Spring break was something new to me because we don’t have it back in Korea. Summer and winter break is all that exists there. For this spring break, I went to the North, to Seattle. When you think of Seattle, what comes to your mind? Well, Seattle is infamous for its weather: cold, wet, cloudy and rainy. But, fortunately, the weather was extremely warm and sunny during my trip there (even better than Berkeley considering its rainy days before spring break). While I’d have to say that the weather made my days, even without the good weather, Seattle is still full of fun. This is my traveling guide for Seattle.
Seattle is the origin of Starbucks, the most beloved coffee shop in the world. Starbucks opened its first store in 1971, along the streets of Seattle’s Pike Place Market. The fact that you’ve visited the world’s first Starbucks makes your journey to Pike Place Market special enough. It usually has a long line and I waited 20 minutes. When you enter the store, you can see the menus written on the chalkboard, not the digital screen. The lavender latte I ordered here was different from the regular honeycomb lavender latte. You might feel a desire to buy a tumbler from here, and I recommend you buy a recyclable cup, which only costs about two to three dollars. You will need to save your money for the Starbucks Reserve Roastery as Seattle has a Starbucks Reserve Roastery, one of the six roasteries in the world. When you enter the store, you’ll lose your mind. The store is full of the smell of coffee and bread, and the most special thing about this roastery is that it sells pizza! The combination of the hazelnut bianco latte and sausage pizza was amazing. Just spend half an hour in Starbucks to enjoy the pleasing ambience and, most importantly, the delicious coffee.
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park is a unique park with unbelievable scenery. The park is at the former site of a coal gasification plant that provided most of Seattle’s power up until the 1930s. You can see the remains of giant, browned tanks and stacks and pipes located in the middle of the park. It gives you the “Howl’s Moving Castle” vibe. There’s no fence around the plant, so get creative when you take pictures! Some people climbed up the pipes and took a wonderful group picture. The park is surrounded by Lake Union. You can see people kayaking and sailing in the lake (swimming is prohibited). At the end of the lake, there’s another wonderful view toward downtown Seattle. Go up the hill and have a picnic. It just feels like another world, like a dream.
When I was in elementary school, I saw the Gum Wall from my Social Science textbook. I never knew that it is located in Seattle inside the Pike Place Market. The Gum Wall started in the 1990s, when local patrons and performers at Unexpected Productions stuck their used gum on the wall. The market cleaned the wall for once, in 2015, to prevent the degradation of the brick. Now, it’s full of gum again. Think of the wall full of used gum. Sticky, wet and smelly. I frowned when my companion told me to go there. It was so funny to see how people frowned and said “Eww” while taking photos there; we called it the “Eww” Wall. Many people put their used gum on their wall as a souvenir, and some people wrote the initials of their name by stretching the gum to form a letter. Even though we call it the “Eww” Wall, it was still interesting to visit a place that was in my old elementary textbooks.
University of Washington
If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series, you need to visit the University of Washington. Suzzallo Library, the central library of University of Washington (just as Doe library is at UC Berkeley), has been constantly compared to the Hogwarts library. It has an ornate reading room, long wooden tables and countless books and tall ceilings, reminding me of the Great Hall from Harry Potter. Of course, because of the numerous tourists visiting this Hogwarts library, Suzzallo Library might not be the best library to study for the students in University of Washington. Other than Suzzallo Library, it was interesting to see that Starbucks is the main coffee shop inside the campus (just as Peet’s Coffee is at UC Berkeley). When the cherry blossoms bloom, go to the quad in the heart of campus. You will see people having picnics and taking pictures with the lovely cherry blossoms. But, be careful when you walk around the campus — yu might bump into Canada goose, and, most importantly, their droppings.
Spending three to four days in Seattle was a wonderful experience. Other than the places that I’ve addressed, there are places like Kerry Park, the Amazon Spheres, the Fremont Troll and the Seattle Art Museum. If you ever visit, I hope you can check out some of the places that I’ve had the pleasure of discovering!