January 20-22: Seattle, Washington

Okay, this trip never involved me getting out my actual hiking boots and lacing them up, but I did wear some boots, and there were some serious miles covered while on this trip! For real, Seattle is much hillier than I was expecting. In the end, there were a little over 22 miles walked, and about 55,000 steps taken.

Mountains seen from the plane on the way in. We were also able to see Mt. Rainier as we landed in the city, so pretty.

My cousin, who is now living in Israel, was back in Seattle for a few days on business. The tickets were cheap, so my mom and I decided to make a quick weekend getaway for my first trip to Seattle to catch up with some family while enjoying the city.

We landed Saturday morning, just in time to share the train with crowds of people toting their amazing protest signs and their pink pussy hats on the way to the women’s march. It brought me back to January 2017 in D.C., where the trains were FULL of people, heavy feelings, and lots of uneasy laughter and love.

The view along the waterfront trail

My uncle met us at the Westlake station, and we headed to Eggs and Plants for a quick lunch (that included french fries- which will unfold as a theme of the trip, but really, of my life). After that, we dropped our bag at the Travelodge Seattle “by the space needle,” and headed out on a walk towards the Pike Place Market and the water front. We walked through the market, down to the water front near the aquarium, and then along the path that took us past the Olympic Sculpture Park. We eventually turned off the path and headed back through the city blocks towards our hotel. We caught the tail end of some of the rallying going on surrounding the march, and saw a lot of great signs that people created.


We then took the E line down Aurora Avenue to Bongos Cafe, a delicious Caribbean/Cuban restaurant with amazing yucca fries and plantains. Jeff met us there, and it was great to have a chance to catch up with him after… thirteen years. No photo was taken with the two of us in it, but I promise it happened! Later that night, we stopped by Kerry Park and took in the views of the city skyline at night. It was beautiful, but I was told it was even more impressive on a clear day when the mountains and Mt. Rainier were also visible, alongside the bay and the skyline. By the way, the space needle looks way more impressive from afar than it does up close.

View from Kerry Park

We started Sunday off with breakfast at 5 Spot. Their current theme was New Orleans, so obviously we ordered a bag of beignets to get our meal started. I also ordered Bananas Foster French Toast, which I did impressive work on.


After we were filled to the brim with amazing food, we headed out for a walk in the Queen Anne neighborhood. We stopped at a local board game and puzzle store, where I scored Bohnanza The Duel, and my mom and uncle picked out the most inconveniently boxed puzzles for carry on luggage. We continued walking, going up and down some, again, surprisingly intimidating hills. We made it back to Aurora Avenue, where we walked out on the bridge over Lake Union, but not far enough to see the troll living underneath (for real). We saw a lot of lush greenery along our walk, which was refreshing.


We Orca’ed our way back to the trusty Travelodge “by the space needle!” to rest for a bit before heading back out for a walk towards REI’s flagship store. REI does a good job with their stores, and this one had a fireplace outside, a bike trail to test mountain bikes, a rock climbing wall inside, and a bunch of gear and outdoor clothing that I would have loved to bring home if money weren’t a thing! It was fun to see the store, though.


We continued on our trek back towards Pike Place Market, where we were meeting more family for dinner at the Pike Place Bar and Grill. It had been rainy in Seattle, but it really started to pour, so we ducked in to a Starbucks to warm up with some java (funny side note, it felt comical to see the Starbucks coffee with “local product” stickers in the grocery store). After the rain subsided, we battled the wind on our hilly trek to the market area. We enjoyed a good meal while catching up with family that I hadn’t seen in twenty-three years, there IS a photo of this somewhere out there in the digital world, so maybe I will add it one day.

Monday was our last day in Seattle, and we started it off right with some hand-forged doughnuts and coffee from Top Pot. From there, my mom and I walked down to the water front again, this time heading in the other direction, towards Pioneer Square. It was a neat area, with old buildings mixed with new, flashy skyscrapers. Unfortunately, the Utilikilts store was closed though, which was a big disappointment.


My mom and I then met back up with my uncle to see and experience the new Amazon Go store that just opened, and the exterior of Bezos’ balls, or more appropriately, the new spheres that were just built and are filled with plant life, much like a botanical garden.


Before heading to the airport, we made a quick stop back at the market to pick up some smoked salmon and stuff our faces with delicious food one last time, this time pies from Piroshky, Piroshky.


It was an overall amazing trip, filled with family visiting, beautiful sightseeing, and so much delicious food, I really feel like I successfully ate my way through all of the french fries in different forms (fried potato balls, mediterranean, classic, yucca…) and doughnuts of the city. And on that note, I’m going to go eat some green vegetables now…

View of the mountains from the Seattle airport, I hope to make it back for some mountainous hiking!


Also, the Travelodge Seattle “by the space needle!” serves as a Picasso museum, as well:


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