Oddfellows for Brunch + Capitol Hill Exploring
We kicked off Sunday in Seattle with a bit of a sleep in before we loaded up the car and said goodbye to our AMAZING host Em! Dustin is a frequent visitor to Seattle – hence the original reason I picked Seattle as my pit-stop on the way to Vancouver, because he knows all of the best spots! Dustin has been RAVING about Oddfellows for months so I knew that’s where we would be heading to fuel up for a day exploring the city together. Oddfellows is located in Capitol Hill, the area reminds me a lot of Yaletown in Vancouver. The space of the restaurant is large, lofty, airy and really quite open. I was torn between getting a standard breakfast or treating myself to something different, Oddfellows made my decision easier when I realized they didn’t have a standard breakfast platter on the menu. For breakfast I had a Skinny Mocha paired with the Brioche French Toast which came with mascarpone + maple syrup OR fruit compote. I opted to asked what the up-charge would be to get both options on the toast, the server said likely none so I got to try a bit of everything! Dustin went the savoury route fro breakfast – not pictured, he had the Breakfast Panini which included egg, tomato, bacon and provolone.
The food here was UNREAL! Everything was super fresh, delicious and really flavourful, right down to our beverages. So good that we may have picked up a cookie at the bakery bar on the way out to share in the car later.
Oddfellows Menu and Brioche French Toast + Skinny Mocha
After brunch we decided to explore Capitol Hill a bit and wandered into what may be the largest record store I’ve ever been in and then visited a few of the art galleries along the streets.
Massive Record Store
Sunday Market Day, Lunch at Beecher’s Cheese & Beverages from Rachel’s Ginger Beer
The infamous intersection of Pine + Pike and the $5 flowers we picked-up for our Airbnb host
After exploring Capitol Hill we headed back to Pike Place Market to pick-up some things, check off a few more spots on the foodie list and enjoy the beautiful weather before we hit the road to Vancouver. I should note that it took us forever to find parking, which is a bit mind boggling that there isn’t nearly enough parking for this extremely busy section of the city, it was worse that Toronto!
We are both cheese-a-holics and it is one of the things we both love to indulge in when we have cheat days or are traveling. Beecher’s has been around since 2003 and has locations in both Seattle and the Flatiron District in NYC. The location in Pike Place Market allows you to see the cheese taking shape right before your eyes a the production room is lined with windows to view the process from street level. We couldn’t walk buy without checking the place our, sampling maybe a little bit too much curd + white cheddar while we stood in line and then ordered the Original Grilled Cheese to split for an afternoon snack. It was difficult to not purchase any cheese to bring home but I just knew it wouldn’t keep. The grilled cheese was something else, comprised of a few types of cheese and then toasted to golden perfection with not too much butter on the exterior, it was both flavourful and savoury without being too rich.
This summarizes our friendship up pretty perfectly <3
As we wandered around the market checking out various vendors and shops I picked up a silver ring, we sampled a few items and then both made a purchase at one of the flower stalls. We both certainly felt like we fit in after that, carrying flowers around the market seemed to be something many locals and tourists both liked to partake in. Before we headed back to the car we popped into Rachel’s Ginger Beer for a cool beverage, and if you’ve been hanging out with me this summer you know one of my favourite summer drinks has been Ginger Beer, Rachel’s just doesn’t have any alcohol in it but you could add it if you wanted too! There are A LOT of flavours to choose from when you visit Rachel’s and being new to this I opted to ask the staff member what her recommendation would be, she suggested a combination of Pink Guava, Blood Orange and Caramelized Pineapple – if I remember correctly. Wow did this beverage pack a punch of flavour! We were both refreshed and very pleased with our selections that would keep us fuelled on our way to the boarder!
Feeling like a local as I wandered the market with my fresh flowers + Rachel’s Ginger Beer
Kerry Park + Drive to Vancouver
Once we picked-up the car we made a quick pit-stop on our way out of the city to drop the flowers off to our Airbnb host and then Dustin suggested we visit Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill before we leave the city. Earlier in the week Jake from Seattle Free Walking Tours had suggested if we had the chance that we make our way up to Kerry Park to see the view that is on almost every postcard, travel brochure and post about the city of Seattle. After winding up and down a number of hilly streets in a residential neighbourhood we arrived at the Kerry Park which had a breathtaking view of both the city and the water, today the clouds were looking especially magical and I couldn’t have asked for a better view to capture before I left. After watching a number of tourist groups try to snap pictures with the longest selfie stick we had ever seen and of course snapping a few funny pictures of our own it was time to head back to the Mother Land.
We try to take nice pictures together
The drive out of Seattle north towards the boarder was picturesque and I now understood why it is known as the Emerald City. We made it to Vancouver in about 2.5 hours, without much of delay at the boarder, a pitstop for gas + snacks and before I knew it I was back in my favourite west coast city ready for the next chapter of the vacation adventure to begin! I am SO SO grateful I was able to spend a few days with Dustin, it’s been over 5 years since we first met in Europe and I am very lucky that we don’t let the distance impact out friendship and that we are able to travel together. This was our second travel adventure of 2016 and I am almost certain that there will be more giggled filled trips to come in the future!
Arrival in Vancouver & East Van Run Crew
I’ve known the folks of EVRC for a while, we follow each other on social, they’ve visited Toronto for STWM and yet I have never made it out to run with them when I am visiting Vancouver. In my defence, I am not usually in town on Mondays when I visited previously as I would just come for the weekend, but this time was a different scenario and I made sure I was back from Seattle in time to basically be dropped off at the door of Red Truck Beer, to get suited up and ready to run with these awesome folks!
The route for tonight was to head out along the water, down to False Creek, up to Pacific before a jaunt across the viaduct. I felt very welcomed by the group and it was nice of Tyler to send me some welcome love in the pre-run announcements. ERVC Founder Ryerson was not able to make it tonight because his wife had given birth to their second daughter, what was incredible to witness was the folks of this run crew had organized a scheduled – via and online tool – to help send prepared food or prep their own food to get to Ryerson and his family to help ease some work during the time of their new arrival.
After our 6-7km pavement pounding session everyone regrouped at Red Truck for drinks and dinner. I met so many fantastic folks over dinner including Leo who had recently relocated to Vancouver from Leeds and Shannon who was new in town from Toronto! It was great to connect with new faces and find out who would be attending the pre-SeaWheeze and SeaWheeze events ahead of the big race on Saturday.
The EVRC pre-run welcoming the out-of-towners to the crew
After dinner I made my way via the Canada Line to King Edward station where Tierra from November Project YVR would be meeting me. Tierra came through and offered me a place to crash for my first two nights in Vancouver after some confusion with my Airbnb host. I was very grateful that she was giving me a place to stay and that I would have a chance to stay in a different part of the city for a change up in the Mount Pleasant area of the city. After dipping my toes back into the Vancouver Running scene I went to bed exhausted but SO ready for what the week on the west coast had in store for me!