As cabin crew, one of the first questions people ask you is “So where is your favourite place so far?” and I usually just respond with “anywhere with a beach”. However, over time, one city in particular has been creeping its way closer to the top of my list of cities I could easily live in; Seattle.
This place has such a cool, vibrant energy about it and all the things I could ever need in my life; quirky underground bars down every alleyway, delicious fresh-caught seafood, bustling markets, more coffee than any hipster could drink their way through in 40 lifetimes, so much nature, and the biggest pull for me – a thriving live music scene (Seattle produced rock legends Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Jimi Hendrix). All things considered, to say I was pretty pumped to be rostered a 2 night layover is a bit of an understatement.
The flight from London to Seattle was pretty manic, we were completely full in business class and it was a day flight so people tend to take advantage of the open bar and keep us on our feet. It was only 6pm local time when we arrived at the hotel however it was 2am for us so everyone decided to get a decent sleep and wake up early for a day of adventuring. As is standard on any USA trip I was wide awake at 4:30am so decided to go to the gym for a few hours before meeting the others for breakfast.
This is a rare occurrence considering my main form of exercise is sprinting to get on the tube and then using every muscle in my body to free myself after getting stuck in the door, so I was pretty impressed with myself.
At 8:30 I met up with some of the others and we took a wander around Pike Place Market, which at this time of the morning is still free from hoards of tourists that descend upon it. The market is famous for its stunning fresh flower displays and locally caught seafood and if you're lucky you'll see the boys throwing a huge fish back and forth, which is quite a sight to behold.
We headed to Lowell’s for breakfast, it's pretty popular with crew as portions are huge and it's reasonably priced, not to mention it has the most amazing views over the Olympic Mountains and the Port of Seattle. I highly recommend taking advantage of their killer happy hour whilst watching the sunset over the ocean.
After breakfast we hired a car and decided to head to Snoqualmie Falls to go exploring, if you've seen the show Twin Peaks you will recognise the falls and the lodge at the top as they make numerous appearances throughout. It's a pretty easy hike and only a couple of miles but we managed to take about 3 hours because we were climbing trees and making people take “awkward family photos” of us.
We then drove to Mount Si which is in a little town called North Bend, we probably should have gone here first thing as it's about a 4 hour hike to the top and supposedly pretty intense. We climbed for about an hour before it started to rain so we decided to head back. The walk is absolutely gorgeous, trekking through the thick rainforest you get some amazing views over the valley below and of the snow capped mountains in the distance. We even drank from one of the fresh water streams we came across and it was probably the most delicious water I have ever tasted.
After our ‘attempted hike’ we were thirsty for something other than mountain river water, we decided to stop at a tiny Mexican restaurant at the bottom of the mountain for a well deserved beer before heading back to the hotel for a good nights sleep.
After lazing in bed all morning, we decided to go and have a big lunch before our flight home in the afternoon. We headed to Matt’s in the Market which had rave reviews and certainly didn't disappoint. The restaurant is beautiful, airy and open with views over the famous market sign and glimpses of the ocean. It has a buzzing atmosphere and the menu is simple with lots of fresh seafood. We both went for the famous “Fishwich” and oh.. my.. gosh.. It was insanely good and would go very well with a bottle of rosé in the sunshine.
We then had a final wander through the markets and got a coffee at the first ever Starbucks before heading down to make our contribution to the weird and pretty gross ‘Great Gum Wall of Seattle’. I don't recommend going here on a hot day, for obvious reasons.
I managed to squeeze in a quick nap at the hotel before the long night flight home and boy, am I glad I did. It was just as busy as the outbound flight however this time we had the added stress of a medical incident; a man collapsed and hit his head and became unconscious. The crew that were dealing with the incident did a fantastic job and thanks to their quick response the customer was fine by the time we landed.
Now it's time for this girl to go and make the most of that London heatwave! Next stop… Vegas, baby!
See you OnBoard