Unexpected Vacation

November 7, 2014 | Category: Cities, Seattle, Travel, Trees, Washington

Tree house in Capitol Hill

Tree house in Capitol Hill

Sometimes the Universe decides that it’d be a fun idea to let you go travel around and live wherever you want and in all sorts of cool new places free of charge. It may not happen when you expect or in a way you expect, but I just discovered that it definitely does happen! 😀

A few weeks back our upstairs neighbor’s hot water tank leaked and some water came down through our ceiling, down the walls, and onto the floor. To check the damage they cut the ceiling away around the water sprinkler that the water travelled down and around.

Initial ceiling leak cutaway

Initial ceiling leak cutaway

Since then our place has been a bit of a construction zone with floors ripped out, walls torn out new drywalling having to be put in. Walking to my bedroom involved walking over the concrete under the carpet and pad, turning the bottom of my black socks white from the dust.

Concrete floor that turns my black socks white

Concrete floor that turns my black socks white

After a few cancellations due to emergencies elsewhere in the neighborhood, they finally came back this week to start finishing things up… installing the new carpet and flooring we picked out, and texturing and painting the walls. Well as they were getting started in the morning, they bumped a water pipe which cracked a joint in the piping, setting off this waterfall-like blast of rushing water, and flooding my condo/apartment. Awesome… We were SOOOO close to being done!!!

Flooding by front door, trying to vacuum away the water to minimize the damage

Flooding by front door, trying to vacuum away the water to minimize the damage

There’s a water cut-off valve inside my place that you can use to stop any waterflow in situations exactly like this, but the way they broke the pipe it didn’t help so they actually had to go outside and cut off water for the entire building, lol…

Turning off water outside

Turning off water outside

Soooooo… my place has water damage now. Currently they’ve basically ripped out the carpet for my whole place and put fans and dehumidifiers everywhere to dry everything out.

Fans in living room

Fans in living room

So now that all this is going on, the company that was doing the repairs and then caused the flooding is having to do way more repairs and it’s going to take a lot more time than it would have otherwise. In the meantime, they’re paying for us to stay in a hotel while they do the work.

We figured that instead of just picking some random nearby hotel just because, we could go stay at all sorts of really cool different and fun places in the area. You know? What’s the best way we can experience this whole situation? What awesome things can we make of this?

Night 1: Hotel Ballard

For the first night we got a room on the pavilion, the top floor of this sweet hotel in Ballard. Check this out…

Hotel Ballard, entrance to our room

Hotel Ballard, entrance to our room

You actually enter the room from the deck outside. It’s pretty sweet.

When you first walk in you actually arrive in a living room that looks all upscale and fancy. Love it!

Hotel Ballard, living room

Hotel Ballard, living room

Head into the next room and you’ll find a wiiiiide king size bed. This bed has the longest throw pillow ever. I have no idea if you’re actually supposed to sleep on this thing and share it between two people. We wound up using it to joust and javelin back and forth American Gladiators style.

Hotel Ballard bed

Hotel Ballard bed

Back beyond the bedroom you’ll find the bathroom with its own standalone tub!!

Hotel Ballard bathroom

Hotel Ballard bathroom

Isn’t it beautiful? Stand up shower, beautiful countertops, big mirrors, one of those closeup mirrors with a ringlight so you can get a closeup view of your pores, coffee (booyah), yeah, awesome stuff.

This part of town has lots of restaurants and bars to check out which makes it great to grab a burger, some drinks, meet people, and do whatever you like.

At one point I was walking down the street and saw a bar that said they had over 200 types of scotch available. I’d never had scotch before and wasn’t even sure exactly what it is, so I went in to learn and order some! Turns out scotch is basically the name for whiskey from Scotland. It’s actually quite different from normal liquor. It’s best enjoyed being sipped little by little. When he brought it out I was surprised that he brought out barely a shot! You definitely don’t shoot scotch though. You really savor it in really small bits. 🙂

Scotch bar

Scotch bar

Friendly people to chat with at the bar, fun bar games to play while you’re there, and we went over to grab some BBQ afterwards… good times.

The next morning sunrise wasn’t all that special. Kinda cloudy and gray. No real color. A little while later though once we got up there was a little more color outside so we went to check out the view from the top.

Hotel Ballard, view from the top

Hotel Ballard, view from the top

For breakfast we decided to go to Portage Bay. It’s one of my favorite restaurants in the area.

Leaving the hotel and taking advantage of the free parking they have available, we decided to walk to grab some breakfast and enjoying this fun little part of town.

Along the way I saw a woman who was about to lift a desk into the back of her SUV. I asked her if she needed and help and then we put it back there. She’d taken this big huge bouncy exercise ball out to fit the desk in and Glenn asked her if she wanted this too. She said that she actually didn’t want it and Glenn said that he did so she flat out gave it to him, lol…

Glenn carrying ball

There was a house that Glenn was wondering where it was and Glenn asked her if she knew where it was. She didn’t, but a guy walking by with his daughter who overheard us stopped and let us know exactly where it was. Awesome.

Shortly thereafter we finished making our way over to Portage Bay.

Glenn carrying ball at Portage Bay

I think the one actually on the bay is a little bit better than the one here in Ballard. Perhaps it was just that it’s busier so the food is constantly being prepared, but I think the food we had had been sitting out for a while and we could kinda tell by the time it got to us, but when Glenn brought it up they brought out some more recently made food. Nice. 🙂

Nights 2 & 3: Tree House in Capitol Hill

For the next two nights we decided to head closer into the Seattle area and Glenn found this tree house type place in Capitol Hill near Fremont.

Tree house

Tree house

It wasn’t so much a treehouse built up in the trees like you’d normally think of, but a more traditional house in a densely wooded area of Capitol Hill in Interlaken Park. It’s one of the few houses allowed in the park in fact.

It was quite a beautiful home. The owners live upstairs and they rent out the lower part to people who’d like to stay here as well.

You can park either along the street or on this wooden bridge that basically functions as a driveway. lol

Tree house parking bridge

Tree house parking bridge

The wood is pretty slick when wet so you learn to walk by lifting your feet up and placing your feet straight down on the wood so you don’t slide around. Walk over to the edge and you get a view of the entrance to the home.

Tree house entrance

Tree house entrance

The guy who lives here lives at the bottom of the brown stairwell. Drop down the spiral staircase and you get to the entrance for the airbnb room you can stay in. You can enter via the bedroom or the main door which has this cool wooden pattern that matches and blends in with the wall.

Tree house door

Tree house door

Enter inside and you’ll see a wonderful little gift left by the owners. What a nice touch.

 

Tree house wine

Tree house wine

Free champagne and wifi as soon as you walk in. Alright!

The home, as you can see, has a beautiful wooden look to it which fits right in with the location. Here’s the rest of the kitchen and living room area.

Tree house kitchen

Tree house kitchen

That couch pulls out into a queen sized bed and was a great place to relax, get some work done, watch youtube videos, and generally hang out. There’s also one bedroom with a king size bed and another bedroom with two more twins.

One area that Glenn especially liked were the seats just outside the main entrance. You could sit down, have cover from the rain, and look out at the woods while the rain falls from above. 🙂

Tree house spiral staircase

Tree house spiral staircase

We spent two nights here and it was a cool little place. You had things like a Nest to control the thermostat (those things are smaller in person!) and a wonderfully quiet and fancy laundry machine that automatically knows how much laundry is inside so you don’t have to set the size of the load. So many cool things to discover everywhere!

We grabbed a bunch of food out of the fridge before we left home so that it wouldn’t go bad while we were gone, so our meals when we weren’t going out consisted of whatever we’d brought with us and hadn’t eaten yet. 😀 Here’s some potatoes and bacon that we’re cooking up!

Tree house bacon and potatoes

Heading to Portland

After leaving this place and heading back home to drop off some of the food we didn’t need, we headed over to the train station to grab an Amtrak ride down for the next leg of the journey. I’m going down a bit earlier to go see someone I’ve been wanting to meet for a long time and Glenn’s driving down a couple hours later.

Amtrak train

Amtrak train

Seattle’s got a pretty cool lookin’ train station called King Street Station which is all white marble inside. Pretty wild. Here’s the outside of it.

King Street Amtrak Station

King Street Amtrak Station

This whole post, in fact, I wrote while riding the train because, well, I can. :p Perhaps a better idea in theory because the wifi is a bit slow (which I anticipated and uploaded the images beforehand) and the vibrations made me a little suck from staring at the laptop, but it’s pretty cool that you can blog from a train. 😀

Ariel on the Amtrak

Ariel on the Amtrak

We juuuuust arrived to Portland, perfect timing, so time to hit the Publish button and head out! See ya soon! 🙂

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