USA - Seattle, Washington State
Seattle exceeded my expectations, I knew I would like it but didn’t anticipating loving it. The Pike Place Market was my favorite, see my Pike Please Market, Seattle post for all the places I liked best and of course, all of the gorgeous flowers. We were lucky while visiting Seattle as the weather could not have been more perfect. It was in the sixties, sunny and the leaves were as perfect as fall leaves could be. The trees looked like they were on fire with the reds, oranges and yellows. It was stunning to say the least. We didn’t experience one drop of rain.
Since I am obsessed with all things French, I am always excited to find anything French where I go and we found many French places. My favorite was Le Pichet, it looked just like a French café you would see in Paris. The ambiance was perfect, the food great and the staff amazing. We had a cheese board and a salad, it was quite delicious. I could have eaten there every meal.
We also visited La Parisienne French Bakery where we had a Paris Washington dessert and a quiche. I enjoyed a cappuccino while my friend had a glass of Rose. It was all quite delightful and a very cute spot, like a Patisserie.
The morning we went to Pike Place Market, we stopped at Belle Epicurean for breakfast. It was in an office building which threw me off for a minute as I had seen pictures online but the pictures I had seen were at the Madison Street location, not the Downtown location. Keep that in mind if you are stopping in. The food was very excellent! We each had the Walla Walla Onion Feuillette and both thought it was fantastic! Then we shared a Pecan Cinnamon Roll and enjoyed a latte. It was all wonderful. After breakfast, we ran across a cute floral shop called Sal Floral Design. If you see it, make sure to stop in. It is adorable!
After the market on our first day we went to the Chihuly Garden and Glass. On the way we walked through the Olympic Sculpture Park near Belltown. It opened in two thousand and seven and includes permanent and temporary installations. I was happy to have taken the detour, the sculptures are amazing and the view incredible.
I was familiar with Chihuly’s work as there was an installation at the Denver Botanical Gardens that I was able to visit, it was impressive. I was looking forward to visiting the Chihuly Garden and Glass and it blew me away. His work is amazing, the designs, colors and lighting is surreal at times. There is a room in the Garden that makes me feel like I am under the sea. It transforms to you another place. I lost track of time and where I was. His story is quite interesting as he lost sight is in his left eye after a car accident in the seventies, then dislocated his shoulder and is unable to blow the glass himself. He designs the pieces and then has a team to assemble for him. His work has been displayed worldwide to include Venice, Jerusalem and Montreal. His work is in over two hundred museums and according to Wikipedia, his largest collection is a the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. I just added it to my list.
I didn’t go up to the top of the Space Needle, although I was able to see it from different areas of the city and while at the Chihuly Garden and Glass. It is very cool. Reminds me of the Jetsons and is futuristic in appearance. I was okay with not going up to the top. I enjoyed seeing it from below.
My friend that went with me to Seattle had already been to the Museum of Pop Culture, MoPOP. She went to the Seattle Art Museum, SAM, while I went to MoPOP. I hadn’t done much research on this museum, I had just seen some pictures and heard that it was a place I needed to visit. It was not what I anticipated at all and that was for the best. It was incredible. There are several different exhibits which are broken down by rooms. The Nirvana room took me back to high school which I was not anticipating. I think I spent and least forty-five minutes in the Nirvana room. Curt Cobain committed suicide my junior year of high school and I still remember the day he died. My friends and I loved Nirvana. We were into the grunge/alternative music. Hole was my favorite band at the time which was Courtney Love’s band, Curt’s wife. This exhibit brought back a lot of memories to say the least.
The Pearl Jam room did the same as the Nirvana room. Like taking a trip down memory lane. I spent a little bit of time in the game room, tried playing a game and did not do well. I am not a gamer. I thought the Fantasy Room was worth a walkthrough. It was interesting to see the things from the Wizard of Oz. I am not familiar with a lot of the fantasy games and such. The Scared to Death Exhibit was terrifying. They literally put all of the things that terrify me into one gigantic room. I was scared to death, no pun intended. I did not spend too much time here as truly I was freaked out. Infinite Worlds of Science Fiction was a quick walkthrough for me as well, but worth the stroll through. The whole museum was like a snapshot of things that have occurred my entire life put into one building. It was spectacular and a museum I would revisit.
After eating a delicious lunch at Le Pichet we were headed towards Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour when we ran across a wonderful store, Watson Kennedy Fine Home. I’m not sure how much time we spent in this shop, it sucked us both in and we adored it. If you see it or if you have time, you should absolutely stop in!
We stopped for a coffee after our shopping experience at Cherry Street Coffee. They had Ellenos yogurt, so we had to get some more marionberry to have with our lattes. After our snack, we arrived at the Underground Tour. If you don’t know, there is an underground city under Seattle. There was a fire in eighteen eighty-nine that destroyed a great deal of Seattle. When it was time to rebuild, due to sewage issues and other things, they decided to just build a new city on top of the old city and basically start over. I’m not sure how much of the underground still exists, we walked about six blocks or so underground where you could see where there used to be storefronts and you could see old parts and items. The history is fascinating. The tour was okay. There was a lot of talking but not a lot of walking around. I would have liked to have listened as we walked and it would have been great to see a little more. I would recommend doing it if you are curious of the history as it is just that, a history lesson. But you don’t really get to see all that much.
Once we were finished with the tour, we needed more coffee and you know what they say, when in Seattle drink a lot of coffee. Okay, no one says that, but we drank a lot of coffee. We headed to Capitol Hill to visit the Starbucks Reserve which opened in two thousand and fourteen. Again, I hadn’t really investigated the Reserve, it was just on my list. It was not at all what I anticipated and blew my assumptions away. There are currently six Starbucks Reserves worldwide, Seattle, Shanghai, New York, Milan, Chicago and Tokyo. While traditionally, I am not a huge Starbucks fan, if I am one of those places, I would visit a Reserve again. It was bigger than I anticipated to include a roaster, two bars, a coffee bar, library, a Milan-based bakery called Princi, a mezzanine and extensive merchandise collection. You can get a flight of coffee, specialty coffee and alcoholic drinks, treats and amazing food. We were really blown away and ended up spending over an hour and a half here. It turned into one of the highlights of the trip.
I am looking to another visit one day to Seattle, there are still many things on my to go list. Until then, I will remember this trip fondly. I enjoyed it a great deal. Have you been to Seattle? What were the highlights for you? Make sure to leave a comment below!