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Sleepless in Seattle

Sunday we slept in. Even me. I had trouble falling asleep (not my usual brand of insomnia). Our hotel is on Fourth Avenue, the major route of the Gay Pride parade, which was gearing up as we passed by on our way to the Space Needle. At the very end of the street, still pre-parade, a half dozen people with placards started marching, letting all the gathered crowds know they were going to hell. The crowds were polite about this, mostly finding it amusing.

We proceeded to the Space Needle. I have a slight fear of heights that I developed post-9-11 after hearing about people trapped at the top of the twin towers jumping out of windows. Ahem. Anyway, the Space Needle isn't all that tall, so it we just enjoyed the view and tried to see distant features through the binoculars.

Our tickets were for both the Needle and the Chihuly Gardens, so we went to the gardens next. What is remarkable about the gardens is less the glass sculptures and more the interesting plants and flowers growing amidst them. I had never seen black grass before. The plant colors are all chosen to compliment the glass in interesting ways (or vice versa). One of the fun things to do there is get a photo of the reflection of the Space Needle in one of the large glass marbles. Do it right, and you can get yourself in the shot as well.

After the Gardens, we went in search of a restaurant for lunch. The parade was in full swing at this point, so we took another route back hotel-ward. In retrospect, it might have been fun to catch a bit of it, as George Takai (Mr. Sulu from original Star Trek) was the grand marshall. But the parade was vey crowded, and in my oinion, much too commercialized these days. We found a Thai place for lunch, then returned to the hotel to cool our heels for an hour.

The afternoon plan was to take "Bill Spiedel's Underground Tour." Pioneer Seattle was pretty much marshy swamp land, and the city was eventually forced to fill in the land above the high tide level, leaving remnants of the old city one floor down from street level. This left many lumber-braced "tunnels" under the city for storage, smuggling, and speak-easies. After the tour, we returned to the hotel with a deli dinner and breakfast (no Continental breakfast in our hoity-toity hotel), and relaxed and packed for the next leg of our journey.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 30th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
I love the Underground Tour. It's the one touristy thing in my hometown I will go do more than once.

A lot of the restaurants and shops still have floors at old street level, which is pretty awesome.
Jul. 1st, 2014 10:39 pm (UTC)
It was quite interesting, we had a good tour guide.
Jul. 1st, 2014 03:48 am (UTC)
how was the underground tour
Jul. 1st, 2014 10:45 pm (UTC)
A bit shorter than I hoped, but they have larger groups that include kids, so that makes sense. I hear there is a more adult evening version (not adult in the euphemistic sense).
Jul. 1st, 2014 10:50 pm (UTC)
i'll haveto keep it in mind if i ever make it out there
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )