May can only be described as total, utter madness – in the best way possible. Packed with action, it’s probably why I’m writing the Expat Escapades May edition in July.
May was the month of most’s: the most cities visited, the most miles driven, the most national parks hiked through, and certainly the most ice-cream eaten.
It was exhausting and inspiring. Most importantly, it left me re-energised and eager to make the most of each month I have left of US expat life.
Here’s what I got up to:
Seattle City Break
When your friends like food and booze as much as mine do, it can be hard for a weekend to revolve around anything but meals and cocktails – and where the next one is coming from.
That said, it’s hard to believe we fit so much into a short 36 hour city break.
In the daylight hours, we embraced community spirit at the Windermere Cup rowing competition at the University of Washington. The crowds and energy made it feel more like a festival than a competition, and the celebrations ended with a huge boat parade, including the marching band busting tunes from one of the yachts.
I restocked my library at the Seattle Center book fair, before geeking out at the new La Marzocco Showroom, a beautifully designed café space that showcases new coffee roasters each month (on this visit Stumptown was center stage).
Back downtown, I investigated two newcomers to the Pike Place area. Shug’s is an old fashioned soda & ice-cream shop that will fulfil all your pastel 50’s era dreams. Floats and sundaes are created using house made syrups for the sodas, and ice-cream supplied by Lopez Island Creamery. Next door to Shug’s is Old Stove Brewing Co, I didn’t mind the standing-room only crowd once I tasted hop-heaven in the Double IPA.
The weekend’s culinary highlight was a long-awaited dinner at Radiator Whiskey for barrel aged cocktails and meaty share plates of all kinds: braised, smoked and fried. However, Radiator nearly met its match the following evening. The newly opened Heartwood Provisions was fabulous, with modern American fare like lamb carpaccio, bone marrow, and roasted scallops. Every dish is designed to be paired with a special cocktail, and the desserts are life-changing.
Post dinner libations included our favourite downtown cocktail bars: Von’s 1000 Spirits, with house-made spirits and an inventive cocktail list. E Smith Mercantile, one of my absolute favourite bars, located at the back of a very cool clothing and goods store. Bookstore Bar at the Alexis Hotel: cosy, great service, and perfect when you’ve left room for a second round of dessert.
I think I must have rolled back up to the highway to Anacortes!
Seattle Accommodation Tip: As the city heats up and summer crowds arrive, it’s getting more difficult to find affordable accommodation. This weekend gave me a chance to try out StayAlfred apartment rentals. We had a great downtown harborfront location and beautiful Elliot Bay views, just moments from Pike Place and great city dining options. It worked out to just over $100 per person for the stay – pretty economical! I’d definitely book with them again when looking for group accommodation.
Road tripping LA to Seattle
Part Two of the Sister American Adventure kicked off in early May. I met Hailee in LA as she finished her cross-country road trip with TrekAmerica, then we set off on a road trip of our own!
20 days of driving, hiking, exploring and eating took us through major cities, small seaside towns, national parks.
Looking back now, the highlights were definitely those on the natural side. As much as I love the cultural kick of time spent in bustling cities, there is nothing quite like the immense and rugged beauty of America.
Never fear, my June recap is coming soon! It features getaways to Vancouver, Orcas Island and North Cascades National Park, alongside more summer Seattle shenanigans.
Expat Escapades is a new series here at Live Recklessly. Each month I’ll recap my latest adventures in the USA, new Seattle favourites in food/drink/culture/activities, and uncover more of Anacortes and the Pacific Northwest region.
If you have any suggestions of where I should visit, let me know in the comments below!
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