Independence Day

Way back in February when I knew I was coming to Seattle, my friend Colette said with full conviction: “I will come and visit you.” That’s the best part about being in a cool new place that is far away from home: people want to come visit you. Sure enough, just a month or so later, she walks into the VC on campus during one of my shifts and told me she had bought the plane tickets. I would have a friend come visit me in Seattle just 3 weeks into me being there!

It was an awesome weekend. I got to try and visit so many things that I wouldn’t have gotten a chance to do by myself. We explore new areas and found awesome restaurantsimg_0208. Here is a breakdown of how exciting her trip was.

Wednesday June 29th: I’d given Colette directions on how to get to my office from the airport, and right around 11:30, she told me she was outside so I ran down and met her with a giant hug. So many hugs. The hunger was real, so we went to lunch, caught up for a bit, and then she went off and explored a bit of downtown Seattle while I finished up my day in the office. We met up at 5, walked home, and immediately made the decision that we should go to the Space Needle that night. It was a beautiful and sunny night, and you could see Mount Rainier in the distance: in other words, the perfect night to rise up to see the city. We got to the Space Needle, bought our tickets, and had just enough room to get dinner before heading up. The views were breathtaking; the sun was setting over the Olympics, Mount Rainier was pretty visible to the south, and the Lake was starting to light up. It was so awesome. We were up there for a solid 30 minutes, waiting for the sun to set completely, before heading back down and walking home. Bed was waiting, and so was another day of exploring.

Thursday June 30th: I had bought tickets to the Mariners game that night the previous week, so after a long day of work, we met by Pike Place and walked all the way down First to Safeco Field. Since ballpark prices are ridiculous when it comes to food, I had scoped out a few places we could go to before the game to grab a bite and a few beers. Pyramid Brewing Co. was down there and it was a fantastic pre-game stop. Both of us had awesome beers and food, and were happy and full before we walked into the stadium. The game was pretty good overall, with the Mariners winning at the end of the night. Just like on my roadtrip just a few weeks earlier, every night we got home and passed out.

Friday July 1st: Today was going to be a hiking day. I’d already cleared it that I would leave a little bit early so I could go out and enjoy the sunshine, and by 3pm, we were on the road on the way to Snoqualmie Falls. I’d been a few times before, but I still love going; this was also the first time I’d been there when it was sunny out, and the falls were beautiful. Next, we were heading just a few miles over to Rattlesnake Ledge, another hike I’d done a few times, but it delivered in terms of being a solid workout, and in terms of views. This was my first hike in a few weeks, and my legs were definitely feeling it. I woke up the next day feeling so sore from the work I was doing. After taking some pictures at the top, we walked all the way back down the mountain to the lake where we hung out for a bit before going back to the car. As we were driving home, all I could think about was food (typical). I’d heard about a place in Fremont called Paseo, that served Caribbean food and we made the executive decision to head there. As we were waiting in line to get our sandwiches, we came up with the idea of
getting a beer from one of the local breweries, and eating our dinner our by the lake. Let me tell you, one of the best decisions we made that day. Dinner was amazing, the beer from Fremont Brewing was tasty, and we went to bed feeling very happy.

Saturday July 2nd: As I mentioned, I woke up on Saturday feeling pretty sore. The night before we had talked about maybe going on a hike, but as soon as I woke up I knew that wasn’t going to happen. We both showered, got dressed, and went up the street to Louisa’s Bakery for brunch. Absolutely delicious. I got the Eggs Benedict (as I usually do when it’s available), and after devouring our meals, we walked downtown to the Center for Wooden Boats, which was having its annual showcase where you could walk around and look at all of the different boats. One of the larger ones was doing a cruise around the lake for an hour, so we decided it would be a great way for us to get out on the water and see the different houseboats from another angle. What should have been a pleasant ride around Lake Union turned into an episode of “House Hunters: Houseboat Edition”. No shame whatsoever. When we got back to shore, we started walking around the west side of the lake towards our next destination: Bad Jimmy’s Brewing. Yes, we were about to do a brewery crawl. Thankfully all of the breweries we walked to had 5 oz. tasters, so we could try many different types of beers and not have to commit to drinking a full glass. We went from Bad Jimmy’s, to Stoup (awesome), to Rueben’s (also awesome), to Peddlers (cycle bar). After all of those stops it was time for dinner, and since we were in Ballard, I suggested we go to Kickin’ Boot Whiskey for some BBQ. All around, the day was really awesome, and both of us got some souvenirs from all the stops.
Sunday July 3rd: Another hiking day coming up. We woke up early, made a quick breakfast and started driving to Mount Rainier where we were going to do some hiking. It took us a while, but soon enough we were at the trail head to Tolmie Peak, the same hike I did at the very end of my coop last year. Unlike the last time I hiked this trail, it was extremely foggy and white everywhere, we could barely see the top of the peak from the Eunice Lake. After a lot of sweat dripping down our faces, we were 5,963′ high and enjoying some well deserved granola bars. The hike back down was long, but eventually we made it back to the car and were on our way back to Seattle. Of course the hunger was real, so we researched some places and decided on a Thai place, about 45 minutes from Rainier. The meal was exactly what we needed and refueled us for the drive back home. It was only 3pm and kind of early, so we showered and decided to go explore a final area that Colette hadn’t yet gotten to: Capitol Hill. As we walked up the steps the views became pretty amazing, and soon we were up on Broadway. Ice Cream sounded pretty damn good right about then, so we stopped at Molly Moon’s and indulged. There were also some breweries up on the hill, so we figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to stop, while we were already here. We stopped at Outer Planet (meh), and Optimism (really really cool). It was nice to be able to relax and take it easy after a hectic weekend of exploring. We walked all the way back down to my apartment, taking a few detours to take pictures along the way.

Monday July 4th: Colette’s last day. After getting up and packing, we went to breakfast at Louisa’s again, and then walked down to Lake Union Park where the Center for Wooden Boats was still holding their three days festival. Eventually it was time for Colette to head to the airport, so we walked up to Westlake and I said goodbye as she went on the Link Light Rail.

I am so glad that I was able to have a friend visit Seattle, and enjoy the city just as much as I do. Both of us explored so much, found so many new things, ate some pretty awesome food, and tried so many new brews.

Thanks Colette for coming! Can’t wait until you get accepted to UW and move here full time so we can keep exploring!



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