Funny how life works out.
When I knew my sister would be in Maui in November, I attempted to join her part of the time. I already knew it wasn’t the right time of year for me to go, but you say the word Maui and nothing else exists in my vocabulary!
Turns out, that little trip wasn’t meant to be. It was too costly and you know when something feels off? It felt off.
So as I wondered how on earth I’d get through seeing my sister’s beautiful pictures while I was at home shivering in the cold (SO much drama, yes?!).. a magical happening transpired.
If you follow me on Insta Stories, you’ll already know who Susan is. She’s my life long childhood friend who lives 30 minutes from me. We get together on occasion for shopping. So during our last trip to Hobby Lobby (getting our Christmas trees! Oh goodness… that’s a story in itself!), we chatted on the way home and decided, life was too short to not live it to the fullest… so how about we take off on a train to Seattle?
I couldn’t say YESSIREE COUNT ME IN fast enough!
The train to Seattle
I have never spent time in Seattle other than the airport, nor taken a train ride before so I was totally stoked to try this all out!
Turns out, the Amtrak train from Vancouver to Seattle leaves at 6:30 AM or 6:30 PM.
You catch the train at Vancouver’s Pacific Central Station.
We could get a full day in Seattle if we went early, so early it was! We drove into Vancouver the evening before and stayed in Vancouver so we didn’t have to fight rush hour.
The next AM with a VERY early start, we head to the station with a cab, and once on the train, landed two seats facing a table. How perfect… no squeezing into tight corners for us this round!
While we started off our trip while it was still dark, the magic started to transpire as we caught glimpses of daylight. The coast line was breathtaking!
I already knew to grab a seat on the right side of the train (I did my online sleuthing) so we could enjoy the ocean views nearly all the way to Seattle. And it was spectacular.
Unfortunately, most of the still pictures didn’t turn out but I did capture more on video, located near the bottom of this post.
There were several train station stops as we made our way towards Seattle. It was interesting to see where each stop took place. I snapped this picture at the Seattle train station so now you don’t have to attempt to hear what the speaker says like we tried… this is good to know!
Vancouver, Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Stanwood, Everett, Edmonds.
It really allowed us to dream even bigger. Where else could this train take us if desired?
I could feel my travel world opening just that much wider…
Ride wise, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. The train ride took an hour from Vancouver to Whiterock of all things, (still in Canada!) and was super bumpy. It had me doubting if I liked trains and was wondering if I should have brought something for motion sickness!
Turns out I had nothing to worry about. Once we went through the Sumas, Washington border, we whizzed along as smooth as silk. What a beautiful ride!
We ate, talked, laughed, scrolled our phones and did everything but sleep, which is what we thought we’d be doing. Nope! Two friends teaming up had lots of ground to cover it seems.
Which made the trip SO fast. The 4 hour train ride felt like 1. Ok, maybe 2… felt much faster than a plane, that’s for sure.
King Street Station in Seattle
And then we arrived at King Street Station in Seattle! Whoop! Lookit us go!
What a lovely way to travel! I’d do this again in a heartbeat.
Seattle’s train station took my breath away. The interior had been revamped to its original historic glory.
Wearing white carved interiors, glamorous chandeliers and satin antique wood benches, it was stunning.
… and those tile floors. Incredible. Spotless too.
And those elaborately white carved ceilings! How do they even do that? It sure makes you wonder.
Seattle’s train station reminded me of a mini New York’s Grand Central Station. (see my post on it HERE)
Here’s an outside glimpse of Seattle’s King Street Station. Just as pretty on the outside as it is in.
And with that, it was time to call Uber and locate our hotel which was about 15 minutes away.
The Motif Seattle hotel
We arrived at the Motif Seattle which was absolutely amazing! Ninth floor, spotless, two very comfy beds (great pillows too!) and beautifully decorated. Highly recommend.
We even landed a bit of a water view so that was unexpected!
Being that we got to Seattle at such a decent hour, we couldn’t wait to hit the streets and check out our surroundings. So as soon as our luggage was planted in the room, off we went again!
We really lucked out with our hotel. Susan booked it but had no idea where it really was and what it offered. The price was right so she hit send.
It ended up being a very pretty area, with a tree lined street below, its own restaurant on the 5th floor, and more. And so close to everything major we could walk. We even found the best sandwich, soup and coffee shop right across the road. We would be eating well on this trip!
This glass tower was right beside our hotel.
And honestly, we went at such a good time of year. There were still fall leaves on some trees which made the bustling streets of Seattle feel quaint and even somewhat secluded in some areas.
Gotta love a culvert cover that’s art.
I loved the herringbone brick intersections on the road. Very beautiful and the sound of traffic driving over them sounded pretty cool, as if they rattled abit.
Pike Place Market
Our first stop was Pike Place Market. After hearing SO much about it, I was pretty stoked!
And there it was!
But there was one area I had to see and really take my time first…
The gum wall
Oh hello there famous gum wall…
I know. It’s kinda gross but kinda cool at the same time.
So, the history of the wall is rather interesting.
The Market Theatre Gum Wall is a local landmark in Seattle. Parts of the wall are covered several inches thick. The tradition began in 1993 when theatre patrons stuck gum on the wall and placed coins in the gum. It organically grew into a landmark.
For the first time in 20 years, the wall was scrubbed down in 2015 due to the sugar in the gum eroding the brick walls, but in no time, it was back again.
Movies have been shot here as well.
It’s a popular spot. We were by far not the only ones there.
The goods at Pike Place Market
Then we wandered the rest of the market, which was larger than life with just about everything.
Teaming with fresh produce, flowers, gift shop items, food places, it had it all.
I was tempted to get some flowers for us for in the room. At only $10, they were the prettiest flowers I’ve ever laid eyes on.
I don’t even know what to call them other than spectacular.
But after one quick walk through the market, we were more than done and fully peopled-out.
The first original Starbucks!
Here’s something fun!
This is the first and original Starbucks ever! Very understated from the outside, and the link ups were crazy town. It was a weekend after all. But the only time I will stand in lineups like this is at Disney, so we passed.
After taking in Pike Place Market, we head down towards the waterfront.
Stairs and trees lead us towards the shore where there was even more fun to be had.
Ahh. Wide open spaces. We felt like we could breathe again.
We toured the nearby shops and even took in Wings over Washington flying theatre. Very fun!
We were finally running out of steam. An early AM and getting all this in was pretty big for us gals in our 50s.
On the way back to our hotel, we HAD to stop at the Seattle Antiques Market. It was huge. We didn’t land any must-takes, but it’s always worth a peek just in case you land an authentic antique Seattle souvenir.
Truth be told, by fluke we happened to be in quite the hot shopping district, so we stopped at umpteen clothing and home decor stores on the way back and had a blast!
Once we reached our hotel, we found the lobby serving free wine samples. Turns out that Motif Seattle does that every night from 1pm through 8pm. Say what?!
So what’s a couple of giggly girlfriends to do? We sat in the cozy lobby safe and sound and drank free wine with a big wide open view of the city roaring past us. Oh yes we did. And chatted and laughed until our cheeks hurt.
We ended up meeting a young couple in the lobby over wine and enjoyed swapping stories and ended up spending the evening with them over dinner too! That sure was not planned! But so fun!
With such an epic and full day already, we knew tomorrow would come early. So once our heads hit the pillows, we were out. And slept like babies.
.Click above to watch a few video highlights from our trip not included in the pictures!
Before we left on this trip, I was really feeling the push of Christmas coming on. And when I was packing to leave, I felt guilty that I’d be sprinting off and having fun ‘when I should be working’.
But know what? There’s always work to do. And there’s always someone or something that seems more important than your own needs and desires.
Thing is, I was edging on burn out again. I need a good solid break every 6 months and I was overdue.
Now I’m SO GLAD this was booked and we just went. Because then I couldn’t say no! It was a break we both badly needed. And who better to hang out with than a lifelong friend?
So I ask you… when’s the last time you had a true girl’s getaway? This was my first.. and hopefully not my last!
Stay tuned for the rest of our Seattle Trip Adventures HERE! More to come!
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