Yup, not that it wasn’t real yesterday but I am truly in love with this city. It knocked San Francisco down to #2. I’m sorry, SF! I still love you. I had a relatively extensive list of things that I wanted to knock out on this last day in Seattle so I’m gonna continue the common theme of these posts and break it down place by place.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
Before doing anything, I walked around to look for ticket prices for the things that I wanted to do. The Museum of Pop Culture, Chihuly, and Space Needle were all in one area so I made my way through the prices to figure out what to start with. Everything was a little bit pricey, bordering around the $22 mark — this was a given considering these were all tourist attractions. We found out that there was a semi-discounted prices on a joint Chihuly-Space Needle ticket. Separate tickets were $22 for each activity, but it was $37.80 if you bought them together. Obviously, I went with the latter.
We had 15 minutes to burn before we could go into the exhibit, so we walked around and looked at all of the other art pieces that were spread throughout the area. It was convenient that those three main exhibits were all next to each other. Even though we didn’t decide on doing the Museum of Pop Culture, I still wanted to go over there since the building was incredibly interesting to look at — weird shape, bright colors. Fitting for what the museum was about. We didn’t linger around that long though, just long enough to take a few photos and, by this time, the weather was gradually beginning to act up so we made our way into the exhibit.
A few laundry list things before I talk about my experience: 1.) The exhibit isn’t that long. What I mean by that is that there are a lot of glass pieces, but not actually a ridiculous amount of rooms to go through. 2.) Now that I’ve written that out, I feel kind of dumb because the exhibit isn’t a museum…it’s an exhibit, meaning that it shouldn’t be that extensive. 3.) Alright, the exhibit is perfectly sized. 4.) Take your time when you’re going through the pieces. You can stay there for as long as you want. No time restraints (besides maybe your Space Needle time slot if you choose to do both).
Hinging on all those thoughts that I just vomitted out, make sure to take your time when you’re going through the exhibit because there are so many little components that go along with everything that you’ll see. Take lots of pictures! A lot of them show up perfectly fine on cameras. I brought my DSLR and, I kid you not, some of the photos I took looked exactly like the professional ones they slapped on merchandise in the gift shop. I didn’t even need to edit them. All of the glass pieces are so vibrant that they light up the photos just by being in it. It should also be noted that there are a few other art pieces around the exhibit that aren’t glass, so make sure to check those out too. Oh oh oh, and don’t forgot to take advantage of the free photos they for you. I forgot to E-mail myself mine after I finished the museum, so learn from my mistakes.
The last part to the exhibit was the outside garden. By the time we made it out there, the windy was whipping and it was cold and sprinkling. I wish the weather wasn’t so bad so I could enjoy the garden area more, but it was still a sight to see. More pretty glass sculptures were placed within the plants. I’m sure my dad would have loved to see it. He loves plants and gardening.
After Chihuly, it was time to go to the Space Needle. They have allotted times on your ticket on when you can go up to alleviate hoards of people going all at once, so I spent some time browsing in the gift shop for a couple of souvenirs and, shocker, I found myself gravitating towards food. I did end up getting some souvenirs, but I also ended up buying a quarter pound of fudge. I know that I don’t like the consistency of fudge that much, but I keep going back. Why. There were quite a few flavours and I sampled a couple before I went with the cookies and cream one. It wasn’t mind blowing, but I’m never one to complain about a sweet treat. It was basically a large chunk of Hershey’s Cookies and Cream, BUT I do think I like the Hershey’s one better…
When I was finally ready, we made our way up to the elevators and waited in line. The walls lining the path way up had interactive facts about the Space Needle and there was also another complimentary picture station. That I once again. Forgot. To get. After. DON’T FORGET THINGS LIKE THAT LIKE ME. OKAY?
Anywhoooooos, the actual Space Needle. Once you get through the line, you get on the elevator and off you go. Before I continue, I’d like to preface that I have a slight fear of being in elevators and a severe fear of heights. Not a good combination for going up the Needle. The view was actually pretty spectacular on the way up, I didn’t have a huge probably with heights this time in regards to looking down at the city. My problem was the shaking of the elevator. The weather was still a little bit sprinkly and a lot of bit windy when we were going up and, since the elevator is exposed to the outside forces, the elevator had some turbulence when we were going up. My friend kept laughing at me because I didn’t want to look and was in not-funny laughing hysteria. He even got it on video. Sigh. Maybe I’ll put that up some time. The ride down later wasn’t bad at all though, so there’s that.
I thought wrong when I thought that Chihuly gardens was windy. The outside of the observation deck was insane. I’m sure that it’s windy all the time because it’s so high up, but it was exceptionally bad because of the weather outside to begin with. It was so much fun though, even if I was yelling the whole time. Hahaha.
There’s not much more to say about an observation deck. Just make sure you don’t fly away, hehe. And there’s also a food vendor there if you’re hungry. We were hungry, but we held off, and I’m sure glad that we did since we already had plans to go somewhere after.
Pike’s Place Chowder
Next stop and one of the best stops: Pike’s Place Chowder. Again, this was a recommendation from Ana. This was seriously the best chowder I’ve ever had in my entire existence. Actually. For real. I’m not kidding. It was beyond being just delicious. I got the Crab & Oyster chowder because that was one of the employee’s favourite (if you haven’t already noticed, the trend with me is asking employees what the most popular is or what their favourite is and going with one of those because trust). I have no regrets with that decision. It had a nice mix of seafood and meaty flavours because it had chorizo in it in addition to the typical cooked sea creatures. Ugh, craving it right now. I was in between getting a full size of this in a bread bowl or getting a sampler of 5 of the chowders and I have some regrets. Wish I would have done the sampler to try more of them or wish I would have gone with my gluttonous instincts and would have just done the sampler even though I had already split a full size chowder. Darn, next time. The bread from the bread bowl was good though! Also locally made. It was soft and easy to eat. I like Boudin bread bowls but sometimes they’re tough and hard to chew. In conclusion, this is a 10 out of 5 Yelp stars. Even though the line was hella long, it went hella fast. And, for that, I will add a star. 11 out of 5. Hahaha. From the start, Seattle had bomb food (and Portland too!), but it just kept getting better and better, to the point where we went on a second food escapade after this…yup…yup…RIP my body but AMEN to my heart.
Food Escapade: Part 2
For the next 45 minutes or so, it was non-stop food. Legitimately. After chowder, I would either stop at a random place I saw on the side or Yelp places. And, mind you, all the food places in/near Pike’s had 4+ star ratings on Yelp, so I really couldn’t mess this one up. Chowder –> Chocolate Crinkle –> Baklava –> Macaron –> German Meaty Goodness. Following suit to my first food escape from Portland, I will give y’all a Sparknotes rundown following the form of: the place name, what I ordered, short thoughts, overall rating. * Spoiler * I would go back to all these places.
Three Girls Bakery: 1.) Chocolate Crinkle 2.) I’ve had chocolate crinkles in my life before, but this one was incredibly rich, soft, and decadent. The texture was incredibly nice and the chocolate and powdered sugar balance was good. Best chocolate crinkle I’ve had so far. Plus, it was pretty big and around the $2.50 mark. 3.) 5/5
Greek Bakery (there was no sign or name located anywhere, but it’s on the stretch of shops across from Pike’s): 1.) Baklava 2.) The ratio of filling versus wrapper between the layers gave you a full experience of all the different types of textures going on, especially with the crunch. That was my favorite thing about it. The crunch of the filling and crisp of the wrapper when you took a bite. It could have been a hair less sweet and was a teensy pricey for the size ($3.25 for their medium cut), but its overall taste compensated for part of that. 3.) 3.75/5
Le Panier: 1.) Pistachio Macaroon 2.) This was the least…tasty thing I tried in that 45 minute span. That makes it sound like it was terrible. It wasn’t. It was good, but not the best. There’s this stand at Westfield UTC in La Jolla that has the best macaroons I’ve had (maybe I’ll do a full review on it next time I go there), so any other macaroon has high expectations to try to beat. Something that was done well on this macaroon was the pistachio flavour. It wasn’t too overpowering, but also heavy enough for you to taste 3.) 3/5
Bavarian Meats: 1.) Lunch Special 2.) This varies on what the chef has decided to make for the day, but today it ended up being a bratworst with potatoes on a bed of sauerkraut. If you ever get this, you have to take bites that has all three together! The meat was juicy and had a lot of herby flavour. The potatoes were cut into small cubes and had a crispy outer layer from how it was fried. The sauerkraut was tangy and tart and pickled to a good point since the vegetables still had a crunch. Eating this was perfect timing because it evened out all the sweet things we had just munched on. The women working here were immigrants from Germany, so you know it was real. 3.) 4/5
After feeling like I wanted to explode, we were in between going to U-Dub (University of Washington) or Capitol Hill. I’d seen so many beautiful photos of U-Dub that I wanted to go and see it in person but we found ourselves in Capitol Hill, mostly because my directions sucked and…yeah. I have no excuses. It was fine though because we found Roy Street Coffee & Tea right outside of the neighborhood we parked in and hung out in there until our stomach’s relaxed and we were ready to wander again. I don’t think we realized just how tired we were until we sat down though. A friend and I split a Cafe Verde (by split, I mean I took a few sips to see how offset I was by the bitterness of this cup of caffeine) and I didn’t actually hate it. Still too bitter for me, by the taste wasn’t bad. There was a point where I just sat there next to the window, closed my eyes, and soaked in the warmth of the sun. I think that sitting down, not talking, and closing our eyes was needed.
Once we recharged enough, we were off. I saw Capitol Hill on all the touristy lists of things to do, but I didn’t actually know what was there, so we explored. It was mostly just shops and restaurants and had a downtown, college sort of ambiance. Like most of the places we set out to on this road trip, this was also another nice place to simply walk around and enjoy. I feel like I felt like this about a lot of places — whether it was in the city, suburbs, or nature — because it was all new to me, surroundings I’ve never been to. It didn’t ended up just being a walk around though. I spotted a Crossroads in the corner of my eye and then my friend pointed out an Urban Outfitters. Dead. Long story short: I didn’t buy anything from Crossroads, but I bought some good finds in the Urban Outfitters sale section. But for y’all who know me, this isn’t a shocker. I’m a thrifty shopaholic.
We didn’t really do much else in Capitol Hill. It was a filler excursion. And random detail, but the neighbourhood we parked in also had a ton of Cherry Blossoms in bloom next to the side walk. Beautiful. I traded the California Palm trees for the Pacific Northwest Cherry Blossoms and I ain’t mad about it. Change of scenery.
Seattle Great Wheel
Last stop of the day and of Seattle, pretty much: Seattle Great Wheel. Before I even talk about the Wheel and the last leg of my night, let me just say how expensive going on this was for what it was. $14 per person for essentially a ride on a Ferris Wheel. Eye roll. That’s all. Okay. I will continue on with this story. After I bit that bullet, I wasn’t that bitter. Like all other things on this trip, I paid for the experience and for being a tourist. I traveled so far to visit these cities, I didn’t want to miss out on anything! Or I at least wanted to do as much as I could. We got our tickets at around 6:30, but sunset wasn’t until around 7:30 so I wanted to wait a little bit before we got on, especially because I wasn’t sure how many rotations the wheel would be taking and I wanted to be there exactly when the sun went down. The information online said that each ride ensured 3 rotations, but that it also depended on the season (Winter or Summer) and how big the crowd was. We were lucky. We got 5 rotations, woo! And we got in line around 7:15 and ended up getting on right at sunset. Ugh, amazing. A pro is that they don’t mix you in with random people. If there’s 1 person in a group, then that 1 person gets their own “vehicle.” If you have 5 people, then you you get your own space. Thumbs up. I understand that a lot of places want to maximize spots, but I also like to have my own personal space (especially for this since we paid a relatively hefty price!). It was really calming being on the ride. You’ve got the sunset setting behind the horizon on one side and then you switch sides and you have fantastic view of the entire city. A nice way to truly unwind, take in Seattle, and end a trip.
We ended the night with some more BOMB FREAKING DELICIOUS FOOD. Theme of my trip: let’s get fat while going up the West coast.
I’m so sad to say bye to Seattle because I’m so in love with everything we did there. Food, attractions, walking around and looking at my surroundings — but I know I’ll be back. I’ll make it happen.
Until my next visit to my favourite city.
Love always, J.