Six Seattle surprises
Even though I planned our Seattle vacation to the hilt, there were a lot of unexpected moments that were surprisingly pleasing or humorous. These are my top 6 moments.
We rented a cottage in the Capitol Hill neighborhood because it was cheaper than a hotel room and included a parking space, which would have been about $30/night at a hotel. The owner of the cottage is renovating his “main” house, so he was around most days, plus his adorable Havanese dog, Stogie. The first time we met Stogie, he wandered right into the cottage because apparently, he loves it. He let me pet him, even though he eyed me suspiciously the whole time. The owner was amused. “Usually he doesn’t like people,” he said. Oh! Well then! After that, whenever I saw that the owner was working on the house, I’d sort of poke my nose around and try to lure Stogie out to say hi. These phone pictures were the best shots I got of him, much to my chagrin.
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Pike Place Market in the morning
Before our Segway tour, we got up early to get early bird parking at Pike Place Market and get breakfast at Le Panier. As I’ve already said, Le Panier was amazing, but just being at the market so early was really wonderful. We had been there the day before, on Friday afternoon, and the place was an unpleasant sea of humanity. Oh, sure, you could still see the beautiful produce and flowers, but only if you weren’t distracted by somebody knocking your lens cap off your camera or a small child running into your legs. Oy. That early morning venture to the market was so peaceful and lovely. We saw the vendors setting up their stands, stacking fruit crates, and firing up their ovens. If you can get yourself out of bed, definitely get to the market as soon as they let you in.
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Window on Washington Waters show at the Seattle Aquarium
This is completely nerdy, but you must see this presentation if you go to the aquarium. They hook up a scuba diver biologist with AV equipment, and another staff person talks to the scuba diver in the tank! The diver can talk back over the sound system, answer questions, and demonstrate exactly how the kids should behave at the touch tanks. The kids loved taking pictures with the scuba diver, and there were a lot of waves and high-fives. The content in the presentation was really good, too; it was all about the Puget Sound and how they built the display to replicate that ecosystem. As an adult, you can see how it’s sort of canned, but I felt like it was so unique, specific to the area, and much better than a contrived, trained animal show. It really gets you excited about what you’ll see later on in the aquarium.
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Harbor tour and seeing the Blue Angels
This activity was built into our CityPass, and it was one that I was least looking forward to. I had read that you need to experience Seattle by boat, so I thought it was convenient that the tour was included, but I wasn’t, like, raring to go on this one. However! It was really well done, and our narrator had an encyclopedic knowledge of the skyline and landscape. We had wonderful weather, and being out on the bay, with a breeze, was so refreshing. The best part was watching the Blue Angels swoop over the city as part of Seafair! Every so often, the captain of the ship would interrupt the narrator over the PA system and say something like, “Sorry to interrupt, but we are about to have a direct flyover, so GET OUT YOUR CAMERAS!” And we did.
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Science fiction area at the Experience Music Project
Confession: I didn’t really get the Experience Music Project. I didn’t listen to popular music until the very end of high school, so I have basically no knowledge of classic rock. Anything I’ve picked up about the 80s or even 90s was a result of watching VH1 or learning those screamy songs that get played at weddings. So whole exhibits about Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, and AC/DC were totally lost on me. They were really well done! I appreciate their cultural contributions! But it didn’t resonate with me like it did for so many other people who hung their hearts on that music. However, the science fiction part was more up my alley. Granted, I am not as well-versed in this genre as I would like to be, and a lot of it went over my head, but I felt like it was more my speed. At the beginning of the exhibit, there was a cool little console where you could scroll down and select influential science fiction writers and see what their contributions where. I had a lot of fun with that. The exhibit was a good mix of standard science fiction writers but others that made big contributions that we don’t remember as much now. Well done, curators! The vast majority of the paraphernalia in the exhibit was on loan from the personal collection of one of the bigwigs at Microsoft, and I couldn’t help but think that his wife (if he has one) must be very patient.
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Eating Rainier cherries almost every day for breakfast
These cherries weren’t a surprise in that I totally planned to get a sack of them and chip away for the whole week, but I mean, come on. They were gorgeous and delicious.