The Emerald City and Beyond

Our decision to visit Seattle came to us during our trip-planning for Alaska. In order to get from New York to Alaska, our flight course took us to Seattle, and seeing as how we are opportunists, we decided to spend a few days exploring Seattle before heading onto the great state of Alaska.

We started off the trip by picking up our friends in Albany, NY on our way to Boston’s Logan International Airport, where we caught a non-stop 5+ hour flight to Seattle, Washington.

The views of Mt. Rainier upon our decent into Seattle Airport were spectacular, although without a window seat, my photo was sub-par! My apologies, but you get the jist. The mountain’s size is as unexpected as the views. What a treat!

Mt. Rainier
Airplane view of Rainier

Upon arriving in Seattle, we took a uber directly to our Belltown Court condo where we dropped off our luggage and hit the streets on foot to find some lunch.  We walked down to the Pike Place Fish Market, thinking that would be a great place to find food, and indeed it was.  The market was bustling with loads of people and pungent smells of fish, flowers and fried foods.  There were endless options as far as places to eat, but we settled on Pike Brewing, a larger than life brewery with delicious, locally sourced foods and yummy brews. For beer we ordered the Kilt Lifter, the Pike IPA and the Imperial Belgium Triple. Side Note: the margarita’s were delicious as well! For food we ordered the Mediterranean Hummus Plate, Organic Radishes with Sweet Cream Truffle Butter and Ground Morel Mushrooms as well as the Roasted Garlic Pizza.  Not a drop of brew or crumb of food was leftover as it was ALL magnificent.


With our bellies full and our first official vacation booze-buzz on, we decided to take a walk to the waterfront for some photo-ops and views of the Pacific Ocean. It was Jeremiah’s first time seeing the West coast and Pacific Ocean!

We walked along the coast on the neatly paved walkway until we came upon a woman painting a picture.  Ashlee admired the artist’s work so much that she offered to buy the painting on the spot.  The artist was happy with the offer and off we walked, painting in hand, still wet from its last brushwork. What a wonderful way to create a lasting memory.


With the early morning cross-country flight and time-zone change bogging us down, we decided to cut our first day adventures short. We headed back to the condo around 4pm(7pm eastern time) for some much-needed rest and decided to order dinner in.  Seeing as how we are suburban-rural dwellers in our normal lives(we live so far out in the country that we don’t have the option of ordering even a pizza for delivery), we weren’t used to the amount of take-out food selections that we were finding in Seattle. Because of this, it took the four of us 3 solid hours of perusing the menus to make final selections.  Jeremiah and I settled on Thai food, while Sean and Ashlee ordered Cajun.  Both were spot on and fulfilling. What a great way to end our first day.

Day two of Seattle started off with a relaxing, early morning dip in the hot tub. It was nice to soak our muscles and feet after hoofing it all over the city the previous day.

After the soak, Jeremiah and I headed out to find some breakfast for the group.  We settled on Top Pot Doughnuts which has a large local following and great reviews.  Again, we were not disappointed.  We ordered a dozen assorted doughnuts(it was REALLY hard to choose only 12 flavors), Mocha Cold Brew and a Black Coffee to go and headed back to the condo to share the goodies.  Vacation days should always start with doughnuts!

With breakfast in our bellies, and a full nights rest, it was off to explore some more.  Thankfully, Sean has a friend (Brenden) who calls Seattle home, so we met up with him for an insider tour of the Emerald City.

Sean and his buddy Brenden, our personal tour guide.

Brenden took us to the Space Needle(we took photos from below, but decided to save the $$ it cost to get to the top) there are better views of the city skyline from other locations that cost far less.  After the Space Needle, we walked around the city site-seeing while on our way to lunch at Dukes Chowder House where we sat outside on the patio, watching the sea planes takeoff and land.  Cocktails were ordered: a Mai Tai for me, Beer for everyone else…followed by a delicious selection of seafood for the meat eaters, and veggie burgers for Jeremiah and I. Having lunch seated by the water made for great Yacht viewing as well.


After lunch we walked the 20+ city blocks back to the condo for a much deserved rest, and decided how to spend our afternoon.  Brenden suggested we head over to The Nest-Rooftop Bar for afternoon cocktails with a view. With the gorgeous weather Seattle was experiencing, it was a no brainer and what a good idea it was.  As to be expected on a gorgeous, sunny day the place was packed with people.  We stood in line at the bar and kept our eyes out for an open table.  By the time we got our drinks, a small group of people were leaving and we jumped on the opportunity to take a seat(there wasn’t an empty seat in the house).  There was a lovely couple seated on the far end of the table celebrating their 13 year wedding anniversary and so of course, we made friends.  Although they were not from Seattle originally, they had lived there for many years and had loads of good advice on how to spend our last day.  After two rounds of drinks and with the sun setting in the background we decided to head onto our next stop.

After spending the entire day with us, Brenden had to head home for the evening and so we were on our own for the dinner.  The group decided to try out Belltown Brewing for some cocktails & appetizers which was not far from the condo, and after all the walking we had done earlier, it was a pleasant surprise.  We ordered the Garlic Fries, World’s Best Pretzel (SERIOUSLY GOOD, and I don’t even like Pretzels) and Garlic Knots for apps and a few brews to drink, which names escape me now. With full bellies and tired feet, we headed back to the condo to spend the evening relaxing. We ordered late-night, take-out from an Italian place called La Vita E Bella and promptly fell asleep, exhausted.

Day 3-Our final full day in Washington State before heading to Alaska.

After a mid-morning shopping excursion to Patagonia and West Elm for some last minute Alaska gear(the polar fleece was absolutely necessary as the weather forecast was colder than we expected for August in AK) we headed to El Borracho for a mexican lunch and margaritas.  The food was great, the marg’s were good but the service was less than spectacular.  While we were having lunch, Brenden (our tour guide from the day before) called and said that he had some free time and wanted to know if we felt like getting outside of the city to take a hike.  We all agreed that seeing some of the country would be wonderful and so off to Snoqualmie  we went.

Brenden lives with his beautiful wife and adorable pup in a cute little suburban development about 25 miles outside of Seattle called Snoqualmie, Washington.  It is a fairly new town with a tiny population and loads of outdoor recreation.  Not 2 miles from Brenden’s house is a hiking spot called Whitaker Trail.  It is a spectacular ravine trail with lush green trees towering overhead, mossy covered vegetation and ferns taller than me.  The forest views were breathtaking and incredibly different from what us East Coasters are used to. What a treat to be out in the Pacific Northwest woods. Dont worry, we were all on the lookout for Cougar’s after viewing that viral video online before making the trip. Yikes, but no cougars were seen.

After our sweat-inducing 5 mile hike, Brenden suggested we head to the local brewery for a cold beer.  No Boat Brewing is a brand new establishment with yummy brews, and extremely friendly staff.  BONUS-There was a Nacho Food Truck parked in the parking lots for those who wanted to snack while sipping. I had the Raspberry Beret sour and it was splendid.

With the daylight running short and an extremely early call time for the airport the next morning, we said goodbye to Brenden and hopped in a Uber to head back to the city.  Our Uber driver was a scientist named Paul,  who has worked on boats in the Bering Sea of Alaska collecting data and had once summited Mt. Rainier. What an interesting fellow he was.   He was the most prepared Uber driver we’d ever seen.  As soon as we were seated and belted, he turned around and offered us chilled bottled water, a variety of flavors of chewing gum and phone chargers for anyone who needed one.  Such a treat he was and a great way to end our time in Seattle.

Before heading to bed early on our last night in the Emerald City, we were treated to this cotton candy sunset from the condo patio.

Sunset from the Condo, last day
Final night Sunset

Washington State was great, but ALASKA was what we came for.  It’s goodbye for now Seattle, until next time.

Next Stop-ALASKA!


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