So the road trip to Seattle a couple of weeks ago? TOTALLY enjoyed ourselves I’m happy to say.
To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect. I guess I’ve always thought Seattle is probably quite a bit like Vancouver so I’d always wanted to go and check it out but other places always seemed more intriguing given a choice..California – Seattle – California.. yeah no contest for me. SO the most I’d seen of it outside of Frasier, Grey’s Anatomy and the Ten Things I Hate About You and other movies/shows based there was the airport and watching it fly by tearing down the I-5. “Look, there’s the Space Needle kids!” voooom.
Given the fact we only had a few days off together AND we didn’t want to spend the better part of two of them in an airport, Seattle came up a winner. We had considered Whistler and Whistler is nice but meh, once you’ve seen the view and checked out the village, unless you golf or hike or like to hang out in clubs/bars/restaurants.. there is only so much to do.
Tom had to work late the night before we planned to leave on the 12th of August so we had a later start. The line-ups to cross the border have been BRUTAL at times with the Canadian dollar doing so well a lot more people are making the crossing. We figured it was mid-week-ish so fingers crossed it wouldn’t take three hours or something. It turned out to be a little over an hour wait, while not GREAT was certainly not worst case scenario. We really need to look into getting Nexus cards.
We drove straight through without stopping for food and figured we would just find the hotel, get our stuff into the room and then hunt down a place to have an early dinner.
We had booked at the Hyatt Place Downtown Seattle a smaller boutique-ish type hotel a hop skip and jump from the Space Needle and close enough to walk to a lot of the waterfront and downtown sites. It was a fantastic deal too considering both the location AND the fact it was only open for a few months. Everything was still so new looking (and smelling) which added to the appeal.
There was a dining area and other groups seating arrangements to let guests hang out the lobby and grab a quick meal. They have this computer ordering system to get food from their food service (as well as a few bakery type treats you can pick up from the front desk). We chose to eat our meals including breakfast out but I’m guessing there are some guests that appreciate the options of a continental breakfast or the ability of some of the hot selections. I found the menu a bit limited (for instance if you want bacon and eggs you had scrambled eggs… no choice).
The room was spacious enough and had a separated seating and bedroom area.
There is also a TV that swiveled so you could watch in the living or bedroom area, a coffee station, fridge area and a desk if you’re so inclined. The bathroom was probably what I liked the least. I’m not a big fan of the Shower/WC being in one room and the sink/mirror out in the main room, I like it all being in the one room. Still a nice place though.
The view from the room though was great, a Seattle icon right there front and center?
Very cool. It was particularly pretty all lit up at night.
After stowing our stuff a very hungry bear wanted to go forage for dinner.. here is said hungry bear with his hungry bear face.
We had tried to look online for some food choices but opted to head towards the Needle figuring there had to be something that would appeal on the way.
We ended up at a place called “Sport” a themed restaurant which along with various screens around the room featured your own little TV at the side of your booth.
The food was pretty good, not spectacular but definitely good enough to a couple of hungry travelers.
After strappin’ on the old feed bag we walked over to the Space Needle to take a few pictures and decided to see if it was still open for business. It was and we found out it was also open late and offered for another few bucks a pass to go up twice in a 24 hour period. This would let us go check out the view both by day and by night. When we got up to the window the cashier informed us that there was a special free event the next day so we could always just pay for the one ticket and do a second trip on the freebie day. Ummm BZZZZZ alarm alarm FREE DAY meant crowds and line-ups. So no, we opted to pay the extra to get the extra trip up.
We pretty much walked right in, waited for a few minutes for the next elevator and up we went. I researched the touristy stuff in Seattle before we headed out and I had read there is another taller business building that actually allows visitors to their observation deck for around $5.00, certainly cheaper but it wasn’t always open and hey, it’s Seattle right? Ya gotta do the Needle at least once.
The views were fantastic for sure. The weird part is the deck seems a bit sloped and the building itself juts out towards you so you feel like you’re walking at some kind of weird angle when you’re making your way around the deck. I almost felt like I was drunk or something.
We both went to different areas of the deck and snapped away. I was asked by a few people to take their pictures (with their own cameras of course), some solo travelers and some groups who wanted the entire family in the shot. It was busy up there but still enough room to maneuver around.
We had our fill of the view and headed down to relax back at the hotel for a bit and wait until it got dark to head back to the Needle again for a return trip.
If *I* had to choose which I preferred I would say night because I love a city all lit up. That would be personal preference for everyone though, but I’m glad we got a chance to see it both day and night. I would recommend that to anyone if they can.
The problem with night though is it is a LOT harder to get a good photo without a tripod. Because there is so many safety precautions (plexiglass, wires etc) you need a VERY tall tripod to get over it all. I chose to use a higher ISO and to pull the neck strap as taught as I could with my head to try to keep the camera steady for some hand-held shots. I got a couple of passable ones but I would have killed for a tripod or a flat surface!
See, aren’t the lights pretty?
After we left I grabbed a few shots of the needle lit up from below before we headed back to our room to relax and have a nice glass (or two) of wine. A terrific first day.