Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Awesome Seattle

Seattle is an amazing city. There isn't much we didn't do.

After a long drive back from Vancouver, including an hour wait to get back into the US, we arrived in Seattle on Tuesday afternoon and headed down to Pike Market. One word describes this place -- WOW! We saw the guys that throw fish, we tasted cherries and peaches. Fantastic. Deb was drooling looking at all the varieties of everything. What a place.

On Wednesday, we started our touring. We began with the Seattle Duck Tour. They took us places I don't think we'd have found otherwise. For the boat part of the tour, the captain pointed out several boats that fish for Alaskan king crab. This wouldn't normally have been a big deal, but we are fans of Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch, so it meant something to us to see those vessels. The tour was a lot of fun and the kids had a blast.

From there, we hit the Space Needle. Just an fantastic view from the top. Then we did the Experience Music Project. This may be one of the best, most interactive museum type attractions I've ever seen. You can play instruments, record music, see the Jimi Hendrix history, and on, and on. Anyone going to Seattle, don't miss this one.

When we were planning this trip, it worked out that the Orioles had an inter league series scheduled in San Diego. Since this was one of the new parks that I had not visited, we decided on a day trip down the coast. On Thursday, we took a 6:45 flight out of Seattle into San Diego. From the airport, we taxied to a local breakfast place, then off to the 12:30 O's vs. Padre's game. The stadium is beautiful, though it would be better served looking toward water rather than to the city. They have a wiffle ball field just beyond left-center and the kids got to get a couple of hits before the game. This was a really neat feature of the park and one of the most distinguishing parts of the stadium. The O's took the game 6-3 as Bedard threw 6 quality innings. Then we were off to the airport. We were able to pick up a 4:50 flight and were back in downtown Seattle by just after 8. Not a bad days work!

Friday morning, I hit the treadmill early and got in 4 miles. We then all headed down to Pike Market for breakfast at Lowell's. After eating, the boys and I went off to Safeco Field for a stadium tour, while Deb spent a few hours in and around Pike Market -- alone.

There was quite a bit of excitement with Ken Griffey, Jr's return to Seattle for the first time since his he left for Cincy. When we arrived at the Mariners store, they were selling a limited edition Griffey autographed ball to benefit a local charity. Apparently, there was a line when the store opened, however the line was now gone. Couldn't help but to pick up a ball for myself.

This was my first stadium tour since before Camden yards opened. It was fascinating to get to see all of the ins and outs of the stadium. The tour included a visit to the owners box, the press q&a area (where Griffey would appear later that afternoon), the press box and the field (but don't touch the grass!) We learned about the roof, the artwork and construction. For the $8 adult price tag, it was well worth the visit.

We met back up with Deb for lunch. Not surprising me in the least, she showed up with hand fulls of bags. She'd been very busy.

I had my eyes on Pike Place Chowder since I saw their place on our first trip through the market. I have always loved clam chowder, but it doesn't really fit into any diet. I figured I'd splurge. They have about 12 different varieties and one of their menu choices is a four cup tasting selection. Deb and I each picked 4 choices. The regular clam was really good, but the salmon chowder was outrageous. I had an explosion of flavor and was very smooth. I really wanted more, but held off. It was a great choice for a splurge.

After lunch, I headed back with my youngest and we went for a swim, followed by a well deserved nap.

Other than dinner, we didn't do much else on Friday as the heavy activity was finally catching up to us.

Saturday was a quiet morning as well. We all swam, then I hit the treadmill for 2 1/2 miles. On my way back to the room, there was a security guard outside of the elevator. I kiddingly said to him "is the President in town?" He responded with "No, not yet." Huh? "Well, not the President, but the ex-President", he added. "Really, here? Which one?" "Clinton, and his wife!" No Way! I didn't even get an invite! Who knew!

A bit later, we were off to the market again for lunch. On our way out, there was a crew of people in Reds outfits. Turns out the Reds were staying at our hotel, too!

How lucky can the Reds and the Clintons get -- to be in the same hotel as us!

Saturday's highlight was the Mariner's vs. Reds game at Safeco Field. I had a totally different appreciation for the place having gone on the tour. We got to see the roof open just before the game to unveil the view of the city. The response for Griffey, in his second game back, was very warm. A few boos here and there, but mostly cheers and a standing ovation at his first at bat. A really fine park experience.

From there, it was back to the hotel to do our final packing and get ready for an early wakeup to fly home on Sunday.

Still to come. . . final vacation notes and pictures!



Pat said...

Sounds like you went on my dream vacation. Growing up in cincy, I would have loved to be there this week. Glad you had a good time.


Anonymous said...

Very interesting to hear about Seattle from a visitors POV. We've only lived here for 2 years now, but it is a fun city, with some interesting characters, that's for sure.