And, now….finally…..I am posting photos from my time in Seattle….the last stop on my West Coast Adventure the last week in March and first week in April! I promise to try to keep up better with my posts of future adventures!
I arrived in Seattle late at night – about 10:00-ish – from my Coastal Starlight Train ride from San Francisco. I was delighted to discover the hotel we found on Expedia for a very reasonable price was AWESOME – Hyatt Place, Seattle Downtown!!! And, the view from my room was pretty amazing, too!
Talk about security……you need your room key card to make the elevator work!!!!
When I opened the drapes to see what kind of view I had, the sight of the Space Needle all lit up and so close took my breath away! It was just a couple blocks away.
I planned the timing of all the portions of my trip to where I only had two full days in Seattle. I didn’t think I would need more than that and I knew that by the time I got to Seattle, I would be at the end of a two week trip and would most likely be ready to head home. Well, in hindsight, I wish I had allowed more time there…..at least one more full day – maybe two! I saw the two things I knew for sure I wanted to see – Pike Place Market and the Space Needle – and a few other things, but there was more I read about while I was there that I wished I had time to see or do! But……there is always the option to go back – in fact, I mentioned in my post about the Coastal Starlight Train that I’d love to do that again, so that would definitely put me back in Seattle…..someday…..maybe!
But, as for THIS trip, here are some of my photos:
I wondered why I couldn’t find much in the line of Gray Line type tours when I was researching Seattle in preparation for the trip. It was part of the reason I only allowed for two days – I didn’t find much in the touristy area. So, I figured I’d take public transportation or taxis to what I did find to do and what I already knew I wanted to do. Well, it turns out that the hotel I stayed at had a FREE shuttle that was available 24/7 to take me to a wide variety of attractions. I just had to let them know when and where I wanted to go and then call them when I was ready to get picked up! Well, whadda-ya know!!! So – I used this service on Day 1 to go to Pike Place Market. This was THE main thing I wanted to do — if I didn’t get to see anything else, this would be enough to make me happy! You see, when I was still working…..before the wonderful experience of retirement took me to a whole new understanding of loving life and being adventurous……the company I worked for adapted the Fish Philosophy – a motivational program based on the employees of Pike Place Fish Co. – you know, the famous flying fish guys! I taught the class for that program for years, loved the video, and always said that if I ever got to Seattle, I would definitely go see this place!!! So…..I did!
The Pike Place Fish Co. was the first vendor I visited in the Public Market. I stood there for a long time just watching them throw fish and joke around with the customers and have a ball! I LOVED IT!!!! Unfortunately, I had a hard time capturing the flying fish in photos, but I got a few and I have the memories! It was such a thrill……I still feel the aching in my cheeks from smiling and laughing!
Right beside the Pike Place Fish Co. is what I understand is a famous piggy bank……everyone was taking turns having their photo taken with the pig or sitting on the pig……I just waited till the crowds parted and I could get a good shot of it……guess I should have asked someone to take my picture with it, but……I didn’t!
There was a lot more to the Pike Place Public Market……lots of vendors and restaurants and other fish markets and entertainers and things to see and do – inside and out! I spent a few hours there just wandering around, looking, and….of course…..having some fresh seafood for lunch!
And, I sat my butt right where Tom Hanks sat HIS butt while he was in town filming “Sleepless in Seattle“!!!
The pick up location for the shuttle was outside a cupcake place. After spending a few hours walking around, I was pretty tired and overheated, so I went in to sit a while and enjoy a cupcake and a glass of ice water before I called for the pick up to end Day 1.
I considered finding a nearby place for dinner, but I was pretty tired, so I just ate at the little cafe in the hotel lobby…..it turned out to be a fantastic dinner of tomato basil soup and a ham sandwich with fresh fruit! Perfect, since I had a big lunch! The hotel also served a complimentary breakfast buffet that you’d easily expect to pay big bucks for in a restaurant……very good!!!
On my second day, I decided to walk the 2-3 blocks to the Space Needle – I also saw on the hotel info that there were a couple museums near there, as well.
I waited in a LONG line to get tickets to the observation deck. When it was finally my turn to get up to the ticket window, I asked about the possibility of having lunch in the revolving restaurant at the top. As luck would have it, they had room in the next reservation time for one walk-in…..and that time was as soon as I could get up there! It was actually brunch time and the three course brunch meal was a flat fee of $50. It was nice — the views as it revolved around were amazing and the food was good……I’m glad I did it, but it is a “been there, done that” kind of thing – wouldn’t do it again and would probably tell others to do it if they just want the experience, but don’t do it if they expect a meal so fabulous they won’t ever get another like it……I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and, like I said, the food was really very good…..but not something I couldn’t get elsewhere for a lot less and the views were the same from the observation deck – the observation deck ticket was included in the meal price, but if I had done it alone, it would have cost me a LOT less! So……my advice is – save the $ and just do the observation deck and have lunch somewhere else!
There were several options on the brunch menu — I chose the tomato soup, huckleberry pancakes with sausage, bacon, and potatoes, and bread pudding for dessert.
After brunch, I went up on the observation deck……since I already had a 360 view while eating, I strolled around the deck in the fresh air for a while and went back down. I can now say I was at the top of the Space Needle……it was beautiful!
Across the street from the Space Needle is the Museum of Pop Culture. I think it cost $25 to get in and another $5 to see the special “Star Trek” anniversary exhibit. I was underwhelmed, to say the least. Aside from an awesome sculpture made out of hundreds of guitars that extended multiple floors, a small Jimi Hendrix exhibit, and the Star Trek exhibit, it was pretty much a bust……mostly newer pop culture stuff surrounding video games and modern science fiction stuff that I had no clue what I was looking at, but the kids around me seemed to be fascinated with. The parts that I enjoyed took me all of about 1/2 hour to see. Unless you’re into video games and modern science fiction, save your money!
The building was interesting…..supposedly, it was designed in the shape of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar…..I didn’t see how that could be!
This was VERY cool!
The steps up to the Star Trek exhibit were cool, too!
I saw Darth Vadar and one of his Storm Troopers on my way to the next museum! That was pretty awesome! Darth was a “dummy”, but the Storm Trooper danced around and talked with the tourists and let them take their photos with him.
The very BEST thing I saw while in Seattle…..well, probably ties with getting to watch the fish throwing guys……was the Chiluly Garden and Glass Museum! This place is right beside the Space Needle – if you get a combo ticket for the observation deck and the Chiluly museum, you get a discount. The museum is all glass sculptures created by an amazing artist. There were also outside gardens all around the museum where the flowers were also glass sculptures among live foliage! This place was INCREDIBLE!!! I was in awe the entire time I was there…..each room I entered took my breath away…..totally awesome!!! THIS was WELL worth the admission price and is an absolute MUST SEE if you get to Seattle!!! These photos pale in comparison to seeing it all in person!
I saw this sculpture walking back to my hotel and also stopped to listen to a few different street musicians.
Then, on my walk back to the hotel, I noticed a station for a Duck tour — those land and sea tours you see in most big cities with water ways. I did one in Mobile, AL and had so much fun. I decided to see if I could get on a tour and was able to get on the one that was just about to pull out! I got a great tour of the city on land and then we splashed down in the harbor and toured around the water. It was GREAT!!! Sometimes the best things happen when you decide to be spontaneous and throw your plans out the window!
We sailed by several communities of house boats….including the one from Sleepless in Seattle – but, it was pretty far away from where we were and I couldn’t tell exactly where he was pointing for us to look at, so I didn’t get a photo! 😦
We sailed by this….whatever it is….that used to have a function, but has since been abandoned and rusted…..but, it was going to cost way too much to get rid of it, so they made it into a park and a tourist attraction! Way to re-purpose an old eye-sore!
More of what I saw on the Duck Tour:
This huge display actually moves – the arm swings the hammer on the thing in his other hand!
After my duck tour, I went back to my room to freshen up to go find some dinner. I walked several blocks around the area of the hotel, but every restaurant I stopped at either required reservations or there was a VERY long wait for a table! I finally found Zeek’s Pizza and had an awesome pizza and a glass of really good local micro-brewery beer. It was a great end to the day and to my time in Seattle!
I found Seattle to be a really pretty city with lots and lots of cultural things to see and do……although I made a couple not so great choices, I also made some incredible choices and discovered a few other things that I would have checked out if I had more time! So……yes, I’d definitely consider returning to see more someday!
That’s it for my 2017 West Coast Adventure! If you missed the other posts, go to the categories list on the right hand side of the screen, click on “2017 West Coast Adventure” and it will bring them all up…..the cruise……the shore excursions all along the California Coast…….San Francisco and the day trips to areas surrounding San Francisco……the Coastal Starlight Train ride…….and this one of Seattle! It was a FABULOUS trip – two weeks jam packed with so many awesome sights……the west coast from top to bottom!!!
I still owe you a post of my Washington, DC adventure. I’ll try to get that posted early next week! Until then, take time to find the adventures in your life – big or small – and enjoy them to the fullest!!!