Travel Diary: San Francisco Day 1 - Late Night Arrival

January 19, 2016 (continued): Flying into San Francisco, I was greeted by the most stunning sunset I’ve ever witnessed - the sky was filled with bands of blood red and baby pink (the photos don’t do it justice!). I took this as a good omen for my next set of adventures here.

Landing in SFO, I hitched ride on the BART to my hotel. To lessen any stress, I like to be prepared and as hassle free as possible when traveling so I pre-booked my round trip ticket. I pre-printed the ticket before my trip so I could directly board the train without waiting in any lines. I was also fortunate enough that one of the stations was only a couple blocks walk to my stay for the next few days, Kensington Park Hotel.

 Walking to my hotel in Union Square, I was in the thick of the buzzing night life and I was intoxicated. The lights, the crowd, all the sights to see within a few blocks, I couldn’t get enough and it put an extra pep in my step - which helped when I had to drag my suitcase and thick winter coats uphill! I got to my destination and found it to be a charming, boutique hotel. Built in the 1920s, it had kept a lot of what I loved aesthetically about that era, the vintage fixtures, tiled floor, etc. My room was a nice size with a luxe feel to it. The only drawback was my window looked directly at another building’s wall, which is why I probably got it for a deal!

After freshening up and settling in, my buzz was still going so I ventured out to explore the area nearby. My first stop of course was for dessert at a nearby Ghirardelli. So many choices but I went classic with a scoop each of chocolate and cookies ‘n’ cream. They were a perfectly delicious nightcap and they gave you a couple squares of their signature chocolate as a bonus!

To walk off my dessert, I explored a little more near my hotel. I found a ton of high end shops and the Dewey Monument only about a block away. Just outside the Monuments square, was a man playing a jazzy tune on his trumpet and it set the mood for a kind of lovely, romantic introduction to this city.

Apologies for the phone quality photos as I didn’t feel like dragging out my big camera after I arrived. But I promise I have a whole slew of goodies coming up next!

All photos taken by me and opinions are my own.

Travel Diary: Seattle - Arrival

January 15, 2016: I had a late night arrival in Seattle, leaving little time for any exploration other than the midnight run for water and snacks. With that said, here are my first impressions and travel tips of Seattle.

After arriving at SeaTac - I went to catch the Link Light Rail at the station located within the airport. I highly recommend traveling this way if you’re on a budget, as the furthest route is still only under $4! You can buy the tickets at the vending machine located near the station.

About 40 minutes later, I made it to my destination in downtown and headed towards the Mayflower Park Hotel. I chose this hotel due to it’s central location, close proximity to the train station (10 minute walk), and it was a deal on Hotwire.com. If you haven’t used Hotwire - it’s a deal website where they try to fill up vacant rooms, seats etc. mostly on off seasons. It was my first time booking through them on this trip and I found it’s a hit or miss, I did like the hotel that I got and they do give you a hint as to what it is before you book, but after all the fees added on at checkout, I’m not sure how much of a deal it actually ends up being.

The hotel is a historic building, launched in the 1920s, it definitely had some of it’s old charm still but updated slightly to keep up with modern times. My room had a beautiful view of downtown (better pictures to come later), with the soft glowing lights of the towering buildings nearby. The walls were a little thin (could hear the party next door), but it was clean and nicely kept. When writing this, I discovered it may also be haunted - though I didn’t really experience anything of that nature when I stayed there (thankfully!).

Once I settled in and dropped off my bags, I went on the hunt for some late night snacks, the only nearby place I could find open was a couple miles away. Since walking was my only mode of transport I headed off, but I don’t really recommend this if you’re traveling alone and staying in downtown. As with many downtown areas it can get a little sketchy at night and found myself briskly walking past more than a few places. I headed back to my hotel and turned in for the night.

All photos taken by my on my iPhone 6.