Sep 13, 2019

Adventures in Seattle


Chuck and I got to have another honeymoon adventure in Seattle last week for our anniversary. Since he has to travel to Seattle for work every few weeks, we figured I could tag along for his September trip and call it an anniversary celebration. It was the perfect way to usher in our 23rd year of married bliss.


The first day we got there we ate and then walked around the iconic Pike Place Market down on the pier.


Thankfully, we were there during sunset.


But we didn't want to stay out too late since we had an early morning date with the Victoria Clipper. This was the ship that ferried us 3 hours north to Victoria on Vancouver Island. 


Checking in and embarkment were at 6:45am. It was a 15 minute walk from our hotel to the pier. We were a wee bit tired in this picture, but also very excited.


The very first thing we did after disembarking the ship at 10am (and waiting in line for another 30 minutes to be processed through Canadian customs) was head straight to Murchie's Tea Shop. They have been serving and selling tea for 125 years. It was so delicious. So were the sandwiches and pastries we filled our empty tummies with. 



Then we headed right next door to Munro's Books, an iconic bookstore in Victoria. Tea and books...two of our favorite things. How could this day get any better?


Well, it can start by walking through the beautiful historic district and the grounds of The Empress, Victoria's oldest hotel. Flowers were in bloom everywhere we looked. Here I'm standing beneath a beautiful portico draped with flowers and vines. 


Next, we walked past Victoria's Parliament building (which was closed for tours on Saturdays) on our way to Beacon Hill Park. We spent the entire day walking. We probably logged 10 or more miles walking back and forth throughout the city. 


This was my happy place. Flowers make me so happy and they were in abundance in these lovely gardens. Well tended gardens and beautiful flowers were everywhere on this island. You can easily see the huge influence England has had in shaping British Columbia.


This was a huge 200 acre park (we probably only walked half of it). It was manicured and tended by the same horticulturalist for 40 years. He obviously took great delight in his job because this park oozes peace and joy.


Here is a sampling of the happy flowers.


Colors and fragrances galore.


I think I appreciate these delicate creatures because I am such a horrible gardener and know how incredibly hard one has to work to keep things alive and beautiful. 


This is a massive tree (possibly a Cypress?) that we admired up close. It brought back memories of the giant Redwoods in California. It always humbles you to see how small you are in the scheme of things.


Picturesque.


What an amazing gift to be able to bring such joy to so many through the hard work of your hands.


As we were leaving the park, we saw these stairs, so naturally we had to find out where they led to.


Tada!...they lead to the  James Bay


Which led to a beautiful backdrop for a selfie for remembering this peaceful moment.


Later in the afternoon we walked through this beautiful alley way in Victoria's Chinatown.


We had an early dinner of fish and chips at this gorgeous establishment.


It just drew us in.


And then we found ourselves in yet another bookstore. This place was heaven. Books from floor to ceiling! I think I bought like 3 books on this trip. They had an entire store dedicated to just antique books (which are my favorite).



And then the time came to go back to Seattle. 


Funny story though, as we were waiting to board the boat for our trip back, we were eating an ice cream down by the harbor. As we're sitting there, many of the boats in the harbor start honking their horns. There is even a police boat with its lights on. People on the docks are cheering. We have zero clue what is going on. I go ask a random stranger. They explain to me that a lady by the name of Jeanne Socrates is just now returning from her journey. She is the oldest woman (77) to circumnavigate the globe in a sailboat by herself. And we just happen to be sitting here on her arrival home after a 320 day journey. No wonder everyone is cheering. This is a big deal!



It was quite windy on deck - but also beautiful.


But this sunset though! What a treat! Two gorgeous sunsets in two days. How lucky are we?!


The next morning, back in Seattle, we headed out to explore. We came upon this unique structure in the middle on downtown. It's called the Spheres. It was so beautiful, inside and out, such detail and craftsmanship was put into the gardens outside and inside the building. It housed a working level upstairs, a museum downstairs, as well as some restaurants. Definitely not what you'd expect to see nestled amongst all the high-rises.


I thought this was pretty, it's a simple vent from a parking garage. But I love how they added artwork to the outside of it. I am always so impressed when people are able to make ugly things beautiful.


This is just a small sampling of the lovely flowers around the city. I also love how it captures the rain which was also ever present. But we didn't let that stop us.


We took the subway to Chinatown where we went to the Wing Luke Museum. We had a walking tour of a hotel and shop that immigrants would have passed through and stayed at on their journey from China to America. It was so well done and we learned a ton. Surprisingly, there was also a cultural parade at the same time that we were there. We seem to be ending up at just the right place at just the right time.


We had lunch at THE BEST Thai restaurant in all of Seattle. It was one of my favorite things - and I have a lot of favorite things on this trip! Afterwards, we walked over to this adorable tea shop called: Steepologie. They had 250 different varieties of tea to choose from. We enjoyed a break from all our walking and the rain by visiting over a cup of tea, and of course, a cookie. Because vacation.


We stayed at the most awesome hotel. We have a thing for boutique hotels. This one was phenomenal. It housed a cooking school on the second level. The smells from this place just put a smile on your face. You couldn't help it.


This is the lounge right outside of the cooking school.


This was our little hangout. We would come here to read, eat breakfast and just enjoy the overall atmosphere of the hotel. We typically like to enjoy the whole hotel when we visit, not just our room.


These awesome quotes were lining the wall leading to the cooking school. 


They were too awesome not to take pictures of.


This one is Chuck's favorite. It describes his passion for cooking with onions to a tee.


My last favorite hangout space in the hotel - the fireplace. If there is ever a fireplace, you will always find me by it with a book. Guaranteed. We like to make ourselves at home.


I had to leave on Monday while Chuck stayed and continued to actually work. I was welcomed home by this sight. Doesn't it just take your breath away?! It was good to be home. It made me even more thankful for our special time away. 

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