So, I’m back from that vacation I mentioned in the Weekly Wrap from the 18th, and I can finally say at last that my mystery destination was Seattle! And because I love to chatter about things, I figured I’d give you guys a run-down on some of the neat things I did and saw while I was there! And yes, this is another Not a Book! Thursday that secretly has a little something to do with books. How can I resist?
Wednesday, May 22nd
This was somehow the best and WORST part of the entire trip. On the plus side, it was day one of the trip! By about 9:30 PM PT, I was actually IN SEATTLE, and I got to tackle hug Áine at the airport, which, fun fact, is basically the best thing ever.
Seriously, if you get to meet an internet friend for the first time and they’re okay with hugs, a dramatic tackle hug is basically the most amazing thing this world has to offer and also it can cause almost-tears.
And! That night, I also got to meet her dog and her family! All very good things (and here is Simon zooming with his oversize tennis ball; he and I are very good friends now, and he’s a very good dog)!
On the (admittedly small in the grand scheme of things) downside, though, this was my first flight ever, I discovered I can’t look out the window without getting vertigo because I’m afraid of heights, AND I won the baby lottery. I had a baby in front of me, one to my left, one to my right, and one kitty corner ahead of me. Babies everywhere. Crying. On the flight. Immediately adjacent to me. Not the most delightful flying experience on that count.
Bottom line, though, I made it safely to Seattle! Wooooo!
Thursday, May 23rd
We decided to take today easy since I had to adjust to Seattle time a little and because running me into the ground right out of the gate didn’t seem like the very best idea. This meant we mostly meandered and did a little shopping. On the list was a cute little conservatory, and a couple of bookstores!
The conservatory was a tiny little thing, but I loved it because it was cozy and full of flowers. Easily my favorites were the orchids and basically the entire cactus room, and I was really excited to see some of the cacti were blooming!
And of course, I loved the bookstores. We visited both Twice Sold Tales and the Elliot Bay Book Company. Twice Sold Tales has four shop cats (who were all snoozing when we got there; take a look below!), and Elliot Bay just has a gorgeous store. By the time I got out of there, I had a copy of The Devouring Gray, Ink and Bone, Once and Future, and Stalking Jack the Ripper. Totally destroyed my vacation book budget immediately. Oops?
And on top of all that, we visited Hello Robin, which is a cookie-only bakery, as well as Molly Moon’s for really fantastic ice cream! Plus, just before we caught a bus home, we visited the Central Library and now I wish I lived in Seattle because WOW. It’s just a stunning building, and it’s so HUGE. Honestly the brand new love of my life.
Friday, May 24th
Today was the truly touristy day, and before I get into it, let me say: if you can be a tourist while having someone who knows the area inside and out show you around, DO IT. Feeling like a total tourist sucks, but I got to avoid that because Áine knows exactly what she’s doing and where she’s going in the city. So yay for that!
Anyway, we used today to visit the Museum of Pop Culture, a cute little bakery for chocolate chip cookies, Pike’s Place for donuts and piroshkies, the Seattle aquarium, and finally, a little Korean-Hawaiian fusion restaurant for dinner! It was SO MUCH TO DO, and I definitely slept like a log after it all, but what a good thing to be worn out by tbh.
Going through this piece by piece, I’ll start with the MoPOP since we headed there first. We saw the Space Needle since it’s right next door, but didn’t go up that because a.) heights, b.) the elevator (did I mention those tend to freak me out too?), and c.) it’s like $60 to even go up??? Yeah, wasn’t doing that. Instead, we went to the MoPOP and had a blast checking out their SFF Hall of Fame, the fantasy and sci-fi exhibits, and a nifty little indie game exhibit where you can actually play some games!
I definitely had the most fun in the fantasy specific exhibit since that’s totally my wheelhouse, and because there was a “what character archetype are you?” quiz, which I am consistently a total sucker for (the answer was that I got the warrior maiden archetype with side types of the unlikely hero and the rogue, which is so INCREDIBLY FITTING lmao). Shoutout to the invisibility cloak display that I forgot to take a picture of for being my favorite display there!
While in the SFF Hall of Fame, though, I did feel a little bit called out. Is this sign about me? No, I’m hardly a big deal of an author who’s ready for a hall of fame of any kind. But do I have a lot of unfinished projects that I feel like I should have finished already? Yes… So this sign felt like a little bit of a pointed sort of thing, even if it wasn’t actually directed at me. 😅
After the MoPOP, though, we took off for the bakery, and then we visited Pike’s Place. Lunch was piroshkies from Piroshky Piroshky and LET ME TELL YOU…the beef and onion piroshky was one of the best things I have ever tasted before. So deceptively simple and so, SO GOOD. I want another one right now, and it’s a tragedy that I don’t have the pastry skills to just make these things myself, because I totally would. If you’re ever out in Seattle, you should definitely make sure to stop by one of their stores and give their food a try! There are definitely vegetarian and sweet options as well, though I think everything is egg-washed, so it isn’t vegan-friendly.
Moving on, we did see them throwing fish in Pike’s Place (imagine, applying to work somewhere that you know involves just throwing fish around…wild…), and we had the cutest little mini donuts, some with sprinkles, and some with a maple glaze. Obviously, that’s basically heaven.
BUT THEN WE GOT TO THE AQUARIUM, and I don’t think I’ve come down from the high of that, honestly. I love love love a good aquarium, and even though the Seattle Aquarium is smaller than a couple of the aquariums I’ve been to, I had a blast! There was a giant Pacific octopus (her name was Bailey, and we happened to see her at feeding time), some sea otters, some very cute napping seals, and lots of little fish! It was just so calm and fun to walk through it all and watch everything just swimming on by. I also got a kick out of the ring-shaped tank for some of the jellyfish, because it’s known as the jelly donut. Good call, honestly.
Plus, Áine and I were aggressively on theme: we both wore shark dresses, because why not wear shark dresses to the aquarium???
Clearly, we are professionals at this.
After that, though, we wandered through the gift shop (where I got a cute little hammerhead shark pencil pouch that says “nailed it” lol), then wrapped up our day at the Korean-Hawaiian fusion restaurant, where I learned that I know NOTHING about Korean or Hawaiian food, and just picked off the menu based on what seemed like it would taste best. Growing up in the middle of nowhere in the Midwest means there’s a lot of foods I really haven’t tried before, and this was a nice opportunity to try something new!
Saturday, May 25th
So, it drizzled today, but that didn’t stop us, because we had a zoo to go visit! The Woodland Park Zoo was absolutely wonderful despite the rain, because all the animals were active, and I love zoos almost as much as I love aquariums. Plus, one of the giraffes is named Dave, so I spent most of the day giggling about that.
But really, it was awesome to see all the animals out and about, because in my experience, it’s often too hot when I go to the zoo, and the animals spend more time sleeping in the shade or in hidden nooks and crannies than actually wandering around. Here, though, we saw the Asian small clawed otters getting fed, a bear snoozing in plain view on a log, the wolf pack howling, and the fastest red panda I’ve ever seen in my life. He was ZOOMING around his enclosure for zoom reason, and the best picture I got of him was a blur. I can’t stop laughing at it, and I’m pretty tempted to make it my phone background at this point. Look at him go!
Also cool were the jaguar, the tapir, and the Flemish Giant. And yes, I did make sure to take pictures of the bunnies in the farm section of the zoo. Obviously. Who would I be if I hadn’t?
Definitely an excellent day at the zoo, rain or shine.
Sunday, May 26th
By now, we’d slowed down again, and today was spent on Whidbey Island being social and just wandering! The fun part about Whidbey is that there are bunnies EVERYWHERE. A while back, someone had released domestic rabbits into the wild, and since then, they’ve bred with the wild population and multiplied like you wouldn’t believe. They’ve also kept some of those domestic rabbit responses, and so they’re far less skittish than most wild rabbits tend to be! I had one almost sprint over the tops of my toes, and then lots of little babies not even flinch when I walked by while they were snacking on the grass. It was PARADISE for me.
Plus, I got to eat some amazing waffles for lunch, so it was all around a good, slow, bunny-filled day. Just the way I like it.
Monday, May 27th
MY LAST FULL DAY. We really dialed it back today, leaving the house only for a Memorial Day party we’d been invited to. When we came back, though, it was all about baked goods and movies, which is the way it should be. We watched Howl’s Moving Castle and Mad Max: Fury Road (after getting through Love, Simon, Whip It, and The Mummy earlier this week!), and made five-layer bars and space macarons! We also convinced Simon to cooperate for some photos, since it was my sister’s birthday; treat bribery goes a long way towards excellent pictures, if you didn’t know that already.
After a week of bouncing all over the city, this was a great way to spend my last day in Seattle. I got to wind down, eat and decorate baked goods (we were so pleased we had galaxy sprinkles for those macarons!), and just watch some movies with a giant bowl of popcorn in my lap. I loved every minute of it, and hated that it was coming to an end when I’d enjoyed it so much in such a short span of time.
Tuesday, May 28th
My last few hours in Seattle weren’t too eventful, given that I just had to get up early and go to the airport to catch my flight. I don’t have any pictures from this day since it wasn’t really a picture-inclined sort of schedule, and since that felt like taking pictures of it ending. I didn’t want to face that, not really. Plus, goodbye hugs were so hard to do; pictures were the last thing on my mind.
I ended up spending most of my plane ride home thinking about how much fun I’d had over the last week, and how much I liked the Pacific Northwest. Normally, I’m a homebody. I don’t love to travel (it tends to make me anxious as hell), and I’m perfectly happy to stay in rather than go out for the day. But Seattle was an incredible experience, and there’s a corner of my mind that’s so genuinely in love with the city that I’m wondering if it’s somewhere I might like to move someday. It was so green and beautiful, the weather was amazing, and of course, I had the most fantastic company I could ask for.
For my first big vacation without my family, this couldn’t have gone any better. I survived flying for the first time (yep, I’d never flown until last week; never needed to until now), I got to meet one of my absolute best friends in person for the very first time (I’m sorry, people in baggage claim that we almost knocked over when we basically tackled each other for a hug), and exploring Seattle was an experience I won’t ever forget, especially since I’m not one for cities most of the time. For a city that amazing, though, I’m more than happy to make an exception.
The euphoria is wearing off a little now, what with being back home and settling into humdrum routine again, but I’m going to hold this one close for a very, very long time. 💙