The first week of July, my husband and I travelled to the Pacific Northwest, we spent a few cooler days in Seattle and then on to Portland. I thought I would share where I choose to spend my time. The weather was great and the Pacific Northwest is the kind of place that you'd want to move if you see it in the summer, green, fresh, the water shimmering, and the sun shining. But Seattle is deceptive, she let's you think that she is beautiful and nice only to turn into a drizzling, grey mess for the other 9 months. Kukai - Named in the "Best Restaurants in Seattle 2013" this little place in Bellevue is friendly, cozy, clean and has delicious ramen. Many different options to choose, I went for the all vegetarian Vegetable Ramen, usually not found in other ramen joints. Those progressive Washingtonians.
Lot No 3 - A day strolling around Bellevue on my own while Nate worked, I stopped in Lot No 3. Chalkboard walls, big couches, revival cocktails, and a large whiskey menu and comfort food make this a popular place to get a drink. Despite just having lunch at Kukai, I was tempted to try the portobello reuben with my Martinez, but restrained and did not taste the food here - next time.
Chantanee - Thai food is my fav. I probably have it once a week and I am always searching out great Thai restaurants. This one did not disappoint. They have a great bar and bar menu which I highly recommend even if you aren't having dinner. I had the Mother River cocktail, but really wanted to sample their entire specialty drink list. I also munched on fries dusted in Thai herbs and spices, I love kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass and these were a delicious (not nutritious) start to the night. We also had dinner after and the standout was the tofu satay which was charred and delicious - worth the trip for this alone. Nate ordered a yellow curry fried rice, which with raisins was a little too indian-leaning for a Thai restaurant. My advice is to go for cocktails and appetizers.
Okay at this point, all I've recommended are restaurants - which is really the reason we travel - we love food and trying new restaurants. But I did walk a ton while I was here and visited the parks, little shops, and generally enjoyed being somewhere where it wasn't 115 degrees.
Top Pot Doughnuts - I like donuts, but I certainly don't search them out while on vacation. But this joint was around the corner from our hotel. Taunting, heckling, teasing me. So one morning I put my Macbook Air in my purse and set off to do some work- hey they have free wi-fi. So I ordered a single donut and coffee for me plus two donuts to-go for Nate. Lets say that three hours later (writing these posts takes time!) Nate received his "half" of our marital share - two half donuts. They are delicious and if you're a donut fan- worth the trip.
Bellevue is nice, beautiful, clean, but after walking around for a day - you're almost a local. So I took the public transit into Seattle (for someone who has lived in Los Angeles and Arizona most my life public transit is not second nature, but its easy and clean) and spend the day walking around downtown Seattle.
Seattle Aquarium - My first stop was the Seattle Aquarium - I am a sucker for aquariums, something about the fish is calming and peaceful - even if you do have several school field trip groups screaming and running around. The aquarium is located on the Waterfront and I spent some time watching the seals while sitting outside enjoying the sunshine.
Pike Place Market - Really a given if visiting Seattle. I bought a bag of fresh Rainer cherries and walked around the market. Keep in mind that the vendors with the prime spots also have prime prices.
World Spice Market - I love this place, around the corner from Pike Place, this foodie emporium has all those hard-to-find spices that you'll skip in recipes because your local market doesn't carry them. I have mail-ordered from them in the past, so this was a pleasure to stumble upon the actual storefront. A great selection of cookbooks and teas as well.
earthues - Walking around Ballard while waiting for a table at the Walrus, I walked in this shop just as the owner was closing up. I'm not really sure how to describe Michele Wipplinger's store, but it was magical for a textile fanatic like myself. Michele has traveled the globe for the government and now has a textile library like I've never seen from all over the globe. Color me totally jealous. She now runs this shop and holds classes, which I would love to take next time I'm in town.
the Walrus and the Carpenter- The place to eat in Seattle right now, it is about as trendy as you can get. We went on a Tuesday and it was packed at 5:30 when we walked in - and had to wait another 30 minutes. We sat at the counter watching as a man shucked oyster after oyster - he said his hands had gotten used to it. Delicious, but if you are crowd-adverse and a line snob like me - show up early and have a cocktail in the restaurant in front while you wait.
So tell me, what is your favorite place in Seattle? And stay tuned next week for my Portland Travel Guide.