seattle, washington,united states

Seattle is a city that constantly hums. Not like New York, where the base sound is like an alarm clock; Seattle has a whoosh, like the movement of the waves, providing the tempo for your days and nights.  There is much to see, it is not hard to fill your days with the main attractions and then some. But even when that's all you have time for, you are left wanting... more. An ocean crossing is never easy for Australians, we have to make several stops and give up days to get anywhere. So sometimes it is hard to tell if you love a place simply because you have arrived or whether it is truly worthy of worship. Seattle and I hit it off right from the start; it was cold (my main reason for going) and it was easy to get around. My hostel, The Green Tortoise, was located right on the steps of Pike Place. I feel like I fluked the location because it was so good!

I had come prepared with a list of the big names in Seattle coffee, fond memories of a much loved romance novel set in Seattle and not much else. I confess with this trip I was more focused on having a white Christmas in Banff than on my other stops along the way. Perhaps it is easier to fall in love with a city when you don't know much about it.

I had four days to fill before heading to Vancouver and my days formed a pattern - waking up late (this is a holiday after all), searching out an excellent latte and then taking in 1-2 attractions. Always, always, I got distracted by shopping - who doesn't love TJMaxx? My pick of stops are below but I must say, you will want to see more: hire a car or get on a tour bus and look around.