Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Seattle Finds Part 1

Matt and I like to travel.  Neither of us got to travel extensively growing up so we like to take advantage of the opportunities to do so now. Plus it gives us some good quality time together which can definitely be a challenge in a long distance relationship.  He vetoed my original idea of going to Wisconsin Dells--something about we've already been there a million time--and after throwing out a few other ideas we settled on the city of Seattle.  Mostly due to the food!

I skipped out of work early on Thursday and headed to O'hare to catch my flight.  Matt had already caught his flight out of Cedar Rapids and I was meeting him at the airport so we could fly to Seattle together.  Of course no trip to the airport is complete without a traffic delay, but thankfully I left with plenty of spare time and the line through security was short.  Plus our flight was delayed by about 30 minutes so I had time to grab a DD iced coffee before taking off!

Our seatmate on the flight was a sort-of Seattle local and gave us a few suggestions on things to do.  He also suggested beers we should check out (which I've deemed just as important as the food) one of which he said was not bottled and only available in kegs.  Later on I couldn't remember the name but did recall something "exotic" about the name. I did end up finding it at a bar later and asked the bartender all about it--Mac & Jack's African Amber.  It is my new favorite.  Now I just need to figure out how to get it in Chicago.

Once we landed in Seattle we found our way to the Link Light Rail station and made our way to downtown Seattle.  We opted not to rent a car for this trip because we wanted to save on costs and I was impressed with the public transportation system in Seattle.

After the short walk from the station to our hotel and check in, we pretty much collapsed straight away on the bed.  It was already past midnight central time and it had been a long day for both of us.

Friday started off with one of the things I was most excited to see in Seattle-Pike Place Market.

Complete with fresh fish tossing, tons of produce, crafts, and lots of flowers.

It was as awesome as I had imagined. 

The market is almost like a maze and goes on and on.  Even on the last day we visited I think we walked by new stores. 

We grabbed dinner at the Sound View Cafe in the market and I had my first dose of many of seafood with a salmon hash.  

The views weren't half bad either. 

Of course I didn't leave empty handed.

They really brightened up the hotel room

 We had a full day of sight-seeing ahead.  First stop the EMP Museum to check out Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, and other music memorabilia.

Our favorite part was the lab where you could play guitar, drums, keyboard, or sing.  

Extremely interactive and fun! I need to work on my keyboard skills though.

Next up the Seattle classic-the Space Needle.

I think I've been up into too many tall buildings because I didn't find this very exciting.  Oddly enough, I heard the top of the Space Needle isn't even the highest point in Seattle and that is actually on top of Queen Anne hill (I couldn't prove or disprove this, so take it with a grain of salt).  

I still enjoyed the views.  We contemplated grabbing food at the rotating restaurant below the observation deck, but skipped out. 

Each day in Seattle, we woke up to gray skies.  The forecast always called for the fog to burn off in the afternoon but after 3 days of hearing this, I thought they were just lying to me.  It was so often overcast and we didn't see much of the sun.  The forecast before I left called for temperatures in the mid 80s and  high 70s and so I brought dresses, shorts, and short sleeves and only one cardigan.  The cardigan got a lot of use.  Matt was smart and brought a jacket.  

Instead we drank beer and ate clam chowder at a nearby sports bar before walking back to the hotel to rest our feet for a bit.  Then we headed down to Pioneer Square to check out the Underground Tour.  

This tour is fascinating and had a lot of "lost" history and speculation.  The tour takes you on the pathways underneath the sidewalks, on the paths that the original Seattle was built on until a fire took out the area.  When they rebuilt they raised up the entire area.

 Thankfully no rats were seen.

That night we continued on with the theme of our trip --more beer and food.  We visited Pike Brewing Company.  I got to try another Kilt Lifter.  I've had the Arizona Four Peak's Brewing Co.'s version before because my friend Laura, an Arizona native, brought some back in her suitcase.  I enjoyed the brew but Matt and I could have probably skipped the pitcher we ordered. I was quite tipsy on the way home!

More about our other adventures tomorrow.

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