Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Relaxed & Well-Rested in Seattle

Is it that Vancouverites underestimate our fellow port city, or has Seattle recently undergone a renaissance and become cool (again)?  A little over a month ago a SAM poster for Gauguin caught my eye and spurred a trip.

I totally bought into the 2 Days in Seattle campaign run by Seattle's Convention and Visitors Bureau.  It's such a cool way to harness social media to promote a city.  The recommendations I received via Twitter totally made the trip.  Communicating with residents of the city--even just through tweets--made me feel as though I was being welcomed to the city.  I hope the 2 Days website is maintained beyond this off-season and I have some ideas for improvements.*

While I would have gone to the SAM to see the Gauguin exhibit regardless, the 2 Days campaign convince me to make a weekend of it, especially as my 5(!) year anniversary with Peter fell within the exposition dates.  We hotwired a hotel (we scored the Marriott Renaissance downtown for $100+tax) and drafted a loose itinerary based on suggestions of friends and Seattle tweeps and off we went.

We rolled into Seattle at about 11 o'clock on Saturday morning and were able to check into our hotel immediately.  We dropped our suitcase in our room and consulted the concierge for walking directions to the SAM.  I'm so glad we asked, not because we couldn't have figured it out, but because our concierge offered us a pass we could use to get into the SAM for free!  On our way to the SAM we browsed a cute and well-curated shop where I picked up these gourmet lollipops (watermelon basil--yum!), and stopped for lunch at a café where I had a delicious feta and basil sandwich.  Gauguin at the SAM was amazing (but that's another post that's coming up).  

After visiting the SAM we wandered over to Pike Place Market and did a wine tasting at the Tasting Room, where the lovely ladies there introduced me to a delicious Washington Riesling.  On our way out of the Tasting Room and back to our hotel, we passed Beecher's and I promptly bought a cheddar and a lavender-anise cheese.  

For our anniversary dinner we went to Ray's Boathouse in Ballard, a recommendation tweeted to me by Seattle Maven.  I could probably write a blog post dedicated solely to this restaurant; it was simply fabulous.  Our waitress and sommelier (a delicious Austrian Riesling!) were friendly and knowledgeable, my cocktail--a rosemary grapefruit drop--was different and delicious, and the food was delicious.  The service was impeccable and even above and beyond our expectations (they even had us meet one of the chefs!).  I even joked that maybe they thought Peter was going to propose so he better get down on one knee and pop the question.  

Before turning in for the night, we had a final drink that night at Quinn's Pub, which upon entering Peter thanked the friend who recommended it to us out loud (not sure if you heard, Josh:)).  

After a comfortable night's sleep, we woke up well-rested but confused about what time it was because of the time change (daylight savings).  (Side note: our hotel had a king-size bed; any other short people love king sizes because you can sleep length and width-wise?)  We leisurely got ready and packed and headed out for brunch at Oddfellows in Capitol Hill.  We walked around the neighbourhood (Seattle is so much hillier than I would have thought--it rivals San Francisco!), and had a fourth and final coffee at Victrola on 15th.

I could certainly say more but I don't want to belabour the point: I had a wonderful weekend in Seattle; it was the perfect mid-winter pick-me-up.  Vancouverites should not overlook the Emerald City when taking a road trip down the I-5.

 * My suggestions for the 2 Days in Seattle site (if anyone cares), would be to increase the functionality of the Twitter map.  Maybe it goes against the original intent of the campaign, but I would have loved to be able to look up specific restaurants, etc., to see what, if anything was tweeted about them; a twitter/2 Days in Seattle-sanctioned directory of sorts.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

An addendum to my * above, I want to add that I didn't do a whole lot of planning and relied a lot on recommendations and we feel that is what made our trip. E.g. I'm sure we would have found a restaurant for dinner Saturday night, but I'm not sure we would have ventured out of downtown. (I will be telling everyone about how awesome Ray's is.)