Seattle – Day 2

We intentionally woke up early this morning because we wanted to make the most of our only full day in Seattle.

Breakfast was included in our room rate so after showering we headed down to the atrium and dined in “Palm Court” – aptly named given the number of live palm trees in the restaurant.

Buffet breakfasts in the US are always fun to watch.  Some of the people here just have not worked out the concept of “eating in moderation”.  Indeed, it appears that buffets bring out the worst in people.  The sad thing is that the majority of the people that were dining made us feel positively anorexic.  Fact: two thirds of the population in the USA are either overweight or obese.  Needless to say we restricted our first meal of the day to some cereal and fruit and left the rest of the diners to their feeding frenzies.

We left the hotel around 10.15am and followed the hotel directions to downtown.  The short drive over waterways and through tunnels confirmed our initial feelings about Seattle – it is a beautiful city.

Being a Sunday the parking is free so we drove around the city for a while trying to find a place to park – not so easy on a busy Sunday.  We finally found a place in the south of the city and collected our gear then head off on our walking tour of the city.

We tracked to the waterfront (http://www.seattlewaterfront.org/) and strolled along the piers and in and out of shops along the way.  It was a beautiful day – hot and cloudless.  Being down by the water in Seattle is a treat.  The clean blue waters of Puget Sound (http://www.pugetsound.org/) are boarded by islands and the city itself. To the west the snow capped mountains of Olympic National Park (http://www.nps.gov/olym/) provide a stunning backdrop to the sound.  Beautiful

After walking along the waterfront we decided to get out of the sun so we made our way to the famous Pike’s Place Market (http://www.pikeplacemarket.org/frameset.asp?flash=false).

The market is filled with a variety of shops.  The market is home to the famous fish throwing fish stalls http://www.pikeplacefish.com/), flower shops, food stalls and coffee shops.  Indeed, this is the original home of Starbucks  – a treat to visit the place where it all started.

After negotiating the crowds in Pikes Place we found a lovely little cafe that sold crumpets and scones.  We shared a lovely scone and washed it down with a coffee and Chai Tea (for The Princess).  The shop doesn’t have a website but you can check out a related site at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-crumpet-shop-seattle

The Seafair (http://www.seafair.com/) festival takes place in Seattle at this time of the year and there was a number of activities taking place in the city.  Bands, stalls, street performers were located throughout the Pikes Place area and it was really nice to be able to wander through the area.  We listened to a band called Slimpickins (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yE1V4ZzzGL8) and bought one of their CD’s to add to our collection.  Their music is real toe tapping stuff!

We left Pikes Place and took a long walking tour through the Seattle city centre before returning to the truck around 2.00pm. The Princess had not been doing a lot of walking in Calgary so she was rather shin sore by the time we arrived back at the car!  I will have to get her back into condition when we arrive back in Hong Kong.

We were determined to see more of the sights of Seattle so we drove to the area where the Seattle Space Needle (http://www.spaceneedle.com/)  is located.  This area is also home to the Seattle Centre (http://www.seattlecenter.com/), the Science Fiction Museum and Experience Music Project (http://www.empsfm.org/).  It is a wonderfully designed public space that has something for everyone and we really enjoyed walking around and taking in the sights and sounds.

From the Seattle Centre we drove through some of the suburbs of Seattle with the aim of passing by the Microsoft Headquarters in Redmond.  The drive took us over some of the beautiful waterways (Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish) and through various suburbs.

We drove past Bill’s Palace (http://www.microsoft.com) before finding a wonderful little coffee shop in the town of Redmond.  The shop was called Soul Food Books (http://www.soulfoodbooks.com) and it served great organic coffee.  The two brothers were great hosts and they treated us to our choice of music while we were enjoying our afternoon brew.

We learnt that the boys had grown up around a photographer father and they had taken to the profession too.  You can check out their work at: http://craiglarsen.wordpress.com

After leaving Redmond we drove back to the hotel.  The Princess was exhausted after walking all day in the heat and, after lying down on the bed, she fell fast asleep.  I let her rest while while I went in search of some take away for our supper.

I found a nice Chinese (can’t keep away from it) restaurant in the nearby shopping area and picked up a small serving (NOT) of Chinese food and a bottle of Australian red wine.

I woke the Princess on my return to the hotel and we enjoyed our supper and wine and switched off in front of a Discovery Channel documentary.

With another full day ahead off us tomorrow we decide to get to bed at a reasonable hour tonight.

Sleeping In Seattle.

Roey and The Princess

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