Seattle, Washington, USA

                                                                     Space Needle

April 26, 2010

This was our first visit to Seattle, and we were pleasantly surprised by the city.  We did not plan an excursion here, and weren’t even sure we wanted to go ashore.  However, since we were well organized about our packing, we decided to explore the city a bit.  The shuttle bus took us over to the space needle (photo above).  We considered going up into the space needle, but the sky was getting progressively cloudier, and we still had fresh memories of the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, China, where we got to view the inside of a cloud from the 88th floor.  The view would have been better here, but it was still not worth the price to go to the top.  Instead we decided to take a ride on the monorail, after inquiring in one of the souvenir shops about the possibility of finding a good brew pub.  The woman we asked told us that her favorite is the Pike Brewing Co., in the Pike’s Place Market. 

On our way to the monorail we encountered a band that was setting up to play.  Their music sounded like something from South America, and was very nice, so we enquired as to where they were from.  It turns out they are from Ecuador; the group calls itself the Quichua Brothers.  We decided to buy one of their CDs, and got a laugh out of getting a souvenir from Ecuador in Seattle, more than two months after we visited Ecuador.  They were also selling some crafts, including bags like the small purse Susan had bought in Manta, Ecuador.  When we got to the monorail station we found out that the train had broken down; one of their workers told us how to take the bus to the Pike Street Market, which we did successfully.  The market started out as a fish market, and it is famous for the people who throw fish.

The Pike Brewing Co. is on several lower levels at the Pike Street end of the market.  It contains a beer history museum, which is quite interesting, and even their restrooms are decorated with beer memorabilia.  We had a very congenial waiter, who brought us excellent beer and a wonderful Reuben sandwich.  While we were eating we looked at the little stand-up sign on the table that described a dessert special:  3 handmade truffles with a sample of each of the beers that are in the truffles.  This was a really great dessert.  We are not fans of milk chocolate, but the milk chocolate truffle was excellent.  The truffles are made by Matt Carter, Carter’s Chocolate, Port Orchard Washington.  The Pike Brewing Co. is definitely on our list of brewpubs worth returning to.

As we were leaving the restaurant we encountered Carol, the water color teacher, and the three of us walked back to the monorail station, which we found easily with the directions we got.  The ride back to the station near the shuttle stop was quick, easy and pleasant.  On our way to the monorail we saw this lunch wagon (photo below), which is unique in our experience.

Seattle is a very green city, very much into recycling.  Many things in the city show a great attention to detail, as evidenced by this man-hole cover.  We also saw grates covering the dirt around the street trees that have a leaf design that matches the leaves of the trees they are under.  We went into the the mall by the space needle, by the food court entrance, and noticed that along with other recycles, they even had containers for recycling compostable food.  

Another somewhat unusual sight here (and in our country) is stores located in regular city blocks that open directly onto streets, just like they did in the days before malls.  Many of the stores like this that we saw are usually found only in malls.  

Seattle is another city that has an interesting mix of architecture, from old style, to modern skyscrapers, to weird organic buildings like the Music Experience building (silver and orange) and the Science Fiction Museum (blue), which are located next to the space needle.  We even got to see the Holland America Line building on our return shuttle bus ride to the ship.  

We got back to the ship in time to visit with a couple of Susan’s friends from the ’08 world cruise who were onboard visiting. It was a pleasant time.

Even though Seattle is a large, lively city, it has a peaceful feeling to it.  It seems like it would be a nice place to live if you can take the frequently rainy weather.  One of the tours offered by the ship was of the Boeing factory.  There is also an excellent aquarium, as well as art museums.  Seattle is another place that is worth a return visit.

                                                  Maximus Minimus Lunch Wagon

© Susan L. Stone 2015