Hello, Seattle — Part 1

Grunge. Coffee. Grey’s Anatomy. The Puget Sound.

What comes to your mind when you think of Seattle? Just based on the few things listed above, I knew we had to check out the Pacific Northwest’s largest city if we were going to be in the area.

We took the Amtrak train into the city, which was easy and relaxing. When we got into King Street Station, we immediately headed for our hotel, which was nearby in Pioneer Square. After dropping off our luggage and freshening up, we wandered out into the Emerald City.

First stop: The Sky View Observatory in the city’s tallest building, the Columbia Center. On the seventy-something floor, we happened to meet someone who had just moved from Jacksonville. Small world!

The observatory featured views that were basically 360 degrees. It was all absolutely gorgeous, and I enjoyed reading the facts and information about the city featured on the walls. It was a bright, beautiful day, basking the city, mountains and sound in a lovely blue light and providing clear views of all Seattle had to offer…

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The Great Wheel

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The ferry from Bainbridge Island

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The Space Needle.

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The Mighty Mount Ranier, which quietly watched over the city from a distance. I broke out our zoom lens like a nerd to get a good look at the intricacies of the stratovolcano.

We took advantage of the gorgeous 60-something degree weather and walked to Seattle Center and the Space Needle… Or at least most of the way. Once we got to the Monorail, we got lazy (more like sweaty) and took that the rest of the way. I guess I never realized things like the Monorail, Seattle Center and the Space Needle were built for the 1962 World’s Fair.

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In person, the Space Needle felt way more “The Jetsons” than it did “Space Age.” Which makes sense, since it was basically an “eff you” to the Soviets. Anyway, now it’s an iconic part of the skyline but it’s also an overpriced tourist attraction so needless to say, we did NOT pay the ridiculous amount to ride to the top (I think our money was better spent at the Sky View Observatory).

We did, however, shell out a few bucks to see one of the best art museums I’ve ever been to…

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Seriously, a museum full of Dale Chihuly’s colorful masterpieces is SO worth seeing. The blown glass artist Chihuly is from nearby Tacoma, so it’s not a surprising spot for a museum, but it’s definitely a coveted one… Chihuly Garden and Glass sits in the shadow of the Space Needle (literally, not figuratively). We saw one of his most famous pieces at the Bellagio when we were in Vegas, and I’ve seen some of his chandeliers around, but this is the first time we really got to intimately know his art.

I mean, the texture…

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The color…

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The scale!

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And the inside wasn’t even the best part. The gardens were AMAZING. With the Space Needle rising above and the lush, color-coordinated gardens surrounding each piece, I could have spent forever there, capturing the unique feel of the place.

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Joel hamming it up in the gardens.

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I don’t know what it is about sculptures that draws me in.. I’m not the hugest art fan, but I do love me some sculptures.

Later that day we headed to Pike Place Market and had a delicious dinner at the Pink Door. The next day we just wandered the waterside and enjoyed more sculptures and some coffee. More on that later…

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