The flight from London Heathrow to Seattle Tacoma crossed over Iceland, Canada and landed to spectacular views of Mount Rainier. Heads craned out of oval windows and camera shutters clicked as announcements were made for landing.
Arriving at a new destination by train offered a sense of place with opportunities to peek at the communities by the sides of the tracks and glimpse at the people.
We found Downtown Seattle a busting hive of locals, workers, Comi Con fans and Bumbershoot festivalgoers. After settling into a friends home in Lower Queen Anne we went out to explore for the first time. Homesickness had clearly set in already and the only cure was a pint at an English themed pub. A store called Trader Joe's was next on the hit list and we stocked up that evening with 'Pub Cheese' and peanut butter filled pretzel chips.
Later that evening we walked the steep streets up Avenue North towards Kerry Park, which offered panoramic views of the city. The 50 cent binoculars gave a close up of the bay below or through the windows of the wealthy apartments near by. The park was full of amorous couples taking selfies and children swinging from the railings. We watched the sun go down over Mount Rainier and caught a glimpse of tourists at the top of the Space Needle.
We woke the next day to homemade mimosas and cries for breakfast. Jumping in the car we went towards Fremont and waited in line for a table at Silence-Heart-Nest. This vegetarian restaurant, open since the 80s, offered plates big enough to easily feed three people. The 'Très Bon Benedict' with heaps of roasted potatoes topped with caramelised onion, tomato, goats cheese and smothered in Hollandaise sauce was incredible and only $10.50.
We took a quick look at the famous 'Fremont Troll' underpass where a large sculpture of a troll delights 'Ten Things I Hate About You' fans and bemuses the locals.
During the afternoon we followed the hill down towards Lake Union and watched seaplanes take off and spotted the disused Gasworks. Close-by the Fremont Brewing Company offered five thirsty explorers an opportunity for shade and free pretzels. Large kegs hosted local home brews and dry ciders while the sunbathed garden sprawled with lush plants and happy dogs.
To end a spectacular day we drove to Discovery Park and followed a trail down towards the water for a swim. It was cool and seaweed slowly slinked between legs while the driftwood dens offered a drying spot and views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains.
The radio station, and legendary gig spot, KEXP welcomed coffee hunters and plans for the day were made. The Space Needle and Science Centre were hosting the travelling Terracotta Warriors exhibition and the Bumbershoot Music Festival. Pike Place Market was next and it certainly didn't disappoint. Jam packed with cheap flowers, freshly caught fish and original Starbucks coffee the rammed market delighted the senses.
During the final day exploring Seattle we took a ferry over to Bainbridge Island. The island itself was lush green and had hidden gems on every turn. We stopped for coconut and pecan ice cream and plodded around peering into shops and petting dogs along the way. Feeling refreshed we headed back into the city and took a right turn to historical Pioneer Square. This part of the city housed the oldest bar and its many ghosts. Finally we we drove up to Golden Gardens beach to watch the sunset surrounded by fire pits and the smell of BBQ.