt a little bit more like home.
The first day in Seattle, my friend Madison and I were pleasantly surprised by the weather. It was a perfectly warm, sunny September day in Seattle. After dropping off our bags, we walked from our waterfront Marriott hotel down to Pike Place Market (a.k.a. where all the magic happens).
Immediately upon entering the marketplace, we darted to the first Starbucks. Even though I personally don’t drink Coffee, I’m always craving an de-caffienated beverage or tea.
True to the persona of the PNW, there were plenty of interesting people filling the sidewalks.
A man outside Starbucks strummed his guitar and sang on a soapbox, a man just one street down was beautifully playing a piano he hauled into the square, and tourists and locals alike waited in long lines for amazing, fresh food.
After trying Starbucks, Beecher’s Homemade Mac & Cheese (voted the best in the world…. and it was truly amazing), and the best chowder ever, we headed into the main building where local vendors sell many things such as fresh produce, fish, stood out. He and flowers. (p.s. look at this insane cheese!)
Inside the structure, there was one produce vendor who stood out. He was selling tons of delicious and unique looking fruit. He let us sample moon drop grapes, fresh peaches, and the best mango I’ve ever tasted. We made a quick sojourn down some steps to see the famous gum wall, which was power washed away a few years ago because the gum was eroding the brick walls. Locals did not give up on their beloved gum wall and have since begun to rebuild. We added to their efforts.
Finally, we made our way to the main event: the fish market. Pike Place is known for their fresh, locally caught and sold fish. The guys down at at the main fish market booth know how to put on a show.
When they get orders, they throw the fish from the ice box, which is always surrounded by awed crowds, to the counter. They almost never miss a throw, but they do always make you get up close and personal with a big fish.
Afterwards, we drove over to Merideth Grey’s house (we are both Grey’s Anatomy fans) and then drove about 2 minutes through the beautiful Queen Anne neighborhood to Kerry Park just in time to catch the sunset.
At the end of the day, we decided that the next morning, we’d squeeze in the first ferry ride (a.k.a 6 a.m. departure for the ferry to Bainbridge Island) so that we could still leave with enough time to enjoy Vancouver.
So we groggily got up around 5 a.m., grabbed our cameras and drove off. We were too tired on the ride there to realize that we were making a huge mistake. As I looked back, sitting in my car half-asleep, I was awoken by the absolutely gorgeous sunrise. I mean, I have never seen an orange like that come from the sky. Sadly, we missed this stage of the sunrise because we were stuck in our cars.
As soon as at the ferry let us off, we drove right back to catch the soonest ferry back to Seattle and this time, we were getting out of our cars. We got some amazing pictures of the Seattle skyline at sunrise. (see the media gallery for more)
After landing back in Seattle, still amazed by the beautiful scene we had just witnessed, we packed our bags and checked out of the hotel. We hit up an adorable brunch spot, Brimmer & Heeltap (where the peanut butter and jelly toast and the coconut milk drink are to die for) and went on our way.
The drive to Vancouver was mostly industrial, but there was one spot where the trees seemed as tall as the sky and I felt like I was driving into a warmer version of the north pole.
We ended up back in Seattle for our last night, just before flying out of the SeaTac airport, but each time we drove around, walked around, or even admired Seattle it just had a special feeling to it. Somehow, it felt like a home away from home. The clean streets, beautiful and diverse architecture, friendly locals, and delicious food all makes Seattle a special place!