Sunday, November 4, 2012

A weekend in Seattle

Pike Market Place, downtown Seattle
We have never visited Seattle before. We stopped over briefly for a coffee break on our road trip to Oregon but that was it. It is kind of crazy because we have lived in the Vancouver area for 9 years now and Seattle is only a 2 hour drive away.

I'm reporting our trip late since it was a week ago that it happened. I'll write more in an upcoming post to explain why I have taken so long to blog about it.

I had a bunch of stores I wanted to visit and a list of restaurants for use to try close to our hotel. The main thing I wanted to check out downtown was the Pike Market Place. We went there and hung around for 2 1/2 hours. I couldn't believe how expensive the parking was! We parked at the City Target and the parking was $18. I made myself spend $20 at Target so that they would reimburse us for the first hour of parking. At least! Oh my gosh.

Original Starbucks, Seattle
Pike Market Place was cool. The flowers (fresh or dried) were the best buy I think. If I lived there, I would totally buy some. Everything else was kind of expensive. There were lots of cool stuff though.  We saw the original Starbucks but there was a HUGE lineup so we didn't bother.

We stayed at a hotel in the University district, which was just a 10 minute drive from downtown. Apparently, it was a hip neighborhood with lots of vegan cafes and restaurants. I knew Jean-Louis would be happy :) We had some hotel problems, having booked through Hotwire for the first time but in the end it worked out for us. We were within walking distance to the University Village, which was totally awesome. I loved that place! So many of my favorite stores were there and right next to each other too. The layout was fabulous because when you enter, you can see the stores right there, without looking up a directory.

After shopping, we dined at VeggieGrill, also nearby in the University Village. It was all vegan and we ate until we couldn't walk anymore. You could tell it was not real meat but the quality was so much better than what you could buy at the grocery store. Plus, it was so cheap! We stuffed ourselves silly for just $35. Tristan got the best deal of all for being a kid. For just $5.99, he got a main dish (Mac & Cheese), a side (sweet potato fries), a dessert (chocolate pudding), and a drink (soy milk). The service was excellent too. Once we ordered, paid for our food and sat down, I barely had time to go wash my hands and Tristan's hands before all the food arrived. They messed up brought us an extra order of buffalo wings and said we could just eat it anyway. Yay! Now these were vegan chicken strips so they were actually really filling. Big, no bones, all "meat," if you know what I mean :) It was all good. I read good things about the place but I was still a bit skeptic. Next time we are back in Seattle, we will definitely stop by again!

The main reason we wanted to go to Seattle was to visit the Museum of Flight. Jean-Louis is a plane geek and Tristan is a little boy so he would definitely love seeing planes and other flying vehicles. I wasn't that interested but if I didn't have to pay to go, then I wouldn't have mind tagging along. We got to use our Entertainment book coupon from Vancouver for the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Cool, right? I think it's the first time they included a few Seattle coupons in the Vancouver book. It was a 2 for 1 deal so I was basically free :)

The Museum of Flight was really cool actually. We got to go in several planes, including an Air Force One for the President of the USA. That's some serious perk for a President! The Museum was really big and although we spent around 3 or 4 hours there, we couldn't do much since we had to chase Tristan around. Two hours would have been plenty for our first visit but since we stayed so long, we all got a bit cranky near the end :( That weekend we went it was very crowded too since they had a Halloween event. We got Tristan to dress up in costume to join in on the fun. There were so many kids in costumes there, some ridiculously great costumes too. Surprisingly, Tristan was the only Darth Vader. There were lots of crafts and games but he wasn't too interested. Boo :( Tristan didn't sleep enough the night before and he totally crashed when we left the place. Instead of stopping for lunch, we decided to just drive straight to Bellingham for a Trader Joe's stop and then home to Vancouver. The border wait at Blaine was around 10-15 minutes, which was great. On top of that, we had a super easy customs guy. I don't think we have ever encountered such a nice and easy guy. We had a bad experience in the past where we were booted out of our car and sent inside to pay duties for things we bought. We're still sort of new at this so every time we cross the border by car I get super nervous.

We sure picked the right weekend to go over. I had a feeling a lot of people wanted to stay put the weekend before Halloween, which was why I chose to go then. Overall, it was a great trip and we got to do some serious power shopping. I got plenty of stuff for Tristan's upcoming birthday party too :) I can definitely see us going over again. Maybe when the weather improves.


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