Last week, Clay and I vacationed in Seattle, Washington. It was a trip full of firsts- our first visit to Seattle, our first time on the West Coast, and our first cross-country flight.
Clay and I chose to vacation in Seattle for a few obvious reasons. Since I run and Clay does MMA/BJJ, August worked out really well for our work and workout schedules. Clay went to the NAGA grappling tournament in Myrtle Beach a few weeks ago, and I was far enough out from my Fall races to take a few days off and not feel too guilty. Both of us work in software development, but neither of us had impending releases at work.
Once we figured out a great weekend to vacation, we had to decide where to go. We love cruises, but with summer vacationers and hot weather in Charleston, we wanted to visit a cooler destination. Alaska Airlines began offering nonstop flights from Charleston to Seattle last year, so Seattle was a no-brainer.
Since we were on vacation, we were glorified tourists in Seattle. We visited Pike’s Place Market the EMP museum, and the Woodland Park Zoo. We rode the monorail, SeaTrak lightrail, and used LYFT to get around.
With our AirBNB’s convenient location off Pike Street, we walked all over downtown. I didn’t run in Seattle, but we walked 8-11 miles each day, so I logged even more steps than usual. Unlike Charleston, Seattle has legitimate hills, so our quads and shins felt all the steps.
With all the walking, we worked up an appetite and ate lots of delicious food. Clay and I are both Yelp Elites so we use Yelp to find the best hidden gems anywhere we visit. The Seattle food was cheaper than Charleston, and we had a great experience at each restaurant. I feel like I’m carb-loaded for the next few weeks as my pants are now tighter…
The highlight of our trip was our first NFL preseason game, the Seattle Seahawks vs. the Minnesota Vikings. Even though it’s only preseason, the entire city of Seattle seemed excited for the game and we saw people wearing Seahawks gear everywhere. I’m sure that’s just part of having an NFL team in your city or even state. South Carolina is NFL-less and the Carolina Panthers are really based in Charlotte, NC…
Although we don’t have a favorite NFL team, one of Clay’s high school classmates plays for the Seahawks, so we follow them closely. We’ve been to tons of South Carolina Gamecocks football games, but the atmosphere at an NFL game is so much different! CenturyLink field gets *loud* and all the fans are so excited to be there. We wish the outcome was different (Seattle lost at the end), but we loved the game!
The weather was gorgeous in Seattle, and the morning temperatures were so cool, it basically felt like Thanksgiving. When we left Friday morning, I wanted to bottle up the temperatures and bring them home with me, but no such luck. I guess it was a nice hint of how November will feel in Charleston.
We had an amazing vacation but are grateful to be home and back to life, work, MMA/BJJ, and running. Until the next vacation…
Places we visited:
- Pike Place Market – If you visit Seattle, you must visit Pike Place Market. Touristy, yes, but you can’t skip it. It’s right on the water, so take a jacket if you might get chilly.
- Pacific Place Mall – Upscale mall with a movie theatre and lots of high-end stores.
- The EMP Museum – This museum has exhibits on Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Star Trek, and the Seahawks. Take the monorail from downtown.
- Woodland Park Zoo – Very nice zoo with a lot of animals I’d never seen before that are native to the Pacific Northwest. We took a bus from downtown, but the bus stopped conveniently right in front of the zoo.
- CenturyLink Field – Home of the Seattle Seahawks! Take the LightRail to the International District stop, which is conveniently located around the corner from the stadium.
Restaurants where we ate:
- HoneyHole Sandwiches– Great hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop by our AirBNB. They serve sandwiches late in the night, which is helpful when your plane gets in late and it feels like 1 AM to your East Coast stomach.
- Market Diner– The Dungeness crab and avocado omelet was delicious. It was my first time having Dungeness crab as opposed to east-coast crab.
- Piroshky Piroshky– These stuffed pastries make a great snack at Pike’s Place Market. The line was long but moved quickly and was worth the wait.
- Italian Family Pizzeria– This is a hole-in-the-wall pizza place in First Hill. Someone on Reddit’s Advanced Running forum recommended it, and it didn’t disappoint. Delicious NY style, thin-crust pizza.
- Evolution Fresh Salad– Part of the Starbucks family. They customized salads made in front of you as well as wraps and juices. A great light lunch.
- Molly Moon’s Ice Cream– Best ice cream we had in Seattle! The vanilla was rich but not super heavy. The salted caramel was a little *too* caramel and salty for me, but the vanilla cut the flavor well.
- Cherry Street Coffee Shop– Great bagels and coffee. I had a tomato, basil, egg, and cheese on a pizza bagel, and if we’d stayed longer, we would’ve gone back for breakfast.
- Taco Chuki’s– Hole-in-the-wall taco shop with delicious tacos. The line is long but the wait is worth it. It was my first time trying nopales (cactus) tacos and they were delicious!
- Lost Lake Diner– Delicious and cheap breakfast happy hour. Slow service, though.
- Harbor City Restaurant – Dim Sum/Chinese restaurant in the International District, close to CenturyLink Field. Dim Sum is basically a collection of appetizers, but you can easily fill up on them without emptying your wallet.