The Heart of Seattle

Seattle in the spring… can be cold and rainy or it can be flat-out the perfect weather all year-long.  In my case spring ended up being the most heavenly time to visit.  In spite of me being there during spring break, I felt like I had Seattle all to myself, beside what spring breakers wanted to visit the places I had on my list this trip?   Usually it is quite difficult to grab a picture here without a swarm of people walking by, this week it was easy!



We have stayed many places in the Seattle area, we find ourselves returning to the Hotel Monaco each time for its luxuries and it’s proximity to everything for us.  The Hotel Monaco is a Kimpton  property and part of the IHG rewards program.


The rooms are bright, and very comfortable.  The come equipped with snacks, and a mini bar (prices are listed on items).  Each room has a refrigerator.. which is good for restaurant leftovers!


If you are like me I secretly rate hotels based on their toiletries!  Now, the Hotel Monaco offers you full-sized lotion, bodywash, shampoo, and conditioner for your use.  No more trying to make the little amount they give you in the tiny bottles work!  The lotion they have here is one of my personal favorites! It makes a perfect start to my day, and I love falling asleep with the scent as well.


Now the rest of the amenities are just an added bonus… but wine hour and hula- hoops?  Now we are talking!



As I spoke of before I tend to look at hotels for their location, is it in a walkable distance to where I want to go?  Seattle is a close enough flight that if I fly out early enough I will have that whole day to explore.  I do not have to rule out a day of traveling as a bust.


First on my list the Volunteer Park Conservatory.  It had been on my list for a while.  While it not being very big in sight, it is very mighty. Baseball fields and conservatories are kinda of my thing I literally seek them out where ever I travel, and they could not be any more of the opposite from each other.




Perfect light, very little people visiting, and it was so nice and calming.  Just what I needed after an early morning flight. Take my $4 entry fee! Bonus, it had a gift store!


The conservatory is nestled in the center of Volunteer Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. You can spend a good amount of time exploring the whole park, but I was hungry and I knew the exact place I wanted to lunch at.


Capitol Hill is such a vibrant part of the city!  Always something new to explore there.  I went to a place called The Wandering Goose.  I had been dreaming about this lunch all morning.   To my dismay they were not serving  anything from the kitchen on that day and  only had their baked goods to offer.  I cannot be completely mad about it… but I was craving something savory that day.


I continued walking through the Capitol Hill neighborhood, as I find something new each time I visit there.


Elliott Bay Book Company  is always a must in Seattle. Not a book junkie?  Why not?  Just kidding, you don’t have to be.. but I guarantee you will after visiting this place.


You can even grab a cup of coffee or a light lunch in there from  Little Oddfellows, the big Oddfellows is right next door and belive me they are delicious!



Butter Home  is a must for me because I like to think of myself as a bag lady.. I LOVE bags!  They always have great ones along with a ton of other stuff I always manage to find the need for.


I love places that allow you to sit and work a while.  Ada’s Techinical Books and Cafe and the perfect back room with a large table as well a tables by the coffee bar and even a place to sit outside if you wanted to.



That night for dinner it was suggested by my aunt that we eat at the The Pink Door.  Travel runs through my family’s blood and when one of them suggests something, it is usually a must do.  I looked it up it was right by the hotel in the Post Alley.  Perfect!  We walked to it from our hotel.  Well, apparently we kept walking right pass it like 4 times.  We are really good with directions so we were a bit puzzled why we could not find this place.


Well, in our defense we were looking for a sign.  The giant pink door apparently did not give it away!  Don’t blink when you walk by it.


Cliff ordered one of their better known dishes, the Lasagna Pink Door.  He said it lived up to everything he read about it.  I on the other hand ordered something they are a little less known for.. Penn Cove Mussles and Clams.  It was absolutely mouth-watering. The rich buttery sauce was so creamy.  I could have eaten there everyday.  We did also share a dessert, maple bread pudding, it was equally as scrumptous.  The decor was fantastic, and they have live entertainment on select days and times.


The perks of being in walking distance of everything.. the VIEWS!



Day 2:

I was able to walk to these glorious Amazon Spheres. They are only open to the public on select weekends. They do however have exhibit called the Understory explaining how the area was constructed that you can tour.



Not going to visit on a day that you can go in?  No problem!  You can have lunch in the restaurant  Willmott’s Ghost.  It is filled with light, coordinating colors and a great menu.


I picked a slice of potato pizza with olive oil, mozzarella, and ricotta.  I topped it off with some olive tapenade.  It was worth visiting again and exploring the rest of the menu.


Nothing better than a coke with real sugar!  What a treat.


After a filling lunch I am off to explore.   I walked to Pioneer Square ,  it was a gorgeous walk.  Slightly downhill, thank goodness.


After taking in all of the architecture, I headed to Flora and Henri.  It was filled with all kinds of treasures from babies to adults!


General Porpoise is right next door.  Look at that table in the back with all the light!  I grabbed a glass of milk and a honey pear jam donut, sat down and worked in my Hobonichi for an hour.




Walked back through Occidental Square Park on the way back to the hotel… uphill… the whole way.  I was glad to break up the hills by popping in stores like Paper Hammer.  If you are a stationery  junkie put this store on your list!


Watson Kennedy is a one stop shop.  Do you need a house-warming gift?  Do you need a gift for new parents?  Want to buy some new pj’s?  This is your store!   I get lost in here every time… and bonus their playlist is always spot on.



It was time to get ready for dinner.  Cliff has been eyeing this place for a while, researching the menu and all. Tonight we were finally going to try out Junebaby.   It is a Southern cuisine restaurant and quoting the website it is a “cuisine to be respected and celebrated” .  I could not agree more with them.  Did I mention the chef is an award wining chef?  Yeah, he is.

They have things on their menu that is set, and things that change out daily.


We started out with cast iron flint cornbread and sorghum molasses along with fried mushrooms.  I literally could have lived off the mushrooms alone.


I ordered the Wednesday special which was a fried turkey leg served on top of barley and okra.   They had me at turkey leg.


Cliff ordered the catfish with Geechie Boy grits, egg drop broth and lacinato kale and let’s just say I made him switch with me after I tasted it!  It was so rich and flavorful.   Mind you I liked mine so much I did not taste his until the last few bites he had left.


You think we would be done and full, but we had to try dessert.  I ordered chocolate cherry bread pudding with bourbon anglaise and we will just say I finished it all.


Cliff on the other hand ordered a Flip.  It was a pomegranate ginger flavored popsicle for lack of a better word.  He loved it and called it refreshing.


Travel tip:  Seattle’s Public Market is basically empty at night because everything closes down… it is a great opportunity to take some pictures without the large crowds.



Day 3:

I walked from the hotel to Chinatown… I should have thought twice about that.  Every street I picked was uphill… steep uphill, pretty mind you, but steep.  I forgot my notes at the hotel of the places I wanted to eat at in Chinatown and didn’t want to just randomly pick one and be disappointed.  When I  come back next time I will be fully prepared to eat in Chinatown.  Today I just explored the shops and took in all the sights and smells.


After exploring I ended up in a familiar place Pioneer Square!  I had not realized how close they really were. One of the stores we were excited to finally visit was Ebbets Field .  The store goes hand in hand with my slight obsession with baseball fields.  I am not going to ruin it for you but you need to put it on your list.  Need a gift for a baseball fan?  This is your place.



We worked up an appetite by now and picked a little place in Pioneer Square called Copal.  We made a good decision.




It did not take long to figure out we needed an order of guacamole for starters.  When they brought out this beautiful plated bowl of colorful goodness I knew we picked the best spot!  Now every other restaurant would serve it with tortilla chips, but not Copal they served it with fresh tortillas.  Once again I found myself thinking.. I could just get two bowls of this and I would be set.  It was so flavorful.  They served the guacamole with queso fresca, radishes, and lime.  I have already mimicked the whole dish at home for bunch for the family since my visit.


Cliff ordered the tacos and devoured them.  He said they were tasty and he would most definitely order them again.

I ordered the pozole.  It was perfect,  the cabbage, cilantro, the spice just a perfect blend of ingredients.


If I was not getting on a plane in a few hours I would have indulged in one of the many frozen alcoholic beverages they offered.  But I will wait until next time.  A Mexican Coca Cola will have to suffice yet once again.


On my next visit to Seattle I will put this on my happy hour list for sure.  I cannot wait to start checking things off my list from their menu.


Travel hint: Look up where the murals are, it’s always fun to take pictures by them!  We found this one in the Pike Place Market.



This was springtime in Seattle for us.  If you want to see video from the trip you can visit my instagram Social Paper Plan and look under the Seattle highlight.   Keep an eye for more adventures of Seattle and other places all around the US.



4 thoughts on “The Heart of Seattle

  1. This post is awesome, Tina! I will definitely come back to it when ever my dream of visiting Seattle becomes a reality. In the meantime I’ll just swoon over your beautiful pics!
    Happy travels! xx

  2. Thanks for making my city look so beautiful! 😍 I’ve been meaning to go to the conservatory for a while and now you’ve made it a priority when I get back from my next trip!

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