posted at http://markandjoannatravel.blogspot.com
September 2, 2009
The sea gulls outside our Port Angeles woke us up this morning. We packed and consolidated all our gear into our bags in the car and headed out to First Street Haven for breakfast. This was a lovely little breakfast place with calming music and delicious food. Breakfast came with a baked good. Mark’s cinnamon roll was huge and my scone was very tasty.
After breakfast we hit the road and headed towards Seattle making several stops along the way. First we went to the infamous Dungeness Spit Wildlife Refuge. This had been recommended to us by so many people that we just had to stop. We hiked out along the coast for a mile, but we couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. Perhaps we just went on the wrong day. I definitely liked Rialto Beach on the west coast much better. Next we stopped at one of the famous lavender farms of Sequim. I wanted to see if the lavender if the lavender (which peaks in mid July) was still blooming. Unfortunately it wasn’t really, but we had fun poking around the lavender gift shop.
Now, we really just headed in towards Seattle the same way we came out. We drove to Bainbridge Island and got there just in time to board a ferry to Seattle. The day was very clear and sunny, so I was able to get some good pictures of the Seattle coast line as we ferried towards it. The Westin Seattle hotel where we will spend the next several nights is directly across the street from the Avis rental car return, so it was no problem dropping off our car. Driving in downtown Seattle, as one can imagine, is nearly impossible with all the cars and pedestrians and bikes. For the rest of our trip we will be pedestrians. =)
Our hotel room is up near the top on the 35th floor and we have a nice view north of downtown. In fact, we can even see the Space Needle from our room window. This is also the first time that we won’t be moving our sleeping area every night!
Once settled in the hotel, we took a walk around downtown. We started at the Columbia Center hoping to go up to the observation tower for a great view, but it closed only 20 minutes before we arrived. Next we headed towards Pioneer Square for the Underground Tour. Boy was that tour interesting! We had a wonderful tour guide, Terri, who’s been doing this for 12 years, so she knew her stuff and really knew how to talk to a crowd. I had no idea before this tour that Seattle actually started at an elevation about 8 – 32 feet below the elevation of Seattle today. The low elevation on the coast didn’t work for Seattle and the city rebuilt much higher. It was fascinating information and I was appalled at how Seattle city planners decided to build the city.
After our tour we wandered up the water front and had a seafood dinner on the coast watching the sunset behind the Olympic Mountains across the Pugent Sound. The rest of the night we just wandered around getting our bearings and finally collapsing in the hotel in bed.