Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seattle, Washington!

October, 2009

Sorry for the delay, Travel Friends!! The Seattle post is here!!!

Seattle was great. It's only a few hour flight from Orange County, so we arrived in the early afternoon. Just enough time to check out Pike Place Public Market and downtown Seattle on our first night.

Our hotel was a few blocks from Pike Place Market. ( ) The market consisted of fish, flowers, local art, fruits, vegetables and tons of different souvineer/gift shops. The surrounding area also is the home to cheese shops, pastry shops and the very first Starbucks store!! There are also restaurants and a few bars hidden away. There are always street performers as well. One of the funny ones we saw was the Cat Psychiatrist. haha. You bring your cat and they analyze it. Apparently he is a regular near Pike Market. Also, you have to visit the world famous Pike Place Fish Market. ( They love tourists so stop by and visit them! They will throw fish at you and pose for pictures. :-)

First Starbucks!

We also checked out Downtown Seattle a few times. Tons of coffee houses and shopping. Kind of a mini (shorter) version of New York City. It was really nice.

Rainy Seattle night...

The view of the rain from inside Starbucks!

View from the Elevator near our hotel.

View of Mt. Rainier! We didn't even know it was there for a few days until the rain took a little break.

We decided to take a ferry that went to Bainbridge. My travel teacher once told me that anytime you have the chance to see the city from the water, do it! This was the best $7 we spent. It was about a 1/2 hour ferry ride. The ferry is huge and there were not too many people on it. So we had fun running around snapping pictures of all of the wonderful views we had. We got off the boat at Bainbridge, but if you want to just go straight back to Seattle, you just get right back on when they allow it and you won't have to pay again. So, that is what we did. Check out some of the views!

Check out the Space Needle to the left!

Bainbridge Island in the background. It was really pretty!

Back in Seattle....
Near the ferry, you will find Ivars Seafood. ( You can either eat in their waterfront restaurant, or you can go to the walk up stand like we did. They have fish and chips, prawns and chips and of course, clam chowder. I'm not a seafood person at all! But I did make it a point to have the prawns. They were good. Not great, but good. My friend loved the fish and the chowder.
The seagulls wait for the customers to feed them their leftover french fries.

While in Seattle, we were told we needed to go to the Seattle Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum. ( Although it was not really a huge interest to me, I can appreciate that some people would really love this place. There was a room on the history of guitars, a room deticated to all things Jimi Hendrix, album covers, sound effects and much more. There is a room where you can be filmed talking about why a specific album or song or singer has inspired you and they may end up showing it in the museum. They also have tons of iPod's through out the place built into side tables so you can sit with behind the scenes interviews, songs and more. There was one room that grabbed my attention. Tons of areas where you can play with musical instruments that are hooked to computers. So if you are a beginner, it will teach you a little bit of a song and if you are experienced, you can have a jam session. There are guitars, keyboards, drums, mixing and singing rooms. Very fun to play with!
Inside the Experience Music Project. Art made from instruments. Some of them were actually rigged to play on their own.

Next stop was the Seattle Space Needle. It was kind of rainy but we decided to just go up there anyways since we weren't sure if the rain would ever stop! It was cold and windy, but they do have a huge indoor section.
View from the top!
The Space Needle

Supposedly, this is used in Grays Anatomy. Mainly the helio pad at the top for scenes where they show the helicoptors landing and departing from the roof top.

We went on a little bus tour where it was just us and 1 other guy! It was good though. Our driver grew up in Seattle so he knows all the history and now we know his history too! haha. The one bad thing is that there were a few times where we really wanted to get out and take pictures but we felt bad asking. We did get to get off the bus in Pioneer Square for a few minutes and then once up in the hills. But I really wish I had asked to stop a few other times. Like up in the hills near all of the fancy houses and the great view of the city and also the houseboats on Lake Union (Sleepless in Seattle house!). Oh well! I hear the Lake Union boat tour is cool too because you get to see the Sleepless in Seattle houseboat up close.

Pioneer Square- artsy town. Bookstores, bars and coffee houses. Very cute.

The view where we got to stop in the hills. You can see the Space Needle in the background.

Overall, we had a really good time discovering Seattle. We saw a lot, but there is still much more to do. If you have a car and a passport, I would suggest doing the drive up to Vancouver. One thing I learned about Seattle is that the city closes down early! Now it could be that we were there in an off season but everything was closed by like 5-6pm. It could just be the area that we were in but we tried going to a few bars and they were dead! All of the little shops were closed early too. So if you need anything from the store make sure you plan ahead!
Going Green and Saving Green-
My friend and I brought our eco friendly plastic water bottles with us to Seattle. Note that you have to empty it before you go through Security at the airports. This was the best! I don't know about you but I drink a ton of water on vaction. I'm usually walking a ton and I always end up spending most of my money on bottles of water. You can fill up your bottle at your hotel or a drinking fountain and always have free water! Our hotel always had iced fruit water in the lobby so we were always stocked up! So you are saving money and saving the environment from all of the plastic bottles you would be throwing out. Go Green!
Thanks for reading! Hope my post or pictures make you want to go to Seattle too!
Happy Travels!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sleepless until Seattle...

5 Days until my Seattle trip!!!

Soooo excited. My brother, sister-in-law and their girls also recently went to Seattle (only a few weeks ago) to visit a friend. They had nothing but good things to say about it. I also got to see a few of their pictures and it just made me even more excited to go.

Rainboots, check. Coat, check. Gloves and scarves out of their storage boxes, check.

One more thing. I'm conflicted about the whole checking luggage thing. I believe it's up to $30 to check a bag now. That is so not cool. But do I really want to lug my suitcase around the airport? And then getting on the plane and trying to put the luggage all the way up in the packed storage area because everyone else has the same idea as me does not sound appealing as well. Also, i'm trying to take my small suitcase and it is in fact very small. So i'm worried about fitting shoes, mittens and warm clothes for 4 days in such a tiny space. I think I will be wearing my rainboots and my coat just so I don't have to pack them!

Of course, I will let you know how it goes.

Sleepless until Seattle

PS.... I hope Seattle treats us well weather wise. Go easy on the rain please!!! ;-)