Day 12 - Seattle, WA
|Friday, May 14, 2021: Breakfast consisted of Ivar's crab cocktail and Breadfarm potato bread dipped into Ivar's clam chowder. So tasty.
|We had some cute campers in the row ahead of us. Here's a T@B trailer ...
|... and here's an Airstream Nest.
|We headed out around 10 AM and headed north, past Boeing Field in Renton, ...
|... to downtown Seattle.
|We drove past the Amazon Spheres, nicknamed "Bezos' Balls." We were surprised to see that there were three of them.
|We parked near the Space Needle and headed toward it.
|We had timed tickets for admission at 11 AM.
|Once inside, we walked slowly up the ramp that wrapped around the atrium. Exhibits on the outer wall showed the history of the Space Needle, from the beginning of construction in 1961, ...
|... nearing completion in late 1961, ...
|... to its big debut in 1962 for the World's Fair.
|Some of the photos in the exhibit deserve their own call-out here. Here is the Space Needle restaurant that Debbie grew up on.
|Even Elvis dined here as part of a movie he starred in.
|Debbie has fond memories of the Bubbleator in Seattle Center. It was a glass-domed elevator in the Food Circus (later the Center House) that only went up and down one story and was eventually removed in 1984.
|Before long, we had reached the point where we were photographed for our free digital photo, ...
|... shown here.
|We crossed over the catwalk that led to the center of the building, passing this fantastic LEGO display.
|Check out the tiny people on the observation deck!
|We waited in line for the elevator, packed in 12 people at a time. Debbie wisely picked a spot by a window for a good view.
|It was only 15 minutes from the moment we walked into the building before we were arriving at the top.
|Almost everyone went to the outdoor observation deck first, since it was right outside the elevator, but we went down two flights of stairs ...
|... to the empty indoor observation deck ...
|... with the fantastic transparent rotating floor.
|Through the glass, we could see the gear that made it all possible.
|We settled in by the window and watched the scenery change around us for the 25 minutes it took to make a full revolution.
|Below us was the Seattle Armory, formerly called the Food Circus and then the Center House. It was once the home of the Bubbleator. It still houses a large food court like it has in decades past, but it was currently closed due to the pandemic. Check out those 40-feet long daddy-long-legs spiders painted on the top!
|Next up is the International Fountain. Some minor construction seemed to be going on around the perimeter, or maybe it was just cordoned off because all fountains seem to be turned off during the pandemic.
|This colorful but closed area is called Next 50 Plaza. Someday, we'll visit it.
|We were now facing Lake Union. Those V-shaped buildings down there are the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
|After going through the North Cascades in cloudy weather, we had assumed we wouldn't be seeing Mount Baker on this trip, but there it was in the distance looking beautiful.
|Below us now was the Museum of Pop Culture and Experience Music Project.
|Here's downtown Seattle. We saw a monorail train moving along the track.
|Mount Rainier was looking perfect in the cloudless sky.
|Below us, we could see The Ocho in its parking lot a couple of blocks away.
|Now, we were facing West Seattle. Somewhere over there is the house Debbie lived in, which had a great view of the Seattle harbor and the Space Needle from her brother's bedroom window.
|There's the Edgewater Hotel where we stayed in 2000.
|The red sculpture below marks the site of Olympic Sculpture Park.
|Now, we were facing west again toward the Olympics.
|There are the signature arches of Seattle Center in front of the Pacific Science Center, which was closed due to the pandemic.
|This big white dome is the IMAX Theater, and those flower sculptures in front of it are titled "Sonic Bloom."
|This is the Climate Pledge Arena, which was named that in 2020 when Amazon bought naming rights to it. Known for many years as the Seattle Center Coliseum, it was built in 1960-1962 for the Seattle World's Fair.
|Having completed a full revolution, we headed back upstairs ...
|... to the outdoor observation deck, which features plexiglass benches and white bar tables and chairs.
|There were lots of people out here, but we found an empty table and drank some water while enjoying the waterfront view.
|The snack bar was closed due to the pandemic.
|We got in line for the elevator elsewhere then a staff member led a group of us to a different elevator and started a new line.
|After waiting a few minutes, we were in the elevator heading back down.
|Debbie waited to be the last person out so she could snap this picture as she left.
|Next up: shopping for souvenirs in the gift shops that circled the base. What's this? A Mold-A-Matic machine! Take all our money!
|A Mold-A-Rama machine by any other name would still smell as sweet - or more accurately, smell just as much of melted plastic.
|There's the empty mold, ...
|... and there's our perfect plastic Space Needle souvenir!
|Of course, you must always hold it upside down as it is cooling. We also bought a tiny metal Space Needle for our shadow box collection at home, then we went on to our next destination, ...
|... the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum next door.
|The indoor museum consists of dark rooms with bright lights aimed at the sculptures. This squid sculpture was one of several that featured different sea creatures.
|This installation is titled "Persian Ceiling." It looked almost identical to the installation we had seen at Maker's Mark in 2014, ...
|... right down to the glass figurines tucked in among the glass bowls. Since Chihuly hasn't actually created any of the glass pieces since 1979, it must be pretty easy for his factory to churn out ceilings like this.
|This installation was titled "Mille Fiori," meaning a thousand flowers.
|Here's the other end.
|Here's the Niijima Float Boat ...
|... and the Ikebana Boat.
|Here are the Chandeliers - orange, ...
|... green, ...
|... blue, ...
|... yellow, and white.
|This is called Macchia Forest.
|We finished the indoor portion of the museum and transitioned to the gardens via this huge atrium.
|Here we go.
|Yellow and red.
|Aqua and royal blue.
|Black and white.
|The gift shop featured a collection of small Chihuly glass if you felt the need to own some glass also not created by him.
|As we left, we got to see the giant flower sculptures ("Sonic Bloom") up close.
|We also passed the impossible-to-photograph Olympic Iliad sculpture, created in 1984 by Alexander Liberman.
|Back in our rig, we still had plenty of time left on our prepaid parking, so we enjoyed sandwiches on Breadfarm bread for lunch.
|Next, we drove up very steep Queen Anne Hill to get to Kerry Park. We weren't the only ones out in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday to see ...
|... the beautiful view of downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier.
|The homes at the top of Queen Anne Hill are beautiful and no doubt very pricey, in a city where all real estate is expensive.
|Back down the very steep hill, ...
|... to Green Lake, where we weren't able to find any open parking spots, so we parked by the Woodland tennis courts for a few minutes until it was time to ...
|... pick up Gena at her house, ...
|... and head to her sister Jennie's house in Ballard.
|After an hour or two at Jennie and Peter's house, the five of us jumped in their car and went to Ristorante Picolinos. The restaurant had lots of "outdoor" space, all covered with a very large tent and we had a lovely time.
|Gena's husband, Richard, was able to join us toward the end of the meal for a quick drink and some tasty dessert.
|The six of us then headed back to Jennie and Peter's, ...
|... where we had a great time trying Peter's Dutch licorice, ...
|... drinking a few of the tiny Malört bottles we brought for each couple, ...
|... and getting a fun group photo, as is our tradition.
|We said our goodbyes around 9:00 PM, ...
|... and headed back to Kent.
|The sunset was beautiful and it was fun to see T-Mobile Park (in pink) and Lumen Field (in green) lit up for the evening.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy