There’s nothing better than a trip on a whim. Grabbing spontaneity by the horns and saying, “look out American Airlines, Ann Ueno is going to be depleting her mileage bank for a last-minute Pacific Northwest getaway” is just so incredibly riveting. Okay, not THAT riveting but pretty fun. As most of you know by now, I love to travel. So when my husband says “just do it…you only live once” that equals a ticket to travel and guaranteed platform for adventure. And this time I packed my giant suitcase very inefficiently to head out to one of the greatest city America has to offer, Seattle, Washington. Highlights of the trip below!
I first have to give a shout out to the Sheraton Seattle Hotel. Rick and I often stay here because yes, we work for the company, but in all seriousness, we love this hotel and for one main reason: location, location, location! Yes, the staff is great, the hotel has an awesome two-level fitness center, the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper bed, delicious restaurants, a great coffee shop and much more. But truly, the location is key. It is literally walkable to all the shopping (ahem, Anthropologie is less than two blocks away, as is J. Crew), walkable to the market and walkable to tons of great restaurants. Five stars from The Ueno’s.
Spending time with friends and family over food and wine (um, okay, twist my arm) was (and usually is) the pinnacle of our trips out West. You see, going to Seattle is special as the majority of Rick’s family lives there and I also have some close friends there as well. And with that…
Thanks to Amy Simon and the illustrious Dombrowski family for awesome Italian food (and for giving up your Friday night for me). Betty (aka cute dog below), thanks for being nice to me for once. Linda and Jim, we are blessed to know you and yes, Milwaukee is in our future summer travel plans. Phil Chang…was that you in the Sheraton lobby? OH yes, it was! You are so awesome to drive from Vancouver to see us and your real estate presentations were professional and convincing. We are considering investing in Olympic Village. Auntie Yum and Uncle Roy, we are so blessed to call you family. The whole Sakai family rocks for their amazing hospitality (food, golf, car…wow and WOW, you guys are so kind!) and incredibly gracious hearts. Ray Ueno gets a high-five for suggesting oysters in Bellevue and providing some great laughs. BTW, if you travel to Seattle and have time, Bellevue is a cute little area to explore. And Jean and Jim, while our time together was short, it was nice to see you and thanks for the lift to the airport!
Pappardelle con Salsiccia from Osteria da Primo in Burien, Seattle. Perfecto!
When going to Seattle, it’ imperative to check out their Chinatown. Yes, San Francisco takes the award for best Chinatown in the U.S., but Seattle is not too far behind. We enjoyed dim sum at House of Hong but of course, more so enjoyed time with family and friends 🙂 BTW, for all my white American friends who don’t know what dim sum is, here’s what Wiki says: Dim Sum Read the history, it’s actually pretty interesting! My explanation: Chinese tapas.
I love this trio series here. Ray (my awesome bro-in-law), me, Rick. I believe Ray had our entire being captured with his intriguing explanation of working for a gaming company that has no hierarchy (in other words, there are no titles, no bosses, etc.). That or Ray is just a really good story-teller.
Market madness. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be given the gift of not one, but TWO amazing markets in the span of 6 hours. First, Pike Place Market is the obvious and I have been there at least 6-7 times but it never gets old. The flowers give me a bit of a visual high and arouses my right brain like no other. The fish…well, it’s smelly but man oh man does it taste good! And the atmosphere overall. Albeit touristy, it boasts great restaurants, nifty gifts and breathtaking views of the Puget Sound.
And then, thanks to a recommendation from a friendly J. Crew worker named Noah, I headed to Melrose Market for lunch. Little did I know I was getting myself into a mini market heaven which proceeded to be a solo food and wine crawl. Melrose market is truly a hidden gem in Seattle and is deemed Seattle’s new 21,000-square-foot gastronomy and retail mecca. Tapas, vino galore, flowers, a meat market, home to Sitka and Spruce, Taylor Shellfish and more. My favorite moment was meeting David Leck the award-winning oyster shucker who took first place in the North American oyster shucking competition this year. Ahhhh…heaven!
While I am still in slight disbelief about this statement, I am going to say it. Golfing 18 holes at Washington National Golf Club with Uncle Warren, Chris and Rick was the second favorite part of my weekend in Seattle (oysters at Melrose Market came in first). For the first time ever, I actually played decently, thanks to Christopher Sakai, my personal golf pro for the day (and cousin). I hit the ball (only whiffed three times and lost four balls total), shot a few bogies and the rest, well, let’s just say I managed to drive the ball like the women in the LPGA (sort of) and would scream and jump up and down with excitement every so often. Chipping, putting, sand wedge, 5 hybrid, 7 iron, divots, fairways. Yep, I got the lingo.
If you have never been to Seattle, I highly recommend putting this on your travel list ASAP. This charming city has so much to offer for all types of travelers. If you have been, I’d love to hear some of your favorite things you did while you were there!