SAN JUAN ISLANDS

So did you know that it takes 3 hours each way to go from Seattle to San Juan Island on the Washington State Ferry? Well, it does. So I suggest you bring lots of reading materials or jam pack your Ipad with movies and shows to watch. Sometimes you'll get to take a break with some cool sights along the way, like the Puget Sound or Deception Pass. It's a beautiful ride getting there. But don't fret if you missed it the first time, cause you will be seeing the same thing on your return trip back into the city.

Now when I arrived on the island, I obviously needed to explore it! Well, I made the mistake of renting a bike and doing a self guided bike tour of the island. Why, you ask? Because I discovered there are a few steep hills on this island. I thought I was going to die!! Were the views amazing during the ride? Oh my god, yes. But it would've been much nicer in a buggy! Buggies are like $80 vs. bike rentals of $20, so if you have the money to splurge...I would do it!

Another day activity you can do on the island is to visit the Whale Museum. Personally, I thought this museum was very disappointing. It's an old two story house with whale artifacts and marine life exhibits, so I wasn't excited to be in there at all. Rather, I'd recommend just enjoying the scenery and tranquility of being on a beautiful island.

MY LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH SEATTLE

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So I lived in Seattle for the summer/fall of 2016, and I have mixed feelings about the city. I loved the openness of the people and how it melded nature and cityscape together. But the city also has this pompous and cheeky vibe too which I don't appreciate. And if you end up newly moving to Seattle, just remember that there are no AC's in the apartment units most of the time. I guess it doesn't get hot enough in Seattle for AC usage, even though it does! I basically had to use the ceiling fan to cool myself off from the summer heat. Anyways, on to my list!

First off was the original Starbucks in Pike's Place. Don't get distracted by the fancy new looking one across from the Target, because a lot of people mistake that one as the original. But the original one is closer to Beecher's Cheese. As you may have heard on the internet, it's not impressive at all. It's this old school cafe type of space, and it's really small. Don't believe the hype and just walk by it and you'll see. Instead, head over to the Starbucks Roastery in Capitol Hill. This is THE Starbucks to go to. If I were to fly back to Seattle, the Roastery would be the reason why. It's amazingly chic inside and has this huge roasting machine that roasts coffee beans, hence the Roastery. The menu items are much more expensive than at a regular Starbucks, but it also contains items that you normally wouldn't see at a regular Starbucks. There's also a pizza shop inside too (called Serious Pie) in case you wanted something heartier. Overall it's a very cool place that I would highly recommend you checking out!

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Next up is dinner at Etta's, which is actually very close to the original Starbucks. I'd recommend it, but be aware that they no longer serve the Dungeness crab cakes, which they were originally famous for. There are a lot more Tom Douglas' restaurants in the city, like Serious Pie, Lola, Trattoria Cuoco, and Dahlia. So if you can't make it to this one, there are plenty more to choose from.

Another restaurant I was able to visit (twice) was Ray's Boathouse in Ballard. This isn't exactly located in Seattle city center, so you'll have to take a cab up there. It's basically a restaurant inside a "boathouse" with a view of the lake. This place is great because the food is great, the service is great, and the view is great. So how could I not recommend it! I know people recommend sitting outside on the balcony, but I would actually recommend sitting inside by the window overlooking the lake. That way on a sunny day you can be shaded from the sun beaming down on you while eating or avoid the random drizzle or rain that might come down on a cloudy day.