(See Part 1 here.)

On to the most exciting part of my journey: the day after the wedding, I went to Seattle to meet Kyle.

My flight arrived almost a full two hours before his ferry got in, but it turns out I needed that entire time to navigate from the airport to the pier. Figuring out the public transit system of a new city by myself was a pretty daunting experience, but eventually I did make it.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon walking through downtown Seattle, making it to Pike Place Market just as all the booths were closing for the evening. We had made reservations for dinner at Matt’s in the Market, a restaurant right in the heart of Pike Place with a great view of the market below. All their ingredients are fresh from the market, too, so as you can imagine we had an incredible meal:

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^ Our appetizer of grilled octopus with kimchi, radish salad, cilantro and a chili pepper vinaigrette. It was an amazing size for a starter and very flavourful.

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^ Kyle’s main, and one of the evening’s specials: a (huge) pork chop served with red and yellow beets, white beans and Swiss chard.

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^ My main, the seafood stew: mussels, clams, salmon, halibut and scallops, served in a green coconut curry with peanuts, eggplant chips, mint, cilantro, and basil, plus green beans and yukon gold potato. As you can see, the seafood theme of my travels continued and only got better.

The restaurant was on the pricier side, but we both agreed it was worth it for the great quality—and quantity—of food served. They also have a great wine selection and $5 pints of beer.

By the time we finished dinner, we were late for the 7pm Mariners game, so we rushed on over to Safeco Field and made it for the bottom of the 3rd inning.

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We happened to be there on the night of their fireworks show, as they inducted Ken Griffey, Jr. into the Mariners’ Hall of Fame:

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The next morning we took more time to walk around Pike Place Market. I swear I could spend an entire weekend (or entire weekends) exploring this place:

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My first intended stop was the flagship Starbucks location (of course) but, being a tourist-filled late Saturday morning, the line was down the block and I decided it was not at all worth it. I headed over to Ghost Alley Espresso instead for a “salty nut” latte – they used a mix of hazelnut and salted caramel syrups. It was lukewarm and kind of disappointing.

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Walking along Pike Place, we caught a whiff of something incredibly mouth-watering, sort of like cinnamon buns – definitely doughy. We walked into a French bakery, thinking that must be it, but I wasn’t convinced: the smell in there wasn’t strong enough (I have an extremely sensitive nose). I left Kyle in line at the French bakery and wandered around until I found the true source: Piroshky Piroshky, a Russian bakery just a little ways down the block.

The bakery sells all manner of buns with different sweet and savory fillings. We went a little wild and bought a blueberry vatrushka, a cherry white chocolate roll, and a bun filled with smoked mozzarella, mushroom, and broccoli for lunch. But the true star was their best-selling apple cinnamon roll:

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^ Don’t you just want to eat it right off the screen? Best-selling for a reason.

After we had our fill of the Market (and baked goods), we went to tour the Seattle Aquarium. I made a lot of new friends, both cute and scary:

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After the aquarium fun, it was time for our ferry ride to Victoria. It was about a 2- to a 2 1/2-hour ride. Not the fastest way to travel, but I found it really easy and relaxing.

Once in Victoria, we had a quick look in and around the harbour:

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^ The Empress hotel.

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^ The Parliament building.

In short, downtown Victoria (from what I saw) is really pretty/charming. We couldn’t hang around for long, though, because we had tickets to the fireworks show at Butchart Gardens. It was our second amazing fireworks show of the weekend, but my photos do not do it justice. If we had arrived earlier, I would have loved to tour the grounds of the gardens (the Japanese Garden, Sunken Garden, etc.) as well. They all looked beautiful.

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After staying at my cousin Devyn’s place overnight, we walked around the UVic campus in the morning. I’ll be applying to their Clinical Psych program as well. The campus was nice, but quite a bit smaller than the UBC campus and a little less picturesque, both naturally and architecturally. Though maybe I’m being unfair – if it hadn’t been raining that morning I might have had a different impression…

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^ Me looking awkward in front of the UVic Psychology building.

I’m anxious to see where I end up!

Stay curious,

Caj

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