So after watching many, many hours of “Border Security” with Andrew over the Christmas holidays, I see customs in a whole new light. I made the mistake of sharing this with Gabi, who then proceeded to act anxious and answer the Customs officer’s inquiries in questionable manners:

Officer: Where are you two staying in Seattle?
Gabi: (long pause, and then referring to Um… some random person’s apartment we found online.
Officer: (long pause)

Officer: Any food products?
Sandra: No.
Gabi: (simultaneously) Sun chips, an apple, scones….
Sandra: (feeling the need to be honest after Gabi started) Uh, and Mini Eggs!
Officer: WHAT? You brought eggs?!!

After 5 more minutes of questioning I think he eventually decided we just weren’t the brightest of travellers and let us through.

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A pleasant 2 hour flight and we arrived to the mild climate of Seattle. We got settled in our personal little apartment built over 100 years ago – with steam radiators, high ceilings, and windows so old and thin that it feels you are one with the outside world.

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We got in late, but wanted to make a quick stop at a grocery store to fill our fridge for the week. We asked Lauren, our hostess, and she looked at us particularly strangely and informed us that people here don’t really shop for groceries; instead, they apparently order off the website “Amazon Fresh”, which delivers your fresh produce the next day and throws in any product you might want while they’re at it (I imagine a mattress or huge stack of books showing up beside my door).

After a refreshing sleep, we spent our first weekend in Seattle exploring our surrounding area. Here are some of our highlights:


Pike Place Market

Pike Place market is the oldest running farmers market in the US and is one of the main sites in Seattle. It has the basic selection of fresh produce and chotchkies, but also the entertaining bonus of flying fish and an underground labyrinth of weird and wonderful shops.

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We spent hours wandering the market, indulging in fresh fruit and chocolate pasta, and discovered even more suprises along the way:


Gum Wall

…like this colorful wall of gum. We were disturbed (particularly by the smell of old gum)… yet somehow simultaneously intrigued enough to take more photos of a gum wall than a person ever should.

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The Best Cheese in the World?

Prior to arriving in Seattle we heard about Beechers, which apparently has the world’s best mac & cheese (made with homemade cheese they make onsite!). We tried both the original and spicy, and wished our friend KPan could be there to appreciate! So tasty. I don’t know if it wins world’s best in my mind, but it’s definitely worth a try.

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The First Starbucks

Seattle is home to the world’s first Starbucks, so we stopped here to grab a drink. Not because this was a critical part of our agenda, but more because we accidentally stumbled upon it when Gabi wanted a coffee. It’s funny because the shop was nothing fancy; it could even be seen as a little junky with stacks of cardboard boxes and no place to sit, but clearly the taste of the coffee was good enough to quickly catch on.

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Seattle is so fancy with its firsts; did you know the city is home to not only Starbucks, but to Microsoft, Boeing, Costco, and


Giant Wheel

Neither of us could resist a ride on the newly built Great Wheel, especially since each little pod was self heated and protected us from the windy weather. I could have hung out in there for hours spinning around. The view of Seattle was lovely, and you could just barely see the Olympic mountains across the water if you squinted really hard.

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Seattle Public Library

I love libraries, and I would love to frolic in this one. The library is a cube of windows, with some floors that coalesce with others, and other floors that just seem hidden among the rest. It’s confusing… yet wonderful.

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Is It Autumn?

How is it that it’s the middle of winter, yet we feel like it’s the middle of fall? Did the trees just freeze in this state back in autumn?

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