8 things to keep you busy in Seattle

1. Vital Tea Leaf. I can’t say I know a lot about tea, but I’ll throw it out there that this tea shop is the best. Sit down at a low bar and sample miniature cups of whatever tea you like, steeped right in front of you. Careful, you just might be there for a few hours while the very sweet Chinese owners keep steeping and pouring and asking what you’d like to try next. My favorites- milk oolong and artichoke/chrysanthemum/hibiscus.

2. The Ballet. As per recommendation from Joel Love, whose sister Emma is in the Pacific Northwest Ballet, my brother Sam and I went to see Don Quixote. Talk about athletic, climbers are wimps compared to ballerinas!

3. Vertical World. America’s first climbing gym just relocated and upgraded – and it’s mega. It only took 5 routes up the 65 foot wall (50 vertical feet) to render my arms useless for the next three days. Every route I tried was awesome – consistant, no stopper moves, and unique sequences – all difficult qualities to find while climbing in the gym. I had the privilege of climbing with the king of VW himself, Bret Johnston. Not only does this kid set the awesome routes here, he also crushes them all and is incredibly motivating to climb with.

4. The gum wall.

5. Bicycle Polo. Who knew this was a sport?

6. Hipsters. I learned two cool new trends. First, apparently you should spend a lot of money on a camera that looks old and takes poor quality old photos, but is actually brand new. Second, iphone cases that make your phone look like a giant Nokia from the 90’s will certainly score style points.

7. Little Si. Don’t be fooled by the number of link ups on this wall, it’s incredible. Who doesn’t want to climb on rhino rock, a mysteriously unidentified conglomerate? Although the rock is quite slick (dare I compare it to Rifle?), the stone is super solid (unlike Rifle) and features every grip you can imagine. Just don’t forget your 70m rope, sticky rubber, and super stealthy onsighting eyes (it’s not easy to onsight here). If you’ve got those, enjoy ultra long, slightly overhanging slices of heaven up to 5.14c. Thanks to Bret, Emma, and B-Hops for taking us out!

A throwback of Lauren Lee/McCormick bustin it out at Little Si. Andy Mann photo

8. Visit Sam! The true objective of my trip was to visit my brother who ventured out to Seattle University this past fall. And he certainly gave me a proper tour of the city, complete with seafood, lots of walking, and plentiful desserts!

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