Sunday, 13 January 2013

America, you're still no.1 to me!

As if there was ever any doubt! Although it's true that you can get Root Beer and Lucky Charms here in Vancouver too...America is still my absolute fave! You wanna know why?
Well, I could just make this post one photo long and that would be explanation enough...

Okay maybe two photos...

Yes, sadly there is no Cheesecake Factory in Vancouver so when we stumbled (although I'd legitimately planned to go to a mall 20 minutes out of our way just to 'stumble' across the Cheesecake Factory!) across it I was beyond excited! Forget the fact, I'd been gorging on cupcakes and burgers all day long, it would have been a crime to not order a slice! So we did...and we managed to take it all the way across the border and eat it when we got home that night - and actually the slice was so enormous it took the two of us two whole days to eat it! 
but oh man, was it worth it! I'd drive the 5 hour round trip right now if it meant another slice of this beast!

So after making all the Brits out there sufficiently jealous...I'll get back to the point I was trying to make, although America and Canada share many of the same stores, restaurants, food items (that, let's face it, made me fall in love with America in the first place) they're just not the same! 

As we queued up in the very early hours of the morning, a few days after Christmas, at the border crossing...I was ridunculously excited!

and although this image is beyond blurry I had to include it because driving past that sign still makes my heart race! Just knowing we were on American soil...before we'd even reached any of the fun stuff, was enough to make me know that home is where your heart is and my heart belongs to the good old U.S. of A! 

I didn't take my eyes off the road, and everything to me looks more exciting in America! Even a tree lined highway!

I would eagerly await every road sign to see what was up ahead...and when I saw this sign I knew we'd found our first pit stop of the day! It wasn't even exactly lunch time yet but that didn't matter!

I have been wanting to try Five Guys for forever! Especially since my sisters raved about it when they came back from Cali last year...and especially since the day before we made this trip we had trekked all the way to a mall in North Vancouver on 2 different buses to find the only Five Guys in mainland Vancouver only to find they had shut down for renovations.  Disappointed was an understatement! So I was double-y delighted when we drove by one on this road trip!

I had heard rumours they are even better than In-N-Out, but when we got to the checkout and I saw there were no milkshakes on the menu I realised they wouldn't be able to compete! Everyone knows no  burger is complete without a shake! 

Having said that the burgers were completely delicious and definitely the best burgers we've had since we've been here...but in my mind In-N-Out still reigns supreme!

Clearly we're not the only people who think their burgers are great!

One of the main reasons I was so excited to go to Seattle was because they have a ton of cupcakeries! We stumbled across Pinkabella cupcakes by accident over in an awesome mall in Bellevue, and when I saw they had won awards for the best cupcakes in Washington we just had to try some!

There's the cupcake addict...first in line! Haha, just kidding...he just has the money!

I went with the chocolate chip cookie dough one because any cupcake that has as much frosting as it does actual cake is gonna be a win in my book!

The chocolate cake was so super moist, and the frosting was amazing! It beat all the cupcakes I've tried here in Vancouver.  We were off to a good start!

The mall also had tons of fun Christmas decorations, just as I expected they would!

They even had flying reindeers! After getting a bit carried away with outlet malls, and the Bellevue mall we finally headed to downtown Seattle...

It was so fun being in such a big city again! 

and one of my most favourite parts of the day was playing the licence state game! I managed to see 13 different states throughout the day!

Our first stop was Pike Place market, we'd heard great things about this place.  Any time you mention Seattle, Pike Place is the first thing people bring up!

For us, it didn't really impress.  There were a lot of stalls selling random stuff you wouldn't really ever want to buy, and I guess the seafood restaurants down there are meant to be good but I was suffering from a burger and sugar overload..and to be honest nowhere does markets like England does I guess!

but it was cool to be down at the waterfront...

and Seattle definitely has a cool vibe, and their shops were way more interesting than what we get here in Vancouver.

The sun came out for a while and made everything sparkle!

Considering Seattle is meant to be the rainiest place around, we were blessed with a rain free day and the bonus of some sunshine too! 

Downtown Seattle with it's Macy's and Nordstrom and super tall buildings on every block actually really reminded me of downtown New York, it was pretty exciting!

Plus they totally delivered with their show of festive spirit!

I was able to shop Nordstrom out thanks to lots of Christmas money!

and of course there was time for one last cupcake at Trophy Cupcakes! Sadly I had made a list of all the cupcakeries I wanted to visit...that I lost halfway through the day (it turned up under my seat when we got home!) and so we couldn't make it to their super cute bakery but had to make do with their stand in the mall instead...I guess that's just another reason we need to head back there in the future! 

We also stumbled past a Cupcake Royale on our way back to the car, which had also been on my list! but it was closed by the time we were there...which may have been a good thing considering how much we'd already consumed! 

As the darkness set in, more lights kept popping up everywhere!

This awesome street was lined with fairy light lit trees, it made me miss London and all it's amazing light displays!

I made By pose with his new snowboard he had managed to pick up at one of the outlet malls earlier in the day, it was quite the bargain! So it was smiles all round with all our purchases, and we had gone way over on what you're allowed to spend in a day according to customs but fortunately our border agent didn't even ask us on the way back home so we made it through with our stash in tact! 

and no day in Seattle is complete without seeing the Space Needle! We especially liked the festive lights on top too!

We would have loved to have gone up, but we had run out of time by that point! We were being a bit ambitious thinking we could fit everything we wanted to do and see into just one day! So that will just have to be another thing added on to the 'next time' list!

Until then Seattle!

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