Travel Tuesday // Washington State
Almost a year later I'm finally getting around to writing a blog about my trip to Seattle and surrounding areas with my mom. As a background, she actually grew up in Marysville, Washington almost an hour from Seattle. As kids, my parents or mom would drive us up there to visit her Grandma Winnie up until the time she passed away. She meant the absolute world to my mom and that's where I'll leave that otherwise the pregnant waterworks are coming and then I'll make her cry when she reads this. Who am I kidding, she's probably crying anyway. I'll insert some nostalgia photos throughout the post too. Anyway, she hadn't been back since so we decided that last year we'd travel a little further for our mother-daughter trip up the coast (but by plane this time!). I was very little the last time we went so it was a great opportunity for her to show me around her old stomping grounds and give me a glimpse into a geographical location for her crazy stories I'd always heard. Plus, it was a chance for her to finally see her best friend Tracy after 20ish years. And being that it was October and I'm a SoCal native, I was excited for some real Fall feels.
After quite possibly the worst and most awkward Uber trip from the airport, we made it to a super cute B&B that she found called 11th Avenue Inn Bed & Breakfast. Even if you don't love vintage like us, it was probably one of the best places I've stayed as far as hospitality, breakfast, ambiance, and location. We stayed in the Emerald Room and then at the end of our trip we came back and stayed in the Citrine Room. Both were great! They are right next to Downtown Seattle and walking distance to Pike and Broadway. I'll discuss some of our favorite finds there later on in this post. Thankfully we had great weather the whole time we stayed, it only rained a couple of times so walking was definitely doable. We did rent a car though to visit friends and family outside of the city.
After we dropped our luggage off we decided to walk to the original Starbucks because when in Seattle. Instead we stumbled upon the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room and spent a ton of time inside. The entire building is absolutely gorgeous and has so many copper details. Here's the surprising part, I'm a big coffee lover and I wouldn't say Starbucks is necessarily good coffee, just convenient, but it is a complete night and day experience at the Reserve. The pastries and ice cream (yes, I said ice cream) are all from local places in Seattle. The coffee is ground for your particular cup of coffee so it is super fresh. They have 3 different brew methods, including the Clover. And last, but certainly not least, my personal favorite... a cold. brew. malt. It's not pictured simply because of how quickly we drank it. It was incredible. Plus, all of the waiters (you heard me correctly) were super knowledgeable and had the perfect personalities to deal with what was obviously a tourist hot spot. Even if you don't like coffee it's worth it to peruse the inside.
We ended up eating at a place called Poquito's in Capitol Hill. It's also located right across the street from a cute bookstore and a really good ice cream place. A little overpriced, but worth it for the fresh housemade guac and margs. Super tasty! I had the mixed taco plate for dinner and I believe my mom had the same as well.
The next day we ventured to Pike Place Market to be ultimate tourists and take a picture of the sign, get all the pastries, get fresh seafood, eat Clam Chowder, and of course visit the original Starbucks (Pike Place Location). Confession time, we waited in the line to go in and only left with souvenirs, but then somehow ended up at the one down the street on 1st and Pike and drank coffee there after we got some scones and cookies from a bakery. When on vacation, you go with the flow! There are quite a few places to get Clam Chowder down there, but we decided to do Pike Place Chowder after a few recommendations from locals. We got in line JUST in time because it quickly formed even longer behind us. Worth any sort of wait though because it was delicious! We each got clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl and then shared a shrimp roll. It didn't disappoint and I can definitely see how it's voted #1. We also had to stop and look at the giant donuts because there's an iconic picture in our family of all of us kids in a row and the boys each holding one. I'll add it in the pictures below!
My mom purchased the CityPass before we left for our trip. It's worth the money for sure because you get to see 5 of Seattle's tourist attractions and it ends up being a lot cheaper than paying for each individually. That night we used it to go to the Space Needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass. If you want to see the glass museum, definitely check ahead of time to make sure no events are going on because they do close off some areas. Only one part was closed off for a wedding when we went but it's enclosed in glass so you were still able to see the inside of the building from the outside. They will let you know if anything is closed before they take your ticket though too. Afterward we went back to Pike Place to see it at night and then ate at another restaurant there, but it was just okay and not worth mentioning... or taking pictures of considering I have none to share.
On the rainiest day we used our CityPass again and went to the Seattle Aquarium. It is located right on the water and you can spend some time walking around down there. There's also an antique store across the way and the Ferris wheel nearby. Which I avoided at all costs even despite my mom's pleading. Then we made our way over to a pie place that multiple friends back home told us to try, A la Mode Pies. We went to the location across from Woodland Park Zoo, but skipped out on the zoo. I of course went with my classic cherry pie and the ice cream was equally tasty. It's probably ranked the 2nd best pie I've ever had (the first being from Ferndale Pie Company). You can sit inside looking out the window and it's a nice and quiet area to visit outside of downtown. For dinner we went to a place nearby the Inn we were staying at, 8oz Burger & Co. I can't rave about this place enough. I don't usually have anything great to say about burgers, but this was hands down the best burger I've ever had (Chicago's Au Cheval would be up there with it). The decor inside was seriously amazing and I wish it hadn't been dark otherwise I would've taken a ton of photos. The hostess stand was even a vintage Canada Dry drink cooler! I mean come on! We had the Truffled Garlic Fries, The Madison, The Jackson, and the root beer. HANDS DOWN, the BEST root beer I've ever had in my entire life. If you do nothing else, order the root beer. You will not be disappointed. The portions will fill you up so don't order a ton of food, but definitely leave room to finish with a shake. Coming from a hardcore malt lover and hater of shakes, these were amazing. We shared the Espresso Oreo Shake and it was so good.
After our adventures in Downtown, we made our way over to Marysville. We took the long way and went by ferry. It was pretty hilarious because we said we'd get out of the car once it it took off and then all of a sudden we were already on the other side and hadn't even realized we moved! Still knocking ourselves for that one haha! We stopped at Deception Pass on the way and then stayed in La Conner for one night and it was super peaceful and wonderful. Reminded me of our visits to SLO a little bit. Lots of little shops, antique stores, and tons of personality. We ate at La Conner Brewing during happy hour and the food, beer, and family atmosphere was great. Plus, the cheesecake wasn't a bad way to end the night. The next day we stopped on our way out at most likely the cutest coffee shop I've ever seen and would definitely frequent if I lived there. It was called Stompin Grounds Coffee Co and the coffee was good too which is obviously a plus! Can't go wrong with most coffee places in WA though!!
We finally made it over to see my mom's side of the family. I'm realizing now that I didn't get many pictures of that, but it was nice to catch up with everyone! We went back to Seattle that night and then made our way to Bremerton by fairy the next day to see her best friend. We did not make the same mistake as last time and we got out of the car and went up top to see the views and read, it was a longer trip across than the previous one obviously! We stayed one night and then went back to Seattle for our last day before leaving.
Now let's talk about the two hardest places to find... unless you open up your eyeballs and see that they're right in front of you haha! That night we FINALLY made it over to Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream and oh my goodness, SO good!!! It's actually the ice cream place I mentioned earlier in Capitol Hill that's right by Poquito's! Then before our flight the next day we took a little detour over to Cheese Meats Bread before turning in our rental car. It's owned by the same people of 8oz Burger & Co. This is an order at the counter smaller place and not a restaurant, but it was super good and the tater tots are a must!
All in all, we had a great trip to Seattle and I've been dreaming about going back ever since. The food, the weather, the people, and the great company of my mom did not disappoint, as always :) We'll probably bring the boys next time because they were feeling a little left out and Mario has never been so maybe once this baby makes his debut we'll have to go again! Until next time!