Sunday, September 18, 2016

Three Days in Seattle

   Dudley and I recently went to Seattle for a little vacation. Neither one of us had ever been to Seattle, or that part of the country previously. In fact, all I really knew about Seattle was what I'd seen in movies, the Seahawks, and that it rained all of the time. Oh - and Starbucks was based there. But considering I don't drink coffee, that last one didn't really appeal to me. But since Seattle is close to several National Parks and a ferry ride away from Victoria, British Columbia, I figured we'd fly in to Seattle and spend a day before moving on elsewhere.
   Wow- was I wrong. Seattle is so cool and there is SO much to do! We spent three days non-stop exploring and I'm sure we could have easily spent the entire week there and been throughly entertained. We mainly hit the touristy stuff - the Space Needle, the Farmers Market...those kind of things, although we tried to stay away from the touristy restaurants and ventured to more of the local haunts for food.
   We stayed in a hip little neighborhood called Belltown. It's centrally located to everywhere we wanted to go and we could walk everywhere. (FYI- you don't need a car in Seattle. We took a train from the airport to the downtown area and walked to the hotel.)
   Probably the first thing we noticed about Seattle is how dog-friendly the city is. I'm not exaggerating in stating that within the first half-hour of getting there, we saw two dachshunds and a corgi out walking. This is my kind of town! There also happened to be a dog-park across from the hotel - BONUS!
    The second we noticed about Seattle? It's freakin' HILLY, y'all!  Not so much where the hotel was, or by the Space Needle, but if you go down to the Farmers Market and then down to the waterfront, be prepared to walk up and down some serious hills.

So many tourists.

Even more tourists were here. The line went down the block. For coffee.

View from the waterfront.

The Gum Wall.  SO DISGUSTING!

   We did a cool tour called Underground Seattle. Did you know that Seattle is actually built on TOP of Old Seattle?  Apparently, the original city was in a place where buildings weren't really supposed to be built, so they would flood a lot. And then they caught fire in 1889 and most of Seattle burnt down. Rather than moving the city to someplace a bit more hospitable, they decided to rebuild ON TOP of the old buildings and just pave over everything. It still blows my mind how it all worked out, but the tour was fascinating and also hysterical, so if you go to Seattle, you should go on this tour.  Here is a link telling more about it.
   We also did the trip up the Space Needle and a tour of the Chihuly museum, which is adjacent to the Space Needle. Expensive ticket, but worth it.

View from the bottom.

And the top.

Chihuly is freaking amazing...

Seriously amazing.

   One day we took a trip over to Ballard, which was a recommendation from our hotel front desk clerk. They have a canal there with the busiest locks system in the US. Who knew? I had never seen locks in action before. It's a slow-process, but very interesting, especially since they had been doing this here for over 100 years. They also have a Fish Ladder there, which just cracked me up because while I know fish don't climb ladders literally, it's certainly an interesting visual. In actuality, a Fish Ladder is a way for salmon to pass through the locks. For more info, check out the Ballard Locks website.

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks

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FISH LADDER!  

Obligatory Salmon photo.

   We really had a great time in Seattle, and know there was a lot more to explore, but we had other places we wanted to visit while were we in the area, so we left after three days. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Seattle, you should go. It's not a cheap visit - it's up there with NYC and, apparently now, Nashville. But it's worth it.
   Up next: Bainbridge Island and Olympic National Park!