I suppose a more appropriate title for this post would be, “Hello, Renton,” since I actually only spent a few hours in Seattle, but I like the Owl City song so there you have it.
I ventured up to the Pacific Northwest last weekend to visit some family and to help my younger cousin celebrate the coveted “21st” birthday. Though most of my time was spent in the suburb of Renton, I still managed to have a bite at some tasty restaurants and explore the beauty that is Pike Place Market.
But lets start from the beginning, shall we? I flew north via Alaska Airlines, and had a really pleasant experience. Though I was flying standby with a non-rev pass, I was quickly given a seat on my flight… and a window seat at that!
The flight was a quick hour and 40 minutes that flew by even quicker thanks to the attentiveness of the Alaska Airlines crew. Drinks and snacks were served, and it seemed that we touched down shortly after. Speaking of landing, I have to admit that this was one of the best landings I’ve ever encountered. Normally I’m hanging on to both armrests and bracing my feet against the ground, but this landing was so smooth that I wouldn’t have even noticed it had I not been staring out the window.
Navigating the SEA/TAC airport was a little more difficult. I had a difficult time finding the way to where Andie wanted to pick me up, and by the time I got there she had accidentally managed to get herself on the wrong side of the airport as well. Eventually we found each other, and then whizzed up the freeway to her house and drop my things. It was decided that lunch was a necessity, and so we headed over to The Landing to find some food.
The Landing is a new commercial complex close to the Boeing campus that houses different food and retail shops. We settled on a burger place called Five Guys. Little did I know that Five Guys is to the Pacific Northwest that In-n-Out is to California: amazing and totally location specific. The burgers were fabulous and came out very quickly. One of the features I enjoyed is that they leave white note cards and crayons around the restaurant, so that patrons can doodle and leave nice things for the employees.
(Photo from here)
I have to admit that I wasn’t a fan of the fries. They were a little undercooked for me, but the flavors of the burger outweighed my blahhhhh-ness towards the fries.
One thing I noticed through out my trip is that food vendors list the calorie count of their food on the menu next to the dishes. Five Guys, Baskin Robbins, the soup place at the mall… they ALL listed the calorie counts for one serving of their dishes on the menu. It definitely made me think twice about what I was ordering, and its an initiative that should be put in place in more places across the United States.
On Saturday we headed south to Tacoma to meet up with one of my high school friends. She had recently moved to the area, and so Tacoma was a good midway point for us to meet. We had lunch at Gari of Sushi, and despite the sketch-looking exterior the restaurant was actually quite good! I think lunch cost close to $50 (after tip) for 3 people, so I was pretty satisfied. I didn’t take any photos of the food (sorry), but if you’re in the area I recommend giving it a shot!
Andie decided she wanted to go bowling for her birthday, so bowling we went. There were about 35 of us that visited the bowling alley in Renton – conveniently owned by Hooters. That’s right guys, I visited Hooters.
I’ll keep it short and sweet. Bowling was fun, the food was pretty gross, and the shorts of the waitresses were WAY too short. I don’t care what Coby Brooks said on Undercover Boss… I have a hard time believing that Hooter’s advances any “good” message about women.
Unfortunately on Sunday, Andie had to work so my Auntie agreed to take me into downtown Seattle (finally!). Love my cousin dearly, but I wanted to actually see the city in the worst way. Auntie and I took Sound Transit from Renton up to downtown Seattle. I am no stranger to public transportation systems, and I was very impressed by Sound Transit. Granted its only a year-ish old, but the ride was smooth, the cars were clean, and it showed up on time.
The ride from Tukwila to Westlake Station took about 30 minutes. Once we arrived we walked up and out of the platform and right into Nordstroms! Kidding… I resisted. But Westlake Station does drop you off right below the mall, so if you’re looking to do some retail therapy then that’d be the place to start.
It was a quick 5-block walk over to Pike Place Market, and can I just tell you? The Foodie in me experienced love at first sight. Serious love at first sight. It was definitely reminiscent of the Ferry Building in San Francisco, but in a much different way! I was mesmerized by the colors of the flowers and the fresh produce. It is still very much a fish marketplace, and the scent of fresh seafood is very apparent when you walk into the building. I took a few photos, but please believe that I was not the only person doing so. It seemed as if every other person was zooming in to capture the vibrant colors of the marketplace.
So that was that! Not long after I took these photos I was quickly whisked back to the airport, and boarded a flight back to Oakland… where I belong. :)