Seattle, Portland, & Los Angeles

David and I got back last Wednesday (our flight got in at 5am…), from our two week trip. We spent three days in Seattle, three in Portland, and a little over a week in LA with David’s parents. We were pretty exhausted when we got home, but had an awesome time. I loved Seattle and REALLY loved Portland!

Seattle, Day 1

We started the day by walking to Pike Place Market, a huge indoor and outdoor farmer’s market and place for artist/craftspeople to sell their goods, which first opened in 1907. We went back here at least a couple of times each day–we loved it. In the early morning, when we got breakfast, it was quiet, calm, and nearly empty. Later in the day it was packed with tourists and locals, noisy and full of energy.

There were a number of places selling fresh seafood.

The colors were beautiful! Lots fresh fruit & veggies... We had a juicy peach.

This was one of the stands outdoors.

In the morning, we watched florists cutting and arranging bouquets. Many of these bouquets were only $5 or $10.

We then went to Seattle Center, an area in downtown where the Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum are located. We went to both museums (one ticket gets you in to both). The museums were founded by Paul Allen (who started Microsoft with Bill Gates). My favorite part was the large exhibit that is currently at the Science Fiction Museum devoted to the creativity and imagination of Jim Henson.

This is a quote I jotted down at the exhibit:

“Jim didn’t think in terms of boundaries at all the way the rest of us do. There are always these fences we build around ourselves and our ideas. Jim seemed to have no fences.” -Jon Stone, Sesame Street producer and director

Here I am in Seattle Center, right by the Space Needle.

The space needle.

David's standing in front of the extremely cool-looking museum. Frank Gehry designed the building. You can see the monorail to the left, which goes through the building.

A close up of the building's texture.

After going to the Science Fiction Museum, we walked back to the Pike Place area to get lunch. We later returned to go to the Experience Music Project.

We ate lunch at Pan Africa Market. David hates when I take pictures of what we eat, but I had to post because this is probably the best food we ate on our entire trip. If you are in Seattle, go there!!

After we returned to the Experience Music Project, we went to the Olympic Sculpture Park, which is along the water.

Here I am, walking along the water in the park.

Seattle, Day 2

After getting breakfast in Pike Place market, we checked out the Seattle Public Central Library, which I have wanted to do since reading about it in newspapers and design magazines/blogs when it opened in 2004. We had an awesome time walking around and exploring this really, really cool space.

David rides the escalator.

I ride the escalator.

One of the things that most impressed me was that not only does the library look really cool, but is extremely functional. In the picture below, you can see that the Dewey Decimal numbers are on the floor. They are actually rubber mats that can be moved/shifted when new books are added. It makes it incredibly easy to find the section you’re looking for!

Another really cool function is an escalator of sorts for books. When you put books in the book drop outside, they are sucked up along a glassed in conveyor belt that travels along the ceiling and goes up to the second floor, where they are presumably checked back in and then shelved. When books are returned at the front desk, which is the bottom floor, they feed them into the sameconveyor belt system and they travel upstairs.

After checking out the library, we wandered back to Pike Place and went to The Gum Wall, which is by a movie theater below Pike Place market. It is similar to Bubblegum Alley, which we’ve been to in San Luis Obispo, CA. It was kind of cool and kind of gross…

That night we went to explore the University District. We ate dinner at a vegan restaurant called Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe.

Seattle, Day 3

In the morning we went on Seattle’s Underground Tour, which allowed us to “roam the subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle. Afterwards, we got lunch in downtown.

We headed to the Amtrak station and got on the train to Portland. The views from the window were beautiful.

I took this from the train.

When we got to Portland we checked into our hotel, then headed out for dinner. We ate at a really great burrito place, The Laughing Planet, which was in the Pearl District. We then checked out Powell’s Books, the most amazing bookstore I could imagine. It’s the largest independent bookstore in the country. The downtown location is 68,000sq ft, open to 11pm seven days a week, buys 3,000 used books a day, and has more than 1,000,000 volumes!!! They have maps of the store at all the counters so you can find your way around.

Portland, Day 1

On our first full day in Portland, we went to Saturday Market, “the largest continually operating outdoor arts and crafts market in the nation.” The market consisted of rows upon rows of tents selling clothing, jewelry, candles, artwork, soaps…There were also a number of food booths–Greek, African, Thai… We got a delicious breakfast at a Tibetan food cart.

Here I am standing on the riverwalk that runs by Saturday Market.

We then walked the length of the River Walk to Waterfront Park. We ate lunch in the Pearl District, at Cha Cha Cha, a delicious burrito place.

We took the Light Rail to Washington Park, which is about 130 acres. Only a 10 minute or so ride from downtown, I felt like we were in rural NH! It was so beautiful. It borders Forest Park, the largest urban wilderness park in the US. We hiked along a few miles of trail to the International Rose Test Garden.

David on Wildwood Trail.

You can see David in the mid-right portion of the photo with his arms in the air.

The rose gardens were beatiful, but it was so hot!!

Here we are in the rose gardens.

That night we went and explored the Nob Hill area in Northwest Portland. We had dinner at an Indian restaurant with the friendliest & most helpful waitress we encountered on our trip.

Portland, Day 2

After breakfast, we went to the Saturday Market again.  We then walked the River Trail again. For lunch, we got falafel at the Saturday Market. We spent most of the day just walking around, exploring. We walked through China Town and Old Town.

For dinner, we went to the Blossoming Lotus, an all organic vegan restaurant. It was SO GOOD! While we were eating, we suddenly heard, “Sarah Richardson’s little sister?” One of my sister’s friends, who happened to be in the restaurant at the same time as us, recognized me from a photo she posted on Facebook of me at my Hampshire graduation. WEIRD! And so cool! We laughed about what a strange coincidence it was. He’d just been visiting Sarah the week before in Toronto. When we left, I called Sarah and we laughed some more.

After dinner, we walked around a lot more and then went to Voodoo Donuts, the hippest place we went to on our trip. It only closes from 3am-6am; even though it was 10pm, there was a long line going down the street. Every time we walked by, the line was there. The donuts were soooo sweet–we got one with vanilla frosting and Oreo cookie (an oreo or two crumbled on the top) and one with peanut butter and Oreo cookie. If you travel to Portland, you definitely have to go there. (They also have vegan donuts!)

Portland, Day 3

We went to the Hawthorne and Belmont districts of Portland. It was a hipper, funkier area of Portland. We walked around and had lunch.

David drinks from one of the famous Portland water fountains--Benson bubblers--which continuously has water coming up.

A street near Hawthorne Blvd.

We went back to the Riverwalk and walked around some more. It was so, so hot (in the 100s) that I felt pretty sick, so in the late afternoon we headed back to the hotel to wait for our shuttle to the airport.

Los Angeles

We had a great time in LA with David’s parents and brother, Eric. We got to see his grandparents and spend a lot of time relaxing and hanging out. David’s parents took us to some incredibly nice meals and we spent a lot of time just talking. I’m upset that I really didn’t take any pictures… This blog post is getting really long, and I’m getting lazy, but suffice to say that I really, really enjoyed our time there!! I’m really happy that they’ll be coming out to visit in November!


1 Response to “Seattle, Portland, & Los Angeles”

  1. Julie Says:

    Ahh! I’m so jealous you went to Voodoo Donuts!! I’ve heard they have the best donuts ever. <3