My best friend Vera moved to Seattle a couple of years ago. My first trip there in 2017 was full of lots of sightseeing. This past spring, I booked my second trip to visit her, and as luck would have, thanks to my new job, I ended up visiting Seattle two more times in 2019.
My trip in April was planned to coincide with Vera’s birthday, and also given that she was 9 months pregnant at the time, it could very well be the last time for a very long time when we could hang out just the two of us. Plus … I never in a million years thought I would ever see Vera pregnant, so I had to see this with my own eyes.
And given that she was so very pregnant, this wouldn’t be a “normal” trip to visit Vera. We haven’t lived in the same state for almost 20 years, so I’ve taken a few trips to see her, and she has affectionately been referred to as my cruise director because she loves to pack my visits with lots of sightseeing! Which I appreciate. She is a great tour guide. This time, however, the goal wasn’t to necessarily see Seattle but to see Vera. So the pace was much slower.
I also got to meet her dog, Frank.
Vera loves to bake, and since our days were pretty open (she already started her maternity leave by this point), we ended up baking bread. Twice. First was pizza dough for homemade pizzas and the second was a focaccia bread that was so good. (We also caught up on Project Runway.)
I went for a couple of runs and was able to see the beauty of Seattle, again. (For the record, Vera was still going to Barry’s Bootcamp. If you’ve never been, those workouts are insanely tough even when you aren’t pregnant. She claims she “slowed down” since you are able to set your own pace at Barry’s.)
We hung out at a couple of parks with views of Puget Sound. We enjoyed the views and the lovely weather and talked about life and work and job interviews and … life.
My trip also coincided with their “baby shower slash birthday party” at a local brewery. I hate baby showers, as does Vera, but this was actually just … hanging out a brewery. (There were other people there, I just didn’t take any photos of them.) There were no games, no oh-ing and ah-ing over a pile of gifts. Just beer (for everyone but Vera) and conversations.
Also given that I was in the middle of a grad school class, between the baking and running and Project Runway and breweries, I did spend some time working on homework. Really.
My visit in June was for a job interview and thus very quick because I wasn’t paying for it. However, as you can guess, Flora was here! So I asked if I could fly home the morning after my interview instead of that evening.
I went straight to the airport after work on Monday, had my job interview most of the day on Tuesday, got to visit with Vera and Flora (and Neil and Frank) Tuesday evening (Vera and I were even able to sneak off for dinner at Cicchetti), and then I flew home Wednesday morning (high on the verbal offer I had already received for the job the night before). I was in the middle of an accelerated summer class, I missed Monday night’s class but landed in time to head straight to class on Wednesday (grabbing dinner on the way). It was a jam-packed start to my week.
However, in the span of a few hours, I got to meet the adorable Flora, visit with Vera for the second time in a few months, and got a job offer for a job I really really really wanted. It was a good day.
I stayed at the StayPineapple hotel in the University District, which was a very cute boutique hotel. The area about UW is beautiful, and the hotel itself was very clean, modern, and had lots of quirky little (pineapple-themed) touches.
I returned to Seattle (well, Bellevue) for a week at the end of July / early August for onboarding at my new job. Just search “biggest travel tech company” if you haven’t figured out who it’s with. (Some of the links in this post should also give it away.) I flew in Monday evening (after day one in the Chicago office, which was just a brief orientation with HR, getting my laptop and shown to my desk, setting up Outlook and whatnot, and then leaving in the afternoon for the airport). Tuesday – Thursday were spent in the office from 9-5, learning the ropes of my job and meeting teammates, and I flew home Friday morning.
I stayed at the Hilton Bellevue, which was a short walk to the office. On Tuesday evening, I went for a run (Bellevue was prettier than I expected, but this whole part of the country is gorgeous) and ordered dinner from Duke’s Seafood to enjoy in my hotel room with some wine and desserts picked up from Safeway on the way back from my run. On Wednesday evening, I visited with Vera, Flora, Neil, Frank, and Vera’s mom (who was visiting from Chicago) and we enjoyed some Shake Shack burgers. On Thursday evening, I worked out (via ClassPass) at a local boutique gym that Vera recommended, and had a hankering for Mexican food and ordered fajitas via GrubHub. While Seattle has a lot of great food, it does not have great Mexican food. Oops. I should have stuck to seafood or any Asian option.
I really love Seattle, and thankfully I’ll probably be able to visit there with some regularity. But not Bellevue, because at the end of 2019, my company moved their HQ to Seattle proper.