2 1/2 days in Seattle

Casey headed to Seattle last week to meet with clients, so I decided to tag along! I vaguely remember driving through the city once on a family road trip, years ago. So I was excited to actually see the sights through grown-up eyes. Too bad I was leaving this fabulous weather behind:
But flying Jet Blue is always a treat. And the plane looks even cooler with a daybreak sky behind it. Beautiful 6am colors.
Casey had to stop in San Francisco before heading to Seattle, so I actually flew out all by myself. Yea, I'm a big kid. I can handle it. But how fun/weird to be traveling withOUT anyone else?! No kids? No bag full of juice cups and graham crackers? The option to read a book, or take a nap, or watch my personal TV monitor....you know, the choice to do whatever I want whenever I want? Weird. And dreamy.
Hooray for small airports and easy boarding. We love LB and Burbank.
A short two-hour flight. First sites of Seattle area:
Our plane, touching down:
Seattle skyline, from the window of the airport shuttle. Uh, did I mention it was 80 degrees when I left LA and I came to this dreary 40 degree sight? But I still enjoyed it all the same.
We stayed right downtown, walking distance to the Space Needle, at the Westin Hotel. There's a monorail that runs right by it to the Needle.
Our hotel room:
With a beautiful all-white bed (that was outrageously comfortable):
And a cool view of the city from our window, 33rd floor!
Since I was totally on my own, I spent the day lounging, exploring on foot, eating the World's Best Mac and Cheese from Beecher's Cheese and reading my book (The Color Of Water, I highly recommend). I stopped by the very first Starbuck's ever, here at The Pike Place, down by the water:
I strolled around town and window shopped till my teeth were chattering (it was cold).
And then I picked up our rental car, a fabulous little ford escort. The perfect bubble of perfect temperature. I was glad to have a car the next couple days:
I picked up Casey at the airport and we found a cozy hip Pizza spot for dinner, Serious Pie.
Casey had a 9am meeting, so we were up and out the door early. Getting some morning work in:
Me, bored with my camera, waiting to go:
We drove 15 minutes across the lake to Bellevue, to Microsoft headquarters.
Bellevue is a cool city with a fun downtown area:
After dropping off Casey I drove and drove around a beautiful lake. Most of the area looks like this:
Lots of green trees and often, green moss growing on the trunks:
I hung out at Bellevue Square (a shopping mall) and then ate lunch at my favorite spot: Chipotle. There was a Marketing Competition going on at a nearby hotel for all the local highschool kids. And they all must have chosen Chipotle for lunch because I have NEVER seen this place SO busy, ever. I counted 65 people in line ahead of me. This shot doesn't capture the chaos but it was there. The line moved fairly quickly though:Phew. I made it. And enjoyed a good hour of book reading while eating:
More driving and exploring...I came across this cute blueberry farm:
and the Seattle Temple. I have to admit, not my favortie architecture and impossible to get a good straight-on shot:Random Coca-Cola offices:
Beautiful sites from the bridge headed back from Bellevue to Seattle:
Now that Casey was done with meetings, I had company! So we really partied it up and headed to the Ballard Locks. Oddly enough, this was probably the coolest part of the trip to me. It's a boring process to explain. But there are these canals (locks) with differnent entry points (think of a double-door building entrance in cities where it snows, to keep the snow out).
One side of the water is saltwater from the Puget Sound. The other side is Lake Washington, fresh water and at a higher water level. So there needs to be an interim, holding area where they equalize the water level. The boats enter here, from the Sound:
Then they wait here while water is sucked from the Lake and poured into this "holding tank". The water level slowly starts to rise. And when the water here is the same level as the lake, the doors open and the boat can enter into the lake:We shivered our way around the Locks:
But as we were leaving, we were lucky enough to see a boat go through the actual process. It was really cool! This boat entered from the Sound, sea-level water:
We watched as it sat in the holding tank and the water rose. You can see the boat getting higher. And then...off it went! Again, boring to explain. But really, quite interesting!After the Locks, we drove past The Troll under the bridge. Just a random troll sitting there:
his eye is a VW hubcap:
(many thanks to my good friend Miriam for putting together this list of Seattle-must-sees. She grew up there and shared her secrets with us).
DAY #3
The weather was cloudy and gray most of our stay. I mean, Seattle? Right? We spent our morning on foot (and bundled up). First, the Space Needle:
Then the Science Museum:
Guess what? I only weigh 8.9 pounds! (on Pluto)
Sitting at the kids table:
Then we walked down to Pike Place again so Casey could enjoy it (I walked through on Wednesday by myself).
This funny guy was just sitting on a corner, playing his upright:
Pike Place is like a permanent farmer's market.
Cool booths with fresh produce, local honey, jewelry, artwork:
and fresh seafood:
Then, per Miriam's recommendation we finished our Seattle tour at Dick's Drive-in for greasy french fries and burgers:
They charge you 5 cents for ketchup. We got six of these:
We drove to the airport and dropped off our car. Cool airport with this interesting mobile hanging from the ceiling,
and this beautiful window:
So long Seattle! We enjoyed you. We would have enjoyed you a little more with some sun, but then again it's just cliche to be there in the gray cold.
Back at my parent's house, Lucy and Owen lived it up for 3 days in the warm backyard. They happily did this: and this:
And no matter how nice it is to have a break and be on my own, I always end up missing my kiddos more than I miss my freedom and can't wait to see them again. The excitement on their faces as we walk in the door? The best part of any trip.


the bates motel said...

sounds like such a fun trip! seattle looks very beautiful. i like how you made the most of such a quick trip too :)! good times!

lyndsey said...

excellent recap -- you even hit a number of "sleepless in seattle" landmarks! hooray. btw, your new camera is so great! i love all the artsy pics :)

dietcokegrrl said...

You always document everything so well! Loved reading this post!

LOVED the hotel room and the view. Glad Miriam told you about all the must see spots to visit--looks like a great little getaway!

And I love the pics at the museum too. Oh, and glad you finally got a good diet coke. That's the most important!

Suman Family said...

fun times! that looks like a really great trip. we'll have to put some of those spots on our list when we visit there...one day. great recap!

Nicole said...

What a fun trip. Great play by play for us to read. I can't wait to go someday, I will take the gray, but not 40 degrees and gray....burrr.

I too LOVE coming home to the kids. They looked so happy to see you. So cute!

Fernando said...

Aww, I wish I could have gone! Granted, Seattle is much prettier in the summer when they actually have sun.

Anyway, I'm glad you were able to have a fun trip. As for the Seattle temple, we didn't get married there b/c Diane was never a fan of the architecture.

Oh, did you know that Nintendo also has their USA headquarters just up the road from Bellevue (in Redmond where Microsoft is located). I still haven't made it there...(to Nintendo headquarters--it sounds like it'd be a fun place to visit).

Melissa said...

Stayed at that same hotel on that same floor! The room looks just the same layout too! Super nice hotel. Luxurious and nice short walk to the Space Needle. You did a lot more than we did there though. Looked like so much fun!

Darci said...

It looks like you had fun. I'm glad that you enjoyed seattle. It is funny to see everyday sites threw visitors eyes. Most Californians think it is too cold up here.

Super Kate said...

What a great trip! I've wanted to hit Seattle for awhile. There is a Chihuly exhibit that I'm dying to see.

Miriam Oh said...

awesome!!! You did it all! Way to go! Looks like you had fun! My favorite pic has to be of Casey at the dinner table. Nice job!

Nat said...

Fun trip! I'm in Seattle right now visiting my family...just barely missed you (like we never see each other in Cali...).
We got married in the Seattle temple and Will is still pretty bitter about it...but hey, the gardens are lovely! :)

Diane and Andrew said...

Great pictures! I even really like the picture of the jet blue plane. Very, very cool.

Sara said...

fun trip! I haven't been there for forever, but it is a fun city! I love Owen's smile in the last picture

Jean said...

What a great trip!! Great hotel, great exploring, great eats. That troll totally freaks me out. But I saw a ship go through the locks in Montreal once, and thought it was so cool too. My favorite picture is Casey in the giant chair -- haha!! Awesome.

teresa said...

You're a blogging inspiration, Dana. You take such great pics (I'm sure the hot new camera helps, yeah?), and do such a good job telling the stories that go along with them. Fun trip!

Karis said...

totally fun trip! Marty and I were just saying tonight that Seattle looks like a fun place to go. And...I love the pic of casey sitting at the monsterous tble.

Shelley said...

That sounds like paradise-- your own time, your own book. I think I'm ready to miss my kids more than my freedom!! I'm glad you had fun.

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