Phil Lee


Seattle (Part 1)

Welcome back! So from March 8th to the 12th, I had the opportunity to travel to Seattle, WA and it was nothing short of incredible. At the end, I ended up taking over 1500 photos and more videos than my phone memory could handle. With that said, I decided to split each day into a separate post so these entries don't get too long. Enjoy!

Thursday 03/09/17

Quick recount of the night before: Nina, Christine, and I flew out of LAX at 9:45 PM and landed in Seattle at around 12:30 AM. With none of us being 25 years young, we weren't able to rent a car until our other friends arrived the day after. So, we took advantage of the "first free ride" promotions offered by Uber and Lyft. We arrived at our AirBnB a few hours(?) later, settled down, and... slept. Onto the real day.

I woke up at around 7:45 AM and went out for a run at Green Lake. Fitness goals, you know? The run there took about 5-10 minutes and I ended up spending the next hour at the lake. Needless to say, it was a quiet and extremely peaceful morning. I got back to the AirBnB at around 10:00 AM and found out that the girls woke up to my constant Instagram chats back at the lake (sorry Nina and Christine).

So this day was all about one thing: being tourists. It was our first time in the great city of Seattle so we decided to use the first day as an opportunity to explore well-known areas. The three of us took a Lyft to Pike's Place Market and instantly started scouting for food. Brunch was eaten at Pike's Place Chowder and I have to say that it was really good. Keep in mind that I come from the Bay Area (Northern California), so I know a thing or two about good chowder.

We then hopped over to a pastry shop called Piroshky Piroshky that served Russian baked goods. Nina, Christine, and I all ordered the Apple-Cinnamon pastry and took it over to a spot with a semi-panoramic view of Seattle's pier. The pastry was good, but I have to say that it wasn't really my style. The bread was amazing, but the apples were too tart and overpowered everything else. I'm sure their other pastries would've been better! Overall, 4.5/5 for the chowder and 3/5 for the pastry.

Once we finished our pastries, the three of us headed out to go see the infamous (and a little disgusting) gum wall. But what's a good adventure without some misdirection? We walked at least 3 blocks in the opposite direction before realizing that the wall was right down the stairs from where we ate. At one point, we just followed the trail of gum on the floor and eventually found ourselves at the right spot. It was more gum than I could have ever imagined, to be honest. It was everywhere from the corners of the road to some of the upper parts of the ceiling. Christine managed to add to the glorious collection, forever marking her territory on the wall of color. Not long after, we made plans to meet with a friend who moved to Seattle some years back at the Starbucks Reserve. Guess where we went? The first Starbucks store. I learned the hard way that the two stores weren't the same.

Our friend Sarah messaged me around 2:30 PM saying that she arrived at the Starbucks Reserve. In my head, I thought that the "reserve" was just a fancy term for the first Starbucks store located about 5 minutes from the gum wall. So when we got to the store and saw that she wasn't there, it clicked in my head that the two places weren't the same. I whipped out my phone, mapped out the location, and found that we were about 25 minutes away from where Sarah was. It wasn't worth calling Uber or Lyft, so the three of us walked to the store and finally met up with Sarah! The Starbucks Reserve was incredible.

I kept asking myself why they didn't make a store like this in every major city, including Los Angeles. They had exclusive drinks and even the exclusive drinks were separated into two parts of the store. The barista mentioned that certain coffees were served downstairs while others were served upstairs. You don't get much more special than being exclusive in exclusivity. Safe to say, the drink I had was the best cold brew coffee I ever had in my life. Nina and I waited longer than Christine and Sarah for our drinks, but it was well worth it.

Afterwards, the four of us walked to the closest bus stop and went to Sarah's house. She drove us around to visit the University of Washington and also meet our other friend PK! The University of Washington campus was fantastic, even in the drizzling rain. Seeing all the green foliage and incredible architecture made me a little jealous because my alma mater had very little of that. I decided to only snap a few photos in the library because there were students getting ready for their midterms/finals, so let me try to describe it to you: 

Walking through the double doors, you're instantly greeted by large vertical stainless glass windows mounted onto stone walls. The walls then arch over the top of your head, dividing the library into 10(?) segments. The far ends of the library have a lit globe that's hangs by a chord from the top of the ceiling. In between these two globes, you'll find long rows of books, desks, chandeliers, and studying students.

At around 6:00 PM, PK took Nina, Christine, and I out for dinner to a restaurant called Un Bien. It's a Caribbean place that serves really good sandwiches. I ordered the "Caribbean Roast" which is a slow roasted pork shoulder sandwich coated in a special marinade. Yes, it was just as good as it sounds. And after dinner, we went out for dessert at Pie Bar where PK ordered us a coconut pie and a strawberry rhubarb. I'm a guy who loves pie in all of its forms so all I'll say is that this place was no disappointment. Funny enough, we spent a good amount of time at the bar watching some nature show on the television. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough light to take any photos so I won't be leaving any more of those below.

Thursday ended on that note. We got home after a long day of food, meeting old friends, and sightseeing Seattle. The three of us spent the next few hours at home chatting until Jeemyn and Roy arrived at around 2:00 AM. It felt nice bringing together the adventure group, and I couldn't have been more excited for what was to come.

I hope you enjoyed this entry! Will be writing about our time in the Olympic National Forest next. Stay tuned, stay stoked, and have a great day!

Sneak peek at the next journal entry:

Saw a glimpse of the lake from the road. I asked Nina to stop the car so I could get out, run through the forest, and come to this spot. No regrets.