After a layover in Chicago and two uneventful flights, I made it to my downtown hostel by three in the afternoon. My hostel, The Green Tortoise, is located right by Pike's Place Market! The staff were really nice, and I loved that they had green beds and bed curtains. After checking in I couldn't decide if I was more exhausted (I only slept two hours the night before) or more hungry (I hadn't eaten since three thirty in the morning). My hunger finally got the best of me and I headed out to find sustenance.
My humble abode
I tried to go to an Italian place that the girl at the hostel recommended, but I had a hard time finding it so I finally stumbled into a Thai place, ravenous. I consumed one of my Thai favorites, Pad See Ew, and went out to explore. I wandered through the rain, looking at different shops. There was an extremely kitchen store that had cute gadgets, specialty food items, and a million different kinds of whisks! If I had my own home and money, I would have been tempted to walk away with lots of things. I explored for awhile, but I got too tired so I went back for a nap. When I woke up. all I had time for was dinner and interesting conversations with other people at the hostel.
The next day I spent most of my time in the International District. I mostly spent time eating and drinking, but I also had fun wandering around. I spent a lot of time at Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore. From the bookstore you can walk right into an enormous Japanese/international grocery store. Man, I wish I had a store like that near me!
I had SO many things to eat! I had almost all of my Hong Kong favorites. I started out by getting egg tarts at a Chinese bakery. There were a bunch of older Chinese people at the back tables, hanging out, reading papers, shooting the breeze. I sat while I ate my egg tart, and was so happy to hear Cantonese again! I asked the girl at the front if she knew where I could get Hong Kong style milk tea. She directed me to a little shop around the block. There's no way I could have found it on my own, since there was no English sign or visible English menu. I think the people were a little confused that I only wanted milk tea, but I was in heaven. I hadn't had HK style milk tea in so long, and I was pleased to see that their size was larger than in Hong Kong. Later for lunch I had shrimp in egg sauce and was able to practice (albeit very badly) my quickly vanishing Canto with the ladies at that shop. And then in the early evening, before heading back, I went to a bubble tea shop. I was so happy that they had my favorite flavor, chocolate milk tea! I've never seen that in the States before. If only there were some in Anchorage...
The next day I went to church and then walked over to Olympian Park. It was a nice walk, but I think maybe the park is a little overrated. Or maybe my expectations of the park's artwork were overblown. I walked down the harbor and around the city. I did a lot of walking! I went up (literally, up a very tall hill) to a free museum. Nearby there was a beautiful cathedral that had started exploring when the bells rang. I looked at the schedule and saw that afternoon prayers were beginning, so I snuck in. It's been awhile since I've been in a traditional service like that, and it was very refreshing.
The next morning I had to check out at eleven in the morning, and my brother was going to pick me up later. I went with my bags to a cafe next door. I was joined by some lovely people I met at the hostel, and we spent a nice couple of hours, drinking coffee and chatting. It's always nice to meet new people!
I've always loved Seattle, and I'm so glad I could spend a couple days there relaxing and exploring. I'd totally move there if it rained less. I guess I'll just have to get someone else to move there so I can visit during the good weather. Hm...sister?