A Sunny Weekend in Seattle

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The end of any year always makes me nostalgic, leading me to look back at photos I took that year and in previous years. Inevitably, I linger longest over my travel photos, which is what I was doing when I discovered a batch of shots from a trip to Seattle I took early last year. Then, I realized I never posted about it. So, here it is! Better (way) late than never, right?

I met up with my mom for three jam-packed days spent exploring Seattle under crystal-clear skies. We stayed at The Edgewater, we visited the Space NeedleChihuly Garden and Glass, and Pike Place Market, and we took a boat tour of Lake Union and a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island. We also strolled around Fremont, where we had The Best Lunch Ever at a cool spot called The Whale Wins. I wasn’t sure what to expect for my visit to Seattle, other than gray skies and rain. It was a happy surprise when the weather turned out to be perfect, and the surprises just kept on coming, from its architecture to its number of offerings. Seattle is one cool city.

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From our room at The Edgewater, we had a sweeping view of Elliott Bay and the waterfront.photo (29)

The Edgewater is famous for The Beatles having been photographed fishing from their own room there during their first world tour in 1964. We got to take a peek inside that suite, which pays tribute to the band to this day with photographs and plenty of Union Jacks.

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Yeah, yeah, the Space Needle’s a huge tourist trap, and some people will laugh when you tell them you went to it, but the views from atop it are astounding. My advice: Forget about your fear of looking like a tourist (which you are) and make the trip. If nothing else, it’s a great way to get the lay of the land.

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I’m a big fan of Dale Chihuly’s glass art, so I couldn’t pass up a visit to Chihuly Garden and Glass, which lies at the foot of the Space Needle. It’s a wonderland of whimsical colored sculptures.

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After our visit to the Space Needle, we made our way across town to join an Underground Tour. On our way, we passed this guy, outside the Seattle Art Museum. (Sadly, we didn’t have time to go inside.)photo (35)

Another attraction I highly recommend, Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour takes patrons through Seattle’s old underbelly. The guides’ scripts are informative, but also funny, providing a dose of dark humor and insight into a tumultuous period in Seattle’s past.

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You can’t go to Seattle without stopping at Pike Place Market, and we kicked off our morning there with a dynamite breakfast at The Crumpet Shop. I’m telling you, there’s some serious eating to be done in this city. Stuffed from our incredible breakfast, we made our way through the market, stopping just minutes later to buy a bag of piping-hot fresh mini-donuts coated in cinnamon and powdered sugar. If it hadn’t been 9 o’clock in the morning, I’m sure we would’ve washed that down with some lobster or crab salad from one of the neighboring stalls. Alas, self-control is everything. (Those are crumpets, by the way: The one on the left is piled high with fresh tomatoes, English cheese, and pesto, and the one on the right is loaded up with smoked-salmon cream cheese and eggs.)

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The original Pike Place Market Starbucks, whose menu is refreshingly limited. A sweet old busker out front learned I was visiting from Boston (where, days earlier, a pair of bombs had gone off at the marathon finish line), so he sang “Sweet Caroline” in its honor.

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Later in the day, we boarded a ferry to Bainbridge Island, watching Seattle’s waterfront shrink into the distance.

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The island’s main street is lined with cute shops and cafes, but the only photos I managed to snap were inside Blackbird Bakery, where we found homemade pies, tarts, and a massive piece of fluffy coconut cake.

photo (9)Cake Bainbridge Island

Back on the mainland, we explored Fremont, where we sat down for lunch at The Whale Wins. So fresh. So good. Ridiculously good. Like eating fruits and veggies straight out of an enchanted garden.

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After lunch, we walked around Lake Union, whose houseboats I couldn’t get enough of. Like just about everything else we saw in Seattle, there was something just a little bit magical about them.

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Have you been to this beautiful city? What are your favorite things to see and do there?

And stay tuned for more travel memories: In addition to my Seattle shots, I also unearthed photos from trips to the Galapagos, Estonia, Latvia, and two of my favorite resorts in the British Virgin Islands.

Happy travels!

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