Points North
on Oct 21, 2013 in Travel

Creating Sunshine in Seattle

The drive from Portland to Seattle was the shortest drive of the year for me. I was pleased to be able to get to a new destination city in about 3 hours time. After already falling in love with one city in the Pacific Northwest, I had very high hopes for what I would find in Seattle. I was not disappointed 🙂

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NEIGHBORHOOD:

I rented a small apartment in the Fremont neighborhood. It was off the side of a house with the most friendly hosts. It had plenty of space for me, so much that I wish I wasn’t traveling solo or had visitors. The apartment was within walking distance to several restaurants and cafes. It was
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WORKING

Although I did attend the grand opening of a new tech space in Seattle (SURF Incubator), most of my work occurred in my apartment. I did this because I actually started my work days early to be as available as I could to the clients I serviced on the east coast. Then, by 3-4pm, I was free to explore Seattle and have a good time. Did this make for a couple long days? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Yes.

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THINGS YOU MUST DO

KUBOTA GARDEN: This is a Japanese style garden and a hidden gem in Seattle. Not used nearly enough, but perfect if you want to escape for a morning or an afternoon to a place that is peaceful and tranquil. What I enjoyed most about this garden was that there were different pathways that provided different views in the same space. Look back and what you just walked through and you’ll appreciate it even more with a different perspective. Take your time here and enjoy.

WATER TAXI/FERRY RIDE: Take the water taxi or ferry, right at sunset, and enjoy spectacular views of the city skyline as it comes alive against what can only be described at a work of art.

ALKI BEACH: Enjoy the early evening with drinks and tapas at Phoenicia Restaurant. Stroll the promenade along the beach and listen to the waves crash into the shore. Plenty of people have campfires on the beach after sunset. Stop by one of them and make some new friends.

FREMONT SUNDAY MARKET: Stroll along the multiple vendors on a sunny day, and stop by the food truck part for your pick of the litter in delicious bites to eat. Following this, walk through the shops in downtown Fremont (check out the Fremont Vintage Mall), and finish at 9 Million in Unmarked Bills for drinks and a meal. Got more time? Try and find the Fremont Troll.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Hit up Discovery Park, Fremont Locks, Golden Gate Park, and Gas Works Park. Each of these parks would be perfect for a sunny afternoon, with nice walks, beautiful views, and plenty of opportunities to stop and take in the view.

BALLARD: Ballard is another great neighborhood to enjoy for a day. Start on the weekend and enjoy their street market, full of fresh produce that’s locally grown. Or, go later in the day and enjoy food at Bastille Cafe, and catch a flick at Majestic Bay Theater or some live blues music at Egan’s Ballard Jam House.

THEO’S CHOCOLATE: While I didn’t see Willy Wonka himself or one of his Oompa Loompas, I did thoroughly enjoy learning about the process of creating Theo’s organic line of chocolate. The tour is $7 and comes full of samples. Taste the great flavors and then buy your favorite in their store.

UNEXPECTED PRODUCTIONS: Enjoy food downtown near the Pikes Market, then an improv comedy show after. Different themed shows occurring on different nights. Most definitely a good laugh.

REI: REI’s headquarters and massive flagship store is in Seattle, complete with trails and everything an outdoor lover would love.

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EAT GOOD FOOD

Now, I am a more of a health nut, so my choices were definitely on the healthy side, but if you are a foodie, there’s no reason for you to not live it up in Seattle. I was so happy to have a plethora of healthy options to choose from.

Places I went that I loved :

  • Flying Apron Bakery (delicious, healthy, vegan, and some gluten free)
  • Silent Hearts Nest (great for breakfast or lunch, healthy, quaint with good energy)
  • 9 Million in Unmarked Bills (outdoor eating area, good brews, and delicious selection of food)
  • Lighthouse Roasters (coffee shop, local, good coffee and neighborhood hangout spot)
  • Egan Ballard Jam House (live music, jazzy, blues, drinks)
  • Bastille Cafe & Bar (small plates, good drinks, lively atmosphere)
  • Tilthe (amazing food, sit outdoors, enjoy)
  • Pikes Brewing Company (try their different brews)
  • Zig Zag Cafe (delicious food, spectacular drinks, outdoor patio seating)
  • Umi Sake House (happy hour specials are on point, lively atmosphere)
  • Ohana Belltown (oh yes, that is a tiki bar, and yes they have a live raggae band)

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GETTING SOCIAL

I had a couple acquaintances in Seattle to start me off. I was incredibly fortunate to connect with Jenn Tucker, of Cafeteria and Studio LOLA. She used to live in Baltimore and has since then moved out to Seattle. We are originally connected from our time in Charm City, but it had been a couple of years since I had seen her. I can proudly say we made up for lost time.

I chose Meetup.com and CouchSurfing.org to get my social life in place. Meetup.com provided an excellent professional atmosphere that allowed me to easily get connected into the tech and start up community. I was able to tend a Women Tech panel discussion and also enjoy a vintage themed tech space open house downtown.

CouchSurfing.org has become really my reliable safety for syncing up with great people, whether they be local or travelers just like me. I was able to use CouchSurfing.org to explore parks, beaches, spectacular views, and happy hour spots. I was also able to use it to connect with travels from all over the country (and the world), including Florida and Australia. It was amazing. I’m learning more and more that it doesn’t take much to share a great moment with someone, and to forge a friendship in time.

LAST WORDS

Seattle, I had way too much of a social life and fit in almost too well with your beloved city. The breathtaking sky and water views are engrained on my memory for many years to come. I will miss my walks, the parks, and the travelers I met along the way.

helloseattle1 helloseattle2 helloseattle3 helloseattle5 helloseattle6 helloseattle7 helloseattle8

Oct 27, 2014

Because Autumn…

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