I’ve been visiting my family for the last month or so near Portland, Oregon.
While I love living in France, the hardest part is definitely being so far away from my family.
I grew up with my best friend aka my little sister, Kelly.
We’re only 10 months and 27 days apart, so my Irish twin and I grew up very close.
Kelly just graduated college and is studying for her CPA exams before she starts her grown-up job, which means she’s home for the summer!
This was such a special treat because the last time I visited she was doing an intense internship and we barely got to hang out.
Realizing this is probably the last time she’ll have time off before she begins the corporate world and it’s one of the only times we’ll have where we’re both in the same area at the same time, we’ve been making the most of it.
Kelly was going to visit some friends in Seattle for the weekend and last second we decided to make it a sister’s getaway. We found a hotel on Hotwire, fueled up the Prius and hit the road!
We went to Seattle the weekend following the 4th of July, so hotels were pretty pricey.
Luckily though, we found a good rate with Hotwire’s Hot Rate Hotels. I love Hotwire because you can get amazing rates on hotels. The trick is that you don’t know which hotel you’re getting until after you pay for it. This way, the hotel can get away with giving such a low price and you get a good deal. You’re given the star rating of the hotel and the area, but that’s it. You can purchase an insurance that allows you to reject the hotel you get and be refunded, but I’ve never done this. It’s a bit exciting not knowing where you’re staying until the site reveals it.
We lucked out and got Loews Hotel 1000, located right downtown.
This place is a dream and has the best customer service I’ve ever seen in a hotel. Upon arriving, we were greeted with a glass of champagne and as soon as we got into our room, Kelly received text messages from the staff making sure everything was to our liking.
The room was beautiful with a great view overlooking Seattle’s downtown area.
The first night we grabbed pizza and drinks with Kelly’s friends and went dancing. Full disclosure, I have a reputation for being the WORST DANCER EVER. It’s bad. Very bad.
I have no rhythm. It’s a known fact.
I blame my artistic gymnastics background…my movements are super stiff and have tons of thought put into them. But as much as I would like to blame my bad dancing on my gymnastics training, I also know a big part of it is also just me as a human. I’m a huge overthinker. So when I hear things like “just feel the music” my mind and body do not compute.
Kelly, however, is a very good dancer. And she knows it.
Before this trip, my anxiety about going dancing was through the roof. Kelly tried to show me some moves back home and after a few drinks that night, I was told that I was NOT BAD.
So I take this as huge progress.
I’ve never really done the whole adulting thing in the US. I was barely of drinking age when I left for France, so I hadn’t really gone out to American bars before this trip.
There are so many codes I was not familiar with, especially after living in France for the last couple of years where the drinking culture is so different.
I was a little taken aback by how intense bouncers and bartenders are with verifying your I.D. When you have a flashlight glaring at your driver’s license and a bouncer looking you up and down, it makes the whole experience of going out feel a little bit like you’re doing something wrong, no?
I also was clueless when it came to tipping bartenders. I very seriously asked Kelly and her friends what I was supposed to tip and I was told normally you tip at least $1 per drink but if you’re at a really nice bar or getting drinks at a restaurant, you should tip at least 18%.
Ah! Tipping plus tax–my now French brain does not agree.
I mean, yes I tip well in the US but considering tipping’s racist history (it derives from slavery and trying to keep free slaves poor) and the unfair wages servers get, I think it should be up to the employer to give their server a decent and livable wage rather than have that be up to the customers.
The real history behind tipping is surprisingly racist.
Publiée par ATTN: sur Samedi 13 janvier 2018
And after getting used to French prices and having tax included in the ticket price, I was never totally sure of what a bill would amount to at the end. Especially because in Oregon there is no sales tax, I completely forgot about it when we got into Seattle.
Anyway, tip and tax rant over.
This trip was really more about spending time together than actually seeing Seattle. But, we did hit the famous Pike Place Market.
This place gets busy so fast! For my claustrophobic self, shuffling through the market was not so enjoyable. Nonetheless, they’re known for having great and fresh seafood, so we lined up and I tried some oysters and fries for lunch while Kelly got some classic fish and chips. The poor guy who was our cashier was on his first day on the job and I was overwhelmed for him. The lines around here get crazy. But, the oysters were worth the wait.
After we headed over to the Seattle Great Wheel with views of Seattle’s skyline. I didn’t realize how terrified Kelly was of heights until we got on the Ferris wheel and I felt so bad for making her go on with me. Was it worth seeing Seattle from up above? Eh, for $14 a ticket I would just go to a rooftop bar, but that’s just me.
I then left Kelly to enjoy some quality time with her friends (tbh I was feeling the repercussions of my drinks of choice from the night before). But, this gave me time to enjoy the hotel’s beautiful bathtub.
After meeting up and grabbing some sushi together, Kelly and I then headed back to the hotel for some cheesecake and a screening of The Year of Spectacular Men.
I was so looking forward to watching this movie together because it seemed like such a sister film. I’m obsessed with Zoey Deutch, the Meg Ryan of our generation (I did not coin this term for her, I read it somewhere else I can’t remember where…but the point is I could not agree more). And she stars in the film with her sister, Madeleine Deutch who wrote and scored the movie. Not to mention, their mom, THE Lea Thompsom directed and stars in the film as well.
I love how the film is such a family affair but it’s written and directed by women and focuses on female narratives.
The perfect ending to our sister trip was doing nothing and watching a movie. You know the people who you can just do nothing with and you have the best time?
Well for me, that’s my sister.
And I miss her all the time.