The Great Wild & Wonderful Washington State [Part 1]

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So, remember how I went to Washington state back in October for an entire week and then totally forgot to share any of the photos from my trip? I am so far behind on my travel recaps it’s a little sad, given how much I live, breath and sleep traveling. But, better late than never so here’s part one of my recap of the great wild & wonderful Washington state.

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I had the amazing opportunity to fly out to Washington and visit so many incredible cities and islands during my week long stay. The fabulous Torie at Green Rubino PR put together an outstanding itinerary, giving me the chance to see more than just one city or part of Washington! So, despite having a bit of a credit card mishap when I landed, I managed to check into the stunning Pan Pacific Hotel in Downtown Seattle without any hiccups.

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Guys, you have to see the room I had. I never wanted to leave.

bathroom pan pacific pp space needle

Not a bad view, right? After I settled in, I sat down at the dining table to enjoy my three-course dinner, courtesy of the hotel! Think of it as the best room service you’ve ever had. OH, and they brought in four wines to taste. Just for me!

dinner wine roll Oysters beef

And then my camera died, fail whale. The filet I had after this chicken was flawless. Perfectly pink in the middle with a side of fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes. I was so stuffed by the end of it, I couldn’t even eat the dessert! If you get a chance, friends, STAY at the Pan Pacific. The service is impeccable, the location is amazing and the food is..well, you saw :) After dinner, I went out with the Green Rubino girls to Triple Door to catch a Scottish band perform. Not a bad way to end the night!

The next morning was BUSY! Torie and I did some exploring around the area my hotel was at, including a stop at Tom Douglas’s Bravehorse Tavern for some pretzels and the healthy and delicious Portage Bay Cafe for lunch.

prezels french toast bar menu soba noodle salad

The shrimp, chicken and soba noodle salad I had was amazing! I’m not lying when I say it was one of the best salads I’ve ever had. Torie opted for the French toast bar and um, it looked pretty stellar too! Despite an amazing lunch, I couldn’t really eat because I knew I had to travel via REALLY TINY PLANE to the San Juan islands. I was really excited to see the islands but was NOT excited about the tiny plane, given my fear of flying. Luckily the beautiful Shannon (a PR rep with the hotel management group, Columbia Hospitality, that brought me out to Washington) was going with me.

tiny plane

Not only was the flight not scary, it was one of the most soothing plane rides I’ve ever taken. (Thank you Kenmore Air!) Maybe it’s because I could see the pilot (and see that he wasn’t a nut-job/or terrified) or because the view was so stunning I couldn’t help but relax and take it all in.

seattle tinyplane view

Even the landing was fun! We landed on water, like a water taxi. The view when we arrived at Friday Harbor was just as pictureesque. There’s something so relaxing and vacation-y about seeing a bunch of boats on a harbor. It reminds me of a life so less complicated than the one I lead.

friday harbor

The manager of the hotel I was staying at for the next two nights greeted us on the docks and took us the 2 feet to the hotel, The Friday Harbor House. My room overlooked the marina and it was, easily, the most amazing view I’ve ever had in a hotel room. The room itself could have used just a bit of upgrading (it was a little rustic for my taste), but the amazing property location and view made up for ALL OF IT.

friday harbor house sunset night

After viewing another one of the properties on the island, we stopped into a super cute little tavern, Cask and Schooner, for drinks and an appetizer.

pub bar

After some drinks here, we stopped into the adorable little restaurant called The Place for a dinner overlooking the harbor. It was good, but nothing really to write home about. The next morning, Shannon and I stopped into a cute little bakery, Cafe Demeter, to have breakfast with the tourism board director of the islands.

bakery bfast DSC_0245

After the meeting, Shannon and I did a bit of walking around before she had to go back to Seattle for a meeting. We had so much fun hanging out together, it was sad to see her go! I love when PR people turn into friends!

grapes leaves DSC_0281 DSC_0282 DSC_0268 shannon

After she left I decided to go back to my room and get a little work done. Then, at about 4, I decided it was time for wine on the patio. I’ve never felt so relaxed in my entire life. There were no sounds of loud cars honking, people yelling or sirens wailing. It was just me and nature, and let me tell you, I NEEDED that.

wine view stunning view

After wine it was time for dinner with Brian, the manager of the Friday Harbor House, and another employee who worked at the other resort on the island. Dinner was at The Bluff, the restaurant attached to my hotel. I’d heard amazing things about the restaurant from everyone thus far so I was pretty stoked to try everything! And boy did the chef deliver. To this day, I still dream of the rosemary apple pie!

On the menu was a creamy soup with a crispy brussel sprout, a fresh green salad with goat cheese and walnuts, fresh caught salmon with figs and sea salt foam, perfectly cooked strip steak with a savory bread pudding, rosemary apple pie, a salted chocolate tart and a whiskey cocktail made with tree bark (it tasted better than it sounds!)

soup salad salmon flank steak rosemary cheddar pie sea salt tart whiskey drink

An amazing meal and even better company. I love my job because I get to sit down with so many different people from all different kinds of walks of life and just hear their story. There wasn’t  a dull moment at dinner and it’s just so fun to learn about other people, why they do what they do, how they found it, etc. After dinner I went back to my room and enjoyed a cozy fire. I did NOT want to leave the next morning! I got up super early though so I could get a few more moments of tranquility before heading back to Seattle.

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PHEW. I have three more cities and more amazing photos to share in part two next week, so stayed tuned!

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Comments

  1. Posted by Sara @ Magia e Pasta on
    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    So happy you went to Portage Bay! That's my very favorite place for brunch. It's the best in the summer, when all the fruit is in season and the toppings bar is plentiful :)
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
      oh I bet!! I can't wait to come back!
  2. Posted by Angie Barrett on
    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    WOW! Those pictures are gorgeous! and that food! oh that food looks so good! Did you get to go whale watching and see the Orcas?!
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
      No :( Because I was there during October I couldn't, the tours weren't in season.
  3. Posted by Kelly Hunt on
    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    Gorgeous pictures!!! Looks like you had an amazing time! ....and now I'm hungry :)
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
      aww thanks!!
  4. Posted by Kathryn on
    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    Gosh, it's just so beautiful isn't it? Not to mention that all the food sounds incredible. What a perfect trip!
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
      Thank you Kathryn!!
  5. Posted by Megan {Country Cleaver} on
    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    I'm so so so glad you had fun while you were here. Friday Harbor is one of my favorite places - and the DownRigger restaurant has the best Chicken Brie Burger. I guess that just means you have to come back! Cant' wait to see you when you're here again!
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
      YAYAY! Me too!!
  6. Posted by a farmer in the dell on
    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    I love Seattle! I am a fellow Northwest girl so any time I see photos of my favorite part of the country I get excited. It looks like you had a great trip and ate really well!
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
      Oh I sure did! Thanks girl!
  7. Posted by Tutti Dolci on
    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    Gorgeous, plus check out that incredible food!
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
      I know. I want to eat more of it now haah!
  8. Posted by Mai-Lis @ A Sunshiny Day on
    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    Looks like a fantastic trip, thanks for sharing! I have family out in Bainbridge Island, I always enjoy visiting there, it's gorgeous!
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
      It's just such a gorgeous place. Everywhere you look!
  9. Posted by Everyday Maven on
    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    Great post - we have Friday Harbor on our list of "to go" places. We moved to Seattle 2 years ago and continually in awe of all the beauty! Did you hit the spa at the Pan Pacific? It's amazing!
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
      YES! I did!
  10. Posted by The Beeroness on
    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    Gorgeous! It make it look so pretty and non-rainy :) I am still actively trying to move there, but so far the Pacific Northwest doenst' seem to want me.
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
      Me neither and I'm sad about that :(
  11. Posted by Christina on
    Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
    Your photos are gorgeous and your experiences sound amazing!!
    • Posted by claire on
      Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
      Thank you!! It was such a fabulous week!
  12. Thursday, January 17th, 2013
    Love the photos! You're really inspiring me to make a trip out there!
  13. Posted by Kristina on
    Friday, January 18th, 2013
    Such fun pics! The pretty berry one is my favorite (haha those are berries right..??) Looks like a fabulous trip! Horribly jealous over here in Chicago :)