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We arrived in Seattle on a Southwest Airlines flight from Austin and picked up our rental car from Sixt. This time, a BMW X1, it was nice... and I love the seat warmers. After a fairly short drive, we checked into The Four Seasons Seattle and were greeted with a warm welcome and stunning views of the waterfront.

Day 1:

After settling in, we headed out to explore the city. Our first stop was Pike Place Market, where we spent several hours sampling delicious food, browsing local artisanal shops, and watching the famous fishmongers toss fish. We tried fresh oysters from Taylor Shellfish, sampled artisanal cheese from Beecher's, and sipped coffee from the original Starbucks. Next, we headed to Capitol Hill, where we visited some local wineries. Our favorite was The Tasting Room, a cozy and intimate spot where we enjoyed a flight of Washington State wines.

Afterwards, we stopped at Rock Box, a popular karaoke spot in Capitol Hill. We sang our hearts out to classic tunes and enjoyed some sake bombs.

After some drinking, we were glad The Four Seasons Seattle had 24 hour room service and robes. We are suckers for hotel robes! Of course, we continued drinking some of the wine we'd picked up earlier... Seattle is a food rich city and the wine is delicious!

Day 2: We woke up early and had breakfast by the firepit on the pool deck at The Four Seasons Seattle, enjoying the beautiful views and peaceful ambiance. We had a cappuccino an espresso and of course, mimosas, while feeling mentally free as the run rose and the day was upon us. Pro tip: Order room service through the app and ask for it to be delivered at the firepit, we did!

After breakfast, we drove to Woodinville Wine Country, located just outside of Seattle, to tour some wineries. Our first stop was Chateau Ste Michelle Winery, where we enjoyed a tour and tasting of their award-winning wines. We then headed to DeLille Cellars, a boutique winery specializing in Bordeaux-style blends. The vineyard was picturesque, and the wines were exceptional.

In the afternoon, I had some work meetings with a pet insurance company to help them with their board presentation and DEI initiatives, including hiring a Chief DEI Officer. The company was committed to true diversity within their organization and had made great strides in recent years. It was inspiring to work with them and see their dedication to creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

Meanwhile, Justin explored the city on his own, visiting the Space Needle and the Museum of Pop Culture. We met up at a friends house in Queen Anne and loved seeing the day turn to night and the lights illuminating the dark blue sky. The space needle really is beautiful at night, Seattle has such a distinctive skyline.

In the evening, we had dinner at Plum Bistro, a black-owned vegan restaurant in Capitol Hill. We started with the rosemary garlic fries and then enjoyed the buffalo portabella burger, the fried green tomato BLT and the crispy mushroom lettuce wraps. To drink, Justin had his usual old fashioned, while I tried the sparkling rose!

After dinner, I had some work to catchup on and emails to respond to, Justin also had some mixing to do for one of the bands he's working with. We posted up, with our respective laptops and went to work before heading to bed.

Day 3:

We woke up early and walked around Pike Place Market again, grabbing coffee from the original Starbucks again and some pastries from Three Girls Bakery. I had the almond croissant while Justin enjoyed the more savory ham & swiss.

We headed back to the hotel to get ready for the day and with some time left to spare, we headed to the International District, where we had an lunch at the famous Dim Sum House. We tried a variety of dim sum dishes, including pork buns, steamed dumplings, and shrimp rolls.

In the afternoon, I had some work meetings with the same pet insurance company, to facilitate the interviews with the top candidates for the Chief DEI Officer role. Their experience, the candidates, matter to me and to the company I'm working with. They're doing a major overhaul and it was an exciting process, one they're adopting as an organization. A win for me!

Meanwhile, Justin explored the Pioneer Square neighborhood and stopped by Seattle Fudge, a local candy shop owned by a black woman with a wide variety of delicious treats. He also visited Estelita's Library, a community-run bookstore owned by a black woman that focuses on social justice issues and supporting marginalized voices and writers. Lastly, he visited Flora and Henri, a women-owned boutique that sells unique and fashionable clothing items. He picked up outfits for the girls while there!

After the work meetings were finished, we met up again and took the ferry to Bainbridge Island in the late afternoon. We walked around the charming island town, admiring the local art galleries and antique shops. We grabbed a bite to eat and tasted wine at a few places within walking distance of the ferry terminal.

On the ferry ride back to Seattle, we sipped on a bottle of wine from one of the local wineries we visited earlier in the trip and watched the city get closer and closer. As we rode back, we decided to check out of the Four Seasons (thanks to Amex Fine Hotels, and our Platinum card, we got a 4pm late checkout, so we left our things as we explored Bainbridge Island) and we rented an Airbnb houseboat on Lake Union. Neither of us had ever stayed on one before... so this was sure to be a treat. Instead of going out to dinner, we ordered items to-go from several of the top spots in town and timed it so we'd have 7 courses all together, over 3 hours. It was so much fun and this way, we got to enjoy our super cool AirBnB while also dining at all the best places in Seattle.

While Justin was out strumming the guitar, we met our neighbor, a woman in Seattle for work, who actually subscribes to this blog (thank you) and recognized us. We chatted over a bottle of local Washington State wine on the deck of our houseboats, and she told us we were the reason she didn't just book a Hilton or Marriott. She said she's never ventured beyond the hotel bar typically but found doing so was so much better... and that my friends, is why we do this! I love hearing that people are living during work travel... you should! We must! It makes those trips so much less arduous and can really expand your thinking.

On our last day in Seattle, we had breakfast at Central Cafe & Juice Bar, a Black woman-owned bakery and café in Mann / Cherry Hill neighborhoods. I had a Cappuccino and Justin had the Green Giant. Both were delicious and I wished I'd gotten a juice, but the cappuccino was lovely, had I not gotten that, I would have wanted one. Story of my life.

Before heading to the airport, we stopped at the Gum Wall, back at Pike Place Market. This is a unique Seattle landmark where people stick chewed gum on the walls. It was a fun, gross and a quirky way to end our trip.

Overall, our trip to Seattle was a perfect blend of work and play, with plenty of opportunities to explore the city, indulge in delicious food and drinks, and support local businesses, including black-owned, LGBTQ-owned, and women-owned establishments.

From wine tastings and karaoke to local markets and bookstores, Seattle truly has something for everyone and it's so heartening to get to work with businesses who realize what DEI is and why they should care.

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