Saturday, November 11, 2017

Wedding Anniversary Seattle Trip - Day 1

I don’t tend to write blog posts that are about my personal life. I write about my thoughts and feelings all the time, but they are all focused around my horse. That being said, this weekend was really special to me, and so I want to write about it. So, my apologies for the people who only want horse content (there is some, I promise!).

This weekend was my and my husband’s first wedding anniversary. Our first year of being married has been great. It sounds so cliché, but he is the rock in my life. We have been together since high school, so we’ve grown up together. We’ve been by each other’s sides through the difficult process of becoming adults, and all of the struggles that accompany that. He is so supportive and loving and is my best friend. I cannot imagine life without him. Alright, I won’t get too gushy, I’ll get on with the real story which is our anniversary trip!
One year ago today
We managed to have the foresight to get married the same weekend as Veteran’s Day, so we’ll always have our anniversary on a three-day weekend. We decided to celebrate by going on a short road-trip up to Seattle (about a six hour drive for us). We both grew up living overseas and so one of our favorite things to do is go to a new city together and just explore. We had never gone to Seattle together and since it was close it was a logical choice.

One Year Wedding Anniversary
We drove up on Friday morning. Jin drove, since he loves to drive, and I hate it. It was an easy drive up, we hit very little traffic and we arrived at our AirBnB around noon. We dropped off our bags and then immediately went to the Light Rail station to catch the train to downtown Seattle.

I don’t know how we got so lucky, but the weather was absolutely gorgeous. There was a chill breeze, but it wasn’t cold, and we had solid blue skies. It ended up being perfect because we really just walked around the city all day. We started off by going to the International District, specifically, Chinatown. Both Jin and I have a real love of Chinatowns in major cities. Jin is from South Korea and so misses Asian culture, but additionally he lived in NYC’s Chinatown for a solid year while in undergrad. I lived in China for two years and so think of it as one of my homes. Seattle’s Chinatown was really fun to explore for an hour. It is smaller than other Chinatowns in the US, but there was plenty to see.
Chinatown in Seattle
We started off by going to a little restaurant called Harbor City Restaurant which was a dim sum place. When we walked in, I knew it would be good. There were roasted ducks hanging by the window, the menus and signs were almost entirely in Chinese, and pretty much everyone in the restaurant was Chinese. We got seated and almost immediately a dim sum cart came around. Jin had never been to a real dim sum restaurant and so I had to explain to him how it worked. Yes, you can order food from the cart. Yes, the cart will come around again. No, please don’t eat the leaf that the sticky rice comes wrapped in. Yes, I know what I’m talking about, don’t eat the leaf. It was a novel experience for him, which was fun to be a part of. I have a limited diet (no mammals) and so I ate some things from the dim sum cart, but I had my heart set on Peking duck and so we ordered a half of a duck. If you’ve never eaten Peking duck, then you are missing out. It is by far my favorite Chinese dish. Unfortunately, it is hard to get in the US, and it’s even harder to get good Peking duck. They roast a duck until the outer skin is crispy, then cut it into thin slices. They bring out either steamed buns or little pancake-like wraps, the duck, sliced green onions, and a brown savory/sweet sauce that is perhaps hoisin sauce (I call it the “BBQ” sauce, but it’s not actually BBQ). It is really easy to cook duck incorrectly and so this recipe is easily butchered, but we lucked out. This was excellent duck and I was so excited!

After we were stuffed with delicious Chinese food, we knew where we wanted to go next, a Japanese supermarket called Uwajimaya. You guys, if you are anywhere near Seattle, go to this store. It was AMAZING. It was filled to the brim with imported Asian foods and other goodies. Jin and I both lived in Asia, and so it was like a taste of home to be there. We went a little bit crazy and managed to spend a little over a hundred dollars on snacks and small gifts for people, but no regrets! We bought ramen noodle snacks, mochi, Tom Yum Pretz, Japanese sour candies, Jin got three different beverages, adorable little keychains of animals dressed up as sushi, and really cool little Lego-like toys called NanoBlocks. So worth it!
The Gum Wall
Once we had spent too much money at the Japanese market we went took the Light Rail to Capitol Hill where we had the basic idea of walking towards the Space Needle, but really didn’t have a true plan or destination. On our walk we just took in the city and enjoyed the nice weather. Before we knew it, we had stumbled onto Pike’s Place, so we checked out the market. I hadn’t been in Seattle in literally years, so had totally forgotten how large Pike’s Place was. It’s enormous! Some highlights were watching the fisherman perform their “act” of throwing a dead fish & traumatizing tourists with a fake rubber flounder that appeared to suddenly start moving on the ice, watching the sunset over the water, and watching an artist paint a portrait of a couple. Jin was especially excited when he discovered a model toy shop, so of course he bought himself another model car.
Pike's Place
Post Alley
We were walking out of Pike’s Place when I spotted a booth that had hand-made mugs with dogs on them. I was just sort of looking, not planning on buying anything, when I saw a mug that had Eden on it! And by “had Eden on it,” I mean there was a dog’s face on the mug that exactly matched that of my dog.
Sally Christopher Dog Mug from Pike Place Market
The woman was packing up her booth, but I was able to hastily purchase the mug and I’m so excited about it! It wasn’t until we got back to the AirBnB that I checked out her business card and noticed that she is 100% a fellow equestrian. So, if you are ever in Pike’s Place, go find her booth. Us equestrians have to support each other!
See the tiny horse photo on the bottom right corner?
Yep, it's a perfect match
After Pike’s Place, Jin and I continued our walk to the Space Needle. When we finally got close though I chickened out. I am terribly afraid of heights and I saw that the elevator went up the outside of the tower, presumably so that you can view the city as you go up. My fear of height also applies to elevators, especially glass ones, and so I knew that it would freak me out. Jin is the best and so he was ok with not going up. Thank goodness for supportive husbands. On that note we turned around and started walking the other way.

On our way to the nearest Light Rail station we found was appeared to be the main shopping district. It was really similar to NY’s Soho, except for, as Jin put it, “so much cleaner than Soho.” We checked out a ritzy mall, but we weren’t really in the mood to shop, so we just walked through and saw the sights before taking the train back to the AirBnB.

I broke this post into two to make it a bit more manageable of reading chunks. To read part two click here.

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