summer + seattle

i've been saying all summer that i'll get back into this in the fall. so in light of it being officially post labor day, and everyone officially being back in school, despite us not yet officially crossing that line of the first day of fall - it's officially close enough. 

so where have we been? in a nutshell: all over the map. houston, seattle, tampa once or twice, and san antonio, with a good amount of rgv in between. i read some books, cooked some meals, baked a couple things, celebrated my first birthday without a cake, taught myself some basic adobe illustrator, saw some friends, went on my first dove hunt (and bought my first camo shirt...jury's still out on how i feel about that), went to a wedding, rode in my first uber, and made my first foray into social media marketing for nonprofits. we even chased a pokemon or two. despite rounding into the last year of my twenties there are apparently still plenty of firsts to be had - and suffice it to say it was a busy summer. 

but now jumping back in, it only makes sense to rewind just far enough share my hands down favorite part of this summer: our trip to seattle. because if nothing else, this is worth the share.

we decided to check out seattle after our successful trip to northern cali back in february. california was a venture out west, but more bougie than the actual outdoorsy pacific northwest in all its fleece-bedecked glory. we decided we wanted to see more of this area of the country, and the resulting jaunt to seattle was one of our favorites ever (although to be fair, historically my most recent vacation is always my favorite. all those memories are so vivid when you've just vacated a place. but sonoma, seattle and breckenridge are all neck and neck for sure.)

we started with a hotel that was within walking distance to pike place market, which was the main attraction i wanted to visit. even on a weekday it was packed with people and fresh everything: flowers, produce, seafood, you name it. [and if i'm totally honest, a fair amount of flea market junk and freakish side shows as well.] we grabbed a bag of rainier cherries for snacking, and were on our way.

but first, undeterred by the construction around the entrance, we stopped inside belle epicurean, which was also located just a couple blocks from our hotel. belle became somewhat of our regular for the week, which was handy, since they serve some of the best breakfast sandwiches we've ever had, and of course coffee to match. [those bee cups though!]

in seattle obviously coffee shops are as abundant as rainy days [or so i'm told], so i'll make my recommendations carefully: in addition to belle, we fell for slate coffee roasters and caffe vita on capitol hill. slate has some delish homemade biscuits and the coolest espresso sampler [if you can get over the coffee girl straight out of portlandia. she was self aware of the over the top hipsterness.] while vita now boasts my favorite chai latte ever (nice and spicy.) i found us stopping so often for coffee that i had to swap over to hot chocolate and tea on a couple stops to save myself from being completely wired. 

on my birthday we took a somewhat impromptu trip over to bainbridge island. bainbridge can be reached via the seattle ferry terminal, and is a short 35 minute ferry ride over to the island, which is packed with adorable boutiques, restaurants, wineries, and some gorgeous views. i've never taken a commuter ferry, and in contrast to the hubs [who prides himself on being able to land and blend seamlessly into any city] had a total tourist outburst of excitement over seeing how people can drive on and take the ferry over to the island. can you imagine that being your morning commute?! we sipped champagne part of the way over, before moving to the upper deck to take approximately 8,000 photos, because the ride across puget sound was just about one of the most gorgeous things i've ever seen. 

we did lunch at the bainbridge museum of art, stopped in at a winery, shopped petit and olson, and grabbed some ice cream at mora (it was well worth waiting in the line that was snaked out the door) - this quickly became my favorite part of the trip. once back on the mainland we cleaned up for dinner at purple cafe and wine bar, with a nightcap at zig zag, a little bar with great martinis that was recommended to us, on the back side of the pike place market.

of course, we couldn't leave seattle without a trip to the space needle - while cliche, we went there anyway. the easiest way to tour, is to purchase your tickets online ahead of time (they can only fit so many people up at once), or alternatively, check out the sky view observatory at the columbia center (another recommendation from a local!)

other highlights included stops at the elliott bay book company, serious pie [it's pizza! not pie pie - which j was excited to discover], random impossible-to-pinpoint crowds on rooftop bars, gasworks park, molly moon's [for more ice cream] and just generally bumming around capitol hill. the city was beautiful, whiskey is plentiful, the weather was picturesque, and everyone was friendly. we couldn't ask for much more than that, and can't wait to go back soon!