I got on a bus with my friends near Google in Kirkland and we rode the 255 down to University Street Station. Once, arriving, we happened upon a square near Macy’s where they are always hosting protests or concerts or awareness events. Today, the square did not let us down.

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The square was full of people– a band accompanied by a sign language interpreter, those handing out flyers and holding up signs celebrating 25 years of equal minimum wage for those with disabilities, and those trying to figure out what was going on in the square today.

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The band played Katy Perry’s Roar. It was definitely off-beat, but it didn’t matter. Everyone– whether standing, sitting, rolling by in a wheel chair, or intently watching the interpreter– was having a great time. It was a public party celebrating a better life for those with special needs.

After lingering for a song or two, we decided to make our way towards food, because we were hungry and I knew this amazing place. It’s right across from a Show Girls building, so it’s not really a place to take children. But, why blame them for an unfortunate business location?

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This restaurant, Falafel King, has only 3.5 stars in Yelp and I am assuming it is only 3.5 stars because it is next to a Show Girls place. I read through a few reviews and it seems that pickier people– like people who don’t like onions or garlic seem to not like this place. So, as long as you like onions and garlic on things, you should love the food.

I ordered a Gyro (pronounced “hyeeroh”) which always comes with an amazing tzatziki sauce. I prefer this place’s sauce to any others’. It is slightly redder. I am not sure what extra they add, but it is delicious.

PC: a random tourist/ local

Two of us bought cokes to go with our meals and we noticed that we had grabbed some pretty accurate cans.

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Two of us ordered the gyros and Alayna (from Awayfromthesafeharbor) bought Shwarma. We also got a plate of Mediterranean Fries (french fries with garlic sauce and feta cheese) and Alayna and I ended our meals with Baklava.

I already want to go back…

After finishing our meals, we walked to the next shop over– Metsker Maps.

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This store has ANYTHING map related you could want– a map of China in 1901, a water-proof map holder, map wrapping paper, geography coloring books, and those window decal stickers in the shape of Washington State with a heart inside.

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They also have the coolest post cards EVER and I would love to send some to readers sometime if that sounds fun. I sort of have an obsession with writing letters… I also dislike technology (even though I use it everyday)… and I’m pretty sure I should have been born in the 1800s. But, all of that aside, seriously, I want to write postcards to anyone interested. 😉 Email me. thoughtsofhomes@gmail.com

We bought a few items, like a laptop cover and a few post cards and made our way back down the street and around to the main Pike Place entrance.

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We came across a band with a bare-foot, raspy singer and a huge crowd was huddled around them.

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The band was sitting right outside of Pike Place Fish Co. which is famous for “flying fish”. Every time anyone buys something, they throw it across the store and catch it before they wrap it up. It’s easily the most watched performance at Pike Place.

If you are from out of state, you can have any of their items shipped overnight and they have a guarantee that anything you buy will be packed so well that it stays fresh in the box for 43 hours.

No one seemed to be buying fish while we were there, so we made our way down towards the produce and floral section of the Market.

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The produce at Pike Place is easily the best produce I’ve had in my life. Choice Produce and Pepper is my favorite– for taste and staff. They are easy going, and they don’t make you feel bad for trying the peach and not buying anything (not like you wouldn’t buy one after eating it though.).

I am disappointed that I didn’t buy any while I was there. However, we did get to try some chocolate noodles.

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As you can see from the lady’s face in the far right, chocolate noodles are the bomb and it is totally okay to make them and substitute spaghetti sauce with ice cream. #noregrets

And something not-so-mind-blowing as the idea of chocolate noodles (but still pretty incredible), is the prices of floral bouquets. The bouquets of Pike Place may be some of the prettier arrangements you may ever see and, you can get some of them for as little as $5. Some of these $5 and $10 bouquets would easily cost $40-$70 from a floral store anywhere else. So, even if you are a tourist and can’t take them home, buy a bunch and give them to a street performer or something because it’s seriously such a deal.

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We decided to come back later and grab a bouquet, but we wanted to take a picture on one of the outlooks of the Market.

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We could see the Great Wheel and the Puget Sound from where we stood, and it was quite the view. You can usually see ferries coming to and from the water.

We continued through the Market, passing some famous spots such as Beecher’s Cheese— a handmade cheese shop with two locations– Pike Place in Seattle and the Flatiron District of New York.

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It’s not a great photo, but you can watch them make Cheese in large vats through the window.

We also passed Piroshky Piroshky, a Russian pastry shop which opened in 1992.

PC: Thoughtsofhomes P.S. Look at the amazing bathroom signs at Pike Place….

They use family recipes and that is part of the beauty of the place because everyone makes their piroshky a little differently. Sometimes the line for this place can be insanely long and they may be out of some pastries, but it is so worth the wait. One of my favorites in the Apple Cinnamon Roll because I’m pretty sure they cut up an entire apple and wrap it inside the piroshky. If you want something more savory, I have never had the chance to try it, but they have a smoked salmon piroshky and that would be your most “Seattle” option to try.

And after you eat your smoked salmon piroshky, you can’t help but stand outside of the first Starbucks either. So, we did.

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I have actually never gone inside of the Starbucks before simply because the line is SO LONG. I recently learned that this is actually not the original spot of the first store. This is the second location it moved to in 1976 and it has been here ever since. But, I doubt everyone waiting in line knows that. 😉 I still want to go inside once though, just to say I did it. But, yesterday was not that day.

We ended our trip, shortly after realizing that there were manikins on the roof next to Starbucks.

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I mean, they didn’t make us leave. But, it was the last thing we saw before we went back to the bus.

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Going through this whole trip, I noticed as I sat down on the bus or at Falafel King and as I walked around the shops, I heard so many people complaining. Some people didn’t want to leave. Others wanted to stay. I noticed that even though all of us were surrounded by an amazing place that some people may die before ever experiencing or seeing, some of us there didn’t see it that way.

I didn’t want to be someone who was surrounded by a happy situation and only focused on how it could have been better. I mean, of course, there is always a time to push for something better. However, I firmly believe there is a time where you also need to just be content with what you have and to realize that you have enough and perhaps even more than enough. That is something to celebrate— not complain about.

There were definitely a few people who chose to ruin their trip to downtown Seattle and I don’t want to do that to my trip to Seattle, and especially not my life.

I want to be thankful for every moment I have, because every moment of my life will never happen again. Every moment is a gift you can’t get back and it’s important to enjoy those moments and to spend them with the people you really care about and the ones who really care about you.

So, I want to see my adventurer coke can half-full, not half-empty. I want to notice what  can be better, but also not discard everything that is going well. So, my trip to Seattle was TOTALLY AWESOME and I really hope your trips where ever you are are the same.

And I hope that all of you see the can half-full, not half-empty, because it is a much happier way to live.

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