Friday, August 17, 2012

Exploring Seattle – Space Needle Edition


So, now that we’ve explored a very crowded Pikes Place Market, let’s continue on our walk towards the Space Needle.

I love the construction going on. It reminded me of being in New York City, one of my other favorite places in the world. Construction is constant there, and I was always walking underneath the scaffolding. Good thing I’m not superstitious!

But back to reality! We’re in Seattle! Don’t worry!


Let’s be real…this waterfront apartment building would be just perfect for me and Hubby. Can you imagine being just a few steps away from downtown Seattle? Swoon.

Hey, I think that we are getting closer! Doesn’t this just get you excited? Maybe it is just me who gets excited in big cities…

It’s probably normal, right?


I don’t know if we should tell them that the Seattle Supersonics are no more. The graffiti in honor of that team can stop now, guys.



This was my only regret for the day. Even though I peeked inside the museum to check prices, I didn’t go for it. I think the adult tickets were $24. And, looking back on it, I should have done it! When else am I going to get to see King Tut?!

I love all things Egyptian History, so I really blew it by being cheap today. Maybe I can bump into Tut in another city and finally pay my dues.

Oooo, we’re getting even closer now! Just around the corner from the Pacific Science Center is a beautiful art sculpture. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but this thing is massive!

Can you see the little people underneath?


There were even some high school kids wearing rock climbing shoes who were scaling this monster. Pretty cool. It made me want to get a pair of shoes and join in. Luckily, no rock climbing shoe stores were in sight.

I hear that those things are expensive.

Now that we are so close, please indulge a few photos of one of my favorite landmarks in one of my favorite cities!

I’ve actually never been to the top, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on too much. Maybe someday, when some fun people are with me to enjoy such a view, I will be willing to pay the ticket for the elevator up.

This is a statement for all those ladies in my life. Let’s go to Seattle! I’m game! I even know where we can eat lunch.

As to be expected on a beautiful summer day, the Space Needle and its surrounding areas were packed with people. I was able to give my feet a rest for a few minutes by grabbing a park bench to watch everyone.

Very, very fascinating indeed.


I love that the Space Needle isn’t just about the needle. The area is surrounded with gardens and shops galore. This is a pretty neat part of town called Seattle Center. Lots of events are constantly going on here. You could easily spend an entire day in just in these few blocks.

I’ve seen this glass artist’s work before here in Phoenix! This is work by Dale Chihuly. And he is awesome. Apparently, Seattle seems to think so, too.


People-watching is fun on its own, but adding some festive Mayan music to my stop just made everything better. I love how alive this city is at every corner.

And, for just $18, you can go inside these cool buildings to enjoy the EMP Museum. They do music, sci-fi, and pop culture exhibits. I bet it would be fun to check it out.

And not just because they presently have Captain Kirk’s chair on display…


I was simply blown away by the cool design of these buildings. How did they do that?!

With a slightly-overcast layer, the shadows played beautifully on the incredible lines of this building. You can see the monorail tracks coming out the bottom. Can you imagine how cool it would be to ride through a museum on the monorail?

No, I didn’t do it. But that is another thing us gaggle of girls could do together! Hint hint!


The reflective characteristics were so pretty on this exterior surface. What is that even made of?!

Don’t worry, I only have about forty more pictures of this museum today.


Just kidding. This is the last one. Isn’t that cool with the Space Needle in the background? I took a ton of pictures today. I’m glad that my camera can keep up.

Inside Seattle Center, several cute shops were present. I loved the clean design of this one in particular. I wonder if they rent rooms above?


And yet another cool Chihuly design spurting up from the ground. I love it! Can you imagine how long it would take to blow the glass for each leaf?!


I thought it would be cool to check out the monorail but decided to continue on-foot. I love the art deco period of style that was going on. And I love that font for the sign!


Hi, Monorail! You came about because of Seattle hosting the World’s Fair in 1962. In fact, the monorail is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! This guy carries about two million passengers every year. Which means, at $2.25 a pop, they are doing juuuuuuust fine.


Here is a map of Seattle Center. We are standing just to the left of the Space Needle near the monorail entrance. See it? You are here!


And this gives you an idea of its proximity to Pikes Place Market, Pioneer Square, Convention Center, and other prominent landmarks throughout the city. We will see many of them on our Seattle tour!

I decided to follow the monorail tracks as I departed Seattle Center. Tomorrow, we will continue our exploration of Seattle by heading south towards Pioneer Square! Such a neat area…you won’t want to miss it!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Exploring Seattle – Pikes Place Market Edition


After a rousing ferry ride over to Seattle to enjoy a beautiful day on-foot in one of my favorite cities, the first place that I headed for was Pikes Place Market.

But this picture is just a tease. First we have to walk to the Market via 1st Avenue, and first we have to pass several beautiful (and sometimes even old) buildings to get there.

So let’s do it!

Just for the record once again, I would probably be elated to live in any single one of these skyscrapers in downtown Seattle. I particularly like this one because it looks really ancient. I bet that it has lots of old character and charm inside.

And I like the height. Can you imagine the view from one of these higher apartments?


This beautiful old thing caught my eye as well. I love all of the extra decoration adorning the outside of the building. Do you remember when buildings used to be considered works of art for their intricacies?

Yeah, me neither. How old do you think I am? Sheesh.


This shot is for the indecisive. You could pick any of these fine buildings for future living quarters and be juuuuuuust fine.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been a little anxious for a new scene lately. I would love to just uproot everything and move to a crazy city for a few years. We don’t have any kids, so it would be perfect right now. It’s probably just a restless phase that is attacking me for the past several months, and I’ve been told that it will pass.

Don’t worry. I’m not leaving. But I want to…

If “old” and '”charm” and “character” aren’t your thing, then you would probably be very happy in this gorgeous modern building.

Of course, there is always the chance that these buildings actually just contain offices! But I’m going out on a limb here to express that these buildings should all be housing for the likes of me. I’m just sayin’.

I hope that those peeps in Seattle who make just such decisions are reading today.


Well, hello, Pikes Place Market! You’re in the exact same place that you were last time I visited you! It was a few years ago, also in the summer, but I can’t find that post to share again. That visit was fun, but I also have high hopes for today, too.


Maybe this is one of the main reasons that I would love to live in downtown Seattle. Can you imagine just popping down to this farmers’ market every morning for fresh produce to use in recipes all day? Doesn’t this sight just make you hungry?!

Maybe I should go eat breakfast… (I did. Thanks, Special K).


Pikes was a busy spot in Seattle today. I think everyone got the memo to come visit this historic few blocks at this exact moment. Lucky me. Good thing I like crowds.


Ah, the famous Pikes sign. I always get so excited when I see it because I’m here! With a bunch of other tourists!


I guess I was a little excited to be here today.


So, for those of you who have never been here, Pikes Place Market is an indoor-outdoor shopping paradise. Local artists, farmers, and hippies purchase individual shopping stands to sell their goods. And from what I’ve been, they are all fairly-priced, too! Where else can you get authentic Rainier Cherries for $7/two pounds?!

This was one of the many entrances to leave the street shops and stores to go inside for even more shops and stores.


I find it funny now, but the name “Sanitary Public Market” on the side of this building probably inspired confidence in shoppers a hundred years ago. Things weren’t quite up to present-day cleaning standards back then, you know.

“Oh, look, darling! That pig being cut up on the side of the street will be safe to eat today!”


As you can see from the crowds, patrolling in a car would be next-to-impossible for the local policemen. So they mount up and head out…on horses. A-roar-hargh!

I used every muscle of self-control that I possess to not pet this horse. After growing up on them all my life, it’s hard not to make a deep emotional connection with horses when I see them.

I simply didn’t want to be seen as one of “those” tourists, tolerated by the cops and horses alike. Maybe that horse just knows…that I know of his kind. I used to show them at the county fair, in fact!

While wearing purple Wrangler jeans. You read that right. I was so cool back then.


So, for those of you who hate mobs of people, I simply want to clarify that this is not the typical Pikes Place Market crowd. When I ran into this non-moving wall of people, I asked around to find out what the fuss was all about.


Apparently, Will Farrell was inside one of these buildings just off of the main street, filming his latest movie. Because of that, hundreds of his most-devoted fans had thronged to the Market today to try to glimpse his famous curly locks.


As you can see from the raised cameras, Will is inside this cheese-making shop. I didn’t waste time to try to see him. That whole Hollywood crowd has never appealed to me, and I am grateful for that today.


It took about twenty minutes to walk the hundred yards that I had left of the outside Market today. Once away from the shoulder-to-should crowd, I took a deep breath of flower-filled air!

Luckily, this little encounter-with-an-actor didn’t impact my enjoying the rest of Pikes Place Market. I just made a mental note to stop here later on in the day to enjoy it with fewer people breathing over my neck.


I don’t drink coffee, so this visit wasn’t life-changing for me. But here is the very first Starbucks Coffee ever in existence. It was packed…no doubt full of people who couldn’t wait to tell their friends that they had experienced Starbucks in its birthplace. Firsthand. Yay.


I did stop at Starbucks for several minutes, however, to enjoy this incredible live Bluegrass band, The Millionaires Club (click the link if you want to see a video of them in action). Holy smokes, they were awesome and fun and seemed to be enjoying themselves. I listened for several minutes, clapping along and smiling like a crazy cat lady.

I decided to fork over the $10 for their music CD because I enjoyed it so much. A decision I have yet to regret! I rarely buy souvenirs, but this was a special circumstance indeed.


I continued my walk towards the north on the outside street of Pikes Place. The smaller crowds were much more my style. It’s hard to explore somewhere on foot when you can’t move a foot!


Once I finished up outside, it was time to reverse course and explore the inside of Pikes Place! Goodness knows I didn’t see all of the shops today, but I certainly enjoyed the ones that were on the first pass. As you can see, it was also a very busy place in here. Once I had walked around in this crowd, I was just anxious for some open air!


It cleared out a little better around some of the inner shops. I took my time perusing the beautiful stands, enjoying artisans making their crafts on the spot. Wood carvings, lots of art, knitted hats, and tons of handmade jewelry. You name it, they got it.

There is always so much to see here, and I love it.


I even found a window showing the same Ferris Wheel from earlier this morning. I am on the other side of it now, but it still looks like fun. *snort*


And although I despise fish with every fiber of my being, it knew that I had to get a few shots of the wonderful fish market. This is actually how Pikes Place got its start…the local fishermen would line the wharf every morning with their latest catch, and people would flow down from the city to purchase the finest and freshest fish possible.



I mean, come on. What on earth is appealing about this guy?!

This is the part of the Market famous for fish-throwing. Watch your head!


I clambered away from the fish in a hurry and found one of my favorite things about Pikes Place Market…the fresh flowers. These gigantic bouquets of beauty start at just $5, and I know my house would be full of them if I lived just a few blocks away.

Aren’t these gorgeous? And they smell better than fish, too.


In an unprecedented occurrence, I actually bought two souvenirs today! I watched a lady blow her own glass beads, then make them into one-of-a-kind necklaces and earrings. Since I hate things around my neck, I opted for a nice pair of purple glass bead earrings.


And here I am wearing them just a few weeks later at my family reunion in Sedona!

Pikes Place was just incredible, but too busy. It was fun to quickly walk-through, knowing that I would return later today when the crowds had a chance to thin out a little.

Have you been to Pikes Place? What was your experience?

No comments about fish, please.

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