Song recommendation to accompany post. Hello Seattle – Owl City
“Oh wow”, said the woman ahead of me. She was stretched out over the back of her seat, gazing out the train window.
I took out my earphones, and looked up at her in confusion.
“You can actually see the mountain, such a clear day”, she said beaming.
I followed her eyes to Mount Rainier towering up in the distance.
If you travel from Portland to Seattle, I would definitely recommend the train. If you’re not busy zoning out while listening to music, and typing away on your computer (me), you get to see some truly stunning views.
My knowledge of Seattle pre-visit was pretty limited, I mean I knew Seattle Grace wasn’t a real hospital (although I do keep the name in the mind bank for pub quiz purposes – even though *shock horror* I’ve never actually seen an episode of Grey’s Anatomy), and of course I knew about the Space needle, but other than that I didn’t know much at all. And while knowing Sleepless in Seattle had something to do with going to the top of a building and waiting, I didn’t think I’d ever actually seen the movie.
Now there’s this unsettling few hours when getting into a new city that I feel like I have to address. I like to call it the ‘bag drop blues’ (I really don’t), where you’ve dropped off your bags at your Hotel/Motel/Hostel/Airbnb but you have to wait an annoying amount of time till you can actually check-in, even though all you really want to do is have a lie down. Now even though I often don’t feel like doing anything during the ‘bag drop blues’, I have made a point of dragging myself away to be a productive tourist.
So on arriving in Seattle I went straight down to the waterfront. In another rush (just like in San Fran), I impulsively bought a ticket on an hour long ferry tour of the Puget sound (the body of water near the city). I got the ticket by buying something called a CityPass, a booklet of tickets that would give me access to five of the main attractions around Seattle.
Was the CityPass worth it? Yeah for sure.
I headed out on the ferry, and got some stellar views of the mountain range in the distance. I then realized that I didn’t have my camera on me, and so took a few disappointing photos on my phone (maybe i’m just being hard on myself. Also note I am not fishing for compliments – pun intended).
I spent the evening forgoing any masculinity I had, and watched Meg Ryan woo Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle. I don’t know if my body was just trying to be funny, but I did seem to have quite a bit of difficulty getting a good nights sleep in Seattle.
The next day I jam packed my day full of activities. First I headed out to the Space needle, which is curren
tly under construction (getting a space lift apparently – okay i’ll stop with the dad jokes). It was a bit unnerving having builders tapping away in a construction site when you’re 160 meters (530 ft) above the ground, and consequently I didn’t stay long.
Just below the needle is the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. Now i’m at that point where I don’t expect much from modern art museums, but seriously this had some of the most amazing sculptures that I’ve seen .
After the museum I walked down to the Pike place market, where the mix of dead fish, food, and flowers combine to make an extremely unpleasant aroma. A cool market though, and across the road (but not sampled, due to my last experience) sits the very first Starbucks.
After I drifted through the markets I headed back down to the waterfront and sped around the aquarium.
My last stop for the day, and the thing I was looking forward to most, was the ‘Intimate’ Concert on a Steamship. And no it wasn’t anything weird, it was a thing I’d found on Airbnb where two performers played live and unplugged for a crowd of about thirty people. It was an awesome setting, and even though the music wasn’t the happiest, it was a great evening.
After a night of partial insomnia I woke and had another busy day. After failing to find any cool green clothing for St. Patrick’s day I decided to give it a miss and instead do the underground tour of Seattle.
The tour was literally underground, in the tunnels beneath the Seattle pavement. It was an interesting tour, we learnt about Seattle before it burnt down, and how they’d used wooden pipes for water which had quickly burnt through as the firefighters were trying to douse the flames. Who knew wooden pipes were a thing. I guess they didn’t stick around for a reason.
I then met up with a new friend for a beer who’d spent some time in New Zealand studying, and been at the same university as myself, at the same time, but we’d never actually crossed paths. I got a few recommendations for the following day, and then went home for an early end to my St. Patrick’s day. I did not do my Irish surname proud.
Following the advice from my new friend I woke early before heading to Kerry park for a photo of the city, I made pals with the Fremont troll, visited the Museum of pop culture, and then went out to Discovery park to check out the lighthouse.
I did a twenty five minute hike around the park, from one end to another. When I got to the other end – having not seen a lighthouse – I pulled up Google Maps, and being an extremely lazy human being, requested an Uber back into the park to where I’d missed the lighthouse.
As a way to wind down after my day I watched Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri (which was okay, I preferred Ladybird) before calling it a night.
And that was it, Seattle was done and dusted.
Next stop – John Denver ;), Colorado.