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Travel Diaries: Seattle and Portland

I put together a short recap of my trip to Seattle and Portland last week. I've always wanted to explore the Pacific Northwest, after hearing friends hail it as the most lovely place in America. Even before going, I knew that I'd adore it. Tree-huggers central, vegetarian-friendly, good coffee? Sold. 

What inspired me most about the NW, especially Portland, was the flourishing and deep-rooted culture of creativity. It goes much farther than what we simply consider as 'hipster'. Artistry is by no means undervalued, and the city is filled to the brim with hard-working creatives trying to find their way, and going to whatever lengths necessary to realise their dream, and become the best at what they do.

These sentiments are normalised among locals, and visitors are encouraged to share in the music, craft, art, and food that's being made. It's prompted me to look at my life, and whether or not I'm fully embracing the importance of creativity in it, and how I can further this energy no matter where the future takes me.  

 SEATTLE // We stayed at  Hyatt at Olive 8  for 2 nights upon arrival. Central downtown location and walkable to almost any attraction. We took advantage of this and spent quite a lot of time at Pike Place, scouring out the produce and walking along the pier.  Pike Place Chowder  is quite touristy but the chowder is genuinely amazing, the best I've had since the Cape. 

SEATTLE // We stayed at Hyatt at Olive 8 for 2 nights upon arrival. Central downtown location and walkable to almost any attraction. We took advantage of this and spent quite a lot of time at Pike Place, scouring out the produce and walking along the pier. Pike Place Chowder is quite touristy but the chowder is genuinely amazing, the best I've had since the Cape. 

PORTLAND // Tasty n Alder was the best breakfast place of the entire trip; loved it so much that we went back twice. Hearty American-style breakfast (with Bim Bap thrown in), and ironically not for the faint of heart because everything is super indulgent. The biscuits are a must! Get there early because it fills fast. Also check out Tasty n Sons, another member of the tasty family. 

SEATTLE // There were too many amazing coffee places on this trip to count. I won't be including the popular ones, which I'll leave to the coffee expert and their lists. Market Ghost Tours and Espresso is a little gem we happened upon in Pike Market. This place is fun because it's right next to the Gum Wall, so it was a fun place to people-watch. Safe to say I'm a total cold brew convert after this trip. 

PORTLAND // We went to Olympia Provisions for our last meal in Portland. Yes, it's all about MEAT. But according to the two meat eaters I dined with, their charcuterie plates are absolutely top-notch. They're house-made sausages are also very popular and available to purchase in-store. The ambience is great and I thoroughly enjoyed my salads as well. 

PORTLAND// Our first and probably best meal in Portland was at Ox. It's an Argentinian barbecue place that's among the most popular of the moment. Everything we ordered was delish - just look at that albacore! One thing to note is that we waited an hour after arriving at 5:30(!) on a weeknight. But they're fully prepared, and have a cute bar right on the side for patrons to wait. 

PORTLAND // Another highlight from the trip was our amazing hotel in Portland, Sentinel. It's a historic, boutique hotel located downtown and by far the most beautiful I've ever stayed in. The attention to detail was extraordinary and the vintage pop infused art throughout was ultra chic. Very close walk to the MAX station, shopping, food carts, restaurants, and of course my happy place, Powell's

PORTLAND // Yes, I don't really drink, but I still had a great time at The Commons Brewery. You get to try four craft beers (a little over a pint) for $9, so we went all out and got everything available that day. I thought they were all yum, especially the lighter fruity ones of course. But the two more seasoned beer drinkers didn't particularly like the selection and thought that they lacked 'character'. Not sure about that, but the industrial-style location was quintessentially Portland. 

PORTLAND // This would normally be another place that wouldn't be able to fully appreciate, but the Multomah Whiskey Library is probably the most amazing bar I've ever been to. Their selection is by far the largest I've ever seen, and presented in the most beautiful way with rows on rows of shelves and a rolling ladder. What's pictured here is actually the waiting area / bar for the actual lounge, which I didn't include a picture of because the dimness just couldn't do it justice. 

Now comes some of the nature-related things we did, which to me was the main theme of the trip. Many of these places don't have websites or even TripAdvisor Listings, but they shouldn't be hard to find. Blueberry picking, alpaca stalking, rose-smelling, and traversing the Columbia River Gorge are some highlights. 

We really wanted to go for local experience, while throwing in some essential touristy spots. It was fun being in America with someone who's not all that familiar, so I was able to share, while taking in anew, the beautiful country where I grew up - which meant hiking unspoiled trails and the awe of Costco. 

Until next time, xo. 

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