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Category Archives: Travel

Ballard Farmers Market

Ballard is one of my favorite neighborhoods in the Seattle area. The best day to go is on Sunday, when the Farmer’s Market brings together local vendors. The Farmer’s Market has seasonal fresh fruits and veggies, but also amazing bakeries. As we perused the tents, we snacked on a bag of hot mini-doughnuts that were made right before our eyes. They were AMAZING! We also picked up a pie that we enjoyed later that night while watching movies on the couch. Not gonna lie, it’s what I had for dinner.

Ballard Seattle

After cruising the Farmer’s Market, we popped into a few shops that line the market on 22nd Avenue. My favorite is KETCH, a boutique men’s and women’s clothing shop. I always find something there that I end up wearing over and over again. After shopping we had brunch at Bastille Cafe, a trendy French style bistro. We sat on the patio and enjoyed brunch as the warm sun rays shined in through the greenhouse style panes.

Bastille_BallardNatalie Zimmerman Natalie Notions

Note: Ballard has a cute B&B, so if you’re looking to make a weekend out of it, book a room on the main strip.

Capital Hill Seattle

Spring break doesn’t always happen for adults, but now that I’m back in school I got a week off to do whatever I want. I had forgotten how amazing that feels. I booked a trip to visit my friends in Seattle. We spent the trip in my two favorite areas, one of which is Capital Hill. I’ll be sharing my other favorite later this week.

I made a very short list of things I wanted to do while in Seattle. On it was have a doughnut at General Porpoise. I read about it in Bon Appetit Magazine as one of the best doughnut shops, so I had to go. The stuffed doughnuts are everything they’re cracked up to be. Inside, the shop is bright and invites you to come in and get out of the rain. My mouth is watering just thinking about them again.

General Porpoise DoughnutsGeneral Porpoise

After fueling up on sugar and coffee, I did some shopping. Here are a few of my favorites that I stumbled upon.

Glasswing – Located at Melrose Market, it’s a clothing and home goods boutique where you can buy a crisp blouse and make a succulent terrarium all under the same roof. The store is curated to appropriately represent Seattle.

Seattle Capital Hill shopping

Totokaelo – This high end clothing store carries sleek fashion for men and women. It’s also curated with home goods and gifts that will impress your friends.

The Elliott Bay Book Company – This is the place to cruise the aisles, read, relax, and drink coffee in the cafe. I ducked in to get out of the rain and found a chair on the top floor where I could people watch.

Capital Hill bookstore

Note: Capital Hill also has lots of amazing restaurants.

Seattle-skyline

Spring break has officially started. It feels nice to have a break and time to relax. I started the weekend with a little staycation, Friday night out in Hermosa Beach at the new Tower 12, Saturday lunch and drinks with a friend, and Sunday in Pasadena at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Now I’m off to Seattle and Vancouver to visit a dear friend. Last time I was up there was three years ago, so I’m excited to check out some new restaurants and shops I didn’t get to last time.

This weekend we’re heading to Vancouver. This will be my first time and I can’t wait to check out the city. Besides downtown Vancouver, I would love to go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Granville Island Public Market. We’re only there for two days, so we’re going to cram in as much as possible. If you have any suggestions let me know! Leave a comment on my Instagram or down below.

Vancouver-Capilano-suspension-bridge

Note: Follow along my travel adventures on my Instagram and Snapchat at NatalieNotions.

Photos found here and here.

South Carolina beach

Traveling alone sounds like a scary thing to some people. Or something they can’t do because they have kids, work, and tons of other reasons why. But I think everyone should take a trip alone once in their life.

1.You’re On Your Own Schedule

It’s easier to travel when you don’t have to wait for anyone but yourself. You can do what you want, when you want to. Don’t want to go to the museums, then don’t. Want to hit every gelato stand you can find, do it. You can sleep in, stay out late, and do pretty much whatever you want.

2.It Will Boost Your Confidence

Traveling alone may sound scary. So is going to the movies alone or even eating alone for some people. But when you finally do it, you feel much more confident to conquer other things all by yourself. If a long trip sounds daunting, start with a solo weekend getaway.

3.You’ll Get To Know Yourself Better

Spending time alone is always a good thing. It gives you the chance to look inside yourself and find the answers you’ve been looking for. Sometimes it’s hard to find the answers when you’re in your day to day life, doing the same routine. This will help you listen to your inner guide.

4.Meet New People

People who travel alone are much more approachable than a pack of girls sitting at the bar. Talk to the locals, meet people at the hostel or the lounge at the hotel. It’s not strange; everyone there is most likely a stranger to the place as well.

5.It’s Easier To Travel Now

I remember having to figure out the New York subway system on a paper map, before there were smart phones. Traveling now is so much easier. You can plug anything into your phone. If you’re traveling internationally and don’t have an international phone, go into a spot that has wifi {like Starbucks} and figure out your next move.

white sandy beach

6.You Will Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Mark something off your bucket list. Go somewhere you’ve always dreamed of going, but never thought it would actually happen. Go out there and do it. Traveling alone forces you to do things you wouldn’t normally do at home, which helps you grow and learn.

7.It Can Teach You A Lot About Other Cultures

When you travel alone the only person you can rely on for help is you and the strangers around you, which is usually the locals. Sit at the local bar and talk to the bartender, take a guided tour, try to speak the language with your barista. Your mind is more open to these experiences when you’re alone.

8.You Can Stick To Your Budget

You don’t need to worry about how much or how little your friends can spend because this trip is all on you. No need to pick up the tab for the other couple or treat your kids to an ice cream instead of yourself. Spend what you can and splurge on the things that are important to you.

9.Cure Your Travel Bug

We all know it can strike at any time. It’s the need, the itch, to get out and discover. When you go on a trip alone, you can do that at any moment. Give the kids to the grandparents, even if it’s just for the day, and get in your car and go somewhere. Spend the day by the beach or in the mountains. Just get out there and go.

10.It’s Liberating

You will be a changed person when you get back.

Reasons to travel alone

Note: Now that I convinced you, where are you going to go?

Looking back at my 2016 travels, I made it to NYC twice, Auburn in Northern California, Las Vegas, Paso Robles, and Solvang to visit family. There were a few stops in Santa Barbara, but I don’t really consider that traveling or a weekend getaway. This year I’m hoping to go a little further and I plan on keeping weekends open for spontaneous trips.

Singapore – My good friend is moving to Singapore this week and I’m already planning a trip to see her. This will be my first time in any Asian country and I’m so excited. I’m planning to go this summer while I have a break at school. I’m leaving it up to her to plan where to go and where to eat. It will be less stressful that way too.

Singapore Skyline

Bali – While I’m in Singapore she wants to go to Bali. So we will take a short plane trip there. I’m still figuring out the details of the trip, but it will be at least two weeks. I’ll have to do a bit more research on Bali and get suggestions from friends who have been. All I know is that I will have to pack a lot of bug spray. Bugs love me.

Bali

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – This has been on my bucket list for years now. It’s an hour plane ride from Singapore and a 14 hour train ride. It’s so close, we have to go. I’ll need some suggestions on where to go and what to see. The only thing on my list is the Petronas Towers. I don’t know how much time she will be able to take off of work, so I may be doing this short trip solo.

kuala-lumpur

Asheville, North Carolina – I didn’t get the chance to go to Asheville this year for my friend’s wedding, since I had just started school, so I want to go this year in March. I have a week off for spring break and still have a credit to the gorgeous inns that I booked. The city has been getting lots of press in travel and food magazines, which makes me want to go even more.

Asheville North Carolina

Note: Pictures found here – 1, 2, 3, 4