Seattle: Start a Tourist, End a Local

After a flight delay (it seems like I can’t remember the last time I flew somewhere on time), my friend Giselle and I arrived in Seattle! Her brother had generously offered to host our stay, so he picked us up and showed us a little pizza spot right across from his apartment. For this trip, I’d gone with a much looser itinerary because Giselle had already been to Seattle and I wanted us to be flexible so we could work with her brother’s schedule. I had the city marked in three main areas but was ready to experience a city I’d heard so much about!

Lucky for us, her brother lived pretty close to the heart of the city, meaning on our first official day in Seattle we were within walking distance of the Space Needle. That was a good tourist-y way to start the day so we decided to keep on trend and check out the Museum of Pop. It was actually really fun! They had genre film exhibits, like a floor of Horror and a floor of Fantasy as well as a special exhibit on the top floor called “A Queen Within” which featured some amazing high fashion.

Since we just had to pay a museum ticket price, we decided to balance that out with a free event – Kerry Park! We walked up that way (oh, the hills, the stairs, the aches) and were rewarded with another great view of the Space Needle. As an added bonus treat – I discovered a local homemade ice cream shop called Molly Moon’s. Yum! Y’all know I love finding a good scoop when I visit a new place. From there, we walked back the way we came to meet up with Giselle’s brother so he could show us Pioneer Square.

This involved a pretty cool area (though slightly deserted for a Saturday afternoon) where we explored some of the downtown area. We first stopped for a quick snack at the Uwajimaya market (sushi for me) and then checked out design shops, rock stores, and a vintage shop. I got to show my love for a grandma aesthetic to Giselle’s brother and he still let me come join them at his climbing gym. And so I was off to go bouldering!

His gym, The Seattle Bouldering Project, is also home to the climbing star of “Free Solo,” Alex Honnold, and I made a fool of myself by seeming like a fangirl. But also. That’s freaking cool – I have been obsessing about this documentary for months. At the start of this year y’all may remember I visited Lake Mineral Wells State Park and I made a goal that I would return next year and climb some lines. That goal seemed unreachable, like a lofty fantasy, but then an invite to go bouldering fell into my lap. Giselle and I had such a great time, even though we were a bit intimidated at first. The vibe was chill, but we were surrounded by such athletes. We had fun trying (and even failing at points).

No better way to gain back some calories than to grab some cocktails at a hip bar. We were surrounded by locals and enjoying talking about how much fun we’d had even as our hands were healing against the condensation of our glasses. We went from a classic Seattle tourist morning to quite the live-like-a-local Seattlite evening. We were off to Vancouver the next day, but I was excited to see what else Seattle had in store for us on our return!

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