Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Way Home - Part 3 (Seattle)

The first stop on our journey back to Winnipeg was a very short jaunt from Vancouver itself.  It seemed silly to start our road trip with such a short day of driving, but we hadn't spent any time in Seattle the whole time we'd been gone and we knew we had to.

Thanks to my amazing friend Lisa, we were able to stay in a huge suite at the Westin right in the heart of downtown Seattle.  We definitely started the trip off at the top!  We were on the 36th floor and had a great view out of our windows.

Anyone who had been to Seattle usually mentioned Pike Place Market as the place not to be missed.  We took the short walk down to the market and made it our first stop.

The Fish Market is one part fish market and one part entertainment venue.  The guys who work there get into the act and are yelling and shouting and throwing fish across the display cases all for the benefit of the hundreds of tourists who are standing around watching them.

You would not believe the bouquets of flowers for sale.  They are unlike any I'd seen and were so ridiculously cheap!  We wished we'd have had somewhere to bring a bunch of flowers.

Hannah knows a lot of obscure facts about different things from reading from sun up to sun down for the better part of her life.  She had told us that we had to visit the "Gum Wall" in Seattle, which is just a few steps away from the market.  Here you will find a huge part of the side of a brick building covered with people's wadded up chewed gum.  It's likely the most unhygenic tourist attraction you could visit.  But it's strangely very beautiful.

Just past the outdoor market was this wonderful older man playing a homemade single-string pail bass.  He was so entranced in the music he was playing.  I loved the simplicity of his instrument and the vigour and commitment he played it with.  You couldn't help but get drawn in.

Seattle has a lot of neat areas of public art.  We found this spot on our walk back to the hotel on our first afternoon.

The view of the city from our hotel was quite amazing.

On our second day it was (shock) raining in the morning, so we decided to start the day indoors at the Pacific Science Center.  We took the easy route and rode the monorail.

Sasha got to sit right up front with the operator.

There were lots of neat things to explore and touch.

Our main reason for visiting the Science Center was the King Tut Exhibit that they had running.  Seattle was the last North American stop for this exhibit.   We had to wait until the afternoon to get in to see the exhibit.  It was packed with people.  There were many rules to be followed including no chewing gum.  I had just passed out gum right before we got let in, and the good Mennonite in me couldn't see the wisdom in throwing it all out.  We all got very skilled in looking for security guards around and being sure not to chew when they were looking at us.

The exhibit was huge.  There were many many artifacts and interesting stories about the pieces and how they were discovered.  Here is just a tiny taste...

We finished off the long day of walking and looking and touching with a little snuggle on a gigantic chair, and then a ride back on the monorail.

On our last full day in Seattle we thought it was only right to have lattes and breakfast at the very first Starbucks.  It is still up and running strong right outside of the market.  Here are the girls in their attempt to look cool and casual.

After a stroll, we decided to drive into a character-rich part of Seattle known as Freemont.  Freemont is known for its artistic community, interesting shops and lots of public art.

After we finished lunch we walked toward the public art piece that we really wanted to see.  On the way along this meadow of beautiful wildflowers and grass lay a homeless man up against this tree.  The juxtaposition wasn't lost on us.

What we really came to Freemont for was to see the sculpture of the "Troll Under the Bridge".    This piece was commissioned a decade ago and is incredibly neat to see up close.  The Troll even has a real VW Bug in his grasp.

I love how places like this lead to the most interesting conversations.  There is a huge statue of Lenin in this little courtyard.  Looking at this piece led to an lengthy conversation about socialism, communism, trial and error, and the lasting impact of it all.

After all that serious talk, it was definitely time for some gelato.

As we were approaching this rocket ship, we were pulled into a guided tour of the Freemont public art.

Hannah was mildly thrilled willing to be pulled into the guide's shtick.  She was a good sport.

Mike and I spent our last night in Seattle going out for a great dinner on our own while the girls hunkered down and ordered room service.    We were all in our happy place.

If you survived that tour of Seattle with me, congratulations for sticking it through!  Stay tuned for our next stop on the road trip - The Wild West!


  1. Lovely! You made me want to go!

  2. sure made me miss seattle! i lived in freemont it's a very fun and vibrant place to be. the gum wall is a must see for sure!!

  3. For sure... I want to come too!