Seattle, WA

I recently got to spend four days exploring Seattle with my friends Rob and Christina.

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@newdarlings

CAPITOL HILL

Their first evening in town we spent roaming Capitol Hill.

I had spent an afternoon with friends in Capitol Hill the month before and enjoyed grabbing a Rwanda pour over at Victrola and lunch at Little Uncle  (get the khao soi curry noodles and pork bun).

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This time around we stumbled into a cute boutique fox + the feather, and then looked through books at The Elliot Bay Book Company: the space even includes an Oddfellows coffee shop tucked into the back.

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Right next door, we sat down at Oddfellows Cafe & Bar for dinner. The summer weather was absolutely perfect to dine outside.

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I highly suggest my order of the Roasted Free-Range Chicken with a Porch Swing house cocktail.

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The setting was perfect for catching up and talking about the similar life stages we found ourselves. It was a great evening and we definitely came back to relive it all again a couple nights later.

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If you are looking for dessert nearby, there’s a Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream around the corner, but we decided to walk over to Tavern Law for great drinks and great hospitality. We were also recommended to Canon and Foreign National in the area.

If you are looking for happy hour drinks in Capitol Hill, a couple weeks prior I had met my friend Stephanie at Poquitos for pineapple mint drinks.

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Another popular spot for dinner and brunch in Capitol Hill is Talulah’s which we went to the following night.

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DOWNTOWN

The next day our meeting spot was at Pike Place in Downtown Seattle. It may be touristy, but I love the fish and flower market in there.

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We took a ten minute walk to visit a friend’s boutique Moorea Seal. The space was bright with well-curated jewelry, candles and clothes.

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@mooreaseal

And on the way I found brunch at Biscuit Bitch. Great food and the hospitality was warm.

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Heading out of Downtown, I’d recommend sunset at Kerry Park in Queen Anne where there’s a view of the Space Needle and Mount Rainier.

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PIONEER SQUARE

We met up the next morning at Elm for some espresso tonics before walking over to a popular boutique and bar E. Smith Mercantile.

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Afterward we headed to the bright and photogenic The London Plane for brunch.

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BALLARD/FREMONT
I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time in Ballard and Fremont. A favorite spot has been the Slate Coffee Roasters location in Ballard which I first discovered about a month ago with Michelle.

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I’ve been picking up recommendations and trying spots, such as Morsel.
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And recently with Rob and Christina we spent their last day here. We started off walking the main streets of Ballard Ave and Market St. We found a cute plant shop The Palm Room and went to Prism which was on their list.

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We then went to the neighboring Fremont area. We happened to  stumble upon the Fremont Troll on our walk to Gasworks Park for a view of the city.

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We grabbed a coffee at Milstead & Co (also check out Miir nearby) before saying our goodbyes after a week of dear memories. It was a lot of fun to grab food and drinks and shots of the city for our blogs (find theirs at www.newdarlings.com).

 

 

 

Florence, ITALY

Florence was the last Italian city I visited on my six months living in Italy. By this time I was proficient at the train system, so I took a day trip from my apartment in Ferrara to explore the city on my own.

I knew nothing really of the city; this provided a great opportunity for a stumble upon, like the Ponte Vecchio,but I mostly wish I had done some research and knew what I was after.

I did have a short list I suppose, and on it was Ditta Artigianale. Absolutely one of the best coffee shops I encountered in Italy. They even served cold brew -the first I could find in my six months in Italy as cold coffee isn’t a concept that exists in this country – and as my coffee of choice, I was beyond excited.

Next on my list was to see David di Michelangelo at the Galleria dell’Accademia. I walked through Piazza della Signoria, which happens to have a duplicate of the statue if you would want to save time in line and money.

However, the museums in Italy are well worth the money, especially in Florence. Make sure to do your research on getting tickets to the David because if you are short on time like me on a day trip, you don’t want to spend hours in line or buy over priced tickets to skip the line.

  

After the museum, I grabbed a panini at a stand outside, and then some gelato, but here’s where I had wished I had done some research. Florence is known for not only it’s art, but it’s food, and trying to stumble upon a good spot in an Italian tourist city is a big mistake.

When traveling in Italy, make sure to research where to eat: there are way too many overpriced terrible tourist trap restaurants, and I’ve heard that disappointment from way too many people. There’s amazing food in Italy, if you know where to go.


I roamed the Mercato Centrale Firenze – the popular outdoor Italian goods market that I’d recommend for the experience and souvenirs – and then made my way to Uffizi Gallery. This museum is in my top two for Italy (with the Vatican Museum: see Rome, Italy post), so I’d say it’s a must if you are in Florence.