Travel Thoughts By Kim
Let’s go on an adventure together….to Seattle!
So, let’s go back to my 2017 West Coast Adventure! A quick recap of the previous articles: It was a little over 2 weeks where I crammed in a cruise that went from San Francisco to Ensenada, Mexico and back, several days exploring San Francisco and the surrounding area, an overnight train ride to Seattle, and then spent some time in Seattle.
I planned the timing of my trip so that I would have 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 day – maybe two!
I stayed at the Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown – a great hotel in an amazing location and I got a really good deal through Expedia. It is right downtown – just 2-3 blocks from the Space Needle and my room was very comfortable and spacious. Complimentary breakfast buffets in hotels usually leave a lot to be desired, but theirs was really very good. They also have a free shuttle that is available 24/7 to take you just about anywhere you want to go. It has a route, much like a hop-on-hop-off bus, that covers a large area of the city and most of the usual attractions. You just tell them when and where you want to go, the shuttle takes you, and you call when you’re ready to head back. Sweet!!!
I crammed a lot into my two days. On Day One, I took the hotel shuttle to Pike Place Public Market. This was THE main thing I wanted to do in Seattle. If I didn’t get to see anything else, I would have left a very happy lady! More specifically, I had to see the fish mongers at Pike Place Fish Co – you know, the flying fish guys! The company I worked for (before the wonderful experience of retirement took me to a whole new understanding of loving life and being adventurous) had adopted the Fish Philosophy – a motivational program based on the employees of Pike Place Fish Co. I took the class and then taught the class several times over the years – I loved the video and the guys that throw fish around for a living. So, I always said that if I ever got to Seattle, I would definitely go see this place! So….I did! I stood there for a long time just watching them throw fish and joke around with the customers. It was a blast!
There was a lot more to the Pike Place Public Market. Lots of vendors and restaurants and street entertainers and things to see and do…..inside and out! I spent several hours there just wandering around, looking, and….of course…..enjoying some fresh seafood for lunch – I found a little place that advertised fresh crab. The best part was that I ended up sitting at a lunch counter to eat right where Tom Hanks sat when he was filming Sleepless in Seattle – one of my all-time favorite movies – there was a plaque and everything! That was a thrill! I ended the day with a cupcake at a place nearby that was by far the best cupcake I’ve ever had! I called the shuttle and got back to my hotel, exhausted.
On Day Two, I decided to walk the 2-3 blocks to the Space Needle. I waited in a LONG line to get tickets to the observation deck (my tip would be to get your tickets ahead of time). When I finally got 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 for brunch. I found out the three course brunch meal was a flat fee of $50, but, I was there and it was a once in a life-time experience, so I did it! It was nice – the views were amazing as it revolved around and the food was really good and I’m glad I did it, but now it is a “been there, done that” kind of thing. After I ate, I went up to the observation deck to enjoy the views in the fresh air – now I can say I was at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle! My advice, though? Unless you really want that experience – which, again, was very nice – save the $$$ and just go up on the observation deck for the stunning views and have lunch somewhere else.
Across the street was 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, honestly, was underwhelmed by it. It did have a few things that interested me and I found pretty cool, but most of it was newer pop culture stuff associated with video games that I had no clue what I was looking at, but the kids around me were very excited. So – if you’re into that sort of thing, be sure to put it on your list.
The very BEST thing I did while in Seattle….well, probably actually tied with getting to watch the fish throwing guys…..was the Chiluly Garden and Glass Museum next door to the Space Needle. You can get a combo ticket for the observation deck and the Chiluly museum for a discounted price at the Space Needle ticket window. The museum is all glass sculptures created by an amazing artist, including outside gardens all around the museum where the flowers are actually glass sculptures mixed in with live foliage — the place was INCREDIBLE….a MUST SEE in Seattle!!!
On my walk back to the hotel, I noticed a Duck Tour and had time left in my day, so I took it. I got to see pretty much the entire city on land and from the water out in the harbor. It was great – sometimes it is good to just be spontaneous.
That evening I walked a few blocks from the hotel to Zeek’s Pizza and had a delicious pizza and a glass of a very good local micro-brew. It was a great way to end my second….and last…..day in Seattle. The next morning, I had to get up very early to catch my long flight back home.
I really want to go back, someday. Maybe I’ll take Amtrak’s Coast Starlight Train all the way from Los Angeles to Seattle and then spend some quality time in Seattle!
Check out the Blog post I wrote about my short, but awesome time in Seattle: (click here).