Eating, Shopping And Sightseeing In Seattle | une femme d'un certain âge

Girls’ Trip: Two Days In Seattle

neon sign at entrance to Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Shenanigans In Seattle

My friend Karen moved to Oregon last year. Even before her move we hadn’t been able to see each other in months, so when she suggested meeting up for a couple of days in Seattle, I didn’t need much convincing.

Karen’s cousin lives nearby, and had provided Karen with an extensive list of suggestions for dining and sightseeing.

Karen takes a photo of the Space Needle in Seattle

Our hotel (Crowne Plaza) was centrally located and we were able to walk to most of our destinations. Karen had suggested visiting the “Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor” exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. We reserved our tickets for the following day.


images from Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor exhibit at Pacific Science Center in Seattle

It was SO worth making time for. The exhibit was well laid out, and not overwhelming. Not much is known about the Qin Dynasty (2200 years ago), but in his short reign “The First Emperor” managed to unite several warring states, established standards for agriculture, weights and measures, and even axle widths to aid in road building and infrastructure.

There have been over 8,000 of these warriors unearthed already, and there may be more still buried. The exhibit included 10 of the original warriors from the burial site, as well as armor and other artifacts, and replicas of some larger-scale pieces.

Dinosaur sculpture fountain at Pacific Science Center in Seattle. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

I’d also suggest that if you’re visiting the Seattle area with kids or grandkids, a trip to the Pacific Science Center should be on the agenda. There are so many fun interactive displays, and the kids we saw that day seemed to be having a grand time. We’d have stayed and played with some of the displays ourselves, but we were both getting hungry for lunch and still wanted to catch an afternoon ferry ride.


view of the Seattle skyline from the Bainbridge Island ferry

We hopped the ferry out to Bainbridge Island, mostly because we both just wanted to get out on the water for a while. It’s a gorgeous trip, with great views of the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier in the distance.

Mt. Rainier in the distance as seen from the Bainbridge Island Ferry in Seattle

We didn’t spend a lot of time on Bainbridge Island, but Karen did find a cute silver packable windbreaker at one of the little shops.


pork and kimchee dumplings at Din Tai Fung in Seattle

We had some really fabulous meals, including a dim sum lunch at Din Tai Fung. Other favorites included Tulio, where I enjoyed a delectable fennel rubbed and lightly seared albacore, and Karen gave thumbs up to her linguine and clams. We didn’t pass up an opportunity for local oysters and crab salads, which we ordered at Matt’s In The Market.

We also indulged in some post-dinner Manhattans at Radiator Whiskey our first evening in town. The drinks were delicious, but be warned, they make ’em strong. After one each, and then splitting another drink called a “Phil Collins” we were pretty hammered. Fortunately we only had a short walk back to the hotel.

And Shopping…
style blogger Susan B. and friend Karen try on sunglasses at Gucci

Well of course we did! We stopped into the Gucci boutique and tried on some sunglasses, bags, and loafers. Karen also tried on some belts. Gucci is just so fun these days, and I love what Alessandro Michele has done with the brand since he took over as creative director in 2015.

We couldn’t be in Seattle and not visit the Nordstrom Mothership. It’s a pretty spectacular store, and we spent hours looking around and trying a few things. It was a great opportunity to check out some items from the Anniversary Sale that weren’t available at my local store.

Detail: Munro suede booties from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Details at une femme d'un certain age

Karen tried these booties on and gave them two thumbs up for style and comfort. She bought them on the spot. I tried them too; think they run a little bit narrow, and have ordered a couple of widths to see which is the better fit. They’re available in widths from N to WW, and in mushroom and wine colors in addition to black.

Izipizi sunglasses from Nordstrom. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

We both tried on a bunch of sunglasses. Karen loved (and bought) these with the blue mirrored lenses. They fit her beautifully and are very reasonably priced. The brand is “Izipizi.” I was amused by the name.

Detail: Halogen cashmere wrap from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This cashmere wrap is wonderfully soft, and can be worn over the shoulders or as an oversized scarf in winter. I was tempted by the ivory color, and Karen looked fabulous in the pink.

Halogen waffle knit cashmere wrap from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

This waffle knit cashmere wrap is also on sale and available in some lovely colors. This soft heather brown color was good for me, and I also liked the blue. Both this wrap and the one above would be nice travel pieces.

Laura Mercier Rose Duo lipstick and liner from Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Karen also picked up this “Rose Duo” lipstick and liner set, offered as part of the Anniversary Sale. The color looks gorgeous on her. She says the lipstick has a lot of staying power, but isn’t drying. It’s a good value too, $28 for both the lipstick and liner pencil. (If you prefer a warmer color, there’s also a lip duo in Nude.)

The Seattle Space Needle.

It was a quick trip, but we really lucked out with the weather and our location. One thing I’ll suggest for visiting Seattle is to be sure to have some good walking shoes with a rubber sole. Even if it’s not raining, the hilly terrain requires soles that grip. I slipped on some slick aggregate pavement going down one of the steeper streets, and landed on one knee. (And that was before having any alcohol.) No damage beyond a good scrape, but I’ll know better for next time.

What’s your favorite destination for a girls’ trip?

Stay in touch.

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  1. July 31, 2017 / 4:02 am

    What lovely pix — I adore Seattle. We have so many friends there in the city and on the islands and have been pretty much everywhere you described (except Gucci, darn it). Your adventures made my mouth water and my heart yearn to go back soon.

    Happily, hubby and I are going to Vancouver for a week-long vacation in mid-August to escape the dog days heat here in the Lower Midwest Your post has made me even more excited about our decision.

    BTW, I love that your Nordstrom Mothership selections posted above are so affordable. Those sunglasses Karen bought are a find. This fall I’ll be having cataract surgery and, for the first time ever, be able to wear sunglasses without corrective lenses. Just think — wearing sunglasses you buy off the rack!

  2. Ellen
    July 31, 2017 / 5:21 am

    Not travel, but for those of your readers who need reading glasses: Izipizi also makes over the counter readers that are the best and most durable that I have tried, and are now all that i wear. I get constant compliments about them. It is a French company; in America, selected styles are mostly available in a few boutiques and a few museum shops, like MOMA, but the whole line can be found online and they ship quickly. Most pairs are $40, and they come in a nice selction of bright colors (I am wearing cobalt blue right now).

    • July 31, 2017 / 7:09 am

      Thanks, Ellen, for that Izipizi readers tip. I’ll need those after my cataract surgery.

  3. Patricia
    July 31, 2017 / 7:05 am

    Hi Sue – that looks like a great trip. By the way, did your friend Karen have a blog years ago? If so, I remember it very well. I found your blogs at the same time and I really enjoyed hers too, I was sad when she stopped blogging.

  4. July 31, 2017 / 7:11 am

    I love visiting Seattle as well, but with the current exchange rate (not to mention politics with borders), it’s been a while (last visit was meeting you and Le Monsieur there). So good to see Karen here again — what fun you two must have had!

  5. Annette
    July 31, 2017 / 7:52 am

    Love the Gucci sunglasses!

  6. July 31, 2017 / 7:58 am

    I love Seattle and so enjoyed reading about your trip. It made me want to go again. The Warrior exhibit intrigued me as did the shopping. Nordstroms flagship is a great store with wonderful employees. And the seafood in Seattle is something I dream about. I am glad you had a great time.

  7. Kathleen Ludgate
    July 31, 2017 / 7:59 am

    My favorite girls’ trip is Santa Fe. …art, jewelry, food and sights.

  8. Debbie M.
    July 31, 2017 / 8:25 am

    I thought Bainbridge Island got a little more chic this weekend! So glad you hopped on the ferry for even a brief visit and hope you will return sometime soon—the Bloedel Reserve and art museum are gems, although as board president, I’m partial to Bainbridge Performing Arts. Speaking of sturdy shoes, even my dress shoes have to be “ferry worthy,” meaning that I can walk down to the ferry in from wherever I park my car, walk off and up the hills of Seattle to dinner, shopping or a show. The beauty of that commute is worth giving up heels, though!

  9. July 31, 2017 / 8:43 am

    My hometown! I’m so glad you had a good time. My family moved to Seattle from Alaska when I was 5 (1959) and I’ve seen so many changes in my beloved city since then! I’m now based in Florence, Italy, where it’s 100 degrees as I write this – at 5:30 pm! Makes me long for an 80 degree Seattle summer day….. I also picked up some great things from my favorite salesperson at Anniversary Sale – but had to order via email since I’m in the EU now. Ciao!

  10. KAren
    July 31, 2017 / 9:21 am

    It was a wonderful trip! You haven’t given me a bum shopping steer yet. Glad we can wear the same narrow eyewear– I’ll just do what you’re doing from now on! birdies had some great prefall gear. I’m going back before the 4th to double down on scarves.

  11. MJ
    July 31, 2017 / 9:30 am

    If you liked the terra cotta warriors display you should add Xi’an to your list of places to visit. The warriors are truly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen (and I’ve traveled a lot). Plus there is a great dumpling house, the city wall is wonderful, and the night kite flying was a beautiful surprise.

    • Ellen
      August 1, 2017 / 5:22 am

      I had seen a nice dispaly of the Terra Cotta Warriers at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, year and years ago, but absolutely nothing can compare to seeing the whole regiment of them lined in formation at the site. Nothing. We went to China 12 years ago, and no trip that we have taken since has surpassed that one.

  12. July 31, 2017 / 9:41 am

    Always the best times are times spent with friends. And your friend Karen looks as lovely as you do. Great sunglasses.

  13. Marybeth
    July 31, 2017 / 9:50 am

    Fun blog! I felt like I was with y’all! Thnx, Susan!

  14. Sheila (of Ephemera)
    July 31, 2017 / 11:05 am

    Oh, you were so close to me! Next time, come over to Victoria! I’ll show you around! I love Seattle, but can’t afford to too often with the exchange rates. I haven’t been to the Science Centre in years – MoPop (Museum of Pop Culture) is also worth a stop – it’s fabulous.

  15. Jen
    July 31, 2017 / 11:07 am

    Love the Gucci sunglasses on you. Did you get them?

  16. July 31, 2017 / 3:01 pm

    For Heaven’s sake! You two packed it in… I loved hearing all of the different things you experienced, and how you touched on so many things I love, like dim sum, taking the ferry, Laura Mercier, sunglasses… Sounds like a perfect, two day, girl-trip!

    • Karen
      July 31, 2017 / 4:33 pm

      Hi Kande! Next time you come too. We are more spontaneous than most though, so have a bag ready at the door when we summon you!:)

  17. Jill Ann
    July 31, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    My favorite girls’ trip lately is NYC. My best friend lives in DC and I’m in TX…but my daughter moved to NJ last year, so when I go to visit her, we do a quick train trip up to NYC and my friend meets us there. Always lots to do, shows to see, places to shop!

  18. lisa
    August 1, 2017 / 3:43 pm

    Fun read – and I enjoyed seeing Karen here on your blog. She was a favourite fellow forum member on YLF a few years ago. I like every single piece you’ve posted here – what a bunch of great finds!

  19. Bea
    August 1, 2017 / 11:01 pm

    The Gucci sunglasses do look great on you

  20. August 3, 2017 / 10:09 am

    Next time you plan a trip to Seattle, please let me know! I’ll be happy to suggest some places to visit for your itinerary. xo Joanna

    • Susan B
      August 3, 2017 / 10:10 am

      Will do, thanks Joanna!

  21. Pam
    August 4, 2017 / 5:07 am

    Glad you mentioned that your friend thought the Munro booties were comfortable. I have a lot of Munro shoes for casual wear because they make narrow sizes and really are comfortable! I’m interested in this bootie, but wasn’t sure about the comfort of the elastic behind the heel and not near a Nordstrom to be able to try them on. When you receive the ones you’ve ordered, I hope you’ll comment about this particular element of the shoe.

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