Seattle Highlights

A weekend in Seattle is never a dull moment when you have plenty of food choices and attractions to see. For 2 days and 2 nights, my boyfriend and I made sure to waste no time in venturing out to the city. I’m not stranger to Seattle but, it was my boyfriend’s first time so, I made sure he had a good time. Having purchased the Seattle City Pass, we were able to plan our day’s activities.

The first day in Seattle was as clear as it could be. The weather was warm and sunny with temperatures averaging between 70-75F without any clouds. Considering how often it rains in Seattle, we were very very lucky with the weather. 

Pike Market

The first thing we did in the morning was walk over to Pike Market from our hotel to grab fresh pastries at the Le Panier Seattle. Though there was a line outside, we didn’t have to wait too long (about 10-15 minutes) to get their chocolate and almond croissants with a latte and mocha. With our pastries in hand, we sat on one of the benches on the patio overlooking the waterfront area. Several other people shared the same idea and we found ourselves doing the same thing; enjoying the sun while eating.

Afterwards, we wandered around the Pike Market, where we saw the fish stands, craft stalls, produce stands, and small shops setting up for the day. The Pike Market is one of the oldest public farmer’s markets in the U.S. and is home to the first Starbucks. In a typically crowded area, it was nice to be there when it was still quiet. After an hour, we decided to head to the Space Needle and walk along the pier since it was a nice day.

On our way to the Space Needle, we passed a park called Gas Works. While walking around, we saw a few outdoor art exhibits, a mini botanical garden, and a view of the Space Needle from quite a distance. It was a good way to start our way to the Space Needle on a positive note.

Space Needle

Known as the city’s icon, the Space Needle is a must-see in Seattle. If you have a clear day, the view from the top of the Space Needle is breathtaking. We were able to see the city to its core. However, it is quite a tourist attraction, so expect to share the view with others.

There is a rotating floor on the 2nd level of the observation deck. I enjoyed the view equally, and I was a little frightened looking down at my feet because I could see the entrance where we started and it seemed so far away. While others lay on the ground taking pictures of themselves, I stepped off and on to the side away from the glass bottom and watched from afar.

There’s also a small bar and a restaurant onsite if you’re feeling thirsty and hungry. The restaurant, however, is only available via reservations as far as I know. With the Seattle City Pass, you can return at night. In our experience, the crowds were much less hectic, perfect for a date night or a place to schmooze.

Chihuly and Glass in Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass

After our Space Needle binge, we walked just a few steps to see the glass exhibition at Chihuly Garden and Glass. With his glasswork sculptures, Chihuly presented a breathtaking display of his work. Both the colors and shapes were stunning. 

We ended the tour with a pizza and a rest in their garden. There was a small demonstration of how these beautiful sculptures are created using glass. I found it quite informative.

Boat Tour

The day wasn’t complete without a boat tour of the city with Argosy Cruises Seattle. As the tour was originally scheduled for Sunday, we had to make sure we got as much done as possible on a sunny day. I am so glad we changed our reservations because our cruise had a fantastic view of the city’s skyline; a rare occurrence for Seattle since they tend to get a lot of rain. That day, there were so many vessels in the water, kayakers, tour boats, and container ships that it felt like a city all on its own.

Seattle Skyline

Food

After running around all day, we were hungry. We ate at the Dough Zone Dumpling House right around the corner from our hotel and ordered their House Specials, Q Bao, and Garlic Noodles. This is a good place to eat or simply if you like Chinese food.

The rain began to fall within hours. Our time had come to head home.

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Blooming in Walla-Walla

Double W doesn’t need an introduction. For the 2nd time round, I was lucky to have the chance to return to this country life in Walla Walla. A month later, I found out the difference in the season was huge!

The last time I was here this town was filled with a blanket of thick snow. It was tough, at times, to see the trees or the roads. That’s why I was quite surprised to find out that I didn’t see not even an inch of snow (except the mountains) when I arrived.

It was very bright that I could hardly open my eyes and Rudy too.
We came up this road, parked the car on the side of the road and watched a nice sunset.

My visit this time round was at a much slower paced than last time. I had a bit more time and got the chance to roam the forest. I admit, I was scared for my life because I knew this area is infested with bears and cougars (that can go up to 150 lbs). I would like to say I am adventurous and I like to hike but, cautious.

You can’t tell from this photo but, that water was gushing and moving at 80mph.
Imagine walking through that log with that water under you.

I suggest when you go hiking here, at least go with a local or someone who knows their way around (someone who understands the nature of the area inside and out). You don’t want to end up missing or come across unwanted situations.

As an adventurous person, I am quite open to new things but, being in the forest took time to adjust. The trees were big and thick (similar to the trees in Yosemite) and in the back of my mind, I kept thinking about bears or cougars hiding somewhere behind these trees. Although, I never saw even 1 animal.

No sign of snow @ Umatilla National Forest.

We finally got out of the forest and climbed up on top of a hill. We saw this nice view which, I definitely enjoyed.

Walla-Walla offers a lot from wine tastings, top notch restaurants to hiking. There’s a lot you can do in this town. I enjoyed spending both times I came to visit and I truly feel lucky to be able to have experienced it but, all good things must come to an end.

Mount Rainier

I caught an early flight the next day. This is common for traveling in and out of Walla Walla since there’s no direct flights. However, I am not complaining because this was my first time traveling on first class and it was awesome. It was exactly what I needed as it helped me recuperate from the lack of sleep. Until next time….

Winter Wonderland in Waala Waala

Waala Waala, try saying that 5x. My first trip this year was random and on a whim. I was half excited and half asleep trying to stay awake as I made my way through a layover in Seattle. I had no idea that getting to Waala Waala would take me through 2 flights and additionally, waking up at 4am to make it to my first transport. After 3 and a half hours later, I finally made it to my destination.

Window seat view – breathtaking ain’t it?

The first few hours upon my arrival, I noticed how small the airport was and it seemed that people were more relaxed and less in a hurry compare to SNA. As a side note, Walla-Walla approximately has a population of 32,854 and is located in Washington State. It is about 3-4 hours drive from Seattle, Portland, Oregon and Spokane. They are apparently known for agriculture and wine.

Outside Walla Walla airport

As I made my way outside the airport to wait for my friend, the cool air hit my face as the door opened. Right away the wind chill snapped me back to reality. I was definitely no longer in sunny land of O.C. In front of me was a thick and a whole lot of snow! I’ve never seen so much powder whiter than my bedsheets. The scene was very pretty.

Having the chance to roam around town and drive to the nearby cities, I came to realize that people were very friendly and easy to talk to. I also noticed that like Southern California everything is spread out but, less buildings and more open fields.

I am curious as to how this place would look in the summer or spring season. To me, the snow gave it a winter wonderland feel that you won’t probably get in any other season.