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Trip Report 4 Busy Days in Seattle

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Background Info: I am a 27 year old male, traveling alone from Wichita, KS. Along with the research I did on my own, I had a lot of help from other Fodorites when planning this trip.

Friday: I flew Frontier Airlines leaving Wichita around 3 pm, with a layover in Denver and arrived in Seattle around 6:30. I found my way to the light rail and arrived at my hostel (Green Tortoise Hostel) in Pike Place Market around 7:30. I cleaned up and headed to Lola for a bite to eat. I grabbed a stool at the bar and ordered the Grilled Octopus for a starter and then had the Young Goat for an entree. Both were delicious. I left Lola and headed for the Pike/Pine Corridor where I heard there were a number of bars. One finally caught my interest with a long bar and a TV with SportsCenter on called Six Arms. It had a funky smell to it, with an even funkier decor, but I loved it. Pipes everywhere. The service was really slow, but the server was knowledgeable and recommended a local ale called the Coppermoon. It was fantastic! I tried a few others that I'd never heard of, but the Coppermoon was by far my fave.

Saturday: I woke up early and took the light rail back to SeaTac to pick up a rental car I had reserved. I drove to Snoqualmie Falls for a photo adventure and fell in love with the drive and the little town of Snoqualmie. Gorgeous! And the falls were spectacular. After about an hour taking pics, I jumped back into the car and headed to Mt. Rainier. On my way there I saw signs for the NorthwestTrek Wildlife Park. I stopped in to check it out but didn't have time for a visit. Wish I would have, because it looked like a blast. There were many picturesque views on the drive to Mt. Rainier (excluding the drive through Puyallup). I was hungry and stopped for a bite at the Wild Berry Restaurant in Ashford. I enjoyed the authentic Himalayan food (Beef Momo dumplings) and a slice of blackberry pie. Once inside Mt. Rainier park, I stopped at a number of places and falls to take pictures. I did take one hike up and down to Reflection Lake that took me about an hour. It was a blast. It started raining a bit and turned cold on my hike. Its amazing how fast the weather can change at that altitude. Things are very volatile. The peak of Mt. Rainier was covered with clouds all day and didn't clear up until I was back in Seattle (of course). I cleaned up and headed to Matt's in the Market for a late dinner. I had the Bloody Mary (best I've ever had) and the Wild King Salmon with soba noodles, smoked pork belly and miso-dashi jus. The salmon was fine, but the Bloody Mary was fantastic. They used a pickled green bean as the garnish! I met a guy and a girl at the bar there about my age that invited me to go to the bars with them. I told them I had planned on going to the Belltown area, but they talked me into going back to the Capitol Hill area with them. I can't recall the name of the bar we went to, but it was pretty cool. After a couple of drinks there, they decided to call it a night and dropped me off at The Stumbling Monk. They knew I liked beer, specifically Belgian and The Stumbling Monk was on my way back to the hostel. I loved the bar, the service and the beer. I even went back my last night in Seattle.

Sunday: I woke up fairly early (7:30) and grabbed a seat with a great view at The Athenian in Pike Place. I had the Athenian scramble sandwich with Uli's pork sausage, tomatoes, onions and feta cheese on a pita with a side of potatoes. It was OK. Then I jumped on a bus and headed to Volunteer Park to visit the Asian Art Museum. I had no idea what to expect and the park itself was above my expectations. I went up in the Water Tower, watched some frisbee/football and enjoyed the art museum. I did skip the Conservatory. I walked from the park to the southern point of Lake Union to hit up Duke's Chowder house. I got the chowder sampler enjoying the Award Winning Original and the Dungenes Crab and Bourbon, but the Lobster Pernod blew the other two away in my book. After the chowder, I sat outside and watched the sea planes take off and land on Lake Union. It was a beautiful day! I headed back to the Pike Place area to explore and do some shopping. Then I cleaned up and headed to Brouwer's Cafe in the Freemont area. Favorite meal of the whole trip! I sat at the bar and had the bartender bring me a variety of his favorite beers from local breweries. The Belgian pulls are quite pricey, but they have 63 beers on tap, so you have plenty of variety. Brouwer's had great decor with a dark, cave-like feel. The bar stools were padded and probably the softest I've ever sat on. They had ESPN on the TV and played alternative rock (Band of Horses, MGMT, MuteMath, etc.). I was a little disappointed to find out that mussels were out of season, but the clams with spicy sausage in a vodka infused tomato sauce with frites and chipotle mayo dipping sauce were phenomenal! Sooooo good! I had purchased tickets a week before for a show at the Nectar Lounge, which just happened to be right behind Brouwer's. The tickets were to see the Easy Star All-Stars, a reggae band, play covers from Pink Floyd and Radiohead. It was a blast and packed!

Monday: I headed to Bacco for a tasty breakfast of dungeness crab and avocado on a croissant with a side salad. The mocha was fantastic as well. My next stop was the outdoor Olympic Sculpture Park for another photo adventure. It was another beautiful sunny day and the park was a blast giving me views of both the city and Elliott Bay. After the park I stopped at Dahlia Lounge for some lunch. I sat at the bar and since they were slow the bartender at host talked to me the entire time. Asking me all about my plans and where I've already eaten (and drank). The bartender told me to go to the bar Amber, ask the bartender there to show me where the bar Bathtub Gin is located. He said Bathtub Gin is basically a local's only that doesn't have a sign out front and doesn't even look like a bar. I hit it up Tuesday night. At Dahlia, I had the Lemon-scallion Dungeness Crab Cakes with curried summer squash, stir fired zucchini, peppers, thai basil and lime.....they melted in my mouth. Might have been the single best thing I ate on the trip. Super pricey though. I shopped a little that afternoon and then sat down at Maximilien for Happy Hour. All apps are $3 and $5 drinks. I had an amazing view, the salmon coulibiac with goat cheese, spinach baked in a puff pastry with mustard sauce and a margarita to start off with. Then I had mussels and absinthe to drink. The mussels were terrible and I'm surprised a nice place like Maximilien's didn't know better to take them off the menu since they aren't in season. After Happy Hour I took the light rail to Safeco Field and got a ticket for $10 and had a blast. I've been to a lot of major league ball parks and this is probably my favorite. I love the architecture and the outfield view. You are on the same level as the bullpen, which make sit easy to taunt the opposing team from the beer garden :) I sat in different seats all over the ball park. All the ushers were friendly and didn't mind (I sat up high). After the game I headed over to Jimmy's on First for a few post game drinks and to catch SportsCenter. Great sports bar...a little upscale for me, but the prices were decent and the wait staff was easy on the eyes and very friendly.

Tuesday: Raining, cold and windy. I headed to Top Pot dougnuts and for a raspberry chocolate cake, maple original and applesauce. I could only handle about half of each. They were great. I was expecting some more exotic flavors though. We have a better doughnut spot here in Wichita. Then I shopped the rest of the morning since it was nasty outside. Then I headed down to Pioneer Square to explore and hit up Salumi Artisan Cured Meats for lunch. Is it wrong that I ordered two sandwiches just for myself, so that I could try more cured meats? :) I had the Mole (chocolate, chipotle, ancho peppers) mozzarella, onions and peppers. I also ordered the Muffo - salami, provalone and vegetable basil. They were both incredible. What a place?! I headed back to my room to take a nap because I was a little wore out. I did some more shopping, cleaned up and then headed to Freemont to get a shot of the Troll. Since it was my last night, I really wanted to go to Brouwer's Cafe again. And I wanted to go to Kerry Park to take pictures after dark, so going to Freemont wasn't very far out of the way. Everything worked out perfectly as my dinner was fantastic and the views from Kerry Park were insane! After dropping off my camera, I headed to Bathtub Gin. It was really cool, but there weren't any girls my age, the bar was really small, it looked really expensive and it didn't have a TV. Great spot for a date though. I decided to head to my favorite beer spot at the Stumbling Monk in Capitol Hill to end the night.

Wednesday: I woke up and headed to Dahlia Bakery for breakfast. i had a bag of doughnuts with apricot dipping sauce and cream dipping sauce. I also had a fried egg, bacon and cheese sandwich. All phenomenal! Then I had to head back to Wichita.

Thanks Seattle! I had an absolute blast! What a gorgeous city. Too bad there were sooooo many bums. It was really annoying. Worst out of any large city I've been to.

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