Seattle, with a Touch of Academia: Sol Travel Diaries

I spent last weekend in Seattle through my graduate program. It was meant to be a weekend filled with academia and case studies, but luckily enough, I was able to fit in some sightseeing and good eats.

Pro tip: If you’re flying into SEA-TAC airport, take the Link Light Rail into downtown instead of an uber or taxi. If you’re not renting a car, this is the best and cheapest way to get to Seattle. It’s only three dollars, where an uber can easily be $30.

If you’re going to downtown Seattle, and taking the Link Light Rail, you’ll emerge from Westlake Station right next to Nordstrom in the heart of downtown, where you can quickly grab a bite or walk to your hotel.

Pike Market

Pike Market

After checking in to my hotel, I went straight to Pike Market. On a Thursday evening, it was not busy, which was perfect. From where I was staying, Pike Market was about a 15 minute walk, and I went straight the olive oil stand. (I was on a mission for my sister.)

AmazonAmazon Biome

Visiting the Amazon campus was part of the academic agenda for Friday. I got to see the new biome and Amazon Go. The structure of the biome is unique to the area and completely surrounded by various plants. The lobby inside gives a complete rundown of the inspiration behind it, the plants used in the biome, and how they’re kept alive. Following true Silicon Valley culture, the office space is open concept, but with a good amount of greenery.

biome-skeleton.jpegAmazon Go was also an interesting yet somewhat underwhelming experience. Since it is so new, there were plenty of staff controlling the flow of customers, and the shop itself mostly contained snacks and prepackaged meals. Even though you could make a meal out what was sold, there was no produced to be found. The Amazon Go shop in Seattle felt more like a concept store and an indicator for things to come.

Museum of Pop Culture

After Amazon, we walked about a mile to the Museum of Pop Culture, had lunch there, and walked around their exhibits. The highlight of my visit to the MoPop was the Marvel exhibit.

I learned so much about the brand’s history. There are an array of characters with unique storylines and abilities. The exhibit highlighted how the history of the United States is inextricably intertwined with the creation of new characters. Because of this, it’s easy to see what the nation was experiencing through the marvel universe.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has so much content to pull from. I can’t wait to see which characters they bring to life next.

FB PokemonFacebook

From the MoPop, we walked to the Facebook campus. As part of the immersion weekend, we toured of the offices and participated in workshop regarding content strategy.
The campus itself was smaller than what you would find in the Bay, but it felt as if I was transported to Silicon Valley. On the sixth floor, where we started the tour, there was a “free wall” with markers, where people could use their creativity and draw whatever they wish. The best were these Pokemon drawings.

Again, the offices were open concept with a plethora of conference rooms for more secure meeting spaces. The patio on this floor was also amazing with a fantastic view. This campus also has multiple cafeterias and free snack stations. Free. Including coffee. When can I move in?FB View

Ba Bar

That evening, some classmates and I went to Ba Bar, a vietnamese restaurant and coffee shop. Also in downtown, Ba Bar has a diverse menu of drinks, appetizers, entrees, and soups. We did not shy away from any of these. We shared spring rolls and tofu wraps, and ordered a variety of entrees. I myself ordered the spicy pork belly plate with a fried egg, and I was not disappointed

The Crumpet Shop

The Crumpet ShopA friend of mine had recommended this place for breakfast, and I was happy I made the effort to get there on my last day. The Crumpet Shop is one block away from Pike Market, so if that’s where you’re heading you can cross this place off your list too.
Yes, all they sell are crumpets, savory and sweet. I went for the smoked salmon with cream cheese and cucumber and a chai latte. It was so scrumptious, I was tempted to order another, but chose not to. If anything, I have more reason to go back to Seattle. I’d love to try one of their sweet crumpets.

If you’re staying in downtown, The Crumpet Shop is a 15 minute walk from Westlake Station.

The Starbucks Roastery

If you want to see the most amazing coffee shop ever, you need to go to the Starbucks Roastery. I was on a time crunch since my flight was that night, but I had to make the stop. Simply walking in and seeing how large of a space it is was striking.

Starbucks Roastery

The desserts and sandwiches are unique to the roastery, along with much of the merchandise. Here, you can see the whole process- from roasting the coffee bean to making the final product that you’ll drink. I ordered the shakerato affogato, which is espresso and syrup poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream and topped with a sprig of mint. It was the best way I have ever consumed caffeine.
All in all, my second trip to Seattle was a success. I was able to visit locations through my graduate program that I wouldn’t have on my own, and I ate some delicious food.
Have you visited any of these places? Where would you like to travel next?

Happy traveling,



  1. I love Seattle! I’m up in Vancouver so it’s a perfect weekend getaway down to Seattle and I don’t think I will ever get tired of the Pike Place Market and downtown area. I think the next time I visit Seattle, I’d like to explore a few other different neighbourhoods!


    1. I completely agree! I feel like there’s so much left for me to see. The last time I was there, my family and I visited Pouslbo and stayed in Leschi, but I didn’t get to see much of that neighborhood.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: