Last Friday at 3pm I got a text:
“You have 2 hours to pack our bags. Bring casual, bring smart and don’t expect to be anywhere near our house this weekend.”
2 hours later with a bag of Twizzlers, a few cans of coke and a bulging suitcase, Nilesh arrives outside our apartment and bundles me into a taxi.
Just 5 minutes later we arrive at the train station, where I’m told to wait outside and keep an eye on my Instagram, where a blurred picture of train tickets appears.
So far, so awesome.
After more clues and joining a long queue to board a train, he finally lets me in on the secret. We were off on a weekend adventure to Seattle.
A downtown hotel all booked, restaurants scouted and a weekend of fun lay ahead of us…and gout…probably at some point.
The train departed, I opened the Twizzlers and started up Season 4 of Fraiser, settling in for the 3 hour journey to the home of Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks and the kid from Sleepless in Seattle.
I have now run out of Seattle tv/movie trivia you’ll be pleased to know.
After a long sleep and brisk morning walk in the familiar mizzle, Nilesh discovered a hip downtown restaurant Local 360. Here we ate too many pancakes, listened to cool music and discovered that PB&J bon bons with a side shot of milk are the best way to start your day in Seattle and become morbidly obese at the same time.
With obesity rates fresh in our minds, walking off our breakfast was high on the agenda and so was visiting Pike Place Market.
A vibrant, loud and colourful place, we mooched on through the market eating free fruit samples and admiring rows upon row of perfect flower bouquets for sale.
Then, like some sort of pilgrimage, we fought our way past the original Starbucks and onwards to the famous flying fish stall, Pike Place Fish Company.
If you’ve ever worked in customer service you’ll have heard about this place (even my mum had seen their video). Their enthusiasm is inspiring and watching them was hilarious, especially when they got a tip- yay!
Thanks to our handy Zipcar service, we rented a car for a few hours and zipped on over to the charming Fremont District. Whilst wondering around we discovered a friendly troll under a bridge (see top image) and headed up to Gasworks Park, for the most incredible view of the city.
Later, after having a hard time deciding where to eat, we decided on a romantic dinner at Seastar Restaurant where we were treated like kings and ate like kings too. Check out our seafood mountain containing oysters, scallops, king crab legs, prawns and ceviche, I’m drooling away just writing this, the seafood in Seattle is to die for.
Our Sunday was spent discovering Australian aboriginal art and listening to a dj spin some tunes in the Seattle Art Museum, followed by more eating courtesy of The Crumpet Shop (mine was slathered with Marmite, his with ham, egg and pesto). Then heading up to the Queen Anne Hill district for a wander around the shops, followed by an amazing Thai Green Curry…seriously though, where’s my gout already?
Tired and happy that we’d seen a fair few things Seattle has to offer, we bundled back onto a train for sunset filled journey back to Portland.
It’s weekends like that that remind me how much I’m loving our time in America and how many more exciting adventures are just around the corner.
In short, surprise weekends are just awesome. Thank you Nilesh.
P.S When packing for a weekend away, always, ALWAYS remember to pack a digital camera- wally.