Time for a new destination!

    I'd been yearning for a Northwestern  trip ever since summer (2017) began in Texas. I needed some ocean air, big water vibes, and trees, lots and lots of trees.
In the beginning I was leaning toward Portland, but after seeing photos of my friends trip to Seattle, I figured "This is the place!"

    I hadn't done much research on Seattle. The whole decision  came on a whim. I figured it was as close to San Francisco as I was gonna get.

    Seattle is a beautiful city. One of the best I've been thus far. With it being on the coast there's lots of beautiful Bays that reach inland, which provides Amazing Seafood!
After two flights, one with a layover in San Jose California, I arrived in Seattle at noon. I was wise to pack light, with only two small backpacks I was able to board my flights without any check ins, or trips to baggage claim. I could have left right out of the airport, but because I was solo this time I decided to gather myself and make sure I knew where I was going and how I was getting there.

    My goal was to get to my Hostel to settle in and start my adventure. I was headed to Hotel Hotel Hostel in the Fremont area, 15 minutes north of the center of Seattle. I followed directions that I got from my hostels website to look for signs to board the Link light rail toward Westlake. The fare is dependent on how far you go. Mine was only to be $3, but I decided to purchase an Orca card instead. The Orca card is transferable between buses, light rails, and ferry's. Check out its website here ORCA.

    Once aboard the link it took about 40 minutes to get to downtown Seattle. I got off at 3rd avenue and Pike Street. My next challenge was to find my bus and get on it in the right direction. Of course I found my bus stop, but of course I got on it going in the opposite direction that I needed to go. Luckily google maps had my back and I got off as soon as I realized my mistake. It may have been easier to as a human too, you know like we used to do back in the day.

    My mistake led me to some goood food though. The stop that I got off at was across the street from a  food square with a few options. I chose to get some Pho at Cafe Pho! I walked up to the next level and entered the quaint little spot. I believe they may have been closing up soon because there weren't many people there. I ordered the Beef Flank Pho and a glass of H2o. As soon as I sat my bags and myself down my bowl and all its fixings arrived. A traditional large bowl of soup perfect to fill the most hungriest of bellies. I dug in and oh my goodness what a delicious hearty bowl this was. The broth's bold beefy flavor was absolutely perfect for my first meal in Seattle. The pho cost me about $10 give or take and was more than filling, I couldn't even finish the bowl.

    It was time to make my way to my hostel for real this time. I grabbed some dollar toothpaste from the CVS across the street, tapped into my google directions and made my way to the number 40 bus stop. 

Quick Tip: The Seattle transportation system can be a little confusing to navigate if you're not used to busing often, or if you're not from Seattle.
    For instance there are multiple buses that run up and down 3rd street, but they dont all stop at all the stops that are on 3rd street that would cause a pile up. So you have to make sure the bus sign has the correct bus number that you wan to board.

    The ride took about 18 minutes give or take. It went down 3rd then onto Westlake Ave and across the Fremont bridge. I got off at the very next stop after the bridge on 34th and I could see my hostel as soon as I got off.

    I walked up from my stop pass another Pho shop, a Warby Parker, a pie shop, and an ice cream shop that neighbored Hotel Hotel Hostel. When you walk up to the entrance to HHH be sure to ring the bell. They'll ask your name to make sure you have a reservation there, and will buzz you in if you do. The neighborhood wasn't at all sketchy so don't be alarmed, I appreciated the added security. I found HHH through Hostel World when I made the decision that I wanted my visit to be frugal of housing expenses, since I knew I'd be spending most of my time out and about.

    HHH has a pretty simple setup. When you're buzzed in , you are immediately greeted by a flight of stairs leading straight ahead to the front desk for check in. To the right of the stairwell was a narrow hallway lined with doors to the rooms as well as a few desks and tables for lounging. Down that hall but to the left were more rooms and a kitchen which doubled as a small common area. It was the same on the other side of the stairwell minus the kitchen. The bathrooms were large and clean, there was also complimentary Wi-Fi.

    The shared bedrooms were simple, in my room there were three bunks; enough for six people, lockers, a sink and mirror, large windows and lots of outlets for your chargers. The hostel does offer towels and locks for your lockers for rent. 

    The staff were friendly, I greeted Brian and John and got the rundown on the hostel. I was given a key card for my room that doubled as a key for the entrance door to the hostel. I was instructed to flash it to whomever is at the desk whenever I reenter the hostel for security purposes. Complementary continental breakfast is provided every morning, you're welcome to bring your own food to cook  just be sure to label everything to avoid any mishaps. You're of course asked to clean up after yourself as a common courtesy.

    After settling into my room of which was all mine for the evening, I decided to take a quick nap before exploring, all that traveling had me tuckered out. 

    Once I was rejuvenated I decided to explore a bit of the neighborhood and to find a convenience store to get water and snacks. I walked to the corner of 35th street and Fremont and turned right toward the shops, bars and restaurant. There was still a bit of light outside to snap a few photos of the area. Fremont, like most of Seattle has beautiful views of homes and trees on top of hills that seem to trickle down to the edge of the water.The hills are breathtaking, but walking up one can be challenging. 

  On my way back I stopped into "Sinbad Falafel" to conclude my tour of the neighborhood. I was hungry so of course I ordered the biggest falafel on pita with all the fixin's because that's the life I live! I don't think I have to explain the makeup of falafel on pita, it's a pretty standard meal, but I will say it was very delicious and fresh! Of course I couldn't finish, so I was proud to have leftovers in case I got hungry later that night.
    When I returned I decided to hang in the common area to do a little research and see what I could explore the next day and how to get there. It was there that I met a man named "Kris". Kris had just moved back to Seattle from Florida, and was staying in the hostel while apartment hunting. We exchanged brief stories of ourselves and our plans for the next day, mine involved all things "touristy"!

    The next morning after breakfast I ran into Kris again who decided to accompany me on my exploring. He wanted to show me the "Capitol Hill" area, but first I needed to get to Pike Place Market! I wanted to check it out for a while ever since I heard of the friendly fish mongers and their fish tossing routine. We took a short walk down to the bus stop and boarded the number 62. We hopped off at 3rd and Pike and walked down to the market.

    Seattle is a bustling city, people going to and fro. So it was no surprise Pike Place was packed, and mostly with us tourists! There were plenty of vendors both outside and in with fresh fruit veggies,beautiful floral arrangements, hand crafted items, restaurants, and of course the awesome mongers at Pike Place Fish Market.

Lunch time came around fast, and I was yearning for some seafood; I think Seattle is one of the better places to have a seafood craving. So Kris and I headed down to Iver's  I got the scallop basket with fries.  Fried to perfection the scallops were sooo fresh I cherished every bite.

After a quick trip to the Capitol Hill area I ventured to the Space Needle! I purchased a dual ticket for both the needle and Chihuly Garden and Glass which ran me close to fifty bucks and no regrets. The Space needle was cool pretty high up with nice views and very breezy. Somewhere inside the were making caramel popcorn but I couldn't find it which bummed me out.

    The Chihuly Garden and Glass was AHHmaysing! The artistry of Mr. Chihuly was mesmerizing. The colors, the shapes, the way the light bounced off the smooth glass was all a pleasure to see!

    The next day I decided to check out the Seattle Woodland Park Zoo.  Before I made my way there I checked out the pie shop next to the hostel called "Pie"."Pie" serves up hand pies, I had a very delicious personal breakfast quiche that was life changing. 

Back to the zoo! I haven't been to many zoos, but I was impressed with the amount of space the animals had to roam. Of course nothing beats complete freedom. This zoo had just about every thing Lions, Tigers,and Snakes; haha, what? You thought I'd say Bears? Yes they had those too....

My last stop for the day included a meal! I wanted more seafood so I decided to drop in to Dukes Seafood & Chowder. I ordered the Dungeness Crab Cakes with zucchini and roasted potatoes. I never had dungeness crab cakes, but these were pretty tasty. 

    After my meal I made my way back to the Fremont area and took a walk on the riverside path under the bridge, taking in all the sights and eclectic house boats that were docked. As I looked up and a little further out I could see the beautiful homes shrouded by tall trees that looked like steps up the hills that they were built on. 

    Seattle has some breathtaking views. I strolled the area a little more and visited a couple shops before I made my way back to the hostel to end my day and my trip. I had a super early flight and had to rely on public transportation to get me there as I did for the whole trip of course. In the morning I cleared off my bed and dumped the sheets into a dirty sheets bin for the hostel to wash, gathered my things and made my way to the airport.

    Seattle is a beautiful and colorful city despite it grey skies and I would definitly love to visit again!

 For more photos videos and inspiration check out my instagram page @Pestwanderer.


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