When we flew out to Washington to see our son, Griffin, and his wife Kirsten we knew she’d only have 2-3 days off of work. We got there on a Saturday (she was working) and decided to head to Seattle the following day. Not only would she be off, it was supposed to be a beautiful day.
One of the first things we realized when we got to Seattle (a little less than an hour from their house with no traffic) was there was going to be a Pride parade that day. No big deal. In fact, for me it was a bit of a bonus. I loved all of the costumes and the overall atmosphere was joyful and fun. We quickly learned it wasn’t just a parade, we were smack dab in the middle of Seattle’s PrideFest. We knew the Seattle Center would be crowded on a Sunday, but it was even more so with this event happening.
After going over to The Amory to use the restroom and get a small bite (most of the places weren’t yet open and it was a bit early for lunch) we headed over to the Space Needle to get tickets to the go up to the observation deck and to go to Chihuly Garden and Glass.
Have you been to the Space Needle? The price is quite ridiculous. You guys, it’s $29 to go up the elevator to the observation deck. Per person! Kirsten and I had both heard wonderful things about Chihuly Garden and Glass, so we purchased upgraded tickets that included the museum. Boy, am I glad we paid the extra money for that.
Sure, it’s great to be able to say that we’ve been up in the Space Needle. But it was quite anticlimactic if I’m being honest here. For those afraid of heights, it may work out okay because, strangely, none of us felt that we were high up at all. So maybe there’s a small chance someone afraid of heights may get a little thrill. We could see a lot and it was beautiful, but it just didn’t live up to the hype.
After going up in the Space Needle and spending far too much time and money at the gift shop there, we headed back to the Armory for lunch. We all decided on Cool Guys Fry Bar and all ordered a different variation of fries. I’m going to be honest here and tell ya that I didn’t write this whole post right away, so I don’t remember the names of what we got. Their website is quite lacking so it didn’t help me much. But it was yummy!
What turned out to be the first parade of the day (we didn’t witness it, but could hear it) was over and the bathroom situation was crazy. But I have to say, of all days for it to be okay to go in the men’s bathroom to have a shorter line, this was it. I didn’t do that because by the time I thought of it I knew my hubby was almost done and I didn’t want to leave everyone waiting. Especially since I knew there’d be a bathroom at the museum.
I don’t do well with crowds (hence, why I’ve never been to a Pride Parade), but since everyone was in such high spirits it wasn’t too terribly overwhelming for me. And it didn’t take long to get to the quiet of the museum.
I cannot even put into words the beauty that is Chihuly Garden and Glass. I am so glad we decided to go. It was, by far, the highlight of our day in Seattle. If you ever find yourself in Seattle, THIS is the must see. Trust me. The Space Needle is really awesome to view from the ground. It’s lines are iconic, I get that. But way Dale Chihuly presents his pieces is awe-inspiring. I guarantee you, the pictures do not do it justice. I urge you to go to the beginning of this paragraph and click the link for the museum’s website. Still, even their pictures do not do it justice…but they’re better than mine.
We had picked up a map when we purchased our tickets earlier in the day and decided it was worth a walk down to the Olympic Sculpture Park. Of course, we didn’t realize at the time that there was another parade and there was no way around said parade. So we very patiently waited for a break in those marching and darted across the street. (Don’t worry, there were cops there and allowing people across. We weren’t being rude.)
I love sculpture parks. I’ve been itching to go back to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park ever since we first went about 10 years ago! Now the Olympic Sculpture Park is nowhere near as large and extensive as Frederick Meijer Gardens, but it has beautiful views and well maintained paths. It’s also waaaaaay downhill from where we parked. So our easy walk down from Seattle Center was quite an arduous journey back up!
Since it still wasn’t too terribly late when we got back to the car, we decided to head over to Pike Place Market. Not as easy as it first seemed, again because of the parade. Yes, it was still going on! Easy enough to dart across the street on foot, not so easy to get a car through a blocked road. But we slowly found our way to our destination, only to pay a ridiculous amount for parking. Remember, even the kids don’t really know the area well and it’s a Sunday, so we paid about $20 for 2 hours of parking!!! Unfortunately, we didn’t get to enjoy the market too much since it was late enough that a lot of places had closed up or were in the process of closing up. I decided, for this vacation, I wouldn’t go back. (The drive is anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours from their house, depending on traffic.) But next time we’re visiting I want to go during the morning hustle and get some fresh seafood.
We somehow found our way down lots of stairs to the water so we could see how much the Great Wheel would cost to ride. After our disappointment with the Space Needle, I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $14 EACH for the Great Wheel. Although I think I’d enjoy it, that will also have to wait for another trip.
Walking around, we also saw the original Starbucks. It just looks like a Starbucks with an extremely long line, out the door and down the street. I guess everyone wants to get a drink from where it all started, even though there’s another Starbucks like a block away with no line. Not something I quite understand, but to each his own.
We were quite exhausted by the time all was said and done, and really ready to head home. The weather had really been amazing that day and we had a lot of fun and got to see so much. Which just made me realize how much Seattle has to do and see since we barely scratched the surface.
So our vacation started out with a bang! More to come on the rest of our trip soon.