How to spend 48 hours in Seattle



Up bright and early, bags packed, we were ready for our onward journey after a lovely few days in Vancouver. We took the sea bus back to downtown Vancouver to pick up a car for the next 12 days. Once we'd procured breakfast at Cafe Artigiano and excellent coffees at a real authentic Canadian cafe, we hit the road.



An hour or so later we hit a long line of traffic which indicated the US border was ahead. It crept and crawled at a snails pace as one hour turned to two and three with still no sign of the border. Eventually it was our turn and we handed over our visas and passports. The officer waved us to park down the side road and told us to go inside. Expecting the Spanish Inquisition, instead we found yet another queue of tourists getting their passports stamped.

We got chatting to a Blue Jays fan traveling to Seattle for the game which explained why there had been such long delays at the border. After a while we were on our way again but some hours behind schedule and feeling a bit cranky.

Luckily Seattle is not too far from the border and we pulled up just before the sun dipped below the massive sky scrapers on each corner. We pulled up at Hotel Sorrento, our abode for the night, which was absolutely beautiful and just old America personified. The red brick building hinted at the historic interior but the open fires and oak panelled walls were more than we expected.
We had a bell boy take our bags to the top floor and lead us into the penthouse suite. We were surprised to see that it had its own bar, enormous lounge and dining room and an emperor size bed! It was such a treat and we really had to tear ourselves away to go out for dinner.

We took a recommendation from the concierge and took the 15 minute walk to The Brooklyn seafood, steak and osyter house. As we reached the door we knew we'd found something very special indeed and you could almost imagine this joint in its hey day of the 1930's serving gangsters and their molls.

We wanted to be right in the action and took a high backed seat at the serving hatch so we could watch the chefs at work. They tossed pans of delicious looking food and prepped in front of our eyes adding to the magic of the restaurant.
Our waiter brought us the wine list and we quickly placed our orders. The herbivore (me) went for the Autumn salad to start and the Carnivore had moules to begin. Both were delicious and whetted our appetites nicely for the next course. There wasn't a lot in the way of veggie food for the mains so I went for crab pasta and ate around the crab. The Carnivore went for steak (again) and couldn't get over how good it was.

After a long day we savoured our food and then took a slow amble back to our ginormous hotel suite. The bed consumed us and we could barely see eachother, that's how big it was.

We both slept so well and woke with the morning sun ready to see more of this exciting city. We wanted to come here because of the awesome music scene it boasts, particularly important to the 90s grunge scene, with Nirvana, Pearl Jam and The Hole forming here.

We headed over to Pike Place Market for a bite to eat and Lowell's beckoned us in with eggs done a gazillion ways. Lots of strong coffee later, we were ready to continue our travels and set off on foot in trepidation. Pike Place is famous as one of the oldest mainstays of Seattle and the neon lit sign has graced many a music poster in the past. The wares ranged from fresh fruit and veg, to homespun crafts and collectors vinyls which drew us in. The waterfront actually has a whiff of Santa Monica about it with a pier and big wheel.
High on our list of places to go in Seattle was the EMP museum which is a modernist architectural building containing some of the most important artefacts of music history. From Jimmy Hendrix's psychedelic suits, Kurt Cobains final letters before he died, to Dave Grohl's drum kit.
There was a fantastic sculpture made of guitars stretching from the ground and up three floors which was impressive to see and I also stumbled across the futurist fashion exhibition which I just fell in love with, Seeing a dress made out of racing car fibre glass made my day cause that's just how I roll.
We took the highline as far as we could and walked the rest of the way back to the hotel. For dinner we had to seek out the best pizza joint we could find and Belltown Pizza struck the right chord. The pizza pies looked enormous and when we found out we could get a 24 inch pizza and a bucket of four beers for around $20, we were floored. The pizza was so big I honestly didn't know if I was was going to eat it or it was going to eat me. We then caught some live music in one of the little hole in the wall bars with excellent craft beers.
The next  morning, as we prepared to leave Seattle, we couldn't go without heading to Kurt Cobain's old house and paying our respects. As maudlin as it may seem, he was an influential figure in music and it pretty much defined my angsty teen years. A deep voice shouted down from a hidden branch in a tree to 'come up for a better view' but not wanting to stray in stalker territory, we politely declined.

We meandered the wide avenues with fantastic waterfront views to get back to the car and put Smells Like Teen Spirit on before hitting the open road towards our next destination.

What music inspired your teen years?

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