Back when Christmas was a blur and New Years was around the corner, my boyfriend and I took a quick trip to Seattle, Washington. It was our first vacation together as a couple and we were very, very excited. We were also very, very terrified since neither of us had been on a plane in 15 years and had no idea what we were doing.
Shoutout to the nice lady who showed us how baggage labels worked in the San Jose airport at 5 o’clock in the morning.
BUT. Any travel jitters aside, it all worked out great! I don’t get out the state very often and I was stoked to see the Pacific Northwest (spoiler alert: it’s frickin beautiful). I’m nowhere near a travel blogger and me having some ~fancy layout~ with ~fancy travel photography~ would be super sad and awkward. So instead, here’s a few Washington thoughts from a California girl who spent 90% of the trip going “but when does the sun come back???”
ALL BLUE, ALL THE TIME
First thing’s first: it didn’t rain our whole five days in Seattle. Which is craaaaaazy for mid-winter (or so I’ve been told) but that didn’t keep the weather from being gloomy. I knew the stereotypes and knew it wasn’t going to be 72 degrees like back home. But I didn’t expect everything to be so…blue?
Ok. That sounds really dumb. But like everything in Seattle was blue. The sky, the ocean, the ambience. It was honestly FANTASTIC for my Insta game since I have a blue/white theme going. I didn’t even really have to try to find backgrounds or colors that worked. The cloudy sky put a soft filter on everything that even VSCO couldn’t beat, and I told my bf atop the Space Needle that “this city is my aesthetic, we can never leave.”
I don’t even like bright sunlight. I’m a pale little Irish girl that gets sunburned through the car window on road trips. But while the overcast sky was great for moody photography and quiet coffee shop moments, I’ll admit it took some adjusting to. I often felt a little bit half asleep, like my body thought it was always evening. Didn’t put two and two together until I “woke up” as the sun broke through a little bit later in our trip.
IT’S LIKE SF? BUT NOT QUITE
I found myself thinking of San Francisco a lot while wandering around Seattle. I know it’s probably the liberal-city-right-on-the-water vibes, but a part of me felt like I’d been there before as we walked around downtown. All the pride flags around Capitol Hill just kinda sealed the deal.
I think I prefer Seattle’s waterfront to SF’s embarcadero though. Even though both areas are tourist centrals, Pike Place felt a bit more down to earth and had a lot of great food and shopping options. There was also a lot of fresh produce, fish, and other products you don’t see around NorCal as much since there seemed to be a bit more ag influence. I know the main farming is done on the other side of Washington, but I loved trying out the local honey and juicy apples right there at tiny curbside booths.
Everyone knows about Starbucks and everyone knows about Seattle’s coffee scene. And since I’m a caffeine addict, this was one part of the trip I was most looking forward to. I avoided the original Starbucks since our local friend said it wasn’t worth the trip and the coffee is the same as any other location. So instead, I made a point to pop into little cafes as we walked around each day.
Main takeaway: no one needs that many shops. I like coffee as much as the next girl, but I was literally not ready for how oversaturated Seattle’s coffee scene is. It was a bit overwhelming at times, since every cafe / restaurant / frickin bar has a coffee selection and they all claim to be ~the best in the city~. Our first day in town I had made three drink stops before 2pm. Thaaaaaat might have been a mistake (rip, tummy).
GAME DAY BLISS
For a bit of context, my mom is originally from Washington. That means she raised me to be just as big of a Seattle Seahawks fan as anyone else…which always surprises people when you’re stuck in the middle of California. The second day of our trip was New Years Eve though, and the Seahawks had their last game of the season while I was in the city.
I was l o s i n g my mind omg
I forced our friends to let me go awkwardly loiter outside of the stadium just so I could buy merch and take pictures. I was just, like, skipping around and giggling for no reason. I facetimed my mom and she cried since it’s her dream to go to a game one day and it was all just 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻
The best part though (besides seeing the stadium in person for the first time)? Unlike in California, where there’s a million sports teams and everyone’s rivals, Washington has…just the Seahawks? So, uh, everyone is a Seahawk fan. It blew my mind while we walked around town that nearly everyone was wearing Seahawk gear. A whole state was rooting for the same team. Since where I’m from people shit talk about the Dodgers vs Giants on the reg, it was a crazy sight to see. It did my little blue heart good #bless
Overall, as a little introvert who usually gets hella anxious about traveling, I had an amazing first time visiting Seattle. It was great to get out of my California bubble and see a part of the country I’m not as familiar with. With soft skies, hot coffee, and wild game days, what’s not to love?
I’ll be back! Hopefully next time, we’ll even print out the right baggage stickers.