Getting to Seattle was remarkably straightforward. One of our fellow guests in Portland was heading back there in the morning and offered us a ride straight to our destination. A heavy traffic jam and a few hours later, we arrived at the entrance of Corey’s apartment, and he energetically welcomed us. Barely a minute after we dropped our stuff on his floor, he offered to take us to the local international beer festival held under the Space Needle. We had noticed on his Couchsurfing profile that he stated he liked beer, and this was confirmed by his many uniquely labelled beer bottles displayed in his apartment. We didn’t have to think twice about his offer since we liked beer quite a bit ourselves, and he sneaked us in. He had over 20 beer tickets left, which can be redeemed as one ticket per drink or more tickets per drink, depending on the cost of the beer. We sampled different beers ranging from dark ales to IPAs to pilsners, and were quite tipsy by the time all his tickets ran out. Of course, us being recent college grads, we associated tipsiness with the need to look for a snack, and ordered some snacks at McDonald’s under Corey’s disappointed gaze.
We still had another hour before we were supposed to meet Emily’s friends from high school, Boris and Natalie, so we headed to TeKu tavern. We had never seen anything like this, and we found the concept brilliant. TeKu had about 40 craft beers on tap, and sold over 300 varieties in the fridges to the back. In the “Bierhalle” style, there were long tables and benches spread out next to the fridges. Instead of having a kitchen, customers were encouraged to order in food, and take out/delivery menus from local eateries were displayed in books placed on each table. This cut down costs and let the tavern focus on what a tavern really is- serving beer. We each had a great pint of wheat beer and stumbled off (well, we were still used to walking at Corey speed so more like sprinted off) to Serious Pie for some pizza.
Boris and Natalie were already waiting when we arrived. We exchanged travel stories and Boris told us about his work at Amazon. The pizza itself was delicious, and we had yet more beer while we shared a delicious rectangular pizza topped with roasted mushrooms and truffle cheese (Emily was extremely happy with this topping). After an hour of catching up, we walked back to Corey’s apartment so that we could go together to a BBQ one of his friends was having.
We were very pleasantly surprised when we discovered at this BBQ was located on a beautiful apartment rooftop in a great location. We had an expansive view of the Seattle skyline, and because of our timing, had a spectacular sunset view. It turns out that the party was a birthday party, and that most of the guests were part of the Couchsurfing community. We chatted for a while with the others next to the gas fireplace, and then headed to the birthday boy’s apartment for the after party. His place was a haven for cool gadgets and trinkets, and we really enjoyed playing Klask against each other, watching a little drone take off, and yelling commands at Alexa.
The next morning, we got up quite late and headed out towards Pike Place Market in search of some lunch. The place was teeming with tourists. We took one glance at presumably the original Starbucks and decided that there was nothing that could convince us to join the throngs of people in order to pay tribute to it. We squirmed among the easily identifiable tour groups in the crowded aisles in search of food. We got full off some cheap Chinese snacks and took a gander at all the hipster goodies available for sale.
Corey was still at home when we returned, and we spent the afternoon relaxing at his place. In the evening, we had a fantastic dinner with him at Mantra Thai Restaurant and Bar. We craved Asian food after about 5 months of not having any, and this was very satisfying. We stayed in after dinner and watched Portlandia (after our experience, we determined this show wasn’t much of a spoof) and Ex Machina. In the morning, we packed our bags and said bye to Corey. We wished we could have stayed longer since Corey was such an awesome host and super fun to be around, but we started to realized that we had less than a month to make it to Alaska. Thanks Corey for being the best, and we really hope to see you in Toronto or the Netherlands some day!