For our 39th birthdays, Mrs. WG and I decided to go to Seattle this year. Neither of us had been but we’d always wanted to go. We splurged on Ireland last year so Seattle seemed like a reasonable choice (and it was). We were there Sunday through Thursday and it was the perfect amount of time. We were really lucky and had beautiful weather – sunny and upper 60’s the entire time.
We stayed at a hotel near downtown and the Seattle Center. Our hotel had a great continental breakfast included in the rate, as well as a mini fridge and microwave in our room. We also took advantage of the nearby Whole Foods to grab dinner or dessert, rather than eating out.
At the top of our list of sights to see was Pike Place Market. It lives up to the hype and this was definitely a highlight for us. We had signed up for a tour of the market and part of the tour was sampling food from various vendors. Everything we had was delicious and the tour guide was fantastic. The added bonus was that it was so much food that we didn’t need to buy lunch that day!
While we were at the market, we stopped by to see the infamous Gum Wall. It’s as gross as it sounds. And there’s way more than gum stuck to those walls……
We’d also heard that the Chihuly glass museum was a must-see. I’ll admit that we were both skeptical about taking the time and spending the money to see sculptures. We decided to check it out and I’m so glad we did. We walked around, in awe of how amazing the blown glass sculptures were. We tried to take pictures but they don’t do the pieces justice. If I go back to Seattle, I’ll definitely go back to Chihuly again. Since the only times available for the Space Needle were later that night (after sunset), we had to buy our tickets to Chihuly and the Space Needle separately. Maybe in the future they’ll update the options so that the tickets can be used on different days.
We ventured out of the downtown area see see Fremont, AKA: The Center of the Universe. We checked out the Fremont Troll, stopped into Theo Chocolates for some samples, and
met up for lunch with a former coworker of mine who recently relocated to Seattle. Later that day we went to the Capital Hill neighborhood, since we’d heard there were things to see over there. This was at the tail end of our trip and we were pretty tired from walking around so much (Fitbit tracked us walking 25 miles!) so we didn’t spend much time there and instead decided to have a quiet night in our hotel before flying out the next day.
The most important thing we learned was that many businesses are only open from 10am-6pm on weekdays so it’s important to chart out what you want to do and see based on that. We also used public transit quite a bit and were very happy with it, although we weren’t too pleased to pay $5 just to obtain an ORCA card. What surprised us most were all the inclines and just how steep some of those roads are. Needless to say, we got plenty of exercise while we were there!
Where should we go for our 40th next year? Paris, Italy, Montreal? Or maybe somewhere closer to home….San Francisco, New England? Let the planning begin!