We tried to make a fairly quick trek across Washington because, again, we had a plan to get to Seattle as early as possible. Before I left on my trip, my boss had been telling me about a continuing education conference he had just gone to where one of the speakers was from Washington state. And he said that their primary crop was apples. Which, shouldn’t be surprising. I mean, we have ALL heard of Washington apples, right?! This speaker also informed my boss that in Washington, they can make minimum $25,000 income from one acre of apples. That’s net income. After expenses. So, naturally, I expected to see miles up on miles of rows of apple trees. What we actually saw? Giant hills of dirt. That’s it. I can tell you, with confidence, that we drove all the way from the east side of the state, to the west side, then back to the middle again on a different road and I didn’t see one apple farm. Not. One. I’m not sure where they all are. Maybe closer to the coast? Or further north? But they were not where we were.
We made it to Seattle, mostly without incident. My husband, who had been dreading it because of the traffic was surprised at how little traffic there was, but we arrived in the afternoon on a Sunday, so I’m sure that helped.
After multiple trips around the block, we managed to find the La Quinta Inn & Suites whose sign was strategically placed behind a tree so you couldn’t even see it from the road unless you were looking at the hotel straight on. I’m pretty sure we drove past it at least 5 times before we even noticed it was there. BUT, once we finally found it, we didn’t have much problem. Turns out the hotel was in an older building and there were a few parking spaces above ground next to the hotel and the remainder were underneath the hotel – accessible through the alley. When we pulled into the parking garage we found that the spaces were T.I.N.Y. And we weren’t driving that large of a vehicle. We managed to maneuver our way into the parking space and were thankful we were only staying there one night and would only have to get into the parking space once.
Once again, we were surprised by the size of our room. We had a full out living room in this one, with a HUGE window looking out over – construction. The downside to this “dog friendly” hotel is that it was in the ‘concrete jungle’ so there were no patches of grass on the hotel grounds for dogs to do their business. Luckily, there was a park just across the street that had all kinds of grass and a fenced in dog area. It wasn’t really ideal, but for the short amount of time we were there, it worked.
I had heard before we went to Seattle that it was a very dog friendly city, but I was surprised at just how many dogs there were there. There were dogs EVERYWHERE, it seemed. And there were quite a few people who were interested in petting/saying hi to our dog (who LOVES attention from anyone that’s not his owners). Our whole reason for trying to get there early was to try to catch an Ice Cream Social cruise with the Seattle Ferry Service – a pet friendly one! And something that I really wanted to do while I was there.
We walked ourselves (and our dog) quickly down the street to the Lake Union Park where the boat departed from. We made it with about two minutes to spare and purchased our tickets and boarded the boat. There was one other couple, with two dogs, and a mom and her son on the boat. They took us around Lake Union to look at the other ships docked there, and the all of the houseboats. It was at this moment, that I realized that I would also be moving to a houseboat in Seattle.
We boated. We saw. We ate ice cream. I had a root beer float with chocolate ice cream. Who knew that was a thing?! (It was delicious – I may have to recreate it on occasion here). Indy did SO WELL just relaxing on the boat. I had kind of wondered if he would freak out since he’s not a water dog, but I don’t think he even noticed that we weren’t on land anymore.
When we returned to shore, we actually able to take in the surroundings of Lake Union that we kind of blew right past in our rush to get to the boat. And I found it to be a very vibey place. There were people EVERYWHERE just hanging out by the water. There was live music that could be heard from a bar that was right across the street. There were people biking. Walking. Fishing. Everything. I don’t even remember how many people stopped and talked to us and asked us about our dog (he tends to be an attention drawer). We had heard about a restaurant in town that was dog friendly. As in you can bring your dog into the restaurant and he can sit in the booth with you kind of friendly. And apparently a LOT of people go there with their dogs, so it’s not uncommon for there to be 30+ dogs in this restaurant. I wanted so badly to check it out, but it was across town and I knew there was no way I was going to be able to talk my husband into driving across town and attempt to keep our dog from needing to sniff 30+ other dogs while waiting for food. So, we crossed that off the list of dining options.
We tried to find a bar near the park that had a dog friendly patio we could sit on, but were unsuccessful. So, back to the hotel we went. We made stop at Denny Park – the park across the street from our hotel, to explore it a little bit and see what all it had to offer which is when we discovered the fenced in area. We let Indy off the leash inside the area to sniff to his heart’s content and play with another dog that was there. Denny Park is a super cute little park, with some little tables, a playground, and, of course, the fenced in dog area. There were string lights lining the paved walkways that lead to the middle of the park. I had intended to go back there when it was dark outside, but I didn’t make it.
We did manage to find a dog friendly pizzeria – Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria – about a block from our hotel that was dog friendly. They had a patio, and as with most dog friendly places, I assumed that “dog friendly” meant that we could have him on the patio (if we must). I was surprised to find that they said we could sit “anywhere” – inside or out. I was even more surprised because it seemed like a little bit more of an upscale place than just a regular old bar and grill. We opted for the patio anyway, because it was a nice night and had a great view of the Space Needle. And something just felt very wrong about having my dog inside the restaurant. They immediately brought him a bowl of water and later our pizza. The pizza was good – although my husband is kind of a plain Jane when it comes to his pizza and this was probably a little bit fancier than what he was used to and preferred. I had L’Alba mixed drink which was house vodka, solerno blood orange liqueur, unsweetened cranberry juice, and lemon juice. It was smaller than expected, but it still seemed to contain a decent amount of alcohol and it was really good. We managed to capture some night pictures of the Space Needle from our table at the pizzeria before heading back to the hotel.
So, random other observations of Washington, in general?
- Wind farms. Everywhere. On their giant hills of dirt. Except it seemed like half of them weren’t even running. Not sure why not.
- Uffda. So, when trying to find the hotel initially, we ended up on the wrong street. We were supposed to be on like 5th St SE and we ended up on just 5th Street (or something like that) and we ended up in a residential area. Cars were EVERYWHERE. Parked where there was “no parking” and turning two-way streets into barely one-way streets. I imagine it would be a nightmare if there was ever a fire or medical emergency of any kind because there’s no way a firetruck or ambulance would have had room to get down those streets.
- NOT surprisingly, super expensive. But a girl can still dream.
- Adding to bucket list: go to the dog restaurant in Seattle.