Farewell, Seattle! Thanks for the Memories.

Seattle was so much fun! It was a great weekend getaway and I’m glad I managed to squeeze in the trip before leaving the Northwest. In Portland, there is a bit of a rivalry between cities. Portlanders view Seattle as the place people go to “sell out” and get real jobs and support the system. Seattleites view Portlanders as dirty hippies who are doing nothing in life other than smoking and drinking and playing music. There’s a bit of validity to each side, but overall each city has its business districts and artsy districts. I love Portland’s small city feel, though. Seattle felt way too big!

On Friday, Alex and I set off on our adventure! As I’m trying to save money for my impending adulthood, we decided to take the BoltBus to Seattle for only $20 each way! Then we stayed at a hostel for $30 per night and it included breakfast! We arrived in Seattle around noon on Friday and spent the morning wandering around the most famous sights. First we went to Pike Place Market and went to the “original” Starbucks. Apparently the true first one is now another business, but we went to the one that is now recognized as the original.

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Strangely enough, I recognized our barista! We had shared a hostel room when I went to Vancouver earlier in the summer. Such a small world! She gave me her number and offered to take us out to some cool places, but later realized she had other plans, so we didn’t get to see her again. Lame, but she gave a few good recommendations.

I indulged and bought a Starbucks mug. All of the Starbucks goods are so cute and cool. I always feel tempted to buy one and figured the original place would be the best!

We continued walking around the market and saw all of the typical sights. I honestly expected the market to be bigger. There are a lot of smaller shops underneath with the huge row of fruits and fish on the main floor. Adjacent to the market is the famous “Gum Wall.” It is just as it sounds – a wall of gum! It is pretty gross and cool at the same time. I offered to lick the wall for money but no one was willing to take my bet! Unfortunately we didn’t have gum, so we left but returned on Sunday with a pack of JuicyFruit!

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During the afternoon, we walked around Seattle and saw more of the city. We found a pretty cool fountain that was synced to music. It was fun to watch all the little kids run through it. And it had a great view of the Space Needle! The weather had said the high was only going to be 70 degrees, so we packed warmer clothes. Such a lie! It was definitely more like 85 degrees so we were constantly sweating. It didn’t help that we insisted on walking everywhere. Once I got back to Portland, I mapped everywhere we walked and it totaled 22.6 miles over 3 days! Honestly, most of it was walking from our hostel downtown to the cool hipster bars in Capital Hill.

My coworkers had told me to go to the public library downtown because it has a cool modern design that feels more like an art museum. My favorite part was the “Red Room.” We took the elevator to it and it was really disorienting when the doors opened and EVERYTHING was red. Literally everything.

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Friday evening we planned to meet up with Alex’s cousins after dinner. I wasn’t too hungry, so I let Alex pick the place and, being a guy, he picked a brewery. I’ve learned to like a few light beers (the cheap ones, thank god!) but never remember how much I hate dark beers until I order them. I decided to be wild and order the Stout Float which sounded like a fun take on a root beer float. Unfortunately it was HORRIBLE. Dark beer is the worst. But I finished it!

We met up with Alex’s cousins afterwards and they took us to some really cool bars. My favorite was Linda’s Tavern. It wasn’t special at all, but the crowd was great. The perfect mix of hipster and fashionable. I indulged in my favorite activity of talking to strangers and met the most unexpected person! At work, when we sell something from the store on Amazon, we have to use a feature of the site called SellerCentral. We all HATE using it because it always breaks and never refunds the customers and generally isn’t very efficient. Well, at Linda’s, I met someone who works for SellerCentral! I had to take a picture with him to prove to my coworkers. It is currently hanging up in our office, too!

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The next morning, we woke up and had a leisurely breakfast and read the paper. We found an article that had a list of cool things to see in Seattle. On the list was a place called Value Village which is where Macklemore filmed his music video for “Thrift Shop!” Macklemore is originally from Seattle, so everyone there either loves or hates him. Alex and I enjoyed getting the opinions from Seattleites.

We walked allll the way back to Capital Hill which is where the thrift shop is located. We passed quite a few Tully’s Coffee shops which are another Seattle tradition and apparently featured on Grey’s Anatomy. My friend Meghan LOVES Grey’s and requested that I send a picture of a Tully’s.

We got to Value Village and I realized I wanted to recreate a few scenes from the music video! I even managed to find a fur coat! It felt pretty similar to that time I went to Toronto and found all the places they filmed scenes from my favorite TV and took pictures in the same places.

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We were both pretty tired from the previous night’s antics, so we decided to go relax at the hostel before dinner and drinks. We eventually went back to Capital Hill to go to a place that my coworkers recommended called Unicorn. It is a circus themed bar with unicorn themed drinks. Something I’ve noticed is that strangers always think I am 24 and not 21. It is a little depressing because I still like to whip out my ID and get carded. I didn’t fly home to renew it for nothing!

We also went to a cool bar called Montana. The highlight there was their Pickleback drinks. You do a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of straight pickle juice! I told Alex that we had to do one due to the insanity factor. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad!

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After these bars, the unspeakable happened – I dropped my iPhone. I have a sturdy case on it that has protected it every other time I’ve dropped it. As soon as it fell, I told Alex, “If the screen cracked, I will PERISH.” I picked it up and looked and… of course… it was cracked.

I had to live up to my promise to “perish” so we decided to make it a photo op. It was around 2am so the city was pretty dead. We went to the famous Pike Place Market sign and staged the most dramatic “perishing” photo ever. I’ve debated making it my Facebook photo because it is so ridiculous, but some people might not understand that it is a joke and I am not actually passed out on a sidewalk. Taking the photo was even more awkward because a small group of people were watching us inquisitively. After the picture, I went up and talked to them and one of the guys was actually the brother of the trombone player in Macklemore’s band!

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The next day, we ate breakfast and decided to go to the top of the Space Needle. I expected a museum or some sort of historical information on the landmark, but the top was filled with a food court! So strange! Entire families were there eating lunch. I guess it is something unique to do? Still, I hate fast food so it was generally revolting.

Afterwards Alex wanted to go to a restaurant owned by a former Sonics player so we walked two miles to a dive bar. I ordered a veggie burger and soup but my soup took about 40 minutes to make and the staff was so apologetic that they gave us our meals on the house! Somehow I always manage to get free things in every city I visit! We had to catch the BoltBus back to Portland so we hustled back to the hostel to get our bags. Overall, it was a pretty great trip. Lots of fun times. I think this sign sums up the experience pretty well….

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