Last Wednesday while I was at work, I was daydreaming about having a mini getaway.
Last Thursday while I was at work, my (new) boss told me that I had the week off next week.

A part of me wanted to be mad that he hadn't given me more of a heads up, but I was so happy that my little daydream could become a reality that I didn't give a damn and immediately text my best friend Marisa to ask if I could come stay with her in Seattle. She enthusiastically agreed, so instead of driving to work on Monday I drove to the airport!

Marisa and I met in gym class my sophomore year of high school and have been best friends ever since. Despite the fact that she only went to my high school for two years and we went to different colleges (in different states) we have managed to have the healthiest long distance relationship ever. This year is our TEN YEAR friendship anniversary and I could not be more pleased to have had this amazing woman grow up next to me!

Lucky for me Marisa had Monday off work, so she picked me up from the airport and immediately took me around Seattle for an adventure day.

We started out with a visit to Lake Washington, followed by a delicious brunch and a photoshoot at Kerry Park, where the pictures above were taken. The view from the park is incredible:

This was my fifth visit to Seattle so needless to say I had done most of the touristy stuff, but I had never been to Kerry Park. As you can see, it's gorgeous, and I was absolutely missing out. A must-visit if you're going to Seattle and love a good view like me!

Once Kerry Park got too cold for my Californian body to handle, we decided to go see a view that provided a much warmer atmosphere:

Standing at 933 feet tall, Columbia Tower is the Empire State Building of Seattle. However it's constantly overshadowed by the Space Needle (which is only 605 feet!) so it's not super touristy - hence, I had never been there before. To be honest, I didn't even know you COULD go to the top, but Marisa's boyfriend works in the tower and offered to get us in for free, so obviously we took him up on it, and...well, I think this will speak for itself:

(Marisa and her maaaaaan being all sassy)  

(Me and my man lol jk I'm alone)

(The big white lump at the top is not a cloud, it's the top of Mt. Rainier. This picture does not do justice to how insanely beautiful this was!!) 

ATTENTION TOURISTS: This view is SIGNIFICANTLY better than the Space needle, and is way way cheaper. Unless you're interested in the history and architecture of the needle (which, I will say, is very cool) head to Columbia Tower! 

We spent our Monday night ordering take away Indian food and catching up. I hadn't properly seen her in over a year, so we had lots to talk about! 

The next morning Marisa left for work early, but I decided to have a longer snooze before taking the bus into town. First stop: Pike Place Market 

Tourist heaven, but popular for a reason. The market doesn't just offer food (although, the amount and the array of food they offer is AMAZING) but artisan goods, crafts, and loads of vintage stuff. Some vendors have a stall, some have actual shops (the original Starbucks cafe is located in the market!) but they're all worth visiting. I lost myself for a good two/three hours to this place! 

Right underneath Pike Place you'll find Post Alley, home to the craziest gum wall you will ever see: 

(I feel like I look a little cross-eyed in this pic? But I still dig it)

There seriously must be over a million pieces of gum in this ally. In theory it sounds gross but it's actually so cool, and really beautiful with all of the different colors. Plus people get REALLY creative and make little designs out of their gum. Take notice to the MASSIVE gum bird on the left side of the above photo. Like...someone SPENT TIME making that. What. 

Next stop for my day was the Seattle Aquarium. Those who know me well know I love long as they are used for research and treat the fish well. Seattle Aquarium is a renowned research center, and is home to this monster: 

I sat staring at him for like a half hour. I was so blown away by how big he is. One of the aquarium staff actually came up to me at one point and asked if I was okay. I must have had a weird look on my face because my mind was BLOOWWWWN. 

The aquarium also has otters (did you know that otters hold hands while they sleep so they don't drift away from each other? I die thinking about that) and tons of cutie SEALS like this one - he came up on the rock because the sun was beating down on it and he wanted to be warm. Look at his face, his little squinty eyes, he's SO HAPPY. I made some pretty weird noises looking at him, luckily I was alone while this happened so I didn't freak anyone out. 

The #1 reason I love aquariums is because I find them relaxing. I don't know what it is about watching fish, but I always feel very tranquil while doing so, like I'm meditating or something. So call me weird, but when I found this dome I sat here for a good 45 minutes just watching fish swim and thinking about life. Plus there's no cell service since it's underwater, adding to the atmosphere. If you haven't tried fish-watching as a relaxation technique, I recommend you visit your local aquarium! 

That night I treated my woman to a fancy dinner by the water and then headed over to an Irish pub for trivia night with her friends. Ireland follows me everywhere, what can I say? 

The next day I took myself on a cruise, because why the hell not?! I love being on a boat! 

I've come to the realization that boat tours are always the way to go because you get the history + the best views in town, and they usually have drinks and snacks on board. I did an Argosy cruise, and I will happily endorse how lovely they are. 

(Fatty sea lions relaxing on a...actually I have no idea what that is. But they're pretty cute all cuddled together!) 

After my cruise I lost myself exploring and shopping downtown before heading back to Marisa's. We had our final night of bonding time over pizza & ice cream before I jetted back home to San Francisco the next morning. 

I really love Seattle, to the point where I would tooootally live there. Lucky me, I'll actually be coming back sooner rather than later! I'm headed on a cruise to Alaska with the family come May, and it takes off from Seattle. So Marisa, I'll be seeing you soon (if not sooner!) xx 

(The view of San Francisco you get when you fly down from the North. It gives me ALL THE FEELS.)