Sleepless in Seattle

Have you seen the movie? No? Oh good, neither have I! For those of you who have seen it, I’m sorry to break your romantic heart, but Cupid won’t be casting his arrow in this blog. However, don’t let that deter you from reading more about my adventure.

About a week ago, I left the bustling heart of the Bay Area to discover and explore a new city, Seattle. My childhood best friend, Colleen, and I had yet to travel out of California together, so unfortunately for Jeremy this was a girls trip. Since we were both itching for a much-needed vacation, we thought why not!?

First off, can we all agree that waking up before the crack of dawn, 4AM to be exact, is a terrible thing?! To tell you the truth, this was the first time I have traveled with only a carry-on. I have no idea how I managed to cram bulky, winter clothes and boots into a tiny luggage. Oh I remember, I sat on my luggage while trying to get the zipper all the way around then shoved the remaining items into my big North Face backpack. However, being able to save $25 bucks, and breeze right through security made it well worth it. Colleen and I grabbed a couple of refreshing ice coffees, slammed a few yummy hot breakfast sandwiches, boarded Virgin America then closed our eyes as we took off.

A short two hours later, we were awaken by a smooth landing with the excitement to adventure. We hit the lady’s room, noticed the $50 Lyft promo code plastered all over the walls of the airport and ordered a Lyft. I forgot the promo code, but you can’t miss the bright pink advertisements! Moving along, the drive from the airport to downtown Seattle was roughly 20 minutes. The short drive wasn’t enough to mentally screenshot a GORGEOUS city surrounded by snow covered mountain tops, a large, calm body of water and lush forests that were various shades of orange, yellow and brown with a hint of green. If you live in the Yay (oops, I mean “The Bay”… Gettin’ hyphy over here) and have not been to Seattle, I would describe it as a mini Bay Area – relatively large port like Oakland, a pier similar to Fisherman’s Wharf, plus big, shiny buildings and steep hills like San Francisco.

The Lyft driver dropped Colleen and I off at the Holiday Inn Seattle Downtown which was quite deceiving as we weren’t located in the heart of downtown, but less than a 10 minute drive away. I can’t complain though, the hotel was affordable especially because Colleen got a nice discount through her work! On top of that, the hotel was no more than a 15 minute walk to the Space Needle and monorail that leads into downtown.

Since it was morning, it was too early to check-in, yet the hotel staff were kind enough to safely hold onto our luggage. After sifting through a bunch of brochures, I found a few, easy to read maps. We walked outside into the crisp, cool air then began stalking several older couples to the Space Needle. Okay, maybe “stalking” sounds a little creepy, but we only followed them since we overheard they were heading there and we weren’t familiar with the area. Even with the maps!

Strolling along, we came to a halt and there it was… THE SPACE NEEDLE! I’ve seen pictures of it, but seeing it with my own two eyes is on a whole other level. The architecture, the height, the design, it was a stellar attraction. See the picture below.

seattle-space-needle

Haha! Gotcha!

Since it was the afternoon, Colleen and I decided we would head downtown then would revisit the Space Needle as a night activity. We walked to the monorail station (FYI, they only take cash and the ticket was $4.50 round trip) located between the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass. After a quick two minute ride, we ended up alongside a small shopping center to hop off. Thanks to our handy map from the hotel, we found our way to Pike Place Market also known as the Public Market Center. You could tell who the tourists were since they blocked traffic while standing on the sides or middle of the slightly steep street to capture pictures to post on Instagram. Wow… I basically described myself in that moment, ha! *Kanye shrug*

Not sure where to begin, Colleen and I walked into the first entrance and gazed in awe upon the long stretch of various vendors selling fresh fish, exotic looking flowers, dried goods, souvenirs, savory and sweet donuts, high-quality sushi and more. Don’t be surprised to see this place constantly packed with locals and tourists. Plenty of bargains to find here! Here are some pictures:

We aimlessly walked around the market (there’s a lower level you don’t want to miss) then we suddenly ended up at the famous Gum Wall! The Gum Wall wasn’t as cool as I expected since I didn’t see an alley way covered in its entirety, but came to find out it was recently cleaned. Due to the overwhelming crowd wanting to make their germy, saliva mark, I was able to catch one picture.

seattle-gumwall

As the sun began to set, we headed back to the hotel to take a break as our legs and feet ached, plus to get ready for the night observation at the Space Needle. One takeaway I got from this trip was to ALWAYS pack comfy walking shoes – Nike Frees’ are my go-to. Lugging heavy rain boots ain’t the business, ya’ll!

A few hours later, we were back at the Space Needle and were satisfied that the line was much shorter compared to what we saw earlier that day. We learned that the Space Needle has a restaurant just below the observation deck and it’s built for a 9.0 earthquake. I do not want to be in the Space Needle when that happens… Anyways, it took a quick 43 seconds from the ground level to the top. We walked out to the deck where we had a breathtaking 360 view of Seattle. While taking pictures, I feared my phone would slip out of my hands and fall 520 feet, but thankfully that didn’t happen or I wouldn’t be sharing any pictures! On top of that, one of my biggest fears includes heights so I kept telling myself to not look down. In my head of course… I don’t want people to think I’m THAT paranoid.

Jumping into the next day which was SUPER windy, Colleen and I checked out the Chihuly Glass and Garden which was recommended by my coworker, Danni. Quick fact, Dale Chihuly is an American glass sculptor and makes beautifully unique blown glass art. Every single blown glass piece is unique in its own way whether it’s the color, design or size. It was absolutely spectacular to see these pieces which took hours to days to months to come together.

To say the least, Seattle treated us very well, especially for a first time visit with little rain! Although I left out other attractions and the great food Seattle has to offer, I wanted to highlight what I enjoyed most from my visit. I can’t wait to return to this city and will ensure it’s an extended trip at an Airbnb so I can take advantage of cooking the fresh food from the market!

If you have any questions or even recommendations, please leave a comment! I would love to hear from you.

seattle-waterfront

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