We walked from the museum for about 45 minutes and got to our first shopping mall of the day, which was the famous The Grove.
Kim was looking for a few things here, as well as just looking around as it was somewhere you are meant to visit in LA.
We walked around but we didn’t find anything of use, so we left the Grove and walked 20 minutes to the Beverly Center, which we bought Curtis’ shirts in the other day.
We got to the Beverly Center and weren’t getting too much luck with the shops, until Kim got to Forever21 where she was able to replace her flip-flops and get some clothes she was looking for.
We got hungry, so we stopped off at Fatburger which was a burger place recommend to us.
We each got a medium sized burger and Kim added cheese whilst Curtis added cheese and bacon. Curtis got onion rings as his side and Kim got chilli cheese fries.
Overall, the meal was disappointing. There was too much lettuce, the tomato slice was too thick and caused everything to slice around, the meat wasn’t staying together so crumbled everywhere, so overall it wasn’t great. We just saw that they are apparently rebranding to be called Skinnyburger…Interesting.
After breakfast, we started our day and went to St Vincent Court. This is a single, small street which is modelled after a european street. There are european stores and cafes here. It wasn’t actually as cool as it sounded, but we took a look anyway.
We walked down the street towards a specific place, but came across the last bookstore. This bookstore, firstly, is huge, and secondly is in an old bank, which looks awesome!
The Vault Door
Whilst here at the bookstore, a lady was looking for her child, who had run off. Luckily, we had seen the child just before, so knew the direction she went and informed the mother. We ended up going the opposite way from the mum and attempting to find the child for her.
From here, we took a little walk to Little Tokyo, well, at least part of it. It really did feel like Japan, but it also wasn’t all that exciting, unfortunately.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
We left little Tokyo a little disappointed, but walked further onto the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which is looks incredible.
Just down the road from here was the Grand Park, which has a fancy name, and we were walking through here to get to city hall, which is a beautiful, tall, building.
City Hall Is The Pointed Building In The Back
We noticed a large amount of noise and then realised it was singing. We continued further and saw a lot of people, before we then realised thst Bernie Sanders was going to be talking shortly, so the place was packed out to see him! Unfortunately, this meant we were unable to see up close, or go inside, city hall.
Chinatown was next on the agenda, as it should be seen everywhere. Honestly, it was pretty disappointing. There was little to see and few restaurants, most of the stores there were ‘tat’ shops, which was a shame.
We got an Uber back home and Kim relaxed whilst Curtis watched the Leafs game. We also planned what we wanted to do for the evening.
We went to the supermarket to grab some dinner. We wanted to get something easy but without having to eat out, so we got a caesar salad and a roasted chicken and ate that…a lot of it!
Film At The Chinese Theatre
We decided on the cinema, late on in the evening.
We went to watch Five Feet Apart, which was an incredibly emotional film, making the pair of us cry, but it was also a great film. We would highly recommend.
We took the tram to the city this morning and then had to take another tram to get down to where we needed to be.
We got there at exactly the time we needed to be and then had to stand in line for a while.
We eventually started to board the boat to Alcatraz Island (which means Pelican, by the way!).
We arrived at the island fairly quickly and there were a lot of people!
We first had to stop at the entrance and get a brief talk from a park ranger as Alcatraz is a national park.
The first building itself is quite daunting as thst isn’t even the prison! There is a cool sign at the entrance, too;
We made our way up to the theatre and got a seat whilst waiting for the introductory film to play.
The film was about 15 minutes long and just explained the history of Alcatraz.
We moved on from here to one of the workshops which was only open for a brief time today.
Along the way, we saw the power station, remains of the officer recreation hall and the former firing range.
We entered the workshop and it was pretty damaged. Most glass was smashed and there were sinks and toilets leftover, as well a sign, for some reason!
There was an art exhibition in another room in here, but it was pretty unrelated to the workshop.
This is the place in which prisoners would work, making things, sometimes for the military but also worked in the laundry area.
There were some incredible views from this island, especially with the weather we had for the start of the day!
We walked up to the prison, getting some awesome photos on the way.
We got to the start of the audio tour, which was in the shower block of the prison, where there was also clothes from the prison times.
We went from here up some stairs and into the main prison block.
The audio guide told us multiple stories and information about different cells and locations around the prison, including solitary confinement, attempted escapes, living conditions and more.
We moved through the library and we were then told about a part of the prison that has marks on the floor from grenade blasts which were thrown in during an attempted escape, via a hole in the roof.
We saw the visitation station, followed by the officer area and then the officer’s control room.
The final area was the most dangerous – The dining hall. This was where everyone ate and therefore had cutlery. A lot of the kitchen equipment is still there, along with a board of the menu for breakfast.
The food was the best here out of all the prisons, so much so that the guards ate the same as the prisoners.
There was a former inmate, now in his 80’s, who was signing books. He has written a book about being in Alcatraz. His name is William Baker.
We walked towards the beach and came across the bison pen. There are about 5 bison homed here in total and they are huge!
We walked onwards towards the beach where there was also a large Dutch windmill. this windmill was absolutely beautiful, so we stopped and got some photos.
We wanted to go for dinner from where we were, so we caught a bus all the way to downtown.
Whilst on the bus, we had a look at places to go and found an amazing looking Italian pizza place in the Italian area of the city.
We got off the bus near the restaurant and proceeded to walk there.
The restaurant wasn’t too busy so we got our food quite quick. We had a starter of buffalo mozzarella (as it was also a mozzarella bar) with arugula, tomato and bread. This was a terrific starter with excellent flavour.
Once our starter was finished, the pizza came at the perfect time. We got what we called a fancy version of a margherita, the difference being buffalo mozzarella.
The pizza was terrific and took us right back to being in Rome!
We had a tiramisu for dessert, which was alright, and then we left.
Unfortunately the service wasn’t great, but the food was pretty solid!
First thing’s first – something we forgot to mention yesterday – Curtis now also has his Canadian work visa, so we can confirm that we plan to work in Canada in the near future!
Now – onward to today;
Off Into The City
We took the bus to the city this morning, but only had a $5 note. Kim was given a ticket which still had time on it, so only Curtis needed a ticket.
Curtis put the $5 note in the machine, expecting change, but the driver informed him that change is not given on buses in Seattle! This didn’t really bother us too much, but now we know.
When we got off the bus, the driver called us over and gave us 2 tickets to be used any time up to 18:00 as he felt bad that we put too much money in. He didn’t have to do that, but it was incredibly kind that he did!
We need to get a US SIM as we will be in the country for a bit of time, so we walked around places trying to find one.
We had seen the perfect thing at the supermarket yesterday, but didn’t want to just take the first thing we saw, so decided to browse.
Whilst we looked, we found nothing better, so decided we’d head to the supermarket later and get the one we saw.
We had seen a coffee shop named Victrola a few times and it was full each time, so it must have been good! We decided we would check it out.
The coffees were mostly one size, which wasn’t a great start for us, so much so that Curtis panicked a little and ordered the house coffee instead of espresso.
The house coffee wasn’t great, but Kim had a mocha which seemed to get better over time.
We found some of the staff a little standoff-ish too, which wasn’t pleasant.
Interestingly there was also an Amazon office within the same building as this coffee shop.
We went for a walk around volunteer park, which is a large park of woodlands. There isn’t much there, but it was a nice walk to relax. We saw a lot of squirrels and some were daring enough to come close. Kim tried to hand one a pinecone and freaked out!
We walked around for a bit more and then stumbled across a giant former water tower.
This water tower is huge and is now an observation deck.
We were able to climb the stairs to the top and get a 360° view of the city (and all the rain clouds!).
We took a different bus home after stopping by at something we will be doing tomorrow to ensure we are booked in.
We walked to a bus stop and caught a different bus number so we could go a bit off course and get directly to the supermarket near our apartment, rather than having to walk from home.
We got the SIM and other things we needed from the store and walked back home.
We got home and Kim whipped up a pork stir fry, which was incredible.
We ate a lot, but it was worth the fullness!
We watched some TV and then went to bed. Got to be up early tomorrow!
We were going to take a bus to the city, but we only had a $100 note, so we decided to walk instead. It wasn’t very warm today, but it also wasn’t cold or raining so we didn’t mind the 40 minute walk.
We walked through the international centre, which is Chinatown, Japantown & the Vietnamese area. This was great and there also seemed to be a lot of great looking restaurants!
Our first stop was brief, but was fairly interesting.
This was a waterfall which was used to commemorate and celebrate the UPS staff and founder.
This is a Japanese style garden and is also the original office of the UPS.
Right by the waterfall was Poineer Square which we accidentally stumbled across.
This area has games, like table tennis, and also a memorial to all firefighters from Seattle that have lost their lives.
Ye Olde Curiosity shop
We went from here towards the waterfront and then stopped at Ye Olde Curiosity shop. This is a shop which has been around since 1899 but has moved several times.
This is a gift shop, but also has a lot of interesting, rare, items in, such as (apparently) real preserved dead bodies and more like that.
Walked along waterfront
We walked along the waterfront some more, just to see what was there. There was a lot of seafood restaurants but it was an interesting walk.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery
We walked from the waterfront up to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery.
This is where coffee beans are roasted, as well as a self guided tour, coffee only available at this location is served as well aa mixologists and staff that know a lot about coffee!
We started by being given a map and going to the first area where they roast coffee. Just 9 feet away, we watched the coffee get roasted and then it all poared out and smelled incredible!
We were given some freshly roasted beans to smell and taste!
These smelled incredible, but didn’t taste to good like this!
We got a flight ofcoffee to try, which was 8oz of 3 different coffees.
We had one from Kenya, one Columbian coffee and one which is only roasted at this location from Guatemala.
Kim isn’t a big coffee drinker, so Curtis drank most of it!
The Kenyan coffee had a great flavour but was fairly bitter. The Columbian was the easiest to drink and the Guatemalan coffee had a crazy flavour of black cherry and plum, which it really did, and was a little overpowering.
Curtis didn’t feel great after drinking so much rich coffee at once, but it was an awesome experience!
We got back to the apartment and Curtis watched hockey.
After hockey, we went to the supermarket to get a few things we needed as well as dinner for the next few days.
We got back and had steak ready to cook, which we purchased a couple of days ago.
This was a new york strip steak and it was large and incredible.
Curtis seasoned the steak very well and Kim cooked it perfectly, with the help of meat thermometers. The meat was incredibly tender and the accompaniment of the expertly cooked potatoes and delicious onion and mushroom gravy made it a heavenly meal!
We sat and had a chat with our host for a while as he came in whilst we were cooking.
Once we were done with the chatting, we washed up and then went to bed to watch a bit of TV.
Kim has a surprise for Curtis tomorrow, so he doesn’t know what’s going to be happening!