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From tropical Southeast Asia to chilly North America.

Our first stop in country #4 is Seattle, Washington. We had a very short, very sweet, but very jet-lagged time in this city. Stepping into temperatures of 6 degrees Celsius after a month in the tropical heat of Southeast Asia was a shock to the system, but not the cold nor the sleepiness would keep us from rugging up and stepping out to see all the sites and eat all the delicious, cheesy food.


We went back in time.

On Wednesday morning, we woke at 5 am to get the train to the airport for our 14-hour flight to country #4. We boarded the plane, took our seats up the back and waited. Then, over the speaker, our captain announces, “we have closed the doors early and will be departing ahead of schedule”. No one else had come to sit in our row. We were overjoyed with the extra space and spread out immediately. It wasn’t business class, and certainly not first class, but it was a luxury in economy for such a long flight.

Our plane landed in the USA on the same Wednesday morning we had departed (time zone travel is so strange). The immigration line took quite a while and considering it was midnight for our body clocks, we were more than ready to get through customs and find a coffee for our layover in San Francisco. A few hours later we boarded our second flight bound for Seattle, and after a two-hour flight we made it to our destination. Our very, very cold destination. To warm up after our train and walk to the accommodation, we went to Pho Bac Sup Shop for two giant, hot bowls of pho for dinner.


The jet lag is real.

We had gone to bed at 8 pm, ready for a great night's sleep after being awake for more than 24 hours. We both crashed the moment our heads hit the pillow, but then, at 11 pm, we woke back up and remained awake until 5 am. At which point we finally got back to sleep, to then wake again at 11 am. Way past the time we had planned on starting our day. We could have easily continued sleeping, but with such limited time in Seattle, we pulled ourselves out of bed, put on multiple layers of clothing and walked like zombies to get coffee.

We had heard Ghost Alley Espresso was good, and it was right where we wanted to be for the day. This great cup of coffee honestly kept us going for the afternoon. Sipping on our elixir of life, we passed through the Gum Wall in Post Alley, an intriguing tourist attraction to say the least. We then explored Pike Place Market – a maze of produce markets, handmade art stalls, souvenir shops, bakeries, and so much more. We walked past the long line waiting to enter the world’s first Starbucks on our way to the place where I was very eager to get lunch (technically our breakfast). Beecher’s Handmade Cheese boasts the “world’s best” mac and cheese, so of course, we had to try it. We also shared a grilled cheese, and both items were undeniably delicious. We checked out the vast selection of cheeses, but considering we had no fridge, we thought it best to resist the temptation.

Freshly revived from our caffeine and extra cheesy breakfast, we walked from Pike Place Market to Kerry Park, admiring the houses and Autumn (sorry, Fall) leaves along the streets. Kerry Park offers an incredible view of the Seattle city skyline, including the Space Needle. We sat in the park, enjoying the view and catching our breaths from the uphill climb it took to get there. To get a closer look at the Space Needle, we walked down to Seattle Centre, which had a lot of other buildings, gardens and landmarks to explore, like the International Fountain. We caught a monorail from Seattle Centre to Westlake Centre, where we browsed some shops and tried a Seattle Dog at Dog in the Park.

As the jet lag started to set back in, we began our walk home, stopping at Target to get a US sim card and something easy for dinner. Back at the hostel, we made a very simple dinner and did some washing before jumping eagerly into bed, praying for a better night’s sleep.


Not quite to plan.

We had a better sleep than the night before, but the jet lag had still not left us. We got coffee, a croissant and a spinach pastry at Caffe Umbria. We planned to catch a ferry over to West Seattle for the day, but turns out it was Veterans Day, a public holiday in the US, and the ferry/water taxi we had intended on taking did not operate on this particular day. So instead, we walked along the waterfront of Downtown Seattle, admiring the ferries from afar, rummaging through Big Foot and Grey’s Anatomy souvenirs at the shops and checking out the Great Wheel.

We walked to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery but didn’t stay long as we couldn’t find a seat in the café or bar section. The espresso martinis did look good, and the pastries smelt delicious. We settled for looking through the souvenirs and then continued on our walk. We were going to check out the Amazon Go store, but alas, that too, was closed. The one thing we knew was open was Pike Place Market, so we went back there, tasted some salty and sweet popcorn flavours at Cobb’s Popcorn and ate lunch at Taqueria Cantina. At this point, we were quite literally falling asleep on the table, and even though we know napping during the day is not a great way to help with jet lag, we thought it might be better than passing out in a restaurant. So we went home for a nap, like the grannies we are.

After a one-hour refresh, we returned to explore the waterfront at night, with the wheel and the buildings lit up in red, white and blue. Back at the hostel, we had another easy supermarket meal for dinner and a lovely dessert of Brazilian Carrot Cake that someone had so kindly baked for everyone to try.


This is one of the most peaceful hostels either of us has stayed in. We had a private room with a shared bathroom. The private room had a bunk bed, with the bottom bunk being a double. Everything, including the shared bathrooms, was clean and well taken care of. The rooms had heating which worked very well, but the hot water in the showers only lasted the morning. Three times that we showered, once at 11 am and twice after dinner, was unfortunately in freezing cold water. The hostel had rules about no alcohol, no food in the rooms and observing quiet times, which meant it was a very quiet environment and we had no issues with noise inside or outside for our stay. The kitchen was big, with a fridge, pantry, multiple stoves, ovens and sinks. They had dining rooms, offices and a laundry. It is situated in Chinatown, a bit of a walk from downtown in the cold but a very short walk to the train lines for the city, airport and Amtrak.


We are jumping on a train to state #2 in country #4Portland, Oregon.


When planning our travel destinations, we pin our bucket list of sites to see and recommended places to eat and drink on Google Maps. We are then never lost for ideas when travelling, and can easily share these lists for our friends and family to use as well.

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