Home > Spring break, Travel > A Saturday in Seattle – 1

A Saturday in Seattle – 1

Following our coast-to-coast flight, we had a dream sleep. Yes, the bunk beds are cozy and we had slept much later than usual, given the time zone shift. But travel wakes me up early. The closest shared bathroom seems to be always open whenever I need it. It’s an interesting experience to share bathrooms in a hostel. The last time I did it – I was still single and backpacking in NZ. We have only used shared baths as a family, during our camping adventures of 2019. I get down to the community hall and book our Space Needle and the Glass museum tickets, as the internet speeds are terrible in the room. As planned, kids had showered last night. So they just need to dress up for the fresh day.

I start up my first morning exploration of the trip – wander into Pikes Place market again when it is still dark. It is a little before 6 and the vendors are just getting started for a busy spring day. The aroma of bakery food tickles my taste buds, and I am always hungry early. I chat with a random old guy at the Victor Steinbrueck Park, who is puffing off watching the sound from above. I feel safe when a patrol car makes its rounds. The park is really empty, as it is not dawn yet. I am unable to see the shoreline and wonder why. I head up north to see if I can get any closer. I keep going down on Elliot Ave for 5 minutes or so to see if I can spot the Marriott, which I vaguely remember from my map browsing. Since I don’t have my phone, I don’t know how far I am from the Olympic sculpture park and decide to head back. Back to the market and I spot a steep staircase, which is called the Pike Street hill.

Now I know why I can’t see the shoreline. The market is on top of a cliff. There is a railroad and the Alaskan way (sound-side road) between the market and the sound sort of. Pike St press has a cute postcard wall, which rings a bell with our postcrossing hobby. I walk up to the Seattle Aquarium. I hear loud animal noises, which I imagine to be noisy seals, when they are probably gull cries. I walk along the Alaskan way, relieved in a way to be out of the shady areas. It is a little chilly, but a brisk walk drives the cold. Dawn is breaking now. I walk past the piers under construction and spot the Marriott I am looking for. It is by the shorefront, not up on Elliott Ave. I take the Bell St pedestrian bridge across Pier 66 to get back to the hostel.

The kids soon wake up hungry for their favorite cereal breakfast. A helpful guest at the hostel recommends we eat eggs and the eager beavers in us collect the eggs immediately. The dear wife comes and inspects the cleanliness of the shared utensils. She is aghast and vows never to cook anything here – an Fail in her audit books. Since we are half-way with the eggs, she helps us do the scramble. I luckily end up eating almost all, as the kids gorge on their cereals. Yes, hostel food is not the Hampton Inn hot food. Hey, it is still free and gets us going. Soon, we walk to the monorail station early in the day before 9 for our Seattle adventures. I am so glad we all made it out so early on our first day. But the monorail doesn’t run until 11am. Ah, the problems of traveling during Covid in its peak!

Where we walk, Seattle downtown doesn’t have the best of sights before the crowds, with homeless folks wandering around. We decide to walk northwest on 5th Ave, along the length of the monorail, with its tracks above us. It takes us a solid 25 minutes for the mile. On the way we see a fountain with a big statue of Chief Seattle – Tilikum place. Apparently Tilikum is welcome in Chinook (local Indian) jargon. The pretty KOMO plaza full of flowers is the perfect welcome to the Space Needle, just across Broad St. As we approach the Space Needle, the gardens in front show their awesome tulips and daffodils in bloom for a spectacular display. We are still early to be in line for the first entry of the day to the Space Needle.

We walk around the Glass Museum to the playground behind, and around the Science Museum before getting in line as the second family. The elevator to the Space Needle is a quick ride to the top. The top level with the outside view is gorgeous with an all-round clear sight into the mountain ranges – no clouds. We pose on the slanted glass benches – scared and thrilled at the same time. The transparent glass enclosure makes you feel like you are going to fall down into the busy downtown below. One of the friendly employees encourages us to go for a standing pose, assuring us the glass is tough. We next sit on the revolving deck, again with a great peek down below. The science museum has a cute message, in big font to read from the top. No, I won’t reveal it. The son insists on a coin souvenir. We also buy our fist set of souvenir postcards and magnets at the gift shop on the way out.

Out next stop is the Chihuly glass garden. The exhibits are across 8 galleries and a few walls culminating in the masterpiece glasshouse. There are a bunch of baskets, sea life, lights and they are all simply magical. We see a few videos including the origins of glass blowing near Jerusalem. There is a glass blowing demo in progress near the cafe and we are mesmerized by the show. Back to more exhibits inside, we even get a picture done for free with our visit. The walk inside the garden is inspiring with the glass sculptures nicely merging with the plants. Of course, we are not the true art lovers to appreciate it better. Going back to downtown, we take the monorail. The boy is crazy about it and loves the short monorail ride. Since public transport is almost non-existent in our hometown suburb, this is indeed exotic to him. We follow up with the slow streetcar at Westlake to Lake Union.

Categories: Spring break, Travel
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