Friday, 25th September
I woke up bright and early for the long drive to Seattle, making sure I had packed everything that I needed. As I met Ben outside my dorm to wait for our ride, we watched the sunrise in the distance, and saw the athletes walking to training. I don’t think I’d woken up this early since I needed to catch the plane to come to America! While we planned to nap on the way, it was hard to sleep with the noise of the car rumbling beneath us. We chatted a bit, and stared out the windows at the dry rolling hills of the Palouse.
We stopped at a service station at the halfway point, which is when we ran into trouble. The car wouldn’t start again, as the battery needed to be replaced. Worried that we wouldn’t get to Seattle today, we tried to stay calm. The boys attempted to jumpstart the car, with no luck for about half an hour. Suddenly they revved the engine some more and the car roared into action. My body flooded with relief as we were on our way! We jumped back into the car and continued the drive. About an hour or two away from Seattle, the scenery began to change. At first there were a few trees, which then turned into lush forest.
Unfortunately the weather had a turn for the worse and we drove into pouring rain, and a thick mist of fog and cloud.
It was a bit of an intense drive, but began to clear up as we drove into the urban landscape. I couldn’t believe we were driving into the largest city in Washington, after being in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere for the last 6 weeks.
We drove past the Century Link stadium, where all the major NFL games are played, before driving into Chinatown and getting dropped off at our hostel. It was too early to check in, so we dropped our bags in the luggage room before setting off to explore the city!
Using a city map, we navigated ourselves straight to downtown Seattle. On the way we passed many art sculptures, shops and homeless people. We arrived at the famous Pike Place market, and had delicious samples of fresh salmon, cider and honey.
We walked through most of the market, which sold lots of food, artwork and random items. It was a really cool place, although quite expensive. Across the road housed a strips of shops, including the worlds very first Starbucks. The line was out the door and down the street, as it’s obviously a popular stop for tourists. After exploring the area, being the typical tourists that we are, we crossed over to a souvenir type store and bought jumpers with “Seattle” written on them. We walked down further to a shopping area where there were brand name stores such as Forever 21 and Victoria’s Secret. I had been waiting for this moment for a long time and I was finally in heaven. I bought some body lotions at Victoria’s Secret, a pair of shorts and 2 dresses from Forever 21, one of which later turned out to be a top. Oops. After we were finished shopping we headed back to the hostel to get ready to go out for dinner. We were both in 4 person dorms; the hostel seemed decent, and not too far to walk to downtown. However, it was in a dodgy location where a lot of the homeless hung out which didn’t worry us too much. We got ready and wandered back into town, admiring how beautiful the city looked, lit up at night.
After passing many restaurants, we found one that looked nice and not too expensive. It was a Hawaiian Tiki themed restaurant called Ohana, which was decorated appropriately.
I ordered a delicious meal of ribs, while Ben had some rice dish. The meal was lovely, and from there we headed over to Some Random Bar (that’s actually the bar’s name!). We spent the rest of the night chatting over drinks, until we decided to walk back to the hostel at around 11.30pm. What an awesome first day in Seattle!
Saturday, 26th September
Today we woke up fairly early, had breakfast at the hostel, and got ready to explore again! We walked up to the waterside and decided to get a ferry from one of the piers to Alki beach, which someone had recommended. It was quite chilly but still a nice day, and as the ferry went across the bay there were fantastic views of the city.
After the short ride across, we walked along the beach, dodging these weird little jellyfish like things that were stuck in the sand.
The sand was dark with lots of big rocks and we came across people playing beach volleyball. It was a really cool area; so close to the urban landscape of Seattle, yet it felt like we were a world away. We walked past some eateries before deciding to eat delicious burgers outside in the sunshine. After a while, we walked back and caught the ferry again. Once back on land, we went to look at some shops to see if there was any Halloween stuff, and then walked back down to the hostel. After a nap and a shower, we got ready to head towards the famous Space Needle!
It was quite a long walk, and we left later than we planned but we managed to get there on time for our restaurant reservation. We hopped into the elevator and whizzed our way 500 feet up into the sky, the ground quickly moving further away as we peered through the glass windows. Almost as soon as we stepped out of the crowded elevator we could see the beautiful views of the city and beyond. We were seated at an elevated table, and the restaurant gradually continued to revolve 360 degrees.
The sun slowly began to set as we ate a delicious dinner of tomato soup, ribs and cocktails. We watched the urban buildings, Elliot bay and Mount Rainier go by in the distance, while rotating around two or three times. It was an expensive dinner, but well worth it, and afterwards we went up to the actual viewing platform, which was freezing cold because it was outside. I actually enjoyed the view much better from the restaurant, with no wire fencing to obstruct our view.
After this, we caught the elevator back down to the bottom, and set off to the same bar as last night to meet Ben’s old friend Alex, who lives in Seattle. It took us a while to find it, as we first headed in the wrong direction. We finally found the bar again and took seats in a booth. We ordered some drinks and then Alex arrived.
The boys were both so happy to see each other and spent time catching up, so I got to hear some interesting stories. It was close to around midnight (I think), when we decided to head off to the nightclub. We started wandering but had no idea where we were, so got an Uber car to take us there. One of the clubs was shut so we headed to Trinity, which wasn’t too far from our hostel. From what I remember, we had a great time drinking and dancing the night away. Finally the night came to an end so we said goodbye to Alex and headed back to the hostel, dodging all of the creepy people outside of it.
Sunday, 27th September
Todays wake up was fun, which I am writing with sarcasm. I woke up with my dress on from the night before, and my pyjama shorts pulled up around my waist. My hair was a mess and my make up was still half on. I tried to sleep as long as I could before we had to get up to check out of the hostel at 11am, but the light streaming in through the windows was blinding. I went to Ben’s room to make sure he was awake/alive, and it turned out we were both feeling like death. We got ourselves together and checked out, leaving our bags in the luggage room again. We walked to the downtown area, quite slowly as we both felt sick and horrible. We decided we needed food, as we hadn’t eaten, and Macca’s seemed like the obvious choice. After finally finding a McDonald’s, we got our food and sat down. I ate about 10 of my 20 chicken nuggets (it was only $6! don’t judge) but was still feeling sick to my stomach. I never wanted to eat nuggets again. After eating, we walked around the city in a hungover daze, deciding what to do next. After looking at some random stores we eventually headed towards the direction of the Pike Place Market. Although it was a bit chilly, it was a beautiful sunny day, so we walked along to the end of the market, discovering a large grassy area where people were hanging out. We sat down on the grass and I even had a nap for a while, hoping it would make me feel better. After a couple of hours I felt a lot better, so we headed back to the market for some food samples, before deciding to make our way back to the hostel.
We still had a fair bit of time left before our ride came to pick us up at about 5pm, so we decided to head further down the road to the Krispy Kreme store, which we felt was a necessary trip whilst in the US.
The store was right near the NFL stadium, and it just so happened that a major game was finishing. We made our way back to the hostel through crowds of people dressed in Seahawks gear, which was actually pretty cool to see. Our ride came to pick us up and unfortunately there was a traffic jam on the way home, which added another half an hour or so onto the journey. Finally the highway cleared up and we were on our way back to Pullman.
After such an awesome weekend in Seattle, I couldn’t bear the thought of having to go back to classes the next day. This is definitely a city I need to visit again!