Jeff and I had big plans for Memorial Day weekend. He, Cooper and I were going to cross the Canadian border to Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the cities at the top of our “must-see” list, and a mere 5 1/2 hours north of Portland. But…Thursday night, after booking hotels in Vancouver and neighboring Whistler, we made a disappointing discovery: Jeff’s passport expired last month. Total bummer. Lucky for us, we were already planning a Friday night stop in Seattle, so we charged ahead with that. We tacked on some plans to hit the gorgeous San Juan Islands, located just outside Seattle and ranked No. 2 on The New York Times “41 Place to Go in 2011” list.
Unfortunately, it didn’t go exactly as planned, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an enjoyable weekend.
Friday marked the kickoff of Nike WHQ’s Summer Hours, which = out of work at noon! We hit the road with Coop in tow, with Seattle’s pet-friendly Hotel Andra in our sights. It was my first trip to Seattle since we moved to the Pacific Northwest, so I was thrilled to get a taste of Portland’s “big brother” city.
The weather was pretty fantastic, especially for Seattle, so as soon as we dropped our bags in our room we were roaming the downtown streets. We stumbled across the Regrade Dog Park just a few blocks from our hotel, so Cooper spent awhile sniffing around and dodging hump-happy dogs. We parted ways with Coop before ducking into the Hard Rock Cafe for some happy hour drinks. We snagged some tasty apps on the patio of Steelhead Diner, and finished our dinner at the super-cute Italian restaurant Pink Door.
Somewhere along the way, we realized every dog-friendly hotel on San Juan Island was booked for the weekend. After we bought our car ferry ticket to the island. Which meant we weren’t sure what the heck we were going to do with the rest of our weekend.
The next morning, we set out to the Pike Place Market, the coolest place ever. Open since 1907, it’s one of the oldest continually operated public farmers’ markets in the U.S. It’s always chock-full of tourists (yes, we fall into that category), and it’s stocked with merchants peddling fish, pasta, amazingly-priced flowers, produce and more. We grabbed some pastry goodness at the nearby Russian bakery Piroshky Piroshky, happily winded our way through the packed market, and decided to call Hotel Andra to see if we could extend our stay in downtown Seattle. Nope. Booked. We checked out, loaded our car and realized our parking lot ticketed us since the receipt in the front window had flipped upside-down. Argh. Of course the lot was closed ’til Tuesday, so hopefully we get that straightened out tomorrow.
Not really knowing what to do with ourselves, we decided to explore the Seattle neighborhoods outside of downtown – especially those along the miles of waterfront. Have you actually looked at Seattle on a map? There are bays and islands and lakes galore! We spent time in the adorable Montlake neighborhood and a park along Union Bay, visited the Golden Gardens Park and snagged sandwiches – which Jeff deemed one of the best he’s ever eaten – at Paseo Caribbean Restaurant. We paid one last trip to Pike Place Market, where we bought fresh crab legs for Jeff and a bright $10 bouquet of flowers for me, before deciding to just call it a day and head home to Portland. Two and a half hours later, we were back home, feeling happy about our overnight visit but slightly dejected by our lackluster planning skills this time around. Totally off our game!