Another state has been crossed off the list! The beautiful Emerald City of Washington had been warm and pleasant. Contrary to the norm, it didn’t rain that much when I was there. One can live a little wider (literally) than San Francisco or New York, but that will soon change as Amazon’s new territory makes real estate prices skyrocket.
Seattle used to be a city of wooden structures built on ground level. Often, the tide took a toll on the residents. When a fire broke out in 1889, the city was destroyed, and they had to rebuild, this time on much higher elevation. Thankfully, they preserved parts of the old town for tourists to enjoy.
I found the town’s history fascinating, and the guides well-trained (they HI-LARIOUS, and great storytellers!!). They made up for the not-so-grand main event, which was quite lacking and overrated, in my opinion.
GAS WORKS PARK
The perfect place to be alone with your thoughts (or frolic with your baby nephews), with a front-row seat to the breathtaking Seattle skyline.
JOSE RIZAL PARK
Who would’ve thought our national hero would have a shrine on the other side of the world? And beside such a good view of the city!
LAKE WASHINGTON KAYAK
To row my arms straight for over an hour was the most strenuous activity throughout the trip. Thankfully, it wasn’t scorching hot, and the wind blew generously on my exhausted upper body. I observed the boathouses, passed the park, and observed the skyline on every side of the water. That lovely day was capped off with a hearty family dinner and a home-theatre screening of Singin’ In The Rain. Best evening I had in America.
SPACE NEEDLE & SEATTLE CENTER
This was the most touristy thing I did the entire trip: go up the Space Needle, a very futuristic piece of architecture (it was built in 1962 but it still looks ahead of our time today!), that put Seattle on the map.
Around it are other interesting (and equally touristy) attractions which we no longer went to as I decided to devote my time to visit other places.
STARBUCKS RESERVE (ORIGINAL)
I walked a long way from the city center to Starbucks Roastery at Pike Street, where one can experience coffee pre-roast all the way to espresso by observing the roasting process first-hand: from burlap sack to special contraption to kitchen to table. Stories were told, and specialty coffee was served.
I, a pseudo connoisseur, boldly ordered the three-coffee set. The server patiently explained to me the nuances of each one, to which I nodded and desperately tried to pinpoint with my tastebuds, to no avail. I was hesitant to ask further as it would’ve led to more humiliation, so I sat, helplessly trying to gulp down the extra strong coffee until I was about to experience a massive headache. I then stood up, left for home on what was to be a very long night.
BALLARD SUNDAY MARKET
After attending a local church service, we drove to the nearby farmers’ market for freshly-baked pizza and coffee. In Seattle, one can smell the relaxing aroma of espresso on the sidewalk, of which I had no qualms about.
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY + MALL
We had a pleasant morning doing some window-shopping, coffee-tasting, and putting on VR goggles for fun.
OLIVE GARDEN + SEATTLE OUTLETS
After Boeing, we had lunch at Olive Garden, and went outlet shopping. Contrary to what most people say, I actually enjoyed scouting for deals at Ross, Marshalls, and T.J. Maxx, where this whole thrill over what’ll be in the racks the following day exists. I got most of my bargains from those stores, but mostly from Ross, where a lot of Filipinos worked, too!
SEATTLE CITY CENTER