Seattle was the first city that Zach and I were not ready to leave. This is partial to our great hosts and friends, the Kuyper’s, and partial to the laid back culture and outdoor endeavors that were always close at hand.
As previously mentioned, we spent our first few days in the Pacific Northwest, under the cedars and on top of the water of the Yakima. On the other side of the city lies the sound with all of its various bays, cliffs, and beaches. Sandwiched right in the middle of those two differing landscapes is this city made of pocketed neighborhoods holding tattooed natives and technology transplants alike.
Not everyone is a tech genius or works at one or another of the infamous conglomerates currently taking over all offices and real estate. But, there are so many start ups housed here, making it a wonderfully young feeling city.
We happened to arrive back from fishing on the FIRST summer-feeling day of 2019. This was mid- July, by the way. The rest of the country has been in heat, pool, ice cream mode for a month and a half by now. So, as they should, all citizens rejoiced while we were there and took work off, flocked the beaches and lakes, and ran around in swimsuits (it was a little much, but, I get it. You have ONE MONTH of goodness. Soak it up).
We were gifted with the incredible offering of an open door and a guest bedroom in a quiet neighborhood. With home brewed IPA on tap, a seriously well behaved and cool dog, an espresso machine, a cozy patio to play cards on, two very confident chickens, and a garden patch. Oh! And homemade pizza. This really really made our time in the city remarkable and memorable. It’s not often you have friends in the city you want to explore, and these friends are the most generous and kind. Thank you for having us and showing us your life in the PNW.
Let’s just start at the top: Jump bikes.
E-bikes might be old news to some, but they are the future. At least for cities like Seattle! Open your Uber app and find the location of the nearest bright red bike that’s been physically left standing. $.25 per minute (which would be trash if you were doing all of the work). You can get pretty far on $3. And then you just leave it! Bye!
We didn’t stray to downtown very often. We didn’t really have an interest in the Space Needle, Starbucks, or Pikes Place. But! We did venture to the REI flagship store. Which is basically a nature reserve.
Also this place called Iron works. Look at this regatta/meeting of the minds happening!!
Okay okay, we actually also went to a Sounders game, which was very downtown. Soccer is such a sophisticated sport, I really enjoyed watching it and being a local for the day. We have ourselves some die hard fans in this city.
Anddddd we got our friends hooked on climbing + the vast fitness amenities at Seattle Bouldering Project.
I did get to stop in at Totokaelo, a WELL WELL curated shop!! Men’s and women’s clothing, beautifully shaped furniture, carefully selected housewares, and just about every apothecary brand I have searched on the web but haven’t laid hands on.
Next favorite, continuing north is this lil neighborhood Fremont. As if this week of experiencing the PNW wasn’t good enough, getting to sit on the same wooden bench as my cute friend from summer camp counseling Summer 2012 sealed the deal!!!!! Somehow we find each other in all of the cities that we go to. It was so so so good to see her and a piece of her life here!
Other very notable and quotable part of this neighborhood was Manolin- the last supper of the trip.
Also in this neighborhood: Houseboats, Milstead Coffee, Blue Bird Ice Cream, mulberries on alleyway bushes. So many bridges that take you to downtown and to cute little island neighborhoods. The spendy and trendy men’s shop, Blue Owl, frequented by Alex sold me nothing, but I liked seeing brands like Feit in the flesh. This weekly market frequented by Jenny sold me lavender macaroons.
Sitting right in this neighborhood is the best street of them all - Ballard Ave.
This long street houses allllllll the shops and eats. Oysters were requested the moment we got off the plane, so we swung over to Ballard Annex.
We saved the very best oysters for the weekend, and went to Walrus and the Carpenter (another top hit from Renee Erickson). Look at this place! Sourdough, heaps of hand turned butter, actual baskets of oysters, olives, fineeeeee wine pairings, and a little solarium to enjoy it all in.
Late one night we ran straight into Salt & Straw and it did NOT disappoint!! Look at this.
Patagonia and Filson both reign in this city. Going into their shops were as inspiring as I had hoped! In a city where you receive one month of hot weather, I would also bundle up in all of the layers possible for other 322 days of the year.
Really north and west is the Golden Gardens! Where old men wear weight vests and do stair climbs. Where young men harnessing old pugs struggle to climb the same stairs. Through the trees and stairs is this huge idyllic beach with a boardwalk, boatyard, and sundries shop with yellow striped awnings.
If you’re exhausted, I get it. It’s a lot. We saw and did so much in our few days in the city. We got carted to random bars and coffee shops and went to a great brewery and whipped through dreamy neighborhoods that I cannot recall the location of.
Go to Seattle in July! Walk all over, make friends, eat fruits off the bushes, rent the Jump bikes.