A weekend in Seattle

To celebrate J’s new job, we decided to cross another item off of our bucket list and jet to Seattle. We lived like kings for 2.5 days in the Emerald City, eating whenever we were hungry (often) and pretty much walking everywhere in between. It rained for most of the time we were there, but on our last day we were lucky enough to get some blue sky and sun.

Day 1 – Friday

Our flight was mildly delayed and extremely turbulent. We landed around 2pm in Seattle amidst pouring rain and took a cab (expensive, do not recommend unless you were starving like we were) directly to our hotel to check in. Since this was a last-minute trip, we booked with the Hotel Tonight app and ended up in the hotel district in Downtown Seattle. We were a 5 minute walk from Pike Place and basically in the middle of a bunch of stores.

For our first meal we ate at Pike Place Chowder, which was a solid (more like liquid!) way to kick off our weekend. We spent some time wandering around Pike Place Public Market and browsed Left Bank Books. One place I would want to spend more time at is Rachel’s Ginger Beer because I am a ginger beer fiend.

We rubbernecked the more touristy attractions, like the fish stand and the original Starbucks, but mostly just reveled in the fresh PNW air. That evening we met up with some family and enjoyed delicious seafood at Etta’s, one of many fine Tom Douglas establishments.

Day Two – Saturday

We started our morning wandering over to Top Pot hand-forged doughnuts before renting a Zipcar and driving to Bellevue, where we ate some xiaolongbao and beef pancake rolls at Dough Zone. We made a quick stop to check out Novel Tree, because when in Rome.

After a quick siesta we went to the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle’s Chinatown / International District. It was still pouring rain. We spent some time looking through the Bruce Lee exhibit as well as their exhibits on the Korean American experience and art by contemporary Asian American artists. It was at moments a visually stunning, wrenching, and embracing experience.

We ate (again) at Phnom Penh Noodle House, which was just down the street from the museum. Then we walked all the way to the Capitol Hill neighborhood, about 35 minutes, to check out the Gamma Ray board game store. It was drizzling and we were squelching by the time we arrived. We decided to eat even more food, this time some cheeseburgers at Li’l Woody’s and then some pie at Pie Bar. J and I have high pie standards, so Pie Bar was a bit lackluster. I think we were also tired and damp and ready for a nap.

Since this was our last night, J really wanted to go hard. We picked up a Car2Go and drove to Card Kingdom. I thought we were going to “just another board game store” but this place was the board game store of dreams. It had a bar/restaurant attached where you could play games, as well as areas for role playing games (like D&D), trading card games, miniatures, and even their own tournament room. I wandered around for ten minutes and every time J and I crossed paths I would whisper, “This is craaaazy” until he was like, “You’ve said that already… five times.” I think when J would talk about starting his own board game store, I never understood how big of a dream that could be. I wish I could show you in pictures how magical it was, but I felt really bad photographing all of the people in there so I tried to surreptitiously snap shots. Those kids have no idea how good they have it — the space, the free games, the community. J and I borrowed a game called Summoner Wars and we played that in a spare table in the Tournament Room (amongst the Planeswalkers).

Day 3 – Sunday

On our last day we did our best to wake up early and went straight to the famed Crumble and Flake Patisserie. J was sleepy and skeptical of “great croissants” but he was a trooper and waited in the short line with me. We got a cheddar and smoked paprika croissant, pistachio croissant, goat cheese and apricot danish, and a chocolate chip cookie. Since there weren’t any seats, we walked and ate at the same time. Two bites in we halted.

“Do you want to go back to get more?” Jason asked. They were that good. I think they were the best croissants I’ve had (I’d pass on the cookie next time, but triple up on the flaky pastries).

After getting a more substantial breakfast at Homegrown, we went back to the hotel to check out. The rain had finally stopped on our last day, so we went to the waterfront to get some last glimpses of nature.

From the Seattle waterfront we walked to the Space Needle and wandered around that area, where the Chihuly Glass museum was as well as the EMP Museum. Curious about this EMP museum, advertising Music + Sci-Fi + Pop Culture, we paid admission (free coat and bag check!) and dove in. They had some great, interactive exhibits, my favorite being the Indie Games exhibit where you could play a variety of indie video games and learn about the creative process. They also had a series of exhibits on the genres of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy, featuring items from films and pop culture like costumes from Battlestar Galactica, masks from Star Wars, original Magic the Gathering cards, and letters with JRR Tolkien. The exhibit that had just opened that day was called Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty. Not only was it filled with Hello Kitty history and memorabilia (oh, the sweet Sanrio nostalgia!), but there were also pieces by artists inspired by the famous cat.

For our final meal in Seattle we went back to Pike Place and dined at Place Pigalle, a French restaurant with a storied history involving the Japanese American community (who originally ran most of Pike Place until they were incarcerated during WWII), a hotel/brothel owned by Naughty Nellie (during Pike Place’s seedier era), and later the public market revitalization efforts. The food was decent, but really the view was the main attraction. It was a quiet, lovely way to end a fantastic weekend.

Roundup

Top 5 from the weekend:

  1. Crumble & Flake Patisserie
  2. Card Kingdom
  3. EMP Museum
  4. The Wing Luke Museum
  5. Pike Place Chowder

On the list for next time:

  1. Wing Luke Tour
  2. Rachel’s Ginger Beer
  3. Seattle Underground Tour
  4. Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum
  5. Hiking! Or maybe the Ferry to Bainbridge Island.

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