I love to travel. I know I’m not the only one to say it, but if I won the lottery and never had to work again, I would travel travel travel. I am a big fan of runcations too, with three out of my four marathons being runcations. Being single, I have the flexibility to get away a few times a year, even just to my family’s house at the beach.
I mentioned in my last post that my friend Niki moved to Washington in August, and I embraced spontaneity and booked airfare to visit her for a long weekend earlier this month. After going to Disney last June, I was itching to really get away, not just for a night at the beach, or in Philly or something. This was perfect timing for a winter getaway!
I flew out Thursday afternoon and arrived in Seattle a little after 8pm Pacific time. I don’t know how, but I managed to rally enough to grab a light dinner in Tacoma around 9pm which felt like midnight to me. I think the fact that the restaurant had a nice selection of beer helped, JUST a little bit…
Friday morning was nice for me because Niki had to attend a training for work so I was on my own till noon-ish. I was able to get out for a short run, and am pleased to say it was 100% rain free. (Sub-note…the whole rain thing wasn’t an issue for much of the trip). After Niki got home we headed over to a local health-foods market called Marlene’s that offered prepared foods and juices and all I can say is WOW. I loved it and if Marlene’s ever wanted to come out to the East Coast I’d be their first customer.
After eating we headed up to Seattle, a 45-minute drive. We parked near Pike Place Market and walked along the waterfront a little. We made our way to Pike Place Market and I had no idea it was so large and there was so much more than just fish markets. We browsed the stalls with jewelry, clothing, flowers, honey and dozens of other wares, eventually wandering down to Pike Brewing Company where we grabbed a couple beers. I had a (ok 2) Space Needle Golden IPA which was a special brew they created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Space Needle.
Before sitting down at the bar we walked through a quilting shop on the same level, which led to returning to the quilt shop after those beers to buy fabric I LOVED so that I can make curtains for my office/sewing/spare room. Nothing like impulse fabric buying on the other side of the country… We took a walk after the brewpub and decided it was time to find a place for dinner. We liked how the menu at Queen City Grill looked and we were so glad we chose it. We had a Syrah from Columbia Valley with our dinner, where I had a delicious black cod. One of the things I was most looking forward to eating in Washington was seafood and this did not disappoint.
We headed back to Tacoma after eating and found our way to a bar Niki has gone to a few times – Park Way Tavern. I was still kind of on East Coast time, so a night out was challenging (at one point I was close to nodding off sitting at the bar :/) but I hung in there and we had a good time. Saturday worked out to be a great day to sleep in and take our time getting moving, and we wound up going for brunch at D.O.A. – Dirty Oscars Annex. I was adventurous and had the Veggie Hash (butternut squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, homefries, asparagus and red pepper) with an egg and some toast. I had a bloody Mary to finish brunch and was so full! Bonus – we were close to Stadium High School, which was the school used for Ten Things I Hate About You! We drove over and checked it out – it’s such a unique design for a school and for the football stadium.
Saturday was the only day I saw rain really and with our late night Friday we weren’t feeling too adventurous. One of the handful of things I wanted to see while I was there was the Tacoma Narrows bridge so we drove there and crossed it to walk around Gig Harbor a little bit. Gig Harbor had a whole lot of docks and a few shops to wander through. We weren’t in much of a shopping mood but were getting a little hungry and walked in to Tides Tavern to grab some nachos. Tides is right on the water and will not allow anyone under the age of 21 in. We had a great view from our table and it was the first time I really thought about the Twilight movies. The scenery is so different from home, and the trees are gigantic. After driving home we rented Brave from RedBox, ordered pizza and vegged for the night.
Sunday we started with a workout (kettlebells for Niki, run through Wright Park for me) went back and forth about what to do and ultimately decided to head back to Seattle to see the Space Needle. It was a beautiful, clear day, and the other option being considered was going into the mountains (Mt Rainier is just west of Tacoma) and I wasn’t sure I had warm enough clothes to handle that. Traffic was slow to get there but once we arrived we got good parking and were up on top of the Space Needle in no time. I definitely am not 100% comfortable with heights but as long as I don’t look directly down I’m ok. The views were impressive and it’s a really nice observation deck. They had a snack bar so we grabbed some (plastic) glasses of wine and I wanted something to nibble on and grabbed a HandiSnack. Gotta say, it may not have been super classy, but it was wine and cheese (with crackers)….
After we went down, it was obviously time for lunch. We wandered to the water and stopped in a place called Paddy Coyne’s Irish Pub where we had a few beers and fish and chips. I am really mad at myself for not remembering most of the beers I tried on the trip, which were all craft brews. The time flew by and we had to head back to the car and back to Tacoma. We got back to Tacoma around dinner time and I really wanted to have seafood for dinner. We went to a place called Harbor Lights – walking in we knew this place had history. It was a little outdated, but it was packed so it had to be good. We found a table in the bar area and wound up chatting with an 80-something couple that had spent the majority of their lives in that area. I had some clams for an appetizer and then fried oysters for dinner. As much as I’ve had clams and fried oysters on the East Coast, these definitely were different. A great dinner to finish off a great trip.
Monday my flight was at 6:30am so I was at the airport at 4:30am. The day is a blur with a 3+ hour flight, a 3 hour layover and a 2-hour flight. I am lucky that this was able to work out for both my own and Niki’s schedules, and can’t wait to visit the area again. After visiting, I am less likely to schedule my next trip around some race. I was surprised by how hilly both Tacoma and Seattle were. Kudos to the people who’ve run RNR Seattle!
My next trip was supposed to be to the beach house this past weekend to do seasonal cleanup, but the weather wasn’t in our favor so that’s been delayed till May. I am looking forward to a night in DC in a few weeks when I run the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler.
Have you ever been to Seattle or Tacoma? Any places I didn’t make it to that you’d recommend for my next visit?