Journey To The West (Day 1)

May 27, 2014 § 1 Comment

A few weeks ago, Lucy, Xixi and I (sadly, minus Yawen) took a momentous trip to Seattle to visit Chen and Shirley. It was our first getaway together without our parents — we’re finally adults!!

Lucy and I flew out on Thursday night and treated ourselves to some in-flight wine (a local Washington red) and fruit/cheese platter because we’re ~fancy~. Just kidding, it was because our flight was delayed an hour and I really needed a drink. Regardless, that snack was the start of an epic eating adventure, as any good vacation should be.

Our first day in Seattle started with a bus ride from Bellevue to Ballard, a charming neighborhood with lots of vintage stores and cute restaurants.


The first of many selfies (cr: Lucy)



While walking around in Ballard, we were pleasantly astonished to discover that cars in Seattle actually stop for pedestrians. What?! We knew that jaywalking was highly frowned upon in the law-abiding city, but the crosswalk we were trying to traverse had no stop sign or traffic light, and as we stood in the middle of the road on the yellow line, the passing car actually stopped and waved us on. Wow.

Breakfast was at Café Besalu; though located in a fairly quiet part of town, the cafe was bustling with customers. We ordered a slice of spinach quiche and an almond schnecken, both of which were very tasty.


The only thing I didn’t like was that Café Besalu uses the Papyrus font in its signage. Seriously? It’s 2014! How do people not realize the tackiness of Papyrus already?! It hurts my eyes.


Make it go away

On our way to the next stop, we passed through a little park with random shell shapes on the ground. So we had a bit of fun.

The obvious thing to do

The obvious thing to do (cr: Lucy’s camera)

Breakfast #2 was decidedly more decadent: Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery. Just look at the menu. Look at it!!!

Dessert and booze! What more could you ask for?! (cr: Lucy)

Dessert and booze! What more could you ask for?! (cr: Lucy)

We were tempted to order everything (grilled chocolate sandwich ARE YOU SERIOUS) but stuck with just the Dark Decadence to save room for more meals. It was literally the third molten cake + ice cream I had eaten in the span of a week (in three different cities, no less). I have no regrets!!!!


omnomnom (cr: Lucy)

We seriously needed to work off that treat, so a two-mile walk to our next destination seemed like a great idea. Google Maps gave us a route along the water, but what it didn’t tell us was that the first half was through a random warehouse area with no sidewalks (we walked along the side of the road like a pair of out-of-place hitchhikers), and the second half was through a nice neighborhood, but entirely uphill. We’re from Illinois! What are hills???

You can't look at this and not see "Shithole." (cr: Lucy)

You can’t look at this and not see “Shithole.” (cr: Lucy)

There are so many flower bushes everywhere in Seattle!!! (cr: Lucy)

There are so many flower bushes everywhere in Seattle!!! (cr: Lucy)

At the end of our journey was a ridiculous set of stairs. Oy…but the view from the top was certainly nice!


dem hills doe (cr: Lucy)

The struggle is real. (cr: Lucy)

The struggle is real (cr: Lucy)

The pain in our thighs was worth it when we made it to Paseo and split a delicious Caribbean Roast sandwich. This place was also located in a seemingly obscure area, but the tiny restaurant was packed with a constant line out the door, even at 2PM on a weekday.

So messy. So juicy. So tasty.

So messy. So juicy. So tasty.

Afterward we bused to downtown Seattle to finally get some seafood into our stomachs. Elliot’s Oyster House had an afternoon happy hour special of $1 oysters, but we belatedly realized it wasn’t worth waiting an hour to get a dozen oysters we couldn’t even choose ourselves (not that we’d know what to choose lol). Plus, our oysters turned out kind of funky — too fishy tasting? — and were poorly shucked. We should’ve just gone to a regularly priced place instead of wasting so much time waiting for a table.

We didn't even get a full scoop of the mignonette sauce! (cr: Lucy)

We didn’t even get a full scoop of the mignonette sauce! (cr: Lucy)

I don’t even like raw oysters that much :(

We made our way to Pike Place Market, where I bought the cuuuutest little donut cat (a cat face can make anything adorable, am I right??) that I just couldn’t resist.

Unfortunately, Lucy and I got to the chowder place right as they were closing and were turned away. Defeated and with an hour to kill before meeting Chen for dinner, we strolled aimlessly around downtown and stopped by Bookstore Bar and Café for a drink. And what do you know, we ended up having more wine and cheese! Heehee.



I’d never had toasted Brie en Croute before but it was amazing and gooey and warm. Just whoa.

Once Chen got off work, we met her for happy hour at Japonessa. Lucy and I had made a vow to eat as much seafood as our bellies could handle, which of course included lots of sashimi!

We ordered the same thing ^__^ (cr: Lucy)

We ordered the same thing ^__^ (cr: Lucy)

The bartender was a really bad photographer lol (cr: Lucy's camera)

The bartender was a bad photographer + what am I looking at? (cr: Lucy’s camera)

We basically didn’t spend a single minute feeling hungry that day — that’s proper vacation mode! Afterward, we spent a few hours at Enkore Karaoke (more on that later perhaps) before picking Xixi up from the airport.

To cap a long and fun-filled day, we went to Canon, a “whiskey and bitters emporium,” where the doorman made us wait outside in the cold for 20 minutes because the (spacious!! by NYC standards) bar was at “maximum capacity” — sure, its 25 or so seats were filled, but the floor wasn’t crowded by any means — and I found the whole thing unnecessarily pretentious.

Whatever. We had to get home and hop into bed to rest up for our drive to Vancouver the next day! To be continued…



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