West US/Canada Road Trip: Week 5 – Washington & Vancouver
The fun continues as we make our way North and into Canada. We are nearing the end of our trip and cannot believe how quickly it has flown by. Starting in Arizona just six weeks ago, we have made it all the way up into Alberta. This past week, we explored a lot of Seattle, spent a night in Bellingham, and adventured around Vancouver.
We spent a lot of time with family this past week, which means we did a bit less outdoorsy stuff. It was definitely needed though. To get cozy in someone's home and play board games all night is a must needed rest from the chaos of pitching tents in new campsites each day.
If you remember from last week, we had just made it up to my sister and brother-in-law's new home in Seattle after exploring the Olympic peninsula and part of Oregon. Head on back to weeks 3, 2, and 1 for more information on our trip through AZ, UT, NV, and CA.
Check out our past week:
Day 25 – Downtown Seattle
After a couple nights of camping, the fluffy guest bed at my sister’s new home was quite enjoyable. I have dubbed it the “cloud bed” and was grateful for a heavy night’s sleep.
Once we got moving, we met my brother-in-law at Amazon to get a tour of the Spheres. The Seattle Spheres is an amazing greenhouse that was designed for Amazon employees to enjoy different work settings, surrounded by plants from all over the world. We also go to try out the Amazon Go, a grab and go grocery store with no checkouts.
Still a work day, we enjoyed an afternoon of coffee and cute puppies at a coffee shop called Evoke Coffee. The owners had a full grown Saint Bernard and a little puppy that would wander around, receiving and giving love. It was the perfect place to work from.
Finishing work, we met a bunch of Cheyanne and Josh’s friends at a bar for happy hour. We had some yummy beer and toasted to friendship. Onwards to dinner, we made our way to a sushi restaurant that was suggested to us called Umi Sake House. Connor ordered the most expensive thing on the menu… Cheers!
Connor, Sierra, and I said adios to the rest of the family to head to our tour of the Seattle Underground. We chose to do the late night version of the tour, which was designed for adults, and talked about all the prostitution and crime that took place. According to their website, "The Underworld Tour is an adults-only stroll through the old red-light district of the abandoned, underground city that was Seattle’s birthplace." It was super interesting to hear how the women of the underground helped keep the economy afloat and build Seattle.
Day 26 – Ballard
Working from home in the morning, we lazed around a bit, enjoying our coffee on the couch. Connor and I were pumped to head to my sister’s apartment complex in Ballard (she just moved) and make use of their gym equipment.
Ballard is one of my favorite places in Seattle. It is full of amazing shops, restaurants, and things to do, all within easy walking distance. We first made our way over to Ballard Coffee Works for continued work, fancy coffee, and expensive doughnuts (worth it). Ready for a work break, we headed to the gym.
Yay! I think this was the third or fourth exercise we got to enjoy that actually involved weights. We were thrilled to get a little sweaty and pick up some heavy things.
Needing more fuel than the doughnuts, we grabbed some lunch at Poke Square. However, when in Ballard, you have to make room for coffee. Looking for ice cream? Salt & Straw is your jam. Want a cocktail and gourmet pie? Try Pie Bar. Or if you’re into hot, delicious chocolate cake (with vegan options and butterbeer), then head over to Hot Cakes. I had to drag Connor there for a treat.
We spent the evening in with family, playing board games and enjoying local beer. Competition is a fun way to get everyone connecting and we are big fans of cards and strategy games.
Day 27 – Puyallup
There is not a lot to share about this simple Friday spent with my family in Puyallup. I have a couple cousins, my aunt, and my grandmother who live in the Puyallup area just outside of Seattle.
My nana just turned 97-years-old and it is becoming more and more important to spend some quality time with her. We made our way through traffic on Friday to visit her and my aunt Nancy.
The afternoon was spent with a bit of working and chatting with my nana while Nancy was still at work. Connor helped me create dinner for the family (taco salad) and we spent a couple hours playing cards afterwards. My nana is a pretty fierce lady when it comes to cards. She kicked our butts.
Day 28 – Rattlesnake Ridge and Seattle Brews
Rolling out of bed at 6:30 am is much more challenging when the bed is so damn comfy. But, we do and throw on some gear for a morning of hiking. Josh is a saint and left early to grab us all coffee and doughnuts. Bless.
Rattlesnake Ridge is about a 45-minute drive outside Seattle and offers gorgeous lake and mountain views. The trek up the mountain was about an hour and a half to the viewpoint. There were tons of hikers and puppers along the trail, which I enjoyed. At the top, we chilled on the edge of the rocks and enjoyed the setting (and a quick meditation).
Heading back to the house, we enjoyed an easy sandwich lunch. Josh makes a delicious chicken salad sandwich and I used his recipe to do a vegetarian style option with chickpeas instead. It was really good (and I am planning on sharing the recipe on here soon)!
Full of bread and ready for an afternoon of breweries, we made our way back over to the Ballard neighborhood to get Connor filled up on IPAs. We started at Reuben's Brews, where we enjoyed some flights of wonderful brews and a couple rounds of competition with the game Tichu. Ready for more movement, the next brewery, Lagunitas, offered some bar games, including cornhole, giant jenga, connect four, etc. I got to kick Connor’s butt…
We finished the evening at a burger place called 8 oz. The vegan burger was bomb, but the peppers and truffle fries were even better. What is it with me an truffle fries? #obsessed
Day 29 – Pikes Market and Bellingham
Last morning in Seattle and we still hadn’t gotten over to one of the top destinations in Seattle – Pikes Place Market.
We stopped at the Starbucks roastery on the way to the pier, needing to show Connor the exciting Willy Wonka-type coffee setting that I have grown to love. The setting, the copper, the environment – amazing. The coffee? Meh.
For whatever reason, Connor seemed to be underwhelmed by the excitement of the gum wall at Pikes. It’s a weird thing and I don’t really understand the fascination either. However, it is humorous and famous, so we had to stop by.
It was a Sunday morning during cruise season. Needless to say, the market was packed! We shuffled our way through the crowds, sampling treats along the way and pointing out the beautiful flowers that fill the marketplace. It was a bit crazy, but we found a quiet place to eat at Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar.
Back home, we repacked the car, kissed family goodbye, and made our way towards Bellingham.
In Bellingham, we booked the cutest bedroom in a gorgeous house that was built in the early 20th century. It was such a unique Airbnb, with dark wood throughout the home and a large room for us to cozy up in. We had a private bath with a giant bathtub, a balcony with views of the park, and a loft above our bedroom. I loved it.
We walked through some of the local parks and into the downtown area for dinner. Several friends told us Aslan brewing not only had good brews, but they had good veg-friendly food too. We were not disappointed! It was a nice evening of enjoying dinner on the patio and walking through a quiet town.
Day 27 – Bellingham and Vancouver
I had such a wonderful Monday morning. Sliding out of bed before Connor, I enjoyed my quiet morning routines in the loft – coffee, journaling, meditation, and reading. Then, had a quick vinyasa flow practice on the balcony before starting work. Way to kick ass!
We enjoyed lunch at a local café with fabulous reviews called Old Town Café. I chose it for the great reviews and the vegan, local options. It was pretty good food, but the service was a bit slow and it was a really busy place to be.
Attempting to beat traffic, we made our way to the US/Canadian border and onwards to Vancouver. We headed straight for our Airbnb in North Vancouver, which was a bit sad in comparison to our past rooms on this trip. Keep in mind, we did grab it for the good price, so it's fine that I was feeling a bit “meh” about the home.
We grabbed wine and food to eat back in our room and worked until bedtime. Sometimes, we get to play and explore. Other times, we have to spend a Monday night in to grind.
Day 28 – Grouse and Gastown
This was another morning when Connor got to enjoy some fun adventuring while I got to work from a coffee shop for a bit. Not that I am complaining! It is a great celebration for him that he sold his business and can enjoy some solid vacation time. Plus, I’m really lucky to have a flexible job that allows me to live this incredible lifestyle.
Connor spend the first half of the day on a challenging hike to the top of Grouse Mountain. He loved the views, the lumberjack competition he watched, and made his way over to the top of a windmill. I would share some incredible photos with you… but he failed to take any.
Ready for more coffee, our next stop was a café located in China Town called Propaganda Coffee. It was a really good spot, with a variety of blend options for pour over. We are big fans of coffee shops that allow us to choose from different coffee blends. Spoiled and bratty, we know.
Knowing our time together is getting shorter and shorter, we decide on another date night out. Plus, I have been carrying these heels around for over a month and only wore them once. We got dolled up and headed for Gastown. First stop – dinner and drinks at Pourhouse. I had the cauliflower steak, which was expensive but worth it. Second stop – live music and amazing cocktails at Guilt & Co. We both have a fondness for watching people do things they love and the local musicians were killin’ it.
Stay tuned for the last bit of our trip next week, as we complete our six weeks in Banff, Canada with some of our other Remote Year friends. It has already been quite the journey! We are both ready for some serious R&R soon.
Questions about the trip? How are we making time for work? What are our travel must-haves? Comment below!