Sunday, July 3, 2016

North by Northwest- Space (Needle) Where 57 MILLION Have Gone Before

* Disclaimer- Chris and I traveled to the Pacific Northwest and a cruise to Alaska in June 2016 as a 10 year anniversary trip. This will be a multiple entry blog that will highlight our activities, our reflections and of course pictures of these gorgeous locations! I have highlighted the tips and tricks of each post in red. I hope this helps in planning trips to Vancouver, Seattle or Alaska! Thanks again for following along! 

Day 4- June 19, 2016

Seattle, WA 
Happy Father's Day from Seattle. WA!

 I knew I wanted this day to be very special for Chris, especially since we would be away from the kids, so I booked a very neat bicycle tour of Seattle for us. After a good night's sleep in a hot hotel room we were out the door and headed to Seattle Center. Seattle Center is the location of the Space Needle, EMP museum, Pacific Science museum and the Key Arena. It is approximately 1 mile from downtown Seattle and is accessible from downtown by the monorail. 

Again, there was little to no traffic on our 15 mile commute, but keep in mind it was Sunday! Once we arrived and got parked we noticed that the Space Needle was not busy at all. We originally planned to go to the Needle after our bike tour but changed our minds once we realized it was open early and there were no lines. We were up in the needle before 8:15AM and enjoying the early morning colors. The Space Needle was also part of the Seattle City Pass which cost $74/ per person. With the City Pass you could go up in the Space Needle TWO times, one during the day and one during the last 3 hours of business (8:30PM-11:30PM).  If purchased separately the Space Needle would cost $23.75/ per person for a single visit to the skydeck. This was the main reason we purchased the City Pass as I knew I wanted to go up in the daytime and the nighttime! 

I've arrived... I am SO excited! 

Hello from 521 feet up! 

This thing is HUGE! 

Skyscraper Selfie! 

The Mountain was out! (It was out everyday at some point while we were there) 

I absolutely LOVE skyscrapers! 

Our Seattle Bicycle Tour began at 9:30AM so we came down from the skydeck around 9AM so we could walk several blocks to the starting point of the tour. We were able to get to the tour starting point in plenty of time and get suited up in our gear for the tour. This tour was labeled as a "FLAT" course but come to find out it was flat "for Seattle". I almost feel as if it was false advertising. If you have been to Seattle you know that the streets are NOT flat and there are many hills. Think about along the same lines of San Francisco. I knew before we left the starting point that it would be harder than I thought but man was I wrong... IT WAS KILLER! We biked all over Seattle including Olympic Monument Park, Fremont, Union Lake and so much more and it was well over 15 miles. The elevation was loaded with hills and climbs that were just brutal. I went into it thinking it would be a "stroll the park" and it was anything but! We used a Groupon for 2 people and paid $76. The normal cost of this tour is $69/ per person. I think we would both do it again but I would be a little more prepared. Check out their website Seattle Bicycle Tours.

This really was a good tour! 

Chris choosing his bike and getting ready to bike 15 miles! 

At the Ballard Locks... This was AMAZING and I am so glad the tour took us there!
It was on my list to do and we just didn't have time! 

Ballard Locks! 

This was BEFORE the big hill... I didn't take an after!
That's because I was trying to call an UBER... Just kidding! 

This was a "festival" going on in Fremont... Let me just say "It was INTERESTING"!

Freemont Bridge

Near Lake Union

Haha... This is why I had a love/hate relationship with this tour!
But I love this video! 

At Seattle Center... the last stop of the tour! 

Here is something you don't see everyday... A Bari sax duet featuring a BASS clarinet playing jazz with a drummer too... only on the west coast! I loved it!

After the bike tour we headed towards Seattle Center to get some lunch at the Armory before we went to the Pacific Science Center. The Armory was a HUGE food court style of area near the Space Needle, EMP museum and Pacific Science Center. I had read all about it and knew which places to go to. While I went to Skillet Chris went looking for other places but quickly remembered I had his wallet thanks to the bike tour so we both ate at Skillet. I had the grilled cheese with bacon jam (OMG... I could walk back for that) and Chris had a special blue cheese burger. The prices were somewhat high and this meal costs us $30 but it was worth it. We also got us and my mother in law some fancy cinamon pecans at Ceres Roasting and they were also very good. Be sure to check out the Armory if you are going to be spending the day at Seattle Center. 

Grilled Cheese with bacon JAM... Can you say "Yes please"! 

After we ate we went to the Pacific Science Center which was a really neat museum which was also on the City Pass. The City Pass gave you 3 main attractions (Space Needle X2, Argosy Harbor Cruise and Seattle Aquarium) and then either Chuilly Glass OR Pacific Science Center and Woodland Park Zoo or EMP Museum. We chose to go to the Pacific Science Center as Chris thought it would be more interesting than the glass museum. It turned out to be very entertaining but LOADED with kids! It costs $25/ per person for regular admission. Also the City Pass gave you an IMAX ticket which was a great addition. We enjoyed it very much but I do not think we would go to this museum again, especially without our kids! 

At the Pacific Science Center! 

Hello Dino-feet! 

The IMAX National Park movie was the saving grace for us at the PSC!
It was a great museum but for 2 teachers at the beginning of the summer... it was just too busy with kids for us! 

Found these "street performers" at the Seattle Center!
It made me really miss my little boy Luke! He would have loved this! 

After the PSC we headed towards the car and hoped to be able to get into the Bill Gates Welcome center but they were closed on Sundays. We then went back to downtown to park our car for the evening. We knew we would be back to the Space Needle but wanted to go back to Pike Place Market for dinner. It was already 4:30PM and we knew the vendors and market itself would be closing soon. We went to Piroshky Piroshky first as I knew it was a HUGE hit at the market and our tour did not stop there. It did not disappoint and we got a savory and sweet piroshki. We got 4 pastries and the grand total was less than $12 so they are reasonably priced. It is not to be missed in the PPM. 

Time for round 2 at Pike Place Market... This time, we choose the vendors! 

Piroshky Piroshky menu... They ALL looked good! 

Then we went to Daily Dozen as I wanted to try some of their other varieties of mini donuts. We got there at 4:55PM and they were telling people they were all sold out. I was sad and then the owner gave me a sack of 6 assorted donuts FOR FREE. I was so appreciative and gave her a big tip in the tip jar. I was amazed at these little delicacies but more so by the owners! If you are a donuts love you HAVE to check out Daily Dozen in the Economy Market area of PPM. 

Then we went to Beecher's in hopes of getting some of their flagship cheese and crackers but they only sold the cheese in a large block. That did not stop Chris from buying it and tearing off small pieces for his dinner. 

We ended the evening at Starbucks at First and Pine. We ordered some caffeine as we knew we would be up late to see Seattle at night from the Space Needle and then we sat outside in the gorgeous 55* temps to people watch. It was quite a site to see. Seattle as legalized "medical" marijuana and let me just say... that whole city is stoned! But nonetheless it made for GREAT people watching. This is a great Starbucks to sit and rest while in Seattle. 

One of my favorite sights of the whole trip.
An older man with a walker and a #SWAG hat. He crossed the road and a person commented and he started dancing in the street. We saw him after our cruise too! Just too funny! 

Chris was tired so he went to the car to take a nap while I went to Target to get final things for our cruise. While I was there I saw a homeless guy get arrested and it was a complete show! I have seen some crazy stuff in my east coast travels but this was insane. Then I went to Walgreen's to get a corkscrew and found one but it had a pocket knife on it so I knew it would get confiscated on the ship. But much to my surprise the security guard at Walgreen's said "Ma'am, I can fix that for you". Then he broke off the knife part. This was the best 30 minutes in all Seattle! I felt like a local. 

Chris couldn't fall asleep so we drove down to Safeco to see the area before next Tuesday's tour and game. Then we went to Kerry Park as I knew it was the place to go to see the entire city and I knew the mountain was out so it was going to be a great evening. It turned out to be the best evening to go as tons of locals were there to photograph Mt. Rainer. It was beautiful and again, another FREE attraction. Be sure to check out Kerry Park on the northwest side of Seattle. It offers AMAZING views. 

We LOVED this park!
It would be a great place for a picnic too! 

Chris was already over the picture taking... little did he know it was just getting started!

Mt. Rainer taken from Kerry Park at 8:00PM.

The best picture of Seattle the whole trip! 

Around 8:30PM we headed back to Seattle Center to go to the Space Needle at night. I am glad we got there when we did because it was BUSY! It took us about 40 minutes just to get to the actual elevator but the views were worth it. I have always been a huge fan of skyscrapers and viewing cities at night and the Space Needle did not disappoint! We saw an array of colors and the sun setting over the Olympia Mountain Range. It was incredible!  Again, this was part of our City Pass but at $25 per person per trip to the top I would suggest going to SkyView Observatory during the day and the Space Needle at night! 

This is our FREE picture from SPACEBOOK... Taken and provided by the Space Needle!
I loved this feature! 

One of the 1st pictures taken from the Space Needle.
This was taken at 9:20PM! 

This picture leaves me just in AWE of God's creation! 

This is the Fraiser Crane tower... Elliot Bay condos do not exist so to get pictures of Seattle and Elliot Bay the producers climbed this tower! We thought it was hilarious! 

The Olympia Mountains west of Seattle! 

This was taken around 9:55PM. 

Goodnight Seattle... We LOVE you!
(Frasier Crane reference!)

This was taken at 10:45PM. I love to see the color changes! 

We left after 10:30PM and headed up to Lynnwood to our hotel. About halfway there a local kept honking at me and rolled down his window to tell me my headlights were not on. Yep... "Stupid tourist" moment for me too! We laughed and laughed once again! Gosh... what is wrong with us? 

Father's Day turned out to be a very busy and fun day! We biked 15 miles all over Seattle and got to see the city from 520 feet above! Our last day in Seattle and our last day before we board the Carnival Legend for our much anticipated cruise to Alaska was coming up and we could not wait! Day 5 in Seattle, the Boeing Tour and our helicopter tour are up next. Thanks for following along! 

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