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T W E N T Y - T H R E E | Seeing the Sights in Seattle

Happy 5 Year Blogiversary to me! I really cannot believe I have been on this journey for 5 YEARS! When eighteen-year-old me first took a seat at her computer and created "More Than Canaries," I can tell you with full confidence that she had no idea where this world would take her! I have made and met many friends, grown and stretched myself in countless ways, and found a place of encouragement and truth that I never expected. And thank YOU for being part of it!

Now back to The Blog-tember Challenge. We have a week left to go, and today I am sharing one of my favorite places for our city tour! I'm a Texas gal through and through but Seattle will always hold a piece of my heart.

Today's prompt: A guide to your city! Share some of the hot-spots & hidden gems of where you live.

As many of you know, I spent the last year living in Seattle, Washington. I am still pretty new to Oklahoma, and my tiny college town is hardly as exciting as the big city I most recently explored. I thought you'd enjoy a tour of the PNW more, so here is my quick guide to Seattle!

The Space Needle is iconic, built for the World's Fair back in the 1960's, but before I moved out there my only view of it had been in Grey's Anatomy when they sweep across the city to remind us where they are (Any other Grey's fans out there?). It is not as close to the downtown skyscrapers as I thought, and a bit pricey to go up to the top, but I ventured to the upper deck my last week in Seattle. What a view! 

Another hidden gem is Elliot Bay Books, located in Capitol Hill (one of the many neighborhoods in Seattle). It is packed with books of all kinds, a much larger selection than your typical Barnes & Noble. Elliot Bay, along with Third Place Books, quickly became one of my favorites, though the first time I ventured to that part of town I got a parking ticket... womp womp.

I lived in a neighborhood called Greenwood, a 7-10 minute drive from downtown when there's no traffic. Four blocks from my house was Green Lake, a charming man-made lake surrounded by trees that shine a myriad of colors in the fall, frequented by families and friends since the weather is perfect for a stroll most of the year.  It is 3 miles in circumfrence, and I could make the jaunt down and around in under an hour. For the perfect afternoon, grab a friend and a turtle hot chocolate from Chocolati and wander the footpath.

Neither of the universities I have attended have been in a big city. The University of Washington is smack dab in the middle of Seattle, or rather tucked to the side in all its splendor. Campus is large and beautiful, sprawling bankside, and an afternoon of exploring led me to believe that Hogwarts is tucked away in the library. Isn't that reading room gorgeous?! I'd be there all the time if I could.

Seattle is what I call the coffee capitol of the world. The original Starbucks is down by the market, and often on ever corner at least once; the mall I worked at had four. FOUR! Zoka Coffee was the one I frequented the most, meeting with my discipleship group weekly or to blog after work, followed by Chocolati (known for it's gourmet hot chocolate and truffles) and Storyville, which is tucked away overlooking the market downtown. 

Pike Place Market is a must-see if you end up in the Emerald City! Once you wade through the tourists, past the street performers, along dozens of florists and fish throwers, you'll find vendors tucked in nooks and crannies selling artwork and crafts. There are restaurants galore to choose from, and I recommend steering clear of the market on Saturdays and holiday weekends. It's packed! Oh, don't forget the gum wall. It's worth a picture, but be sure not to get too close! Other farmers' markets pop up around town during the week, like the one in Lake Forest Park or Fremont which were frequent post-church lunch stops. 

These last two are not in Seattle but if you are ever in the Pacific Northwest, I'd say give them a go if you can! Multnomah Falls is closer to Portland, Orgeon, and a gorgeous waterfall and bridge combo that is too picturesque to miss. Definitely worth a day/weekend trip South.  

In the spring, the Tulip Festivals are worth the hour jaunt north. Warning, bring a rain coat and galoshes! We went at the end of tulip season so it was not as crowded, but the fields were still beautiful and in bloom. It positively poured and we were briefly stranded among the flowers for fear of slipping and sliding in the mud. Mt. Vernon, Washington also hosts a festival in their downtown area one week during tulip season, so I would recommend coordinating that visit if you can. It was spectacular!

Anyone headed to Seattle soon? Or know of any hot spots I missed/must see when I visit?

Brave Love Blog

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