*All photos are my own unless noted.
I have never gone to a place and thought, “It would be great to live here one day.” Arizona has always had my heart as I am a native and cannot stand the cold, however Seattle just about stole a piece of my heart and kept it there for me to possibly go back to. It has a beautifully whimsical feel everywhere you go. A breeze consistently follows you around and you are always immersed in green forest. It has every view in the book from forest to ocean to skyscrapers to urban towns that make you fall in love with brick exteriors. I feel in love with a city with my love, and it was hard to come back to 120 degrees of every shade of brown.
Flight: booked through Allegiate airline for $256 round trip for two people. We scored on the price and the flight was only 2hours.
Hotel: Hotel de familia (we stayed with Zach’s cousin :]) Her and her family have the most adorable home 5 miles away from downtown Seattle and it was a no brainer to stay there while visiting. A. If you look at hotels near downtown you will be paying an upwards of $600 for a 3 night stay even for the 2 star hotels with little accommodations or amenities. B. I get travel anxiety so staying with family made the trip better than I could have ever imagined. I will always suggest to travel places where family live. It’s a bonus trip when that happens :].
Car rental: Thrifty car rental was amazing! When we began looking at car rentals it was almost $400 to rent a car for the week. However, with Thrifty we only paid $240 and the gas milage on the car was incredible! We didn’t even go through a whole tank and we drove in and out of the city every day for 5 days.
People To Meet, Places To Go, Things To See
Zach and I had just landed and got into our rental car ready to get to Ashley’s house so we could settle in and then sight see. However, we did not account for Seattle traffic at 9am and I was hangry. Instead of driving and wasting the day in traffic, we decided to go to breakfast to let traffic clear. We pulled up the GPS and it was leading us a couples miles down the road to Bitch-Witch Sandwiches. Although their reviews were outstanding I was not about to wait 45 minutes for a breakfast sandwich. Although, right next door was this cute cafe that served a culinary type breakfast and we are all for the new dining experience. The highlight of the breakfast, my crab benedict! I usually get two things to try every new place we go: a breakfast benedict & bruschetta. It was $18, but when am I going to get crab that was literally caught that morning… common people, I live in Az.
Information: The Space Needle is an observation tower in Seattle, Washington, a landmark of the Pacific Northwest, and an icon of Seattle. 400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109. The height of the space needle is 605 feet. The first Space Needle Manager, Hoge Sullivan, had acrophobia, a fear of heights (This is what Zach has, but he still went up.) spaceneedle.com
I was very skeptical, as well as Zach, when we were about to go up into the Space Needle. I hate things that move because I get motion sick, so when I heard from someone that it rotated at the top I was hesitant on even going up. Zach on the other hand does not mind things that move, but that go up too high for his liking. However, despite both of our fears we went up and decided that we were both just dramatic :]. The only aspect of the Space Needle that moves is the restaurant that spins… who is able to eat and spin is beyond me. Additionally, Zach was so taken aback by the view that he did not even think about how high up we were. I could have stayed up their for hours and had a glass of wine, which you can do as there is a bar inside, but there was still so much to see down below.
Chihuly| Garden & Glass
Information: Chihuly Garden and Glass is an exhibit in the Seattle Center showcasing the studio glass of Dale Chihuly. The exhibit opened in 2012. The exhibit opened May 21, 2012 at the Seattle Center at the former site of the Fun Forest. 305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109. (206) 753-4940. Founded on May 20, 2012.
This museum hooked me on visiting other museums in the future and here in Arizona. I absolutely fell in love with the artistic pieces of hand blown glass. It is so different when you are a kid and have to go on museum field trips on a class excursion, but being able to want to go to a museum by choice was an experience I will never forget. It was small and quaint, but you will find yourself taking so much time per area that it will be hours of fun. We were in their for almost two hours taking photographs and marveling over the amount of work that went into each beautiful piece and room set up. I didn’t even care about the $30 dollars once we got past the first room :]. Additionally, you are financially supporting the arts, a form that is slowly trickling away in society and in communities.
Walrus & The Carpenter
Information: Oysters & other seafood plus American plates & specialty cocktails in a small, simple space. Opened in 2010, The Walrus and The Carpenter marries restaurant to fishing pub. Tallboys, muscadet, piles of chubby oysters and smart plates are served in a lively, approachable space in Old Ballard. 4743 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107. (206) 395-9227. places.singleplatform.com
Anyone who knows me knows first and foremost that I am a die hard Alice in Wonderland fan, and when I found out that there was a restaurant called Walrus and the Carpenter, I completely lost it! As Lewis Carroll wrote a famous poem called W&C, I just had to see for myself if this establishment meet the poems expectation… and mine. It did! As soon as Zach and I entered the beautifully subway tiled and fish smelling atmosphere (we were right next to the water and where they harvest the oysters! :]) we ordered wine and whisky sour while we waited to be sat. Fifteen minutes later we were sitting outside in a glass enclosed room with a view of the fishing bay and being handed the culinary menu of all menus. They serve first and foremost oysters, which I was there for, Zach tends to gag at the sight of them so he stayed far away ;]. However, they also serve small plates of delectables to share. We got the bread and brie with honey, steak tartare, I got three oysters from different harvesting bays, and some other small plates. It was the perfect amount of food and neither of us were too full to sight see more of this wonderful town of Ballard.
Information: Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery crafts organic, classic American comfort desserts and other original and innovative confections. We were founded in 2008 by Autumn Martin with the dessert that gave us our name: Take-n-Bake Molten Chocolate Cake in a Mason Jar. 5427 Ballard Ave NW · (206) 453-3792.
This little place of chocolate paradise is right down the road from The Walrus & The Carpenter and Staple & Fancy. Their ingredients are top notch scrumptious and is bound to give you a cavity the second you walk in and smell the chocolate melting in the kitchen. Zach and I both caved in and purchased shakes since we had just gotten through with dinner and let me tell you… worth the price. Because wells the price of these shakes even if you do not add booze (yes you can add booze) is $14 for 6 oz of goodness. I got the vanilla because I can only drink so much chocolate, and Zach got the dark chocolate, which was so rich I would only take a couple sips. No wonder it is only 6oz. It really was the perfect amount! Not to mention when you walk outside their is this magnificent bell tower in an area called Marvin Gardens (yes like in Monopoly).
Pike Place Market
Information: Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market opened August 17, 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. Seattle, Washington. The architect is Frank Goodwin.
This was our favorite place to go! If you want a place with everything from shops to food to farmers markets to fish markets to music to the first Starbucks, then this is the place for you. It was one of the most lively places I have been to and truly it takes your breathe away from how much there is to do in one area. We started with walking around the seeing what the tourists were up to. Turns out the fish markets would take turns hurling fish at one another to catch for every ones amusement. Next, street performers would pull people out of the market with lively music and almost a broadway mannerism, it was so much fun! Finally, food vendors would pass out samples like hot cakes to entice you to buy from them… it worked all too often. Last but certainly not least… the basic bitches in us both came out as we entered the first Starbucks. I didn’t even mind that they got my order wrong, after all the line was down the block, and yes we waited.
Elliots Oyster House
I got the:
1/2 Crab and Shrimp Melt & Caesar or Chowder. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Zach got the:
Alaskan True Cod & Chips. . . . . . . . . .18
Truthfully I was shocked at how many amazing food places we had gone to and this one was no exception. We both ate seafood almost every time we went out, its like we couldn’t get enough because once we went back home to Az we were not going to get the same quality as “Just caught that morning.” We would definitely recommend Elliots! Not only did Zach say their fish and chips were the best, as he had it four times on our trip at four different places, but by my account they had the best chowder, and I tried chowder at two other places.
Woodland Park Zoo
Information: Woodland Park Zoo is a zoological garden located in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. 5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103. 92 acres. Opened in 1899. (206) 548-2500. For over 100 years, Woodland Park Zoo has been a cherished community resource and a unique urban oasis. seattlesouthside.com
This is hands down the best zoo I have ever been to! The animals literally were so unafraid of people that they would generally parade out in the open or curiously come up close to the glass. It was never hard to get a good picture or gaze endlessly at their adorable and majestic behavior as they happily played in their area. Not to mention it seemed like the perfect climate for all ranges of animals. I always felt bad going to zoos where it is too hot for the animals, however this zoo in particular gave their animals so much room to flourish and feel comfortable. Zach and I had quite the time walking 15 miles in total at the end of the day to see these beautiful animals in their marvelous habitats. It was well worth the $20 for an all day adventure.
Staple & Fancy
- Zach and I love a good culinary experience! So, even though he was really scared of being given something he did not like, we went with the Chef’s menu experience and we both were so happy we did it! Of course its expensive people! You are paying for a 5 star meal and a popular chef to choose (you do not have a say, it is literally a surprise 4 course meal) and prepare your meal! I highlighted in “red” what the chef prepared for us :] Desert was not on the menu, but it came with a rhubarb tapioca pudding with cinnamon crumble 😀
- Our Chef’s Menu $55
- When you arrive, feel free to order as much or as little food as you like. But, if you would like to avoid the trouble of ordering altogether, please feel free to hand the menu back to your server and allow us to take care of you. *Participation by the whole table is required for the Chef’s Tasting menu.
- Bruschetta 12
- Smoked fish, pickled onion, watercress.
- Seared Albacore Tuna 16
- rhubarb, asparagus, olive tapenade, pea shoots
- Burrata 15
- walnut and red pepper pesto, currants, wild watercress
- Fried Oysters 16
- fennel salad, calabrian chili aioli
- Salumi Board 17
- prosciutto, salami gentile, speck, spicy coppa
- Papparedelle 17
- beef and pork bolognese, mint, ricotta
- Linguini 18
- manilla clams, pangrattato, calabrian chili, white wine
- Conchiglie 17
- anchovy, mint, green garlic, pangrattato
- Ravioli 18
- ricotta, pea vine, snap pea, meyer lemon
- Grilled Pork Chop 30
- polenta, caramelized cipollini onions, mustard jus
- Grilled Copper River Sockeye 33
- controne beans, taggiasca olive, agretti, pea shoots
- Roasted Half Game Hen 27
- baby carrots, farro, spring onion, red wine jus
- Wood Grilled Whole Fish 28
- brown butter, capers, lemon, fried herbs
- Penn Cove Mussels 26
- spanish chorizo, fingerling potatoes, safron aioli, grilled bread
Ivars Acre of Clams
Information: Local chain dishing up fried fish & chowders in casual quarters with nautical accents. Pier 54, 1001 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104. (206) 624-6852
I got the:
Dungeness Crab and Goat Cheese Dip 15
Ivar’s Famous Clam Chowder 6.50
Zach got the:
Ivar’s World-Famous Fish ‘n Chips 16
Original recipe since 1938!
Here is where I become blinded by disbelief. I have always been told that Seattle is cold and rainy all the time minus a couple days out of the year. However, the five days we stayed it was BEAUTIFUL! If those five days are going to be the best all year, then we must have won the weather jackpot. I got an actual sunburn because I wasn’t prepared for it to be so freaking stunning! Honestly, this was on our last day and my favorite part about it was sitting outside of Ivars with Zach eating and drinking for about 2 hours, watching boats pull in and out of the bay next to us, and looking out at the contrasting snowy mountains to our sunny ocean restaurant deck. It was so surreal I can’t put my finger on any sense of a word to describe it.