Andaluca

Andaluca

No visit to downtown Seattle is complete without visiting Andaluca for tapas or dinner.  The last time I had indulged in Andaluca was 2 years ago.   I was really looking forward to their trio of gazpacho and other Spanish-inspired tapas, but their menu had dramatically changed!  So, we started out with a couple of tapas.

Salumi plate-An assortment of sausage, bread, and olives is always a nice way to start.  It was missing some cheese.  A few slices of Iberico ham would’ve been a nice addition as well.

Salumi plate

Papas frites-This dish had a nice kick to it with potatoes, egg, and mushrooms.

Papas frites

I forgot to take a photo of our Paella, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was a much smaller portion for 2 people to split than typically occurs with Paella.  The hazelnut gelato was a perfect dessert.

King Tut Exhibit/Hotel Andra

King Tut Exhibit/Hotel Andra

This fall/winter is the last time that the King Tut exhibit will be in the U.S. so it was a great opportunity for a weekend trip to Seattle.  I did my research to figure out where the best place to stay was and discovered that certain hotels in downtown Seattle were offering King tut packages that included VIP tickets among other benefits.  The VIP tickets meant that you didn’t have to stand in line to obtain your tickets for a specific time slot.  You could go anytime that the exhibit was open.  Some of the hotels were no longer offering this package and some were sold out so we selected Hotel Andra.  What a wonderfully modern and relaxing hotel right in the middle of the busyness of downtown Seattle!  It’s on the corner of 6th and Virgina which is just a few blocks from Westlake Center, Pike Place Market, etc.

The Hotel Andra King Tut package included 2 VIP tickets, a bottle of King Tut packaged wine from Northwest Cellars, truffles in a bit of a pyramid shape, and free valet parking.

King Tut package

The view from our room out onto 6th was very festive with holiday lights.

Xmas lights

We took the Monorail from Westlake Center to the Seattle Center/Pacific Science Center.  It’s a fast few minutes there.

This was a beautifully festive Christmas tree outside of Westlake Center.  I can’t imagine how they decorated it.

Xmas tree

The Space needle was beautiful after disembarking from the monorail.

Space needle

There wasn’t much of a line when we got to the Pacific Science Center, but we swept right up to the door with our VIP tickets.  We chose to view the IMAX movie Mummies before viewing the exhibit.  No photography was allowed in the exhibit.  It was incredibly crowded in the exhibit which ruined the experience a bit, however, it was still impressive.  There was room after room introducing us to the historical time and key figures and then into various artifacts that were found in King Tut’s tomb such as a bed, chair, jewelry, etc.  It was a nice history lesson.

Simple Life-Asian Eye scarves

Simple Life-Asian Eye scarves

I’ve been waiting to visit Seattle so I could check out Simple Life downtown by the Pike Place Market.  They are one of the larger Asian Eye scarf retailers in the area. Their blog is updated frequently with information on their new items.

I was not at all disappointed.  The selection they had was tremendous although many were scarves that I’ve already purchased or I would’ve snapped them right up!  My current favorite is Bandhani scarves in spiral type of patterns.

They had a gorgeous brown silk bandhani shawl, but I never have occasion to dress up so I have no need for a shawl.  It would have been beautiful as a smaller scarf as well.

I really considered the options and what was similar to what I already had and what I needed.  Most of my scarves are lighter silk so I considered the wool options they had.  I have to be careful with wool as I tend to get hot too easily, but they had a gorgeous lighter wool scarf that I just couldn’t pass up.  The pattern reminds me a lot of Japanese style artwork with the striking leaves and apple blossoms.  It was perfect timing with the cold winter wind that day.

Asian eye scarf

I also had to purchase this whispy brown scarf as I’d seen one similar to it at Oxalis in Portland, OR a few months ago, but it was much too bright of a color for me and I had wished that it was brown instead and here it was!  It will be light enough for spring and also warm enough for fall/winter.

Asian Eye scarf

I now have a nice mix for all occasions with blue, taupe, grey, brown, etc.

Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle

Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle

What a great find!  This is the 2nd year that my friend and I have indulged in the pastries at the award winning Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle.  The lines are always long, but efficiently managed and the employees are always very helpful.

bakery nouveau

Just check out some of the mouth watering pastries on their website homepage above and in the pastry case below.

pastry case

My friend always enjoys the twice baked almond croissant which is a bit too sweet for me so this year I indulged in a caprese sandwich along with a chocolate croissant which reminded me of the napolitanos that were abundant in southern Spain.

pastries

Cedarbrook lodge nestled in behind SeaTac airport

Cedarbrook lodge nestled in behind SeaTac airport

What an amazing find!  This is the 2nd year that my friend and I have stayed at Cedarbrook lodge when we have gotten together in the Seattle area.  She lives in Vancouver, BC and I in Portland, OR and Seattle is always a great spot to explore. 🙂  This lodge was a better price last year when there was no charge for parking ($12 per vehicle this year), but it’s quite an oasis just next to the bustling activity of SeaTac airport.  The slideshow on the homepage of the Cedarbrook lodge website provide some great photos of their food and lodging areas.

There are miles of gorgeous walking trails to explore and the food is quite good.  This is the view of the lush greenery around the walks from my room.

window view

Additionally, there are snacks and a lounging area in each of the buildings.

Last year the restaurant and bar were amazing, however, this year we were turned away for not having a reservation despite a fairly empty restaurant so we went elsewhere.  There are many delicious eating spots at the nearby Southcenter Mall just 1 exit north on I5 as well as in the SeaTac area.  Duke’s Chowder House at Southcenter Mall was where we went.  They always have delicious pasta, burgers, salads, etc.  Oh, and, of course, their chowder. 🙂  They are located throughout Seattle-mostly where there are gorgeous views such as Lake Union, Alki, and Green Lake.