Seattle was one of those places that I always wanted to visit ever since I was a kid. I even had passing thoughts (when I was growing up) of living there. Well, I haven’t moved there, but in November of 2017, I finally traveled to this great city for a three-day stay.
I was lucky to arrive because Seattle was having a surprise snowstorm the day of my flight. In fact one of the flights from San Jose to Seattle was cancelled that day. Mine, fortunately, was not. I arrived to much colder weather than I expected and skies were gray. Seattle, of course, is known for rain, so I was expecting any snow at all in November.
I soldiered on, figured out how to buy a train ticket, and made my way to downtown Seattle. Overall, I don’t like driving (a bit like Norm MacDonald), so I liked that I didn’t have to drive at all during my stay. I could walk and take the train to all my destinations.
There would be no snow the rest of the weekend, but there was drizzle and the cold. After checking into the hotel: the Motif Seattle (which I got a super deal on via Priceline.com and booking blindly), I went out again. My destination was a few stops away in Japantown. I checked out the stores and the market and was reminded of home.
I had some great Japanese ramen at Samurai Noodle.
I walked a little more and made it to the Seattle Pinball Museum. There was a fee and then all the pinball I could play. It wasn’t a huge place, but they had machines from all eras of pinball and I found a few that I could’ve played for hours.
Whenever I travel, I like to check out the local bookstores for sure. (If you didn’t know, I’m a booklover and even have another website dedicated to such.) In Seattle, I went to the Kinokuniya (Japanese bookstore), Barnes and Noble (yeah, it’s a chain but there’s not one near me), the Amazon bookstore (small and interesting, I enjoyed it), and Elliott Bay Book Company (a big, independent store that I wish I could’ve spent more time in). If you’re a booklover like me, I’m sure you’d enjoy a trip to Seattle. There was also a great used bookstore in Pike Place Market.
The other thing that stood out to me about Seattle were the people. They were all warm and friendly. There was a guy selling his CDs on the street and he approached me. I thought, oh great, I gotta deal with some harassment now, but the guy was cool, friendly, and understanding. If his music were more to my tastes, I would’ve bought one of his CDs.
In most of the cities I’ve been to, people can be cold and abrasive, but people of Seattle weren’t like that at all.
I’m a burgers and pizza guy, so the places I ate reflected that. There was a Steak N Shake where I got a quick burger one night and was not disappointed. The other burger I had was at a pub where most people were there to watch the Seattle Seahawks game. Mod Pizza is a rather new chain, and I ate there for the first time in Seattle. The line was out the door, and soon I understood why: the pizza was so good. I also had a Chicago Deep Dish at Delfino’s Chicago Style Pizza at University Village, the same shopping center as the Amazon bookstore.
Besides the burgers and pizzas, I already mentioned the great bowl of ramen at Samurai Noodle in Japantown.
I’m not really a coffee guy, so I went to only one coffee shop; it was not Starbucks, but I did see the “original” Starbucks in Pike Place Market, which is a good place to walk around. It has lots of little food shops and other stores to browse.
One day, I took a long rainy walk from the University of Washington to the Japanese Gardens to Elliott Bay Book Company To Downtown Seattle and my hotel. Not for the weak-legged, make sure you have a good pair of shoes.
The Japanese Gardens were beautiful and the drizzly weather enhanced the comforting, melancholy feelings of autumn. I definitely recommend checking it out if you enjoy strolling around beautiful parks and gardens like I do.
I took some time to visit one of the Seattle Art Museum in downtown, and my final destination in Seattle was the waterfront. There are places to eat, some shops, an aquarium, and more. I didn’t have enough time for the aquarium, but I’ll be sure to stop by the next time I visit this fine city.
I don’t think I’ll ever live there—too many long stretches of gray skies don’t suit me as much as I would like—but I definitely hope to return to Seattle, next time maybe in the summer to catch a Mariners game.
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