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How Not to Spend 36 Hours in Seattle

Last month, I decided to tag along on my sister’s work trip to Michigan. On the way back, we spent two nights in Seattle. Tired as we were, 36 hours wasn’t enough for us to see or do much. After we got settled in at the Hyatt Olive 8, neither of us was particularly hungry but we wanted to avoid the scenario in Troy, where we got hungry at 2 AM and had to wait an hour for our pizza to be delivered. After some deliberation, we took the front desk rep’s advice and decided to try out Serious Pie. It was a short walk from our hotel and we immediately loved it. 

View of Seattle from Kerry Park

View of Seattle from Kerry Park

The place had mostly communal tables, where several people were dining on their own. There was a noticeable “watch out for the steps!” sign by the entrance, something the hostess reiterated to every person who walked in. I found these multiple warnings strange because there were exactly two steps and how anyone could overlook (or trip over) them was beyond me. Perhaps painting them a bright color would do the trick?

Upon the waitress’ recommendation, we ordered the Roasted Mushroom pizza, which was insanely good. For dessert, my sister had the cannoli while I opted for the chocolate budino – or as my sister called it, “just a cup of chocolate” – but what’s wrong with that?! It came topped with olive oil and salt. If that sounds gross, I suggest you check the saturated fat ratio on a Hershey’s bar and tell me it’s not high.

Serious Pie Mushroom Truffle Pizza

Serious Pie Mushroom Truffle Pizza

Serious Pie Chocolate Budino and Cannoli

Serious Pie Chocolate Budino and Cannoli

After dinner we walked back to the hotel and I was really taken aback by the number of people who were out and about in what looked like the financial district at 10 PM. Plus, everyone appeared to be no older than 30. Either Seattleites are drinking from the fountain of youth or they’ve enacted a ban on the elderly. I’m still deliberating on which scenario is more likely…

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market Seattle

Pike Place Market Seattle

The next morning after breakfast we headed out to Pike Place Market. Not that it was something I was particularly interested in seeing, but a Google search for “things to do in Seattle” turned up five things and Pike Place Market was one of them. After walking around for a bit, we saw how cheese was made at Beecher’s (fascinating stuff – and a welcome distraction from my association of that name with the character from Oz and his deeply disturbing storyline). Next we grabbed coffee and pastries at Le Panier. The tart was terrible but they made a pretty good latte.

Tart and coffee at Le Panier

Tart and coffee at Le Panier

We also came across the original Starbucks location, which serves as a photo backdrop for tourists. With no seating whatsoever, I imagine it has really embraced its status as a tourist attraction rather than a coffee shop.

Starbucks Pike Place Seattle

Starbucks Pike Place Seattle

Next, we tried the chowder sampler at Pike Place Chowder, which tasted like four different kinds of Campbell’s soup. Not terrible, but left me wondering how they won all those awards. I guess they really bring their A game to these competitions.

Pike Place Chowder Sampler

Pike Place Chowder Sampler

We stumbled upon the shopping district and shopped for a while. I’m an efficient shopper and prefer to get in and out of a store as quickly as possible, which isn’t easy when you’re with someone else. Far be it from me to be an a**hole when my sister has been so flexible on this trip, so I let her browse at her speed while I was quietly having an anxiety attack.

Kerry Park (AKA The Sidewalk That’s Lying About Being a Park)

After we were done shopping, we went back to drop our things off at the hotel, then on to the second attraction listed online: Kerry Park. It was given as a gift to the city by Albert Sperry Kerry, “So that all who stop here may enjoy this view.” That’s a really nice thought but it’s basically a glorified sidewalk with a view. You know that episode of Parks and Recreation where Leslie builds the world’s smallest park so that she and Ben can keep working together? That sandbox resembled a park more than this did. 

Kerry Park Seattle

Kerry Park Seattle

We took an Uber ride up to Queen Anne and our reactions were identical: “That’s a park?! Where’s the rest of it?” After five seconds of taking pictures, a Japanese tourist walked up to me and asked, bewildered, “Excuse me. Do you know where the bathroom is for this park?” I nearly died because this “park” barely had grass and she was asking about bathrooms. I told her I didn’t think there was one and she walked away, confused. If you’re thinking of going to Kerry Park, I’ll save you a trip with this picture:

Kerry Park Seattle

Kerry Park Seattle

In all seriousness, I hear the view is really nice at night, when it attracts the most tourists.

The Queen Anne area is nice though and between the buildings and the European cars, I got flashbacks of Hamburg. After a while, we walked down the steep hill to find a restaurant, which we ended up passing. Then it started raining, so I requested an Uber pick up. My phone died and I figured we were stranded, but the driver found us and took us back to the hotel.

I met up with Scott from Travel Codex, which was nice since I’ve been reading his blog for a while and I always enjoy meeting fellow points/miles bloggers. He recommended the Capitol Hill area for restaurants, which really helped my sister and I narrow down our choices. A sushi place we picked didn’t have an open table for 45 minutes, which seemed to be right on the cusp of when both of us would be starving. An Italian place looked good to me but my sister thought, “this looks like stuff from Olive Garden.”

A few other options were on the table but it became clear we both wanted to go back to Serious Pie. When the sushi place came up my sister suggested, “How about we eat there and then we also go to Serious Pie for that mushroom pizza afterwards?” The Italian place? “We can have appetizers there and then head back to Serious Pie.” Finally, we decided it was ok if we ate at the same place twice. Besides, two days was hardly enough in Seattle and we would come back another time and try more restaurants then.

The Mushroom pizza was just as good as the previous night and while I stuck to my chocolate budino, my sister had the much-hyped coconut cream pie from Dahlia Lounge which was actually good even though I’m not a fan of coconut. The strange thing about their food is that you don’t feel completely stuffed right away, but two blocks down you feel like you ate your weight in pizza. When that feeling set in, we decided to skip Chihuly Garden and Glass, which was supposed to be really beautiful at night. Instead, we opted to stay in and watch movies for the rest of the night. 

Serious Pie Chocolate Budino and Coconut Cream Pie

Serious Pie Chocolate Budino and Coconut Cream Pie

This definitely wasn’t the best way to spend 36 hours in Seattle, but I’m glad I got to spend it with my sister. I’m pretty sure I drove her nuts sometimes, but she was a total trooper and barely let me know it (but barely). The next time I’m in Seattle, I’d love to visit the Museum of flight, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, the Seattle Public Library, and maybe even that gross gum wall near the Market Theater. All the more reason to return!

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Ariana Arghandewal

8 Comments

  1. The best thing at Pike’s Place is the Fish Market, where the employees throw large fish around to each other. Kerry Park is the best place in Seattle for photographing the skyline. In the evening that wall is full of photographers with their tripods. I got some great shots on my last visit there.

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