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Trip Report Seattle

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A short taxi ride from the Grehound Bus Depot brought us to our hotel, the Mediterranean Inn, just a short walk from the Space Needle. It was Labor Day, 2010.

The area around the hotel is a mix of college students, many people in town Labor Day weekend for a music festival and some homeless. Yet, the Mediterranean Inn appears to be among a number of very good hotels in and around Seattle Center. Due to the temperate climate, there is no air conditioning. The rooms are all efficiencies with microwave and refrigerator. However, there are no dishes or eating utensils. The view from our window includes the Space Needle, while the view from the roof is a spectacular 360-degree vision encompassing Puget Sound.

We stopped at a Safeway supermarket across the street and got some supplies for breakfasts, snacks, etc.

Our first night out found us at a Mexican restaurant called Pesos. The dishes are so spicy, I couldn’t taste the lamb in mine; hot, hot, hot, hot.

On Tuesday we visited the Space Needle, Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame in Seattle Center. Then we took the Monorail downtown and made our way over to Pike’s Market.

After lunch, we took the Argosy Harbor boat tour and shopped around in Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, before taking the Monorail back to Seattle Center and the walk to our hotel.

While we were arranging the trip all those many months ago, we purchased the “Go Seattle Card”. Similar cards are available in other cities. Each 5-day card costs $60 (less for fewer days) and more than half of that paid for itself that first day. It is proving to be a sound investment.

That night we went to ICON Restaurant. The atmosphere is wonderful and the food superb. They have a Tomato Basil soup, blended with some garlic, heavy cream and a touch of Hungarian paprika. It is to die for! I’m hoping we can learn the recipe so I can pour it over a plate of Angel Hair pasta. Mama mia!

Seattle has a reputation of being rainy most of the time. In fact, it gets less annual rainfall than thirteen other cities in the country. However, it does have more than 250 overcast days per year and many days with at least some misty or drizzle conditions.

We arrived as the rain was ending on Monday and except for some rain on Wednesday morning, prior to 10:00am, the first half of our stay was mostly sunny. So much for perception.

We spent Wednesday morning shopping at the Westlake Center and Pacific Place, two downtown upscale malls. The afternoon and evening was wonderfully spent with family who were either visiting or live in the city. They took us to Rays for dinner where the seafood selections are fabulous, and then on to B&O’s Espresso Café for coffee and desert. The entire time was a treasure and a pleasure.

Thursday’s forecast promised sunny skies. However, though there was no rain, the day felt raw and colder than the previous days.

A monorail ride to the Westlake Center allowed us to take a free underground bus to Pioneer Square. Plans to take the Pioneer Square Historic Audio Tour, which would have been free with the Go Seattle Card, went for naught, inasmuch as it is no longer being offered. Instead, we took the Underground Tour, which is not included with the card.

The ninety minute tour covers a lot of Seattle’s history, especially as it relates to how the present city came to be built on top of the original one. The entire tour is fascinating and we would recommend it highly to anyone visiting Seattle.

A cousin had suggested we try the Ride The Ducks Tour, which is on an amphibious vehicle. Although some of the facts differed slightly from those we were given on other tours, it was a fun time in spite of the cool air.

We discovered some of the tomato, basil soup at a local market and poured it over the leftover spaghetti and meatballs from the Icon Restaurant.

Earlier in the day we got tickets for the Space Needle again. The Go Seattle Card can’t be used after 5:30pm. However, once we have tickets, we can go up at any time during operating hours. The view from the O Deck at night is awesome. However, the winds made it too uncomfortably cold to stay on the outer observation deck for more than a few moments.

A billboard advertised a club by the name of Chop Stix, featuring dueling pianos. We had experienced, on several occasions, such an act in Savannah, which was fun-filled and we have recommended it to others. Few things, however can make us feel so out of place as a club packed with young adults having a great time dancing and listening to music we are not familiar with and don’t understand. Nevertheless, it was fun in a way just to watch and shake our heads. I guess we're not young anymore.

Another place, a Vietnamese restaurant, advertised karaoke, but it was practically empty, no music was playing, no one was singing and thus we decided to call it a night.

It took some time to print out our boarding passes for the flight back to Orlando. The confirmation number and flight data was with Delta Airlines, but operated by Alaska Airlines. However, the Delta site, while confirming our reservation, etc., would not allow me to print the passes. I nixed the idea of going to Alaska’s site. Nevertheless, when frustration took over and I called Delta and was told to “possibly” call Alaska Airlines, I finally went onto the proper site and guess what? I got the boarding passes just like that.

We had intended to visit the Museum of Mysteries and from there to a tour of Lakes Union and Washington. On our way toward the Monorail, however, we decided to go instead to the Seattle Art Museum. From there, after a lunch at Subway’s, we took the free bus (#17 from Westlake and 3rd Ave.) to the Argosy Lakes Tour location at the foot of Union Lake. We arrived at about 2pm, only to discover they have only one tour per day at 1:00pm. My fault, as I didn’t read the available times properly.

We didn’t want to take the same bus back downtown and then the Monorail back to Seattle Center. So we just kept walking until we ultimately reached the Space Needle and eventually back to our hotel. It was getting tired out, so we rested while watching a movie.

Sufficiently recovered, we went downtown, past Pike’s Market to an area with several seafood restaurants recommended to us. There was a long wait at the Crab Pot, so we passed it to dine at the Fisherman’s Restaurant. Our reward was a great setting outside and delicious food to go along with it.

The evening was topped off with gelato at a market near our hotel.

Using the Go Seattle Card one last time, we arranged transportation to the airport, packed our bags and hit the hay early.

The trip was coming to an end…….and so, too, must this narrative.

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