Friday, October 23, 2015


I spent a great week in Seattle with my friends Claire and Ellen in October.  We saw and did so much that I think we covered the city:-).  We did buy the Seattle CityPass to help out since we all like to do a lot of things.  While it is a bit expensive- $69.00- it got us into almost everything we did, with no extra costs.  It covered the Space Needle, museums, harbor cruise, aquarium, and coupons for dessert at a pretty good restaurant we ate at twice!  One thing that we really liked was the new light rail they built!  It brings you from the airport into the city, and took us to different tourist areas for very low prices. Seattle has a reputation for clouds and rain.  It only rained one day for us, plus a few sprinkles now and then, but we did have lots of clouds; but that added to the fall-like atmosphere we like about October.  

One thing I really wanted to do was take the Duck tour, an aquatic bus that tours the city and then takes you into the lakes.  Sadly, it was closed due to their tragic accident just a week before our trip. RIP for the victims, and may the survivors heal.
Me at the closed Duck Tour office (note my Duck quacker in my mouth)  
The main tourist area is the Seattle Center, where you can find the Space Needle, EMP and Chihuly Museum, restaurants, the monorail, and very nice gardens.  Everything can be seen in a day, but I recommend a couple days to see everything.  There is a restaurant there- Collections- that is very good!  The CityPass booklet has a coupon for dessert for each entre.  We had the beignets and the chocolate mousse- both outstanding!  They have a chopped salad that is excellent, and two of us liked their clam chowder; the third person thought it had too much onion and celery.

Space Needle!  The Space Needle is iconic Americana!  Built for the 1962 World's Fair, everyone should have it on their bucket list.  We went twice- once during the day, and again to watch the sunset.  The views are really incredible!  And they have an outside walk area to get 360 degree views.  The evening we went, President Obama was in Seattle, so we watched his motorcade from the top!  You get really good city views, and vistas of the surrounding mountains, lakes, and Puget Sound.  On a good day, you can see Mt. Rainier; sadly, we did not see anything but a faint outline of it due to the clouds.  The walkway is fenced and netted, and clearly posts notices of “no climbing allowed”. One plus- free photos:-)

Ellen, Claire and I- this is a free green-screen photo

Ellen, Claire and I.  This is a free, actual photo.

Space Needle from ground level
Space Needle

Space Needle at night!

EMP Museum (  This pop culture museum has something for everyone!  If you love music, this is the place for you, with the history of music, listening stations, exhibits of memorabilia (better than Hard Rock!), and video interviews of musicians and composers.  It does have a really good exhibit of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.  But what I loved are the exhibits of Horror and Science Fiction!  Not only do they have props from my favorite tv shows and movies, but also movie excerpts, video interviews, planetary science stations, model starships, and a creepy walkway with changing pictures!

Alien face-hugger egg


Alien: Corporal Hicks uniform (Michael Beene)

T-8000 Terminator

Jason Voorhees mask and machete.  You may remember him from Friday the 13th parts 1-13.

Dale Chihuly blown glass museum.  Dale Chihuly is one of America’s best and most famous glass blowers.  He has art installations all over the world, including the lobby ceiling of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  He takes his inspiration from nature, so all his work is very organic.  The museum has multiple exhibits of his work, including a very large garden that displays is work.  The museum also has video interviews and demonstrations of his work around the world.
Ellen, Claire and I

Glass exhibit

Blown glass garden

Blown glass tree in the garden
Space Needle from the gardens
The Harbor!  The harbor area is where you catch harbor cruises, cruise ships, restaurants, shops and the Aquarium.  Everyone loves Aquariums!  The harbor cruises are about an hour long, and take you through Puget Sound for spectacular views of the city, you can also take a cruise through the locks between Puget Sound and the city lakes.  The Aquarium is especially nice if you like otters!  They are truly the cutest animals on earth (don’t hate me dog lovers:-)).

Aquarium. The Seattle Aquarium is nice (not to the standards of the Monterey Bay, CA or Newport, OR) and worth a visit, if you are interested. If you have kids, this is the place for you! they can touch and feel everything, dress as divers, learn, watch videos- kids will love it. Me- I loved the otters.

Pikes Market.  Overlooking Puget Sound, this is a very fun place to spend a few hours. Cool shops, seafood restaurants, a cheese factory, fish sellers and fish throwers, and the very first Starbucks!  Really a cool place to go!  I recommend Pikes Chowder for clam chowder- it was really the best!  Plus, you can buy a crab for lunch (they crack it and pack it for you!

Crab for lunch

Starbucks Roastery and Tasting Room!!!!  (  There are Starbucks on almost every corner, plus in very odd locations in the city.  It was almost laughable how many there are:-).  The first Starbucks at Pikes Market has no sit-down tables and does have lines; the lines move fast.  You must go at least once (we went daily:-)!  The Roastery, though, is an actual experience you should go to if you like coffee.  The roastery has an operational roasting and bagging system for coffee sales, full merchandising section, and a restaurant- the pizza was excellent!  Much like wine tasting (and just as expensive) you can choose different coffees to taste.  Plus you can see the barista brew your coffee through an osmosis system.  really a great way to spend an afternoon!

 A YouTube video of our day at the Starbucks Roastery and Tastery is just a click away:   

Claire and I with our coffee pots

The coffees we tasted

Barista preparing our coffee tastes by osmosis

Coffee bean roaster

Underground Tour. ( In Pioneer Square, the original area of Seattle, you can tour what was the original area, which is underneath modern-day Seattle.  What an interesting history this city has!  If you do one thing- other than the Space Needle- take the Underground Tour; it is one of the most interesting tours I have ever taken.  The original city was on a mud-flat, so it was soggy and flooded, and sewers backed up regularly!  The descriptions of life at that time, and what they went through re-building after the fire of 1889 (  are really intense and funny.  The Underground city is pretty much left as it was (probably for effect!) but that is what makes it interesting- you could die at any moment:-)

Ghost Tours. I love Ghost Tours!  And Seattle has lots of ghosts.  We took the Spooked in Seattle Ghost tour ( for two reasons: their guides are actual paranormal investigators, and we had a Groupon!  Our tour was 90 minutes long, and we toured different buildings in Pioneer Square (the original area of Seattle), complete with ghost stories, listened to audio recordings the investigators recorded, learned about ghosts, and toured the Death Museum.  Our guide, Adrian, is a funeral director, paranormal investigator and ghost guide!  He was very interesting!  I cannot recommend it enough.

Claire and our guide Adrian

display in the Death Museum

Death Museum wall paper

display in the Death Museum

No comments:

Post a Comment