After enduring the arctic temperatures and below average coffee in Vancouver for the past three months I was more than excited to escape the mundane life the city provided. Even if it was for just over 24 hours I felt that gave enough time to recharge the batteries whilst gaining another stamp in the passport.
I had consumed possibly one too many beers on a Friday night before the alarm blared at 4:30am, giving just enough time to slowly move around in the dark gathering our stuff together to make our 5:40am Greyhound bus to Seattle. It was just a four hour journey down to Washington State’s most populated city and with only minimal hiccups at the US border we arrived into Seattle at around 10am on a very wet and grey Saturday morning.
As we only had just over one full day in the city we had carefully planned out all the attractions we wanted to see in order to manage our time efficiently. We abandoned our baggage at our hotel, The Belltown Inn, before walking directly to Pike Place Market, home of the famous fish markets and the birth place of Starbucks (I have never seen so many bloody Starbucks in my life). We got lost in the endless alleys of stalls and kiosks selling about every tacky souvenir you would expect from any other market in the world. We escaped the crowds that slowly moved from stall to stall to have a biscuit breakfast (American for scones) and to check out the famous “gum wall” which disgustingly held a stench of peppermint and saliva.
Next we decided to take a stroll through the streets of downtown, sharing one umbrella, trying to hide from the now torrential rain. As Steve has a background in architecture we went from one building to the next as he tried his best to explain the stories behind why each building was designed the way it was. We went from the Seattle Public Library to the Seattle Art Museum to the EMP museum to the iconic Space needle. As we were on a pretty strict budget we didn’t actually pay to enter any of these spaces (apart from the library which was free), but for me it was enough to stand outside and stare.
Growing a little tired of the rain and having shoes now almost overflowing with icy, Seattle precipitation our next stop was inside at the ‘Urban Craft Uprising Show.’ As grateful as I was to escape the conditions outside, inside the market things were not much more pleasant. Imagine thousands of pretentious, hipsters using the word ‘organic’ at least 35 times a minute. There seemed to be an endless amount of stalls all offering similar products that were either vegan or gluten free (and only a small portion of those were actually offing something edible).
We shoulder barged our way out of the craft show in the late afternoon, both exhausted by the early morning, hangover and heavy rain we made our way back to the hotel to take a little bit of time to relax. On the way we picked up some beverages (which were almost half the price we would have paid in Canada) and spent the next two hours not making any real sudden movements. You’d think this small break would have been enough to generate some energy for a wild night out in Seattle BUT given the fact I turned 29 last week the idea of having a dinner and an early sight seemed a lot more appealing to me than the rain and spending $100USD on a night I was probably not going to remember anyway.
Still exhausted the next morning, we allowed ourselves a slight sleep-inn before venturing out to Capitol Hill, a more arty area which promised plenty of decent spots for brunch. I managed another biscuit breakfast before we continued our weekend of trying to see everything in Seattle. We had a brief look inside some of the stores that had yet to find their way to Canada (Macy’s, Target, Ross, Forever 21) and then headed to the Olympic Sculpture Park. This was another attraction on Steve’s architecture ‘must see list’ and was actually pretty cool, ever from the point of view of a non-arty type like me.
We left the park with only a few hours spare to make our bus back up to Vancouver, only giving us enough time to head back to the hotel and make the most of the free wifi to get the latest episode of The Biggest Loser to watch on the bus ride home.
I would have loved to have spent more time and money in the city but unfortunately those are two aspects lacking from my life right now. But hey, Seattle is just a four hour bus ride from Vancouver so I might just head back sometime soon.