I was so excited for my trip to Seattle as it’s my favourite US city, somewhere I could definitely see myself living. I’d also booked for my sister to come and visit from where she is studying abroad in Alabama, and all was looking well until she had to connect in Houston and they were having really bad floods. Sadly her flight got cancelled as I was on my way up to work and the alternatives she was offered, weren’t gonna have her spending much time with me. So we took a refund instead, and I started thinking of an alternative plan on the fourteen hour flight over.
Landing lunchtime, we quickly went through immigration and over to the hotel to check in. Myself and the first officer held behind to organise a car for the following day at the rental place and then I changed and went into the city solo for a little bit of exploring and some dinner. I’d seen the main sights in Seattle last time I was here, but as they are all pretty central, I wandered around anyway in the glorious sunshine. First stop of course was over to the original Starbucks store for a pick me up drink. The time difference in Seattle was eleven hours which is a real struggle on your body when you’ve already completed an eighteen hour day at work.
I queued for around twenty five minutes to get inside and then also order my drink, which had I gone to any other Starbucks in Seattle would have taken me less than five minutes. But it’s a must when in Seattle to see how this first tiny original Starbucks store has blown up into a multi million worldwide company that is recognised all over the world.
Grabbing my drink to go I wandered towards Pike Place Market, another must do when in Seattle!
Pike Place Market is a special community within the heart of Seattle’s downtown. More than the city’s beloved public market, Pike Place Market is a vibrant neighbourhood comprised of hundreds of farmers, craftspeople, small businesses and residents. Each group is an important and vital makeup of the Pike Place neighbourhood.
In addition to preserving and protecting the historic buildings and character of the nine acre historic district and serving as an incubator and supporter of farmers, artisans and small businesses, the Pike Place Market was chartered by the City of Seattle to provide services for low-income individuals.
I browsed through the stalls selling all the different items. I love the bouquets of flowers here so so much, they’re so beautifully arranged and only priced at $10 a bunch! You always see so many people carrying them around the city, and I’m always super envious. Next up I purchased some bubblegum and went to the infamous bubblegum wall.
It is literally an alleyway that has been covered in used gum and is a colourful and extremely sweet smelling “work of art”. To some the smell may be too much, but it is just too weird to not go and check out this unique place that is adjacent to Pike Place Market.
I wandered down towards the pier ready for something to eat, seafood is a must when in Seattle especially king crabs legs so I was on the lookout for a place with these that could also seat me on a Friday evening! I’d heard a couple of good things about a place called Crab Pot and wanted to try somewhere different to last time, so I got in the queue for a table. I was seated pretty quickly and ordered a Bloody Mary served with jumbo shrimp whilst I looked through the menu.
I looked at their expanse menu of seafood before settling for the Alaskan king crab legs served with potatoes and corn on the cob with garlic butter. I was given a mallet and a bib to wear before I was told that all my food would be poured over the table for me.
When it arrived, I honestly thought there isn’t much food here, but it took me a good forty minutes to work through the shell and release the meat and tuck into it all. It was so delicious and SO filling, I was so full afterwards and couldn’t wait to head back to the hotel and go to bed.
The next day I woke early with the effects of jet lag and was ready for what was set to be a busy and active day ahead. I went down for breakfast in the hotel before meeting the crew in the lobby. We met at 7:30am and walked across to the car rental place. There were seven of us going over to Mount Rainier for what I was told was a leisurely a hike (let me tell you now, there was nothing leisurely about this). I was the designated driver for the day and was given the keys to what can only be described as an absolutely ginormous beast, a GMC Yukon.
The drive over took just over two and a half hours with a quick stop for a scenic picture before we parked up and got ready for our hike. Entrance to the national park is $30 per vehicle which I didn’t think was bad at all split between the seven of us.
We grabbed some water and lunch so we could stop when we had reached our goal (the reflection lake) and set off on the journey. It was such a beautiful walk through the woods, seeing all the sorts of beautiful scenery and flora and fauna in the perfect hiking weather.
Paths are well directed and also explain how far it is to the next main point. There are numerous routes you can take all over the mountain with an abundance of different intensities for hikers. When we spoke to a guide prior, they told us how we can chose this option of doing the steep incline down to the lakes, but the longer more gentle incline back up to the car park. I would just like to add though, it was not a gentle incline at all. Not even slightly.
At one point, a butterfly came and flew right onto my jeans and stayed with me for a good five minutes of the journey, so cute!!
It took us around 45 minutes to reach the reflection lake and it was well worth the journey down. We came out to such a beautiful view of mount rainier in the background reflecting right onto the lake in front of us. There wasn’t a cloud in sight to disrupt the view and we sat and admired the view for a good thirty minutes.
We sat on a log using it as a make shift bench and pulled out our lunches to enjoy in the warmth of the sun.
It wasn’t long before we started making the long journey back uphill towards the car again, and wow this was much more of a struggle. What I did love about this hike was that you never knew what view you were going to come out to, and we didn’t expect to come out to this view at any point!
The journey back was definitely a much longer way round, and took us three hours and forty minutes in total for the round trip. At one point we even saw two bears running ahead in the distance. I wish I’d have taken a picture but I was lagging a little behind the group and ran as soon as I saw them in case there were any close by!
When we finished, I grabbed a much needed coffee and something sweet for some energy for the long drive back that I now had to endure whilst we waited for one of the crew who had hung back a little to take some pictures on their camera. Most people were very hungry, so we decided on a pit stop for dinner in a town that had been recommended to us on the way home called Enumclaw. We all piled round a table and ordered some food and drinks before continuing the journey back to the hotel.
Such a beautiful day out to be at one with nature, I really recommend the visit out to Mount Rainier National Park if you’re ever in or around Seattle. It’s a tiring day, where my phone told me I’d climbed 99 flights of stairs but well worth the the trip out.
The next morning I wanted to head back to Pike Place Market to buy some flowers to take back to Dubai with me, however it was raining like crazy and didn’t stop all morning so I went for breakfast and got a bit more rest and relaxation before the long journey back to Dubai.
I’m also back to vlogging if you want to check it out below. I unfortunately had my GoPro stolen when I was on a mini vacation in Mallorca, but I’m back with a new and better one so I shall be attempting to vlog as much as I can too.
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