Hey guys. So we all know the phrase “all good things must come to an end”? It was true in the case of the Ruby Princess Cruise. It was a great getaway from the hustle and bustle and be with nature. Alaska was a cool experience no doubt.
When I was released back to dry land, I realized the fun was not quite over but only the beginning. This part of the journey took me to beautiful Seattle, where I will be exploring all it has to offer.
When you think of Seattle, what do you think of? Nirvana, Space Needle, Pike Place, Microsoft, Starbucks, etc…the list goes on and on. For me, all of the above. Depending on where you live, Seattle could be a hike to get to. It’s tucked away in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Based on location, my guess is that many have yet to travel here.
The first thing on the To-Do List was to hit up a nice lunch. The place on the top of my list was Din Tai Fung aka DTF. If you have never heard of Din Tai Fung, let me explain :-). This is THE place to get your favorite Chinese Soup Dumpling. It’s no joke dining here, it is legit and highly rated. It is not a tourist trap by any means. Most DTF locations (only 10 is the USA) are usually packed with 1-2 hr wait times. If you’ve been to the ones in the LA area, you know exactly what I am talking about. Luckily for me, this location just opened so I was able to grab a seat in 15 mins (yes, there were customers already waiting). I didn’t even look at the menu, I knew what I wanted and ordered.
Pro tip #1 – To properly eat one, place one in your spoon, drizzle some black vinegar on it, use your teeth to puncture a small hole to let the “soup” spill out, slurp that, THEN you can eat the dumpling. Rinse and Repeat until all gone.
Pro tip #2 – Watch out as the soup can be HOT!
That was such a fantastic meal, ate everything, no doggie bag (which is usually the case when you dine Chinese). Now that lunch is done, we went for a walk. Luckily for us, there’s lots to see and do in the area. We headed straight for Pike Place, a farmers market but much more than that. It’s not a tourist trap if you asked me. Yes, some of the prices can be inflated but that’s how it goes when you are in a prime location. So makes sure you come and visit.
Here, we had the chance to buy some local produce which was great. Personally, I love Rainier Cherries (named after Mount Rainier) and there is no better place than to get it here. If you never had some before do yourself a favor and buy some. You can buy them anywhere but they are seasonal and quite pricey, typically 3 times the cost of normal cherries.
I’ve been to Seattle before when I was much younger. Quite honestly I didn’t remember much the first time. I’m really enjoying my time here, the air feels fresh and clean. The city has a very nice vibe, you see families strolling, people exercising, relaxing and just enjoying themselves.
At Pike Place, you can literally be here for hours. There is unique shopping, dining and sightseeing. Whatever floats your boat, I am sure you can find what you are looking for.
Since we were already at Pike Place, we decided to check out the Gumwall. No further explanation required, check it out.
Bucket list, check! Not gonna lie, the floor seemed pretty gross. Some of the gum seemed fresh and sticky! You have been warned :-).
Another place that I had to visit was the original Starbucks. If you know me, I am a loyal Dunkin Donuts customer. Unless I’m in Canada, then it becomes Tim Hortons (Ice Cap please). But, Starbucks is a place that I enjoy and frequent too. The actual store is a mere 5 min walk for Pike Place, so go check out some history.
Did the coffee taste better here? No. Was it worth visiting? Yes. I just realized that I have no favorite Coffee spot. I think this is a good thing as I typically don’t need to drive around looking for a specific place. If the Coffee is good, I am there.
Another spot that we wanted to check out was Chihuly Garden and Glass. When you come and visit, get your camera ready. The glass work was pure masterpiece. I have never seen anything like this before. It was not only stunning but some of these pieces were massive. How did they do it?
One can easily spend 2 to 4 hours here. Take your time and enjoy yourself. The good thing is when you are done, there is one more iconic place to visit nearby. That place will be the Space Needle. What is the Space Needle? Well, it’s an observation tower that is 520 feet above ground. Here, you get the chance to see the Emerald City in a whole new way.
Pro tip #3 – Make sure you find the free photo spot outside the observation deck. There you can take a selfie and email it to yourself. I thought this was a nice freebie!
There is also a nice restaurant up there so if you’re hungry, I’m just saying 🙂
Now that we got most of the sightseeing out of the way, we were on a mission to get a sweet treat from Bearded Papa. The first time I tried a Cream Puff from them was in Chicago. For whatever reason, the store never took off and closed down. However, there are plenty of locations in other cities, just not in mine!
So when I found out there was one here, it was a must go. The store front is actually inside the Uwajimaya Market, so head inside and go get some.
The quality is top notch, you know this by the prices they charge. But it’s absolutely worth it. This franchise originated in Japan, so the taste will be very clean and subtle, not overly sweet. The filling is like a custard, the exterior is firm with a slight crunch. If you had any Japanese sweets before, you will know what I am talking about.
One last stop before we conclude our Seattle trip. As always, I love visiting the local Chinatown’s around the world. It’s always nice to see the differences between them. Got out and took a walk around. Didn’t get a chance to eat there but it was a nice area. Apparently, Chinatown is within the Chinatown-International District aka CID. Here there are three main neighborhoods known as Seattle’s Chinatown, Japantown, and Little Saigon, named for the concentration of businesses owned by people of Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese descent, respectively. I thought this was pretty cool as I didn’t know this.
Being in Seattle for a few days was great. I really enjoyed my time here. Did it rain while I was here? Of course it did, but the other days were perfect. This is a city that I would most definitely want to revisit. The problem is that the world is big and there are many new places I want to explore. I guess it’s a good problem to have. If you are looking for a new place to visit, give Seattle a chance, I think you will like it!
Until Next Time,