Sleepless in Seattle

Except not, because I’m exhausted.  First thing I noticed here was actually about every other city I’ve lived in, and that is that they are FLAT.  And Seattle is not.  Apparently the 18 degree grade is less than before the financial district burned down, at least that’s what they told us on Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour.  But it’s still well more than the hills in DC, Philly, Boston, or anywhere else I’ve lived.  It’s great staying in a nice hotel, but not great that that hotel is up the four block hill from the waterfront, Pike’s Place, and Pioneer Square.  So I’m tired.  But, I’m really happy I decided to come fly in a couple days early and do some sightseeing.  I seem to have arrived just in time for unusually excellent weather, so it’s been great to just walk around outside, and I’ve had no interest in going to any museums, or waiting in any long lines.

Yesterday I got an early start and headed down to Pike’s Place to watch some fish throwing and explore.  I saw the first Starbucks, but didn’t wait in the line halfway down the block for a coffee.  I did buy some fresh Mt. Rainier cherries to snack on while I walked around.  I checked out some of the shops below the market, including Golden Age Collectables, where I could have just moved in.  It had tons of fun stuff from all my dorky interests, including scripts from a bunch of my favorite TV shows and movies, which I thought was really cool.  Maybe other people have seen these around, but it was a first for me.

After the market I headed over to Belltown, which I heard was a cool area to walk around and check out the shops.  Unfortunately, since it was Sunday, a lot of stuff was closed and there weren’t many people around.  I headed back to the hotel to regroup, which was when I discovered the joys of hiking up the 4 block hill.

Before leaving I’d asked friends from Seattle what I should do or see there, and all of them told me to take the Underground Tour, so that seemed like a good afternoon activity.  It was pretty cool to walk around literally under the current city, and get some of the history of Seattle’s origins.  Afterward I wandered around Pioneer Square for a while, again just window shopping, until I noticed a huge wave of people heading toward me in green, realized I was near the sports arena and there was a game starting, was surprised to realize that game was soccer and was drawing such a huge crown, and decided to get out of dodge.  Which brought me to my second hike up ‘The Hill.’

Today I decided to head over to Bainbridge Island.  I wanted to go out on the water, and get a panoramic view of Seattle, but I didn’t need an entire cruise around the city, especially for $30+, more with food.  I’d read that Bainbridge has some wineries and artist enclaves and thought it would be more my speed.  Turns out the artist tour is only a couple times a year, and it’s next weekend.  Also, I had no transportation to get to the wineries.  But no matter, some of them had tasting rooms in Winslow.  I walked around for a while, realized I was hungry, and stopped to eat.  I also noticed this little ice cream shop that advertised their lavender ice cream, so I thought why not.  I also tried ‘Tango’ which was a mix of orange sherbet, chocolate shavings, and curaçao.  Really good and tart, to balance out the mildness of the lavender.  Heading back to Seattle I discovered a better daytime picture setting on my camera, so my pictures coming back to Seattle are definitely better than the ones heading to Bainbridge.

Below are some pictures from the last couple days, although I’m having trouble uploading so I’m not sure what I’ll be able to add now.  I might have to come back to add more later.  Tomorrow I finally have to do some work (the actual reason for my trip!) and then my colleagues and I are road tripping down to Portland.  Hopefully Wednesday afternoon I’ll be able to see a bit of Portland, another never-been-to-but-always-wanted-to-visit city of mine.

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