Over the long Thanksgiving weekend, Darren and I took a mini vacation to Seattle. My sister moved there back in September for college, and since neither of us had been there before, we thought it’d be the perfect time for a trip away. In the months leading up we had made a list of things to see, as well as recommendations from friends and Claire’s personal favorites. We ended up covering a lot in just four short days. Here’s a look at our trip and everything we got to see.
We flew out Wednesday night after work and arrived around 12:15am, so Thursday was our first full day out on the West Coast. Because it was Thanksgiving, we knew much wouldn’t be open, so we opted to head outside and go for a hike. We decided on Tiger Mountain, which gave us beautiful views of both Mt. Rainier and Seattle.
We also had a chance to check out some para gliders taking off at the top, which was amazing and a bit scary. Once we finished our hike, we made our way back to town, but stopped by the Fremont Troll to snag a picture.
From there, we grabbed a light appetizer from our hotel, cleaned up and relaxed a bit before heading out to dinner. We ate at Palomino, which had a special Thanksgiving menu. I’m not a huge turkey person, so I opted for the Salmon, and it did not disappoint!
After dinner we headed back to the hotel, between the three hour time change and the hike, it was a miracle that I stayed awake during dinner.
This was probably our busiest day of the trip. Our day started with the chance to see the Macy’s parade as it started right outside our hotel. I haven’t been to a parade in years, so it was a nice little surprise.
Next we went to pick up my sister and got a tour of Seattle Pacific University. It was a beautiful campus, and it was nice to see that my sister has found a good home away from home. It certainly didn’t have the rural feel that Muskingum had, but their dorms where much better, including a mountain lodge look and feel in the lobby.
From there, we took a drive out of town to check out some wineries. Chateau Ste. Michelle was our first stop, and it was pretty busy. The wine was ok, I’ve had it many times before, so it was nothing new and as expected, you didn’t get too much of a personal feel with your tasting since it is such a large brand.
Instead of going across the street to Columbia Winery, we decided to venture around and were referred to Airfield Estates Winery. We were greeted and given the history of the vineyard and some of the wines. We must have made a good impression because we were able to try a few extras that weren’t on the list. The personal feel, similar to the wineries we visited in Napa, had us enjoy this one more than the first, and we may or may not have bought a case to ship home…I wish we would have skipped Chateau Ste. Michelle for a smaller known winery, but we learned for next time.
At this point we were getting pretty hungry and decided to head back to town. We settled on eating near the water and got our first view of Pike Place Market and the famous Starbucks. We had lunch at Cutters Crabhouse and had a beautiful view of the water and Great Wheel.
After we were stuffed with more seafood, we decided to venture down to the market and check everything out. I never realized it was more than one level, and just how large it was. It makes the Medina Farmers Market look so tiny! We made our way around and found the Gum Wall, which was recently cleaned off for the first time in over 20 years! I was a little disappointed that it was so empty, but I made sure to add my contribution for the next generation.
Next up was my sister’s favorite coffee shop in town, Storyville Coffee Company. It had a comforting set up, which reminded me of Caribou. We lucked out because we ended up with the perfect view of the sunset, and their free, amazing chocolate cake.
It was still early in the night, so we decided to wander town and check out a few of the shops, Lush, Fireworks Gallery, Columbia, to name a few. Some were national brands, some local, but another good way to see the city.
Naturally we had to start Saturday with the Buckeyes. Thankfully the game started at 9am out there, so it didn’t cut into too much of our day. We watched the game at Spitfire, which was nice because each of us had our own TV’s for our individual games.
Next up with headed over to the Westin for the Seattle Half Marathon Expo! The expo was a good size without being overwhelming and bib/bag pick up was fairly easy. I also managed to pick up some new gear, that I most likely didn’t need 😉
After a quick stop at Verizon, we headed out to lunch at Ivar’s Acres of Clams. I was a little hesitant on what to get for a pre race meal, but decided on the fish tacos as they’ve been a safe bet in the past. It was another delicious meal, and we got a head start on watching the sunset. Seriously, such beautiful sunsets in Seattle, even if they start at 4pm.
We finished up the day with a trip to University Village. With a similar setup to Crocker Park and Easton, I was certainly in my element. We had a chance to check out some shops, including the Oiselle Store, Fireworks Gallery (again, but it’s so neat!), and SODO (Darren’s favorite).
For dinner we ended up at RAM Restaurant & Brewery, which was actually a lot better than I expected. I also think it was the first lunch or dinner that I didn’t have seafood! I ended up with the Mac & Cheese for a little bit of extra carbs to help me through race day.
This was the day I was most excited for, and also most nervous for. I was excited to check out the city by foot and see areas we hadn’t seen, but I was also second guessing myself, thinking that maybe I should have signed up for a 5k instead. The main goal of the race was to have fun. I was on vacation, my eating and sleeping patterns were way off, and I hadn’t run much that week. I’ll have my recap tomorrow, but I can say that it was a great race and I highly recommend it. I may even have to sign up again!
After the race, I cleaned up and we headed to lunch at Homegrown. It was a very neat set up, and I probably would have eaten more, but just wasn’t feeling it post race. From there, we stopped over to another Storyville location before heading to Kerry Park. We were lucky to have perfect weather our entire trip, but unfortunately, the clouds were covering up Mt. Rainier that day.
My sister informed me that the Intern’s house from Grey’s Anatomy was just down the street from Kerry Park, so naturally we had to stop there. After all these years, I still love this show! From there, we headed over to Fremont Brewing Company. With a very industrial, yet laid back environment, it was the perfect way to wind down the weekend, and it had some delicious beer!
For our final dinner in Seattle, we went to McCormick and Schmick’s on the harbor. Even though it was dark, the views of everything lit up were beautiful, and the food was amazing as well. More seafood, more amazing West Coast seafood!
We flew home on Monday morning and got back to our regular schedule on Tuesday. It was such a wonderful time spending the holiday out in Seattle and I can see why my sister enjoys it so much. We got to see so many things and experience many parts of the city. However, we still had a few things on our to-do list that we never got to. It looks like we’ll have a good starting point for the next trip out there!