Wednesday, July 30, 2014


(Puyallup, WA) Hi 84 Lo 56 – It was a perfect day to drive to Seattle to check out one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S. Of all the recommendations we’ve received from friends about what to do in Seattle, the top three were: Go up in the Space Needle, visit Pike Place Market, and take a ferry ride across Puget Sound. Today we did two of them, sort of… instead of a ferry ride we booked a one-hour harbor tour with Argosy Cruises. We set out plenty early to be sure we got to the Seattle waterfront in plenty of time for our 11am cruise. We found a parking garage offering “early bird” rates, only $9 for all day. We were planning to spend at least $20 to park, so that was a nice surprise. The pier our cruise left from was about three blocks from Pike Place Market, and our parking garage was right between them. We walked along the waterfront for an hour or so until it was time for our cruise to depart. (Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them.)
Our boat is the one on the left.

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The boat wasn’t full, so there was plenty of seats available on the top deck. When we left the dock we were treated to some spectacular views of downtown Seattle.

The Seattle “Big Wheel” is right on the waterfront. The Space Needle is in the background.
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The Space Needle is the most unique landmark on the Seattle skyline. We plan to visit it before we leave this area.
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One of the famous Seattle ferries.
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CenturyLink Field, home of the (ahem) World Champion Seattle Seahawks is on the left, and on the right is Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. I’m hoping to attend a Mariners game next week.
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We had a beautiful view of Mt. Ranier off to the south. Photos just don’t give a good indication of how huge it looks. The narrator on our cruise said the mountain is visible only about 90 days per year, so we feel very lucky to have this great weather while we’re here.

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Some more views of beautiful Seattle.
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We got an added sightseeing bonus today. As part of Seattle’s annual Seafair, there was a Parade of Ships. A U.S. Navy Amphibious Landing Craft and two destroyers arrived and made a close pass along the waterfront.
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There was also a few flyovers, including these two Osprey aircraft. They’re the ones that can take off vertically.
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One of the Blue Angels also flew over on a practice run for their show this weekend, but it happened too quick to get a photo.

After the parade, one of the destroyers docked nearby.
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After our cruise we had lunch at Red Robin restaurant next door to the cruise dock. Then we walked three blocks to the world famous Pike Place Market. On the way we saw this attractive sculpture of a whale, carved out of a tree trunk.

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Pike Place Market covers about three blocks, with the produce and seafood markets on the top floor, and two floors below with every kind of shop you can think of. The good weather really brought out the crowds, as it was elbow-to-elbow everywhere we went.
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One of the seafood dealers in the market is known for fish tossing. When someone orders a fish, all the workers go through a chanting routine and toss the fish across the room before bagging it. They are really good at catching a large, slippery fish flying through the air, and it’s very entertaining to watch.
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We ordered some rock fish and salmon. The guy who wrapped it for us had a weird sense of humor.
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He said that will help us tell them apart. There were some baker stands, including this one that sold HUGE donuts. These things were the size of a dinner plate!
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Another feature of the Market that, for some reason is very popular, is the “Gum Wall.” On the bottom floor, just outside one of the rear entrances in an alley, is a long wall that’s covered with discarded chewing gum. It’s the wall on the left in this photo.
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Just in case you didn’t “click to enlarge,” here’s a couple of close ups.
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Yeah, I know… gross!

We finished up our wonderful day just in time to head back south on I-5 during the afternoon rush hour. Which seems right, since we made the trip this morning during the morning rush hour. So it took us about an hour and a half each way, when it normally takes about 45 minutes with no traffic. But that’s OK, we expect that during the week in a big city.

It was another perfect day of sightseeing. Seattle really is one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S., if not the world. It reminds us a little of San Francisco with the hills and stopping at top and bottom,  except for all the surrounding mountains.

Tomorrow we plan to get a closer look at Mt. Ranier. See you then.


Jim and Sandie said...

I haven't been to Seattle in years. But I could do without the gum wall. Ick. Beautiful pictures on your cruise.

Bob and Jo said...

What a great day!

Linda Davey said...

Gum Wall, yay!! It's a must for all Seattle newbies. :) Sounds like you had a wonderful day in our beautiful city. So glad you were able to take the cruise (I hope you had a good narrator . . .) and made it to Pike Place. We warned you about the crowds, but seems you made it, and with great fish purchases, too!

Gypsy said...

When I first starting reading my big question was: "Did you got to the place where they throw the fish?" It's funny that I think of tossing fish when I think of Seattle! Of course I think of Mt.Ranier and the space needle too.

Janice L Evans said...

Mt Ranier was FABULOUS. . .we took one of the Grayline Sightseeing Tours out there because we had brought a group of about 100 folks with us (we were the travel agents at the time,)departing from Seattle for an Alaskan Cruise.

Now, we want to return with the motorhome, drive out, and explore, so I am enjoying your insights. . .it is amazing!

We did the Harbor Cruise as well. . .a wonderful way to see the skyline. . .

Laurel Owen said...

I was in Seattle in high school. I think I would appreciate it more now, it's on our list!

Barbara Harper said...

Love Seattle. Nice pictures. Last time we were there was a couple of years ago embarking from there on an Alaskan Cruise with some of our family. Even the grandkids thought the "gum wall" was gross.

Gail Houle said...

Your post brought back a lot of memories. We were there about 10-11 years ago and loved it! No rain either :)
There is a very good restaurant at the visitor center up Mount Ranier. Worth checking out.

Tom and Marci said...

In one state park we've been to in MI, there's a "gum tree" . . . same concept, although not nearly as much of it! Seattle looked like fun . . . we'll have to get back there another year, since we skipped it on this trip to Washington. Mt. Rainier is a great park -- we really enjoyed it!

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