posted at http://markandjoannatravel.blogspot.com
September 3, 2009
Waking up today was very different than waking up in the tent. We woke up facing a great view of Seattle from up high with the sun rising on the right lighting up the buildings in warm colors. Also, we now get to shower every day. =) This makes me happy.
Today is our tourist day. We left the hotel and headed south to the tallest building in Seattle – The Columbia Center. It rises over 1,000 feet above sea level and has an observation deck on floor 73 near the top. It was empty of tourists and much cheaper than the Space Needle. We got some good pictures of the surrounding Seattle from the air. The traffic center was there as well and they would check the windows when needed to see the traffic. Most of them were on facebook, watching tv, or twittering.
Next we headed towards the coast and Pikes Place / Pikes Market. It was not as crowded as it would be on a Saturday. Actually, we found ourselves amid many LSU fans clad in their purple and yellow. It turns out that LSU is playing University of Washington. We wondered where they were parking all their RVs and displaying their tall flags. =) The market was still pretty crowded. We watched the flying fish phenomenon and then just walked around viewing the shops and food. We stopped at a pastry shop and had breakfast. I had a tasty apple cinnamon roll. Mark had a potato, onion and cheese pyroshki. Then, just down the street was a cheese shop which we had to stop in. They were making cheese in the back. We tried the cheese curds and then just had to eat some of their best mac and cheese. It was indeed tasty. Then we headed to a seafood stall and had them crack and clean a Dungeness Crab for us. We took our crab over to a park with benches to eat. Mmmmm, Dungeness is defintely my favorite crab now. We experienced our first Seattle rain at this point. It rained while we ate our crab which wasn’t too bad as our hands got cleaned as well. The rain passed and a gorgeous sunny day emerged. We walked to the Westlake Center to pick up the monorail to the Seattle Center where the Space Needle is. We visited the EMP/SFM, the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum. The SFM was smaller than we would have liked, but the EMP offered lots of exhibits for viewing.
Next we walked up to Lake Union and found the Center for Wooden Boats. There were boats; they were wooden; it was small. We made it too I Love Sushi restaurant for happy hour and had some tasty sushi. We were told we just had to have sushi in WA. We might even have it again. I stayed safe with California Rolls and Spider Rolls. Mark was a little more adventurous with a kitchen special and several other types of sushi. He had some crunchy rolls that I really liked. We were still early for sunset, but we had pretty much exhausted our tourist activities for the area, so we walked to Kerry Park. This little park is the number one photographer location for taking photos of the downtown skyline. It’s a little north of downtown and near the Queen Anne hill area. The houses here were very nice and I know the people here had money to live with such a view. The weather was just perfect to see downtown with Mount Rainier poking it’s head out behind it. We could see the glassy calm Pugent Sound as the sun set to our right and cast pretty warm yellow light over downtown. This is the perfect photographer’s light. In fact, I counted up to 15 other photographers with tripods here with us along with several others without tripods. It was absolutely packed. I even got to share information with one of the more professional looking photogs. Two photos showed up with their wives in a Hummer limo to take pictures. They each used many lenses. Their wives were somewhat schooled on photography composition as well and had fun taking pictures of the various groups that showed up with their compact cameras for group photos. It was a people watching experience and quite fun. When the twilight hour hit, I got some gorgeous full moon photos as well as the downtown skyline lit up with lights. I was happy. Mark was nice enough to sit here for several hours with me so I could get my photo fix.
Then we walked back to the hotel….about 2 miles away or so. Yes, lots of walking today. I’m enjoying it, though. There are lots of bikes, too and traffic really does work with the bikes and pedestrians. We are falling in love with this area of the country.
We found the pick up hotel to get our badges for the PAX convention over the next 3 days. Tomorrow we will wake up early and line up for the start of the PAX convention. They sold out at 75,000 people. We will join them over the next two days for this popular video game convention. I don’t even understand what all we will be seeing, but Mark is very excited.