July 15, 2015

Why Washington? This state is great for au pairs!

6 minutes
Au pair stories

There is no shortage of au pair love for our state of Washington, located in the top western corner of the USA. Besides being the home of Starbucks, an obvious au pair favorite, there are lots of reasons our au pairs love living in Washington.
Images (clockwise from top left) all submitted by French au pair Elisabeth Hurel (@allofmytrains): Hanging out on Second Beach; the very first Starbucks, located in Seattle; Watmough Bay; Multnomah Falls; Seattle skyline; hiking Rattlesnake Ledge; Seattle sunset; Pike Place Market.
I love Washington because it has the most amazing views I have ever seen in my life, and everyday you had the opportunity to see the sunrise and sunset and that’s pretty amazing.
Angelica Pena, au pair from Colombia
In Seattle, you can find Starbucks and other coffee shops at every corner which is part of the fun of the city.
—Marie Calbera, au pair from France
Seattle is the town that breaks my heart every time I have to leave. All the amazing people, the vibe, the awesome ice cream at Molly Moon’s, the breakfast at Sunflour Cafe, the beautiful skyline and the great friends I’ve met there makes it worth the rainy winter.
—Julia Kjellberg, au pair from Sweden
Washington, especially the Seattle area, has the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. Almost every night I can’t believe how amazing it looks.
Lara Grabe, au pair from Germany
The Super Bowl is a big event in the USA, and the Seahawks (Seattle’s football team) has been in the finals the last 2 years so you can imagine the emotion to be in the super bowl final. Go Seahawks! Come to visit Washington, you will love it!
—Maria Camila Tobon, au pair from Colombia
About the food, just one word: marvelous. One of the traditional dishes is salmon. I love salmon and I’ve to say that I had the best salmons of my life in the state of Washington. I’m even looking forward to go back there and just to have a piece of salmon… De-li-cious.
—Elisabeth Hurel, au pair from France
Living in Washington made me realize that I am an outdoorsy person and I have the most joy in activities you do outside. Like going for a hike in the lush green forests or going kayaking at the San Juan Islands (if you’re lucky enough you might see some dolphins!).
Victoria Hovergren, au pair from Sweden
Everyone I met, whether in the grocery store, Starbucks or one of my host mums friends, would put in so much effort to have a chat with me. They loved hearing about where I was from and what I was doing there. It made me feel so welcome.
Madelaene Carr, au pair from Australia
The possibilities to travel are great being just a few hours drive away from Canada and Oregon and a little more than an hour flight to California.
—Céline Besson, au pair from France
Washington isn’t called “The Evergreen State” for nothing, it literally is the most green place I’ve ever been to. I’ve gone camping at Olympic National Park, which was amazing because of the rich forests with huge trees and many interesting plants. But also because of the coast, the beaches that are so beautiful, especially when you watch the sunset over the ocean.
Annika Sailer, au pair from Germany
COA106639-AngelicaPena (1)
Colombian au pair Angelica Pena and her friends atop Rattlesnake Ledge in Washington state.
Most beautiful sites to see in WA:
Mount Rainier; sunset at Gas Works Park; the view from Rattlesnake Lake Mountain; fireworks on 4th of July at Gas Works Park; Snoqualmie Falls (in winter when it is starting to freeze); Alki Beach on early evenings to see the colors of Seattle’s skyline
Best places to get coffee or a meal in WA:
Starbucks of course :); Ivar’s Fish Bar for a meal; Storyville for a coffee; Cactus Restaurant; Red Robin for a burger; Serendipity Cafe and Lounge for a meal;Molly Moon’s for the best home made ice cream; Cheescake factory; breakfast at Sunflour Cafe and Bakery; Menchie’s for frozen yogurt
Great events in WA you won’t want to miss:
Concert at the Gorge Amphitheatre; The Polar Bear Plunge on the 1st of January; Life in Color; the Fremont Parade; the Blue Angels Air Show on Washington Lake; the Seafair weekend in Seattle;Super Bowl Finals; Sounders FC games; the Tulip Festival around Mount Vernon
Ideas for fun classes in WA:
Drawing class at the Gage Academy of Art and circus classes at School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA); Speaking communication, and pronunciation class at Lake Washington Institute; Understanding Informal English, Broadcasting, Acting for Beginners, Scene Study, Photography, French and TOEFL Preparation Class at Bellevue College; ESL at Edmonds Community College; ESL, Expressive Watercolors, Dance, Ceramics, Chinese, “Finding Yourself” and, my favorite, “American Sign Language” at Seattle Community Colleges
Perfect way to spend a day in WA: 
A good coffee in the morning at Storyville or Starbucks, some shopping in the morning, a nice hike in the mountains in the afternoon and a great and chill night with all the neighbors by the firepit.
—Elisabeth Hurel, au pair from France
I would start the perfect day off with a delicious breakfast with lots of pancakes at a hip restaurant in Capitol Hill with my friends. Then we would take our car and drive east into the state of Washington. The weather would be gorgeous so we would stop and enjoy Mount Rainier and then continue driving and being awed by the surroundings changing into a more desert-like environment. We would arrive at the Gorge Amphitheater to watch our favorite band play at the most gorgeous outdoor venue. We would dance and sing into the early hours wishing that the day would never end. At last we would fall asleep on the camping grounds under the starry sky.
— Victoria Hovergren, au pair from Sweden
Visit Seattle and walk in Pike Place Market with a hot coffee in my hands and afterwards taking the car to Mercer Island where I will enjoy the evening including the sunset at a park with a picnic and friends!
—Ann-Kathrin Kinkel from Germany
Get a coffee at one of the probably 400 Starbuck Stores downtown, stroll around Pike Place Market, get some awesome Mini Doughnuts and hang out at Alki Beach in the afternoon.
—Nicole Abt, au pair from Switzerland
Here are some quotes about why WA is great:
“I also really enjoyed getting to know the people living in Washington—all of them very fun, laid-back people, that are always happy to help. I remember one time that I was pretty upset whilst riding on one of the ferries—realizing my time there would end soon—and one woman randomly came up to me, gave me a hug and said everything was going to be okay. Or another time, when I was getting on the bus and the driver thanked me for bringing my smile. Or how, when I was very new to the area, I had to stop to look at a map, and about ten cars stopped next to mine and the drivers helped me find my way. Things like these still bring a smile to my face, and I’m sure they made me be a much more open person. Washington’s people are just generally happy—and that helps a lot at making you feel at home right away.”
— Annika Sailer, au pair from Germany
Living in Washington made me realize that I am an outdoorsy person and have the most joy in activities you do outside. Like going for a hike in the lush green forests or going kayaking at the San Juan Islands (if you’re lucky enough you might see some dolphins!).
—Victoria Hovergren, au pair from Sweden
After reading what these au pairs have to say about Washington state, it’s hard to imagine not wanting to go there, if not for your host family, then at least to visit! What do you love about WA? Or the state you are currently living in? Click here to share your state love with us.