It was just so much fun writing and taking pictures of our trip to Portland, I made sure I did the same in Seattle. We didn’t eat out as much as we did in Portland, but on the other hand, we covered a lot more touristy attractions in the emerald city.
Places we visited:
(from left to right, top to bottom:)
1. Pike Place Market – This is one of the “must do” in Seattle, but I’ll confess to have been underwhelmed by it. It was very very busy, and I’m not a big fan of crowds (there’s a reason why I only go to Disney on the off season!), and the smell of fish turns my stomach. I didn’t really see much of the market, partly because people blocked the view, and partly because I just didn’t hang out there long enough.
2. Chihuly Garden & Glass – by far my favorite thing we did on this trip. I was already a big fan of his art without really knowing it was his: I have long admired the glass sculpture in the Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City and the ceiling installation in the Bellagio in Vegas. Going to the Chihuly museum put everything into place, and I had a chance to admire much more of his work, and was blown away (pun intended). Just watch out for a post just about it on my photography blog, I have many beautiful images to share from my real camera (not the ones from the camera phone that go with this post). Also, I squeezed one more collage from my phone pictures below because I just really loved it:
3. Boat tour – I really wanted to get on the water to check out Seattle’s skyline from a boat. We took the 1-hour tour from Argosy Cruises and thought it was pretty nice. It wasn’t as breathtaking as a San Francisco boat tour, but it was still a nice activity. The Seattle skyline is pretty nice too.
4. Space Needle – We didn’t actually go up, but it’s hard to miss the needle when your hotel is just a couple of blocks away from it. We walked by it several times, but going up is not really the sort of thing that I cared about doing. It’s kind of like going up to the top of the Empire State: cool view, but then the Empire State is not on the skyline anymore, and what’s so fun in that? The Top of The Rock is a total different thing, and something I think is worth the money. Anyway, that’s why we didn’t go up on the needle! But I loved watching it from every angle, and tried to get as many different angles and compositions of it as possible.
5. Washington University – Mike had visited the university on a training a few years ago, and sent me a picture of the library and it was pretty awesome. So when we found ourselves driving into that direction, we decided to stop by so I could check it with my own eyes too. And it IS pretty amazing, the whole campus is beautiful. The beautiful room in the library is their quiet study room, and I can’t imagine a place where I’d have a harder time studying at. I’ll probably get distracted by the beauty of it and not do any studying. Another cool thing at the university: they have some pretty killer views of Mt. Rainier.
6. Seattle Great Wheel – Another attraction I didn’t feel the need to actually do, but that I really wanted to see. I just love how ferris wheels look like, and knew it would be interesting to see.
7. Monorail – The Disney nerd in me reaaaaaally wanted to go on the monorail. No cares about where it actually went, I just wanted to ride the monorail somewhere, and lucky for us, the monorail went from the Seattle Center (right next to our hotel) to pretty close to downtown. And it was cheap. And it drove through a museum (EMP). It made me happy.
8. Well, this isn’t exactly a tourist attraction, but a business behind our hotel had this beautiful wall graffiti and I really liked this part of it. Plus, I needed a picture for every little square in this collage :)
9. Museum of Flight – My second favorite thing we did! I mostly wanted to go because it’s a space and flight museum, and the kid who wanted to be an astronaut in me gets really excited about seeing anything space related. We were not disappointed, the space exhibits (including the original trainer shuttle the astronauts practiced on) were fairly big and well designed. So much information and so many cool things. The World Wars exhibits were also very cool, I especially enjoyed reading the info about all the women pilots in WWII.
Things we ate:
Kylie’s Chicago Pizza – It is not, I admit, the most photogenic pizza. It doesn’t even look that good on the photo. But trust me, the flavor more than makes up for it. This was only my second time eating Chicago-style pizza, but I am a fan. I like how it’s made differently, with all the toppings hidden by the tomato sauce, and looking like an actual pie. Even the crust is different. I haven’t eaten a lot of this kind of pizza, but Kylie’s had good reviews, so I’ll trust the locals and recommend this place as well. It’s a small operation, and it’s located in a pretty nice neighborhood.
The Pink Door – This place was VERY hard to find, and I think it is intentional. We wanted a place to eat with food we hadn’t tried yet, and Italian (well, excluding all the pizzas) was one of them. The Pink Door also came highly recommended on Yelp, so we decided to check it out. We probably went up and down and around it three times till we kind of finally figured it out. There were no signs, but then I saw a pink door on top of the stairs and it had to be it. The restaurant is very pretty, we sat on the balcony even though it was kind of chilly (probably a nice warm day for the locals) and had a pretty nice view of the Eliot Bay. The food was what I called fancy simple food. Mike ordered a meat ball panini (top right) and I ordered a caprese salad (bottom right). Mike’s was delicious, mine was too but a little (okay, a lot) too salty. Not the best meal I ate all trip, but it was far from being bad too.
Sweet and Savory Pie – For the 4th of July, we went to the food court in the Seattle Center and got those two mini pies from this shop. This area is full of small and local restaurants, even though it’s technically a food court, it’s not the kind we’re used to. This pie place only has two locations, and it seems like they also have a truck. It was tasty and simple, a good meal to sit and eat in the park.
Daily Dozen Donut Co – My friend Johanna also recommended this donut place (she knows me too well) in the Pike Place Market. They have 4 types of donuts (all very small): regular, sugar, powdered sugar, and sprinkled. We ordered a mix of all and enjoyed on our walk through the waterfront (okay, they were gone by the time we hit anywhere near the waterfront). They were good, more interesting for the novelty than for the actual flavor, but no match for Voodoo Doughnuts in Portland.
The First Starbucks – We walked by in 3 separate occasions and the line was at least 100 people long. There’s no way I’d make that much of an effort for coffee I can find in another 136 locations in downtown Seattle. But we kind of really wanted to check out the merchandise that was unique to that one store, so we woke up at 5 am on Saturday (post 4th) and arrived at the first Starbucks location a few minutes before they open. And magic happened: only 4 people were there before us. We went in, looked at all the cool mugs with plenty of comfort and space, selected one we liked, then ordered some coffee for the road. Apparently it is atypical for the store to be that empty on a Saturday morning, but I think a lot of people stayed up late for the 4th of July fireworks and who else but tourists would wake up early to go to the first Starbucks? Then after purchasing a venti sized coffee, we hit the road back home.
Where we Stayed:
Inn at Queen Anne – What the Inn at Queen Anne had going against it was that our hotel in Portland was pretty amazing and at a fairly decent price. The Queen Anne for 3 nights was more expensive than our 4 nights in Portland, but it was the the cheapest price/rating/location math I do to choose hotels. And that was why, when we walked through our door we were just.. meh. “Let’s stay the least amount of time here.” The room was much shabbier and smaller, even though it had a kitchen and a full closet. The bathroom is in sore need of updates, well, actually everything is, and the AC is a window unit, and it doesn’t really cool the room. But what this hotel has going on for them, is the location. Just a block away from the Seattle Center, where a lot of touristy attractions are, plus a good food court with local restaurants and the monorail downtown. We took advantage of it and visited a bunch of times, and it was a fun little area to just walk around.