Thursday, July 4, 2013

Seattle Blue

Mount Rainier, Seattle, WA
Mt Rainier and A Couple of Sports Arenas

It’s the third day of my great Alaskan adventure with my niece Kristen.   The adventure was a present to Kristen before she heads off to college.  Her honorary aunt Donna outfitted her with all sorts of things  -- including knee high bamboo socks, which I can hardly wait to see.  We just spent two days in Seattle – acclimating to West Coast time and taking in some of the city sights.

Space Needle, Seattle, WA
Space Needle from Below
I’ve been chronicling our journey on Instagram at #thetravelingkristen and #thebluebear (when the blue bear is in a photo a that is).  So far, we have discerned that Kristen manages her iPhone power better than I do OR that the 4S just eats more power than the 4.  I guess that’s why I’m carrying heavy battery packs around.  We hunkered down at the Sorrento Hotel for our Seattle sojourn.  Great little hotel – out of the fray of both the tourist hot spots (water front, public market) and business district (convention center). 

Our first stop in Seattle was to take in the Chihuly Museum and the Space Needle.   The Chihuly was nothing short of amazing with every room a glowing gem unto itself.  I included some photos from our visit in my last post – Vacation Mode.  The cafĂ© was closed because they were filming a commercial – looked like it was a wedding and quite a production for a commercial if you ask me.  Lots of trucks, lots of key grips, lots of wedding extras.  All on a hot, humid evening in Seattle. 

After the museum, we headed up to Sky City for an early dinner.  If you figure that your ticket to go up in the elevator costs you $19/person, dinner at Sky City is quite a bargain.  The best parts of the meal?  The space needle pasta and the ice cream cooled by liquid nitrogen.  And, yes, all you Chopped and would be Iron Chef’s, liquid nitrogen does add a lot of drama to a dish.  The meal paled in comparison to the views from the restaurant.  The restaurant does a full rotation once very 47 minutes and we took it all in from our birds eye view over the city of Seattle.
Port, Seattle, Shipping, WA
Seattle is a Port
The next day brought a trip out to the Boeing Factory for a tour.  All I can say is wow.  Sadly, I have nary a picture of the factory floor to post given that they don’t permit cell phones OR cameras.  And, I had forgotten to purchase spy glasses (dang!).  They need to protect their trade secrets – or (more importantly), the people on the factory floor from getting hit by dropped objects.  It is quite amazing to
watch Boeing put planes together and we saw three different assembly lines from the viewing platforms that sit above the factory floor.  The factory itself is, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest building by cubic volume in the world.  The last line was for the newest plane in the Boeing line --- costing just over $200 million (without the engines) – the 787.   Boeing makes parts of this plane in other countries and flies them in on its dream liner.  Not to wax rhapsodic or anything but the whole interior of the plane can be customized; the windows are bigger (not picture windows mind you), and you can control the color of the glass with a touch of your button (think transitions lenses on eyeglasses).  Both LAN and British Airways are flying these babies – just may have to take an excursion to Chile or London.

The Seattle Underground tour followed hard on the heels of Boeing.  This tour took us down under Pioneer Square for a walk through, well, hmm, what are currently the equivalent of old cellars and and storage areas.  The tour is the brain child of Bill Speidel who started it in order to save the old Victorian buildings that comprise the historic district.  The current day tour is a well-oiled commercial enterprise.  The guides do a great job with their well-rehearsed spiel and we easily whiled away 75 minutes taking pictures and listening to the stories of how Seattle burned and was rebuilt.  Who knew that one could do a controlled mudslide.

Slightly exhausted, we walked over to the Public Market in time to catch some fish throwing and before the vegetable and fruit stands closed up. 

A half hour later we were armed with “berry” tomatoes (the sweetest tomatoes ever grown), fresh cherries, awesome cheese, and fudge for dessert.   The best meal of the trip in Kristen’s opinion!  I couldn’t agree more.

#BusterSimpson, #publicart, Seattle, WA
Buster Simpson - Laundry as Art
Fish at the Public Market, Seattle, WA
Fish at the Public Market

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