Sleepless in Seattle

Arriving in Seattle was such a relief.  I had just spent the last 48 hours on a train, and I was going a little bit stir crazy.  I had not slept at all on the train, was absolutely exhausted, and I had no idea what to expect from Seattle.

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When I checked into my hostel, I immediately became friends with a girl in my room who I spent the rest of the trip hanging out with. The hostel I was staying in was right next to Pikes Market, so we walked through the market.

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I absolutely loved the market, the bouquets of flowers, the fresh fruit, the seafood, the environment.  It was right next to the water, so we walked down to the pier before deciding to head to the space needle.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from the space needle, but it was definitely worth going to the top.  We also got a pass to the Chiholy Glass Garden.  I wasn’t sure how we didn’t figure out that it was literally a garden of glass sculptures that look like flowers, but we definitely did not know that until we saw it.

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The view from the Space Needle was amazing.  We were lucky and the sky was clear, so we could see Mt Rainer and Puget sound, and had a 360 view of the city.

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We headed back to the pier to watch the sunset, and ate our weight in seafood.  We had shrimp, crab, clams, mussels, chorizo, potatoes and corn all dumped in front of us, and we devoured it.  It was awesome.

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That night (and the night after) we went on bar crawls with our hostel, which involved Karaoke singing, a bar full of classic games, a Mexican bar, and lots and lots of gin and tonics. There also may have been tequila shots, at this point it’s unclear.

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The next day we all managed to wake up and take a trip to the Snoqualmie Falls. We were all pretty focused on not tumbling down the hike, but when we got to the bottom, the view was gorgeous.  Immediately the shoes came off and we waded into the freezing water, climbing up on the rocks for a better view.

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After, we made our way to probably the best Indian food I’ve had.  Full disclosure, I have only had Indian once before, but this was way better.  And other people who actually eat Indian food told me it’s the best they have had, so I believe them.  The butter chicken was out of this world.
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That night, I bought myself a sunflower, because I am cheesy and love sunflowers, and we explored the Capitol Hill area.  1-dollar mystery beer and an amateur strip competition at a gay club were the stars of the night. 2 of the guys from my hostel got second and third in the competition.  It was pretty great.

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The next day, we were off to Portland. My new friend in Seattle was taking the same train as me, so we journeyed down together with plans to meet up for Voodoo donuts and exploring.

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Voodoo donuts were surprisingly disappointing, given all of the hype.  They were good donuts, but they were not anything special.  They just tasted like donuts.

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We wandered over to Powell’s bookstore, which we didn’t leave for about 2 hours.  It was massive. I could have spent days walking around, and still have not seen all the books.   Reading is one of my favorite things to do, and this place was like heaven.

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That night, we ventured over to Tilt, this amazing burger place.  I had the groundhog burger, which involved bacon, mushrooms, grilled onions and cheese.  Needless to say, it was delicious.  We also got the Tilted house fries, which came with pork gravy and bacon. They were amazing. I could not stop eating them. I finally get the appeal of poutine. Canada figured it out much earlier than the rest of us.
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I was so exhausted that night, I crashed as soon as I got back to my hostel.  The next morning, we headed over to Barista for coffee (almond milk flat white, aka the best coffee drink ever) and then to Blue Star Donuts for probably the best donut I have ever eaten.  This isn’t a very high standard to reach, because I don’t often eat artisan donuts, but they were pretty damn good.

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We spent the morning wandering around the rose gardens before heading over to the Salt & Straw for some artisan ice cream.  They had flavors ranging from Sea Salt Ice Cream with Caramel Swirl to Smoked Cherry with Bone Marrow, and they let us try them all (the bone marrow was very smoky tasting).

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I could barely choose a favorite, but the Strawberry Balsamic with Black Pepper was pretty amazing, as was the Olive Oil flavor.  They made us fresh waffle cone bowls, and therefore became my new favorite ice cream place.

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I never imagined I would like Seattle as much as I did, but Portland was just as hipster and interesting as I thought it would be.  I will definitely be back to continue to explore Seattle, and eat all of the flavors at Salt & Straw in Portland!

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Next post will be about California!

 

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