Arrival Seatac Wednesday, May 21:
Collect baggage downstairs, then up to Light Rail Link, Very doable and easy. Enjoyed seeing the neon playing cards that flash by you at the Beacon Hill stop and the first glimpses of Seattle.
Arrive at Westlake about 30 minutes later and walk to Hotel Olive 8 where early check in was available. Room on 15th floor – spacious, clean, quiet, convenient.
Off to Pike Market – saw fish fly, and the most gorgeous flowers ever for incredible prices. Sauntered around, up and down levels, found gum wall. Yuk! Walked over by Aquarium and ferris wheel , then back up the Harbor View Steps. Meeting folks for dinner at Ivar’s Salmon by Lake Union. $13 Cab fare where another couple two blocks away paid $30. I would equate this with Legal Seafoods here on the east coast. Enjoyed our meal and the view of Lake Union with boats going by.
Walked to Chihuly and entered at 10 a.m. Used the online ticket system to save one dollar per person. Probably was our favorite place in Seattle. Spent an hour and a half there. An hour in the exhibits, half hour in the theater which had five short films that follow Chihuly in different places. Very interesting. Get your free digital family photo which you can upload before leaving. We are big into walking but I probably should have planned it better. Opted not to go in Space Needle and walked around EMP. Lots of action as folks were setting up for Folklife Festival. We headed to Kerry Park which was quite the steep walk up Queen Ann. When we reached our destination, talked to a local who explained that there are steps along the way which make the climb easier. Also, pointed us in the direction of Betty Bowen Park where you can see Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Local also gave us a tip that there are elevators by the Marriot at Pike Market. So we headed off to Olympic Sculpture Park. Our energy began to flag so we decided to have a seat at Anthony’s by Pier 66. OK meal. Walked and found elevator up to Pike where we revisited the flowers and indulged in some goodies from Piroshky, Piroshky. Back to Hotel Olive 8 to regroup before game at Safeco field. Walked down First Avenue which took about half an hour. Had purchased below value tickets on Stub Hub thanks to TA advice. Never got to sit this close at such an affordable rate at Fenway Park in Boston so thoroughly enjoyed the view! Amazed at how empty the park was. Mariners took the win 3 to 1. Walked back, again on First Avenue as advised by TA.
This was our first rainy day which is when we discovered there are a lot of overhangs to help keep you dry. Hotel also had plentiful umbrellas to borrow so we were all set. Discovered the salted caramel doughnuts at Top Pot and am still dreaming about them! Walked to Seattle Library which was celebrating its 10th anniversary. Got a free bag and cupcake. Interesting architecture indeed. Headed to the 10th floor for a quick view of the city and then stopped at the 5th floor – the red floor. Did not last there as it is way too overwhelmingly red! Headed over to the Columbia Tower but since it was a cloudy, dreary day we opted only to go to the Starbucks on the 40th floor for a quick view. Chatted with a fellow east coaster. Then, to stay dry decided to do the Bill Speidel Underground Tour. Tons of people filtered into the first part of the tour. We were later broken up into three groups of 50. This was entertaining but would have liked to see more artifacts underground rather than pictures and a toilet. Best part of the tour was when lights were shut off and we could still see. As you walk above ground there are glass patterns in the sidewalks which allow light to the underground. Before the tour, we walked over to Occidental to the wonderful Glasshouse Studio where we spent some time watching a gentleman create a dish. He asked if we had any questions about the process and was very welcoming. After underground tour, we were off to Pike Pub and Brew for a nice sandwich followed by a happy hour drink at an establishment by the Harbor View Steps. Wish we had been more organized about happy hours as we don’t have them here on the east coast. Enjoyed some rest and the hot tub at the Olive 8, and headed to Capitol Hill for a quick meal.
Off to wedding near Leavenworth in Plain. Picked up rental car at Hertz down the street. Took TA advice and rode I90 on the way there and then Route 2 on the way back. So glad we did. Stopped at Leavenworth for the Bavarian Village. I had asked if anyone knew where to purchase matroyshkas and there was a Russian gift shop there. The area was picturesque with tons of shops and places to eat. Daughter got sick from something she ate there. Next stop, wedding weekend at Mountain Springs Lodge (we stayed at Beaver Valley Lodge ). Setting was absolutely beautiful at Mountain Springs. Food was just ok. Fabulous celebration!
Breakfast and back to Seattle. Since we had plenty of time before red eye home, took Route 2 and stopped along the way. Simply lovely and highly recommend. Arrived in Seattle where it was raining which slightly affected plans (was thinking of Folklife Festival but way too wet!). Since we had a rental car, we drove to see the Fremont Troll and took a few pictures. Then, off to the Ballard Locks. What a wonderful place to visit. Unfortunately, the salmon weren’t swimming though we did see one fish! Caught a quick lunch at a pizza place and then off to the airport for our journey home.
Thank you TA for all your suggestions!