Love in the Pacific Northwest (1).

When our anniversary was approaching, John and I knew we wanted to commemorate our first year of wedded bliss with a special get-away. But where? Years ago, while searching for lodging in Washington during one of our massive road trips, we came across a little waterfront boathouse on Orcas Island and were immediately enchanted. It wasn’t right for that trip, but we decided that it was the perfect, romantic place to celebrate Year #1.

Not surprisingly, availability was limited. We decided to spend a couple of nights in Seattle before heading to the San Juan Islands for the next two nights. City + beach cottage = all kinds of happy. And that’s what we did.

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We landed at the W in downtown Seattle just before dinnertime, so we spiffed up and walked to the Capital Grille. We sat at the bar, sipped delicious wine, and dined on sweet oysters, a burger (with egg), and a perfectly prepared petite filet. The very best part of the meal was the creamiest cheesecake I’d ever tasted, with a charred sugar top. We ended the night at our hotel’s disco-ball bar with a nightcap.P1110401 P1110406 P1110404 P1110410 P1110409 P1110408 IMG_7122

Saturday began with coffee, mini donuts, a fab chaise lounge, and a view of the city. We played tourist all day long, strolling underneath cobalt-blue trunked trees to a fantastic breakfast at Lola. We sipped mimosas at the lovely Dahlia Lounge. We explored the Public Market, where John had a custom leather belt made on the spot. It was a sensory overload of vibrant colors, unique street performers, all sorts of glorious fresh fish, produce, and flowers. Oh, the flowers!

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Oh. And we ate more donuts. I love you, maple bacon dreamboat.

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We couldn’t pass up the giant ferris wheel. We had a gondola to ourselves, and the views of the city and sea were spectacular! Afterward, we dropped in to the Diller Room, an old bar with something of an industrial feel. It was once part of a big hotel (long gone) and I’m pretty sure it was haunted– appropriate for the week of Halloween.

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Dinner on Saturday night was a greatly anticipated visit to Local 360. We’d stumbled upon it for lunch on another trip to Seattle and fell in love. Everything they serve, including alcohol, is from within 360 miles of the restaurant. It’s got a cozy/urban feel, with dripping candelabras and warm wooden booths. The meal was perfection, and the waitress (also local) was super friendly. For dessert, we tried the PBJ Bonbons: balls of sweet peanut butter, crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside, sitting on little dollops of homemade jam, served with milk. Heaven. Instead of a cab, we walked back to the hotel, taking in the city’s night vibe. We sidestepped groups of costumed party-goers, peering into gallery windows and checking out incredible graffiti murals. We slept hard after such a full day.

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We were leaving Seattle for Orcas Island on Sunday, but we packed the morning with the last bit of city fun. We found an incredible breakfast spot called Serious Biscuit, where we sipped strong Seattle coffee upstairs and overlooked a significant bakery operation. I was fascinated by the busy bees below us, each with a specific task: this woman unwrapped slab after slab of butter and set it aside; this woman weighed big lumps of dough and formed each one into a heavy tube shape; this woman used a giant ice-cream scooper to dig out mounds of cookie dough and placed them on a baking sheet; this woman formed perfect pie crusts while this guy filled them with beans and put them in the ovens. And it’s not called Serious Biscuit for nothing. We enjoyed breakfast sandwiches served on biscuits, accompanied by local hot sauce. Mine was covered in fried green tomatoes. OMG.

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After breakfast, we’d reserved enough time to visit one of our favorite places: the Experience Music Project Museum. We wandered around the familiar exhibits: the history of Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix’s time in London, guitars dating back to the 1800s. I snagged a shot of David Bowie’s costume from the Labyrinth for Amanda. We visited the temporary Halloween feature and poked our heads into the SCREAM room (liberating!).

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And then our time in Seattle was done. We grabbed our trusty Starbucks and hit the road, heading north toward Anacortes and our ferry ride that would land us on Orcas Island by happy hour…

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Our anniversary adventure continues. Stay tuned!

**Wanderlust? Check out the Travel Bliss link above!**

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