Seattle Part III

Wednesday 7th May

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There was a morning disaster when Top Pot had run out of donuts, but we soldiered on with life and walked down to the Space Needle with empty stomachs. As we were there pretty early there were no queues and we were able to catch the first lift to the top.

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The views were absolutely fantastic, and it was nice to be able to take our time wandering around. Although we took some of the classic tourist shots, it was also fun to take a few more unusual pictures which will probably serve as a better reminder of our trip.

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It was so much less stressful than our trip to the Empire State Building, and you don’t even have to pay for your cheesy tourist picture – they email the derp directly to your inbox!

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I’d like to think this is among the top ten worst pictures ever taken of Ben and I, but I can’t be completely sure… Here’s the worst one – Empire State strikes back!

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Next up, we headed to EMP, which is a music and sci-fi museum. A slightly strange combination, but they make it work. There were exhibits on Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix, as well as a cool room where you could play with some instruments. We weren’t very good at that and left quite quickly.

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The sci-fi section of the museum was fun. I got to have my picture taken on the Iron Throne, pretend to be a raccoon, and punch a dinosaur in the face!

 

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That evening, we went for delicious cocktails at Sun Liquor with Missy, Tom, Kim and Kathi, before walking down to Mamnoon for some of the best middle eastern food I’ve tasted. In fact, it was so good that the vegetarians in our party turned meat eater for the night. It was a surprise to find the traditional food served in such a modern setting, but that really added something different to the meal, and we all had a fantastic time sharing the plates we’d ordered (basically the whole menu). Everything was nicely washed down with crémant. I had taken some pictures of the amazing food, but they were drunk and blurry. Use your imagination. It was the perfect celebration in preparation for the exhibition the following night!

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Seattle Part II

Monday 5th May

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Still waking up early, we decided to just get dressed and head across the street to Top Pot for some breakfast donuts. I went for an Apple Fritter, which looked like a brain but tasted nice, and Ben had something with cinnamon.

We’d planned to spend the day exploring Capitol Hill and Broadway, the hipster district where we were staying, but we were up so early that nothing was open. I spotted a sign saying it was only a mile to the International District (a more diverse Chinatown), so we decided to pop down and have a look at that. It was still early, so we had a little wander round, but since nothing was open and it seemed to be largely deserted, it wasn’t a hugely interesting place. We walked past the Wing Luke Museum, but sadly they are closed on Monday’s so we weren’t able to visit. They run some really interesting looking tours of the area, both a standard Chinatown tour, and some specific ones relating to books set in the area, so it’s a shame that the day of our visit didn’t work. On the plus side, I’ve been able to add a couple of books to my to-read list – don’t you love reading books set in places you’ve visited?

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We’d originally planned to visit the ID on the same day as a trip down to Pioneer Square, so it seemed only logical to continue in that direction. It turned out that Pioneer Square itself was pretty difficult to find, although the whole neighbourhood felt much older than the rest of Seattle, so it was interesting to have a look at that. It was the area where Seattle’s founders settled in 1852. As well as being older, it also felt quite down at heel. I’m not sure it would be somewhere I’d feel comfortable walking alone at night, and we didn’t really want to linger there, but managed to walk past Pioneer Square itself on the way out (hint: it’s triangular and filled with homeless people).

We beat a hasty retreat to Pike Place Market, because it was, after all, kind of on the way home. One benefit of it still being quite early in the day was that there weren’t too many tourists. Sadly, there also wasn’t that much happening on the fish throwing front, so we decided to step outside and check the map. By this point, my choice of footwear (smart brogues – we weren’t planning to walk far when we set out) was causing me some issues, so we thought we’d find the monorail and have a nice sit down on it.

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After a little hunting (our map wasn’t the best), we found the entrance to the monorail – there’s a lift on 5th Avenue, just north of Pine Street. We paid $2.25 for a one way trip of about a mile, which seemed pretty reasonable. The ride was super fun and included a lean to the side for corners, which was a pleasant surprise. I love an unusual mode of transport, and this one was just so retro, having been built for the World’s Fair in 1962. I’ve only ever been on the Gatwick Airport monorail before, so I was pretty excited. Apparently there is a monorail in Moscow – even more reason to visit!

On arrival at the Seattle Center, we decided we were a bit tired to actually visit any of the attractions, although we cased the joint and decided it was worthy of a whole day later in the trip. We stopped for a drink in the Armory, which was built in 1939 to house the 146th Field Artillery and their tanks. Today it is a cavernous food court.

Refreshed, we headed up the gigantic hill back home.

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And that is how we accidentally walked 6 1/2 miles in one day, inadvertently giving ourselves a very good idea of the layout of the city centre.

After getting changed and resting at home for a while, Kim and Missy picked us up and took us to his family’s house for dinner. It was a really fun evening, with paella and wine, and it was nice to spend some time with his family, who we hadn’t seen since we left Brussels. It’s great to catch up with people who you haven’t seen for a long time, especially when it’s on their home turf.

Tuesday 6th May

Having finally defeated our jet lag, we enjoyed a nice lay in till 9:15. As our feet were sore from the unexpectedly long walk the day before, we decided to stick to Capitol Hill for the day. This time around, we stuck to the plan, and didn’t overexert ourselves too much!

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The area has a diverse variety of shops, including thrift stores and cool furniture places. We started the day in Value Village, which is a kind of second hand TK Maxx. I managed to pick up a winter coat and a couple of bright plastic necklaces for $13 – bargain!!

I also got myself a Pocket Fashion Sketch Pad, which wouldn’t really fit in a pocket, but which I like anyway. I’ll probably post a review of it once I’ve used it a little bit.

Further vintage fun was had in Red Light, which is an incredible vintage and costume store with such a large selection. In the end I came away empty handed, as there wasn’t really anything I wanted specifically. The girl working there did compliment me on my Archie McPhee squid bag though 🙂

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On our way back home we popped into another vintage store which was on our street and who’s name I’ve forgotten. They had a lovely selection of clothes, but I was quite tired that point, and we missed Alfie, so we were most interested in the shop cat, Vincent.

In the evening we enjoyed pizzas from Toscana across the street and chilled at home with the TV. My goodness, what a lot of adverts!