May 31st, 2017 – June 7th, 2017
A little over a month ago, Sydney and I decided we were going to go on vacation during out last official summer break. We wanted to go somewhere neither of us had been before, so we picked the west coast. I had been to San Francisco before but never anywhere else on the west coast. We decided on Seattle because it was somewhere we both thought of possibly moving when we got older and wanted to check it out. LA was picked because who doesn’t want to experience LA at least once?
Wednesday, May 31st
We flew out of Rochester airport around 5:30pm, had a layover in Chicago O’Hare for about an hour and a half and then flew into Seattle airport around 11pm. We took an Uber to our hostel (City Hostel Seattle) downtown, got settled in and rested up for the night.
Thursday, June 1st
Sydney and I woke up around 7am (thanks jetlag) and got an early start to our morning. We walked down to the piers in Seattle to pick up our CityPass and went to the Seattle aquarium.
After enjoying the aquarium, we headed out to pier again and decided to go on the Seattle Wheel that they have. We got some amazing photos of the city and of the surrounding mountains.
Walking around the pier we decided to get a caricature and henna done!
After we got those done, we headed over to the Pike Place Market to see it for the first time and grab some delicious fresh lunch.
Sydney and I headed back to the hostel to get changed since it got so much nicer out as the day went on. We then took an Uber out to West Seattle to check out the views from Alki State Park (which weren’t as amazing as we thought they would be). We then found a park in West Seattle that had some hiking trail and did some exploring through there.
Once it started getting later, we headed back to our hostel in time to see the comedy show that they were putting on for free. They had 5 different stand up comedians come up and for a free stand up comedy show in a basement of a hostel, they were hilarious! (If you ever stay in a hostel make sure to take advantage of these free activities that they have for their guests!). The comedy show got done a little after 9pm. We still hadn’t eaten dinner so we took an Uber to Etta’s down on the waterfront for some Dungeness crab, which was incredible.
Once we got done dissecting our crab, we headed over to the Space Needle to see its views at night, which were unforgettable. They even had a part where you could add yourself to their guest list. They had an interactive map where you could see where all the guests had traveled from around the world to see the Space Needle. It told us we had traveled 2,175 miles to come to the Space Needle which was a cool feature to see how far everyone had ventured to end up at the same spot.
Friday, June 2nd
Our second morning in Seattle, we woke up early again and got our breakfast at the hostel. We then got ready for the day to explore more around the gorgeous city of Seattle. Our first stop was to Top Pot Doughnuts, not only because the city is known for these amazing doughnuts but also because it was national doughnut day!
Sydney and I then made our way to visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum which was spectacular. The glass work done by the various artists on display were so unique and intricate. It was like the ”Willy Wonka” of glasswork since it was all so abstract.
Once we got done at the glass museum, we attempted to go on the Space Needle during the day but the line was incredibly long. With that, we decided to just wander around Seattle to see what we would stumble upon. We found the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was free admission so we decided to go in and see what it was all about. The foundation was wonderful, there was multiple exhibits about change and impact that has been or needs to be made in the world. At the end of the exhibits there was a portion where you could fill out a card about what drives you in life or who/what you support. Then you would hang it up on the wall and then take one someone else had written that inspired you. I have photos below of the one I wrote and the one I took. If you ever find yourself in Seattle and looking for something to do, visit the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – it will inspire you so much!
We then headed back to the Pike Place Market to get a late lunch which was butterfly shrimp. We found this water outlook seating area where we got to sit out looking the bay and all the piers. It was one of the most scenic lunches I’ve ever had.
Once we got done with our shrimp lunch, we headed down the pier yet again to get ready to go on our ferry ride around the bay. Before we had to board our ferry, we stumbled upon an oddity shop, which was very interesting. There was numerous different taxidermied animals that had 2-3 heads or extra legs. Then we had to board our ferry to tour the bay and see some marine wildlife. The ferry ride was about an hour long which included a lot of facts regarding Seattle, the bay and the industries that are in Seattle.
Lastly for the day, we had to get dinner. We decided on Kushi Bar that was just a few doors down from our hostel. They served Japanese ramen noodle dishes.
Saturday, June 3rd
Our last full day in Seattle we decided to get up early (even though we already had been – still jetlagged), and head to the Space Needle shortly after they opened to beat the long line. It was amazing to get the opportunity to see the Space Needle during the day and during the night.
After we hit the Space Needle for the second time, we took an Uber up to Fremont. We went up to the Fremont Troll which is located at a freeway underpass. It was enormous and very practical, with the whole “troll under a bridge” stereotype. The troll even had a car under his left hand which was an awesome detail of the sculpture.
After seeing the troll under the bridge, we walked to the Seattle Zoo. Enjoyed seeing all the animals (and babies) all around the Zoo.
After the zoo, we went to Kerry Park which gives an amazing view of the skyline of the city of Seattle. It was a spectacular view and we got some great photos!
Sydney and I are both huge Grey’s Anatomy fans. Right near Kerry Park is the real-life house that the house that all the interns live on Grey’s Anatomy in is based on. So of course, Sydney and I wanted to go see it in real life.
After seeing the great house of Meredith Grey, we got a quick lunch at Toulouse Petit Kitchen & Lounge.
We then went back to our hostel, and got ready for our last night in Seattle. Around 5pm we left the hostel and headed to the Pike Place Market one last time. Our goal was to find Post Alley which has the famous gum wall. Let me tell you, we did find it!
After adding our own gum to the wall, we met up with a friend of mine from high school and his two marine friends. We all got dinner at Anthony’s Pier 66 where we got some delicious seafood. All 5 of us then ventured out to have fun and enjoy the nightlife in Seattle.
Sunday, June 4th
Today Sydney and I had to wake up around 6am to get all packed up and head to Seattle Tacoma Airport to get our direct flight to LAX. We arrived in LAX around 12:30pm, got our luggage and got an Uber to go grab some lunch before checking into our hostel. We decided on The Sidewalk Café right on the Venice Beach boardwalk. I got the nachos and Sydney got a sandwich.
We had some interesting piano entertainment that was on the boardwalk during our lunch followed by the piano player calling people rude names for not tipping him. Once we got done with lunch, we headed to Samesun Venice Beach hostel to check in. Once we got settled we walked down the Venice Beach boardwalk all the way down to the Santa Monica Pier. We got to see the original muscle beach along the way which was very interesting to watch all the stunts people could do there. That night for dinner we ordered pizza from a local pizzeria to enjoy in our room since we were both exhausted from flying.
Monday, June 5th
Sydney and I woke up to get ready for something we had been very excited to see in LA, which was the Body World PULSE exhibit at the California Science Center. We took an Uber ride there – actually a very unsettling Uber ride with a very creepy driver that seemed to last an eternity. However, once we were finally there it was completely worth it! (WARNING: The image I attached probably aren’t the best to see if you don’t like dissections or human bodies exposed to different anatomical depths)
Body World is an exhibit that travels around the world for different periods of time to display human bodies at different levels of dissection to show the different functions of the human body. There was a section for each body system. With Sydney and I being nursing majors, this was an incredible exhibit to see the anatomy of the human body on a human body that was donated for science. The bodies are preserved by being “plastified” in a year long process per body. If anyone is interested in seeing these in real life I highly recommend it! They have 3 different types of body world exhibits about the human body and one on animal anatomy.
After seeing the Body World exhibit we then headed back to our hostel to get ready to spend the rest of the afternoon at Venice Beach. We spent about four hours at the beach and got a little too much sun (paired with no sunscreen).
After we got freshened up from the beach, we got ready to head back into the city of LA to see a Dodgers game. The traffic in LA is as crazy as they make it out to be. A ride that should have taken us 30 minutes took us over an hour and a half! We really went to the baseball game more for the food (nachos and hot dogs) and the atmosphere than to watch the actual game. We wanted to beat the traffic after the game so we left at the top of the 8th to grab an Uber to get back to the hostel. The Washington Nationals ended up winning the game!
Tuesday, June 6th
Today was our last day in LA so we decided to go do the things that Los Angeles is known for. First, we got dropped off at the trailhead for the Hollywood Sign. We saw a promising sign about rattlesnakes being in the area which put us on edge for the hike. We took about a two hour hike up to the base of the hill that leads right up to the Hollywood sign. We saw a sign that there was no trespassing on the hill and no access to the Hollywood sign or else you could get arrested and fined. So what did we do? We quickly with another family went to the bottom of the hill with the best view of the sign and snapped some photos quick. We then left before we could get arrested because I don’t think we know anyone who would bail us out in California.
After seeing the famous Hollywood Sign, Sydney and I got an Uber over to the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard. We saw hundreds and hundreds of stars on the Walk of Fame. A lot we didn’t know who they were, but some worth noting are: Tom Cruise, Amy Poehler, and Chris Pratt. Hollywood Boulevard had a lot of very mouthy rude homeless people which was interesting.
After the Walk of Fame, we headed to the Museum of Death. One of our Uber drivers recommended it to us as one of the highlights of LA. The museum displayed a lot of different items from serial killer cases, mass suicides and cannibalism case. There was artwork by famous serial killers, an execution room where they explained how executions have occurred throughout history, an autopsy room to show how they are completed, “cannibalism corner”, a room about different mass suicides and a room devoted to Marilyn Manson. The museum did not allow us to take photos since there were a lot of graphic images and so that people would come into the museum themselves to see their exhibits.
Once we headed back to the Venice Beach area, we laid out on the beach for a couple of hours (where a very bold seagull stole my whole bag of kettle corn) and then decided to grab dinner. We initially tried to go to this Thai restaurant but once we got there, it was closed for renovations. Luckily, there was a Mexican restaurant right next door so we decided to eat there. Both Sydney and I ordered the half lobster and prawn dinner. It was an interesting combo with salsa and chips and lobster but it was a great meal to end the trip on.
After dinner, Sydney and I headed back to our hostel to pack up our suitcases to prepare for our early flight back to NY. We were staying in a 8 bed mixed gender hostel room so we had 5 other roommates in our room that night. They were from Argentina, Germany, Chicago, London, and New Zealand. We all just sat in the room and talked about each other’s travels, experiences and cultures which was really interesting to hear about (best part of staying in a hostel right there!)
Wednesday, June 7th
Sydney and I woke up bright and early at 4am to grab an Uber at 4:30am to head to LAX to catch our 6:55am flight to Chicago. We had about a 15 minute layover in Chicago O’Hare to then make our last flight home to Rochester.