Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest and I am one happy girl. Although the weather has been extremely unpredictable with the spring rain drenching us one minute, then the sun beaming down on us the next, it is nonetheless nice to feel that winter is coming to an end. HALLELUJAH!
I am sooooooooooooooooooooo tired of the rain. It has literally been raining for days, actually, more like months.
As you know (or don't know), I go back and forth between Vancouver and Seattle frequently. Why? Love - that's why. It sucks, but we make it work. It's also kind of nice(?) because it forces Aidrien and I to do more touristy things that we normally wouldn't think about doing in our own city.
SO. I have compiled a couple of things to do/see/eat for Vancouverites (or Seattleites) over the course of one weekend. They are more touristy things as we still have not been adventurous enough to discover hidden gems throughout the city. The list will definitely get longer down the road.
But first, coffee.
If you've been to Portland before, you've probably heard of Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and you already know how freaking amazing it is. If you don't know what it is and you love coffee, just don't ask any questions and go drink their latte (many local coffee shops serve their beans). The Capitol Hill location on 12th Ave is awesome because: 1) you can go downstairs and see/smell the Roastmaster working his/her magic on the beans 2) hipster baristas that are extremely friendly, and 3) obviously great coffee.
Time to be a tourist (even if it's your own city).
Once you've been sufficiently caffeinated, start moving.
One of the things that I MUST do in the spring is to go out and enjoy the cherry blossom trees. So I googled "best places to see cherry blossom trees in Seattle" and Washington University was at the top of the list! So off we went.
I won't pretend to know what I'm talking about and talk about the history of the University of Washington, because I really don't know anything about it. I only know of 2 places on campus, and it's only because I saw so many gorgeous photos of these two places on Instagram. I know they have a BEAUTIFUL and gigantic campus. So you better put on your walking shoes when you visit the campus!
Numero uno: UW Quad
Here, you will find ALL the tourists. When you get to campus and you don't know where to go, basically follow anyone that looks like a tourist and you will be able to use your powers together to find the Quad. Or ask a friendly student on campus. :)
If you are a botany geek and are curious about what kind of trees these are, they are called Yishino cherry (Prunus yedoensis). The trees here are at least 80 years old. They were initially planted in Washington Park Arboretum, but was later transplanted to the Quad during construction. They'll live to be about 100 years old and will have to retire from looking so beautiful later on. The replacement trees are currently being grown in Skagit Valley and will eventually be replacing the cherry blossom trees here.
Numero dos: Suzzallo Library
I've seen countless instagram photos of this place and I just had to go. Many universities have their own "Harry Potter Room" (for example, my alma mater, the University of British Columbia has one), but this reading room at Suzzallo is one of the best ones I've seen so far! I probably should go back and re-do my undergrad at UW just so I can study in this library. Maybe I'll get a real job after my degree! (HAH, jk!)
One tip though, if you are visiting on the weekend (like I was), check the library hours first before you go and don't get locked out for an hour.
...and of course, take a mandatory selfie.
Time to get lost in nature.
If you don't want to drive too far out from the city, but want to see some green, Snoqualmie Falls is THE perfect location. It's only about a 30-40 minute drive from Downtown, Seattle. You can see the waterfall from the top right away from the parking lot. So no walking required if that's not your thang.
If you don't mind breaking a lil' sweat, you can get closer to the base of the falls by walking for about 20 minutes, or you can be lazy and drive further down to the lower parking lot.
Time to eat: Chan (Downtown, Seattle)
After all that action, you're probably hungry AF. Since I'm Korean and I have to stick to my Korean roots, we decided to try out Chan. a modern Korean restaurant.
My experience at Chan:
If you really enjoy fusion Korean food (or fusion Asian food), or if you are new to Korean food, this would be an awesome spot. You can eeease your way into Korean food. The servers are super nice and will explain everything to you. They don't take reservations, so be prepared to wait about 30 minutes before you can sit down.
Tip: Go during happy hour (5pm-6:30pm Tuesday to Saturday). You can try out a lot of the dishes on the main menu at an amazing price!
(I'm sorry, but I forgot to take pictures because I ate the entire thing like a savage as soon as the food came out.)
For the beer lovers: Brouwer's Cafe
It's no secret that I love beer. Dark beers especially - if there's a good stout somewhere, I'm there. Brouwer Cafe is one of our go-to places to grab beer because they have an extensive list of brews from local to international. It's also a Belgian-style restaurant, so you'll be able to find some classic dishes, like Belgian fries and mussels. Yummmmm...
The beer menu can be a little bit overwhelming and you won't be able to pronounce most of the names. Just ask your server and they'll give you a really good description of the beer options.
Happy hour: 3:00pm-6:00pm
Go see the iconic skyline.
Next day - sleep in... then brunch in Capitol Hill.
Brunch at Poquitos has turned into a bit of a Sunday tradition for us. A glass or two of mimosa and delicious Mexican food... Your day can't go wrong from here.
I have two words for you. Ice. Cream.
You might as well go all out after getting drunk on mimosas. Go have some ice cream at Molly Moon's. It's only two blocks away. Salted caramel is the besttttt.
After you happily devour some ice cream, take a look around Capitol Hill. There's a lot of places to see and things to do (click here for some ideas). Take it all in because if you're like me, you have a 3.5 hour drive back to Vancouver ahead of you. Yippee!!