Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer Vacation in Seattle

Well, kids....they're here. Yes, the long awaited pictures from our trip to Seattle. They're not exactly hot off the press, but they still came in under the 'One Month Old' mark (just by a hair).

Our first night in Seattle was the 4th of July, and we were invited to a small family party at a nearby lake. The view was gorgeous and we had our own private fireworks show. Despite my long sleeved shirt, thick sweater, jeans and a blanket, I was still very cold.

Little Henry Jensen and one of his many crazy faces

Sean and I at a Mariners game.

The Underground tour of Seattle was one of the first and most entertaining things we did in the city. Just as the name suggests, a guide takes you through the original sidewalks and storefronts that have been sealed underground for over a century. See, there was this giant fire in downtown Seattle in 1890 (or thereabouts) that destroyed a big chunk of the buildings. When it came time to rebuild, the city leaders decided to take advantage of the situation. They told all the building owners to construct their "new" main entracne on the 2nd floor. Reason being, Seattle had a big sewage problem...the pipes would back up every day at high tide. Poor you if you lived in the downtown area because your toilet would explode with rotten sewage. This was their chance to level out the city and re-work the sewage pipes. They raised the street up one level to what used to be the 2nd floor. Eventually, the ended up filling in the sidewalks too, which left the old main floor as a basement type thing. Over time, these basement spaces became un-used but they're pretty cool so people started giving tours of them.

Walking through a doorway underground

Underground looking up at the present day sidewalk. The grid looking thing is a skylight. Stace and Sean with the Spaceneedle
Sean visits the original Starbucks at Pike's Place. You might notice that the logo is different. That's right - it's the original logo where Miss Starbuck shows her boobies.
The Museum of Flight at Boeing Field was really neat, and I enjoyed all of it's interactive parts (because I usually get bored at museums). Sean was like a kid in a candy store here. We got to walk onto one of the Concord planes as well as the Air Force One that JFK used.

We went to the top of the Columbia Center building. I think it's the tallest building in downtown Seattle, and it has a much better view than the Spaceneedle . Here I was trying to get a shot of Mt. Rainier. Unfortunately, it was a very hazy day. Look in the center of the photo and you'll see a stream of clouds. Just above that, you can see the snow cap of Mt. Rainier. It's about 2 hours away from downtown, and it stands mightily over the city.
Pike's Place market - famous for fish-throwing mongers and large crowds. Sean and I made the mistake of coming on a Saturday. We grabbed lunch at a food stand inside the market where we had grouper sandwiches.

We took a ferry up to British Columbia to visit Victoria. Below you can see the famous Empress Hotel with all the ivy growing on it. For about $50 per person, you can have a proper Engligh afternoon tea. Instead, we opted for oysters on the half shell at a nearby bistro. There's also a shot of the British Columbia Parliment building.
We also visited the Butchart Gardens which is pretty magnificient, even if you're not into flowers. This shot below used to be a limestone quarry. Mrs. Butchart decided it needed some landscaping. She must have had a lot of free time on her hands....

One thing I learned about Canada: They have terrible ice cream. We bought some ice cream cones to snack on as we walked through the gardens, and it was like eating a mouthful of Crisco. There must have been 300 different types of roses in the rose garden. This was my favorite:
The Italian Gardens at Butchart
For our one night in Victoria, Canada we ate at an Italian restaurant. Go figure. But it was well worth it. I was very thankful for our own personal fireplace by the table. Canada was COLD!

Our last day in Seattle was "Nature Day" and we visited Mt. Rainier. Here I am near the top of the snow cap. Sean had plans to hike the glacier trail; however, i was wearing open toed sandals. I put a stop to the snowy trail and we made atlernate plans to go see a few waterfalls. Also seen in this picutre: my one and only souvenir, a $50 jacket. Let's just say I was not prepared for the weather.

This is a "bridge" we crossed on our way to the waterfalls trail. Notice the rapid, frigid water directly beneath my feet. And yes, you can also see my sandals here.
Here we are standing in the path of the 1940 Mt. Rainier Mud Slide. Behind us you can see all the rubble it left behind.
After hiking for a short while, we found a great place to stop and nap in the sun, and this was the view.
We finally made it to the waterfall.

We got to see and do a lot more than what you see here. I just didn't take pictures of everything. A few additional highlights were:
1. seeing the Seattle Symphony play
2. hanging out in Fremont, a very neat neighborhood within the city

3. eating delicious Mexican food at Agua Verde and watching the kayakers on Lake Washington

4. sharing our mussels feast with the Jensen's

5. coffee at Zoka and Herkemer

6. seeing signs for "Espresso!" everywhere (one dental office was named Espresso Dental)
7. accidentally eating lunch at a hippie vegan guru restaurant named Silent Heart Nest.

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

These pictures are great, especially the ones from B.C. It looks really beautiful there. The ones of you in sandals on a glacier remind me of me when I was in Norway. You think, well it's July, so it must be warm, right? Wrong! I think there's something seriously wrong with people who choose to live in the North for extended periods of time, don't you?