Thursday, March 21, 2013

Hello Seattle

It's Spring Break here in Victoria, and we just returned from a brief trip to Seattle.

First time to Seattle. First time, in fact, to the USA, even though it's just across the water and is visible from our living room window.

We packed a lot into just two days (plus traveling on either end), including Pike Place market, the Aquarium, and the Science Center. We had to be choosy, missing out many more major attractions. Maybe a future trip?

Impressions

We are used to living on European time when we're on vacation, often not eating until 8pm. That works when we're doing our own catering, but not so much when so many places seem to close early. North American cities seem to go to sleep just when Europeans are starting to do business. In this instance, though, it turned out for the best because in our slightly extended meandering we stumbled on a wonderful Mexican restaurant only recently opened and not yet featuring on web sites.

The other persistent impression was the lack of traffic. I couldn't believe how empty the streets were for such a large city, even on a normal work day.

Highlights

Visiting the Space Needle. A must-do for visitors - it's such an iconic Seattle landmark as well as offering stunning views.

The Museum of Flight. We made a day of it and spent five hours there. Could easily have spent as long again, except we were tired and footsore after so long on our feet already.


Unexpected treasures. On trips like this, as in writing, I like a bit of structure but not so much as to be constrained and regimented. This gave us freedom to take a few unplanned diversions as the fancy took us. One such gem was the Seattle public library - a huge building with a viewing gallery on the tenth floor giving vistas both outside and down the vast atrium. It warms my heart to see people still investing in the art of writing.

I reckon the architect had a grudge against window cleaners though...

For the kids, I think a major highlight was simply staying in a hotel. This is their first time since we moved to Canada, and they were too young then to remember anything about previous times.

It was good for the adults, too, not to have any cooking or cleaning for a few days, and to be able to unwind in the hotel bar with a beer, surrounded by good places to eat within easy walking distance.

After our first taste of this nearby city across the border, we are hoping to return in future.

9 comments:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all. You know, I'm an old lady and I've never been outside Canada. Mayhap I should get myself a passport and live a little.

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  2. I appreciate photos, so thank you for sharing! We live here in the U.S. I will occasionally share photos on my blog and wish more bloggers would do the same!

    It's expensive to travel, but when I see photos, it makes me feel like I'd been there. :) Kind of like reading a book. lol

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  3. Oh, lucky you! I've always wanted to visit Seattle. It's seems every bit as wonderful as I imagined. Thanks for sharing your pics--it's the next best thing, travelling vicariously through your "eyes." :)

    Needless to say, you would get everything you're used to and more were you ever to visit New York City--the city that never sleeps. Traffic? Late night meals? Pfft! That's a typical Tuesday around these parts (8pm is when I have dinner, too, for the record).

    Sounds like you had quite the trip, Ian. Now, are you ready for Spring to finally begin? Knowing you, I bet you are!

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  4. Delores, that would be an excellent idea. Canada has a lot to offer, but there's nothing to beat visiting somewhere foreign once in a while.

    Diane, I used to post a lot more photos. Just got lazy recently.

    David, of course NY is open 24x7, I knew that :) Back in the UK, 8pm used to be a widely accepted "standard" time to meet up for a meal. All that changed with a young family of course...

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  5. Hi Ian,

    I finally got over here. And at the silly time of 3:30 A.M. We are having a blizzard and it's bloody cold, by the way.

    You have brought back loads of memories to me about Seattle. I have visited there several times. The Space Needle and the monorail, if it's still running, were from the 1962 World's Fair. Heck, even Elvis Presley did a movie using the fair as the theme.

    Thanks for the memories, Ian. I guess I'm rather "Sleepless....."

    Enjoy your weekend, eh!

    Gary :)

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  6. How fun that you finally made it south of the border. Seattle is such a mellow city for how big it is. It's funny because I live in Bellingham, sooo close to B.C. but rarely go up there. Sometimes I feel like I live in Canada, though, since all of our stores are full of Canadians. We're the "Vancouver South Shopping District" but it makes it so our small town has stores like Trader Joes that we wouldn't have without Canada being right there.
    P.S. I love that song by Owl City

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  7. Sounds like you had a lot of fun. I'd love for a chance to visit Pikes.

    But Seattle streets empty for such a big city? Um, I've been there before and my daughter-in-law's family lives there. The traffic is horrid. I wonder if you hit it during some kind of special event or something.

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  8. Gary, you are correct, and the monorail is still running. The stop was just a block from our hotel, which was handy.

    Shell, you are almost a neighbor then :) Yes, I know a lot of folks from around here pop across the border to shop.

    Donna, I don't know if there was anything special on. It wasn't a holiday or anything and I am talking about a normal weekday as far as I know. It did seem odd, though.

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  9. Oh such a lovely gesture....putting love on the bill :))), it seems like Seattle has conquered you all....Should I ever arrive to USA...I'll made sure to stop by Seattle :) and then of course travel to Canada to have dinner with you and your lovely family :).

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