We got into Seattle late Friday night, made it to our hotel (Cedarbrook Lodge), and immediately ate some free Haagen-Dazs ice cream...because, I mean, what else are you going to do when there's free ice cream??!? The next morning, with some malted milk balls (dark chocolate, milk, and mint) to fortify us, we headed to breakfast. Also free: bottled water, chips and STRING CHEESE. String Cheese! That's one of those great snacks that I love but never buy.
Breakfast was the best smoked salmon I have ever had. I seriously need to ask the hotel what brand it was.
Our hotel was gorgeous! We originally wanted to stay in town close to the dock where our ship would be docked, but most hotels were booked and all were pricey (we suspect the double whammy of a baseball game and U2 concert did it). I'm so glad Michael found this beautiful place, right by the airport!
We hopped the free shuttle to the train, and in minutes we were at our stop and wandering around. By this time it was about 70F with not a cloud in the sky! Our first destination was Pioneer Square.
Michael tells me this is a great example of Victorian Romanesque architecture.
I had to get a picture of the yarn bombing in Pioneer Square.
We didn't have enough time to take the underground tour, but I definitely want to do that when we go back. We headed towards Pike Market, taking in a few sights along the way. This is a park that UPS put in place of its original headquarters to commemorate their 100th anniversary. UPS is now headquartered in Atlanta, and I had no idea that they had originated in Seattle! It's a gorgeous little park, complete with a waterfall (and no railings! Oh, the Liability!)
...and beautiful Japanese maples that reach through the "skylight" and up over the glass ceiling.
Next stop was the library. This is what happens when you marry someone with a degree from a College of Architecture. =) It is a very iconic building. But the inside is even cooler! The friendly desk agent will even hand you a laminated tour map if you tell him you're just visiting.
This is the escalator that goes up through practically the entire library...or at least through the Dewey Decimal "spiral". You may notice that the floor on the left is at a different height from the floor on the right. Yup. Giant spiral, all the way down. Or up, depending which way you're going!
This is a map room and some stacks on the top floor. Everything in the library is very open. And there are some great views from up there.
The geek in me absolutely loves the fact that the spiral floors are labeled with LED panels, so they can change the numbers if, say, Literature & Rhetoric suddenly takes off and needs a floor of its own.
By this time we were ready for lunch, since we were going to be having an early (for us) dinner. We found a great sushi restaurant called Japonessa that had "happy hour" going on...half price sushi rolls. I thought this meant they'd be a little smaller, but...
We'd finally made it to Pike Market, and the first thing we saw when we walked in was a Chinese tea store where they were having tastings.
Here's another shot of the beautiful day we were experiencing...
Unfortunately, that made the Market EXTREMELY crowded. We didn't really do any shopping due to the crowds and being once again low on time. I'd like to go back when the weather's more conducive to smaller crowds!
We rode the monorail over to the Space Needle!
My photogenic friends from college, Aimee and Jason, moved to Seattle two years ago and we got to meet them and their delightful boys for dinner. Aimee had managed to get us reservations at the restaurant at the top of the Needle, despite the gorgeous day!!
The EMP (Experience Music Project, also featured in the preview post , looks just as cool from above as it does on the ground.
After dinner we strolled around outside and took copious pictures. Every direction was gorgeous, and that slight haziness you see at the horizon? Yeah, that wasn't there during dinner at all. In fact, I was really surprised when I looked at these picture at how far away the mountains look! During dinner, it looked like I could throw a salt shaker at 'em. OK, maybe not that close, but they were really clear.
The next morning, Aimee and Jason and the boys came out to our hotel and hung around with us for a while before we had to head in to the city to the pier. It was a nice, relaxing morning, and I got to rack up salmon meal number-four-in-a-row. Walking down to the pier, I managed to find a sign for a yarn shop!
It was starting to get a little cloudy as we got to the pier. We had started joking the day before that Seattle residents must just tell everyone that it was cloudy there all the time to keep everyone away! The weather was so amazing, if it was like that all the time, EVERYONE would move there!
By the time we set sail, it was very cloudy. But you can still see the Space Needle there in the background.
|Thanks for giving us such a gorgeous day, Seattle! Onward to Alaska!|