Seattle is a good city. It’s like the city gods got together and decided to put all of their best stuff in one place, and that place is Seattle. Water front? Got it. Downtown sports arenas? Check. Not terrible public transit? You betcha. Great free tours? Uh huh. Legal weed? You know it. Cute little neighborhoods you can easily walk to? How’d you guess?
Our first night in Seattle we walked from our Queen Anne’s neighborhood to Safeco Field, where we had bought $16 stubhub tickets for front row seats! Granted, they were in the outfield, but hey, I’ve never sat front row in anything before. The Mariners were playing the A’s, and I honestly have no idea who won, or really any of what occurred on the field, but I DO know that I had some very tasty popcorn and sips of cold beer and cantina nachos. I’m a BIG FAN of “location food” – those types of snacks you can only get at a certain location (ie: movie nachos, movie popcorn, baseball peanuts, baseball hotdogs, train wine, lawn beers, you get the idea).
A couple of great things happened to us while in Seattle. The first was the our AirBnB host left us two free city passes. As someone who loves a) free things and b) not deciding what to see in a city, this was the best possible thing that could have happened. In the morning, we would get up and flip through the city pass and see what coupons we had. Then we would go and do that thing. For free. GLORIOUS. We wound up seeing the best of Seattle’s sightseeing treasures: the SpaceNeedle, the EMP Museum, Chihluhly Gardens.
But first we took a walking tour of Pike’s Place market. Not only was the price right (free with online reservation), but the guide was wonderful. You could tell he was the type of person who spends 5 nights a week at his wittily named improv group, and was filled with facts. We followed this Seattle version of Alex Trebek around for more than an hour, watching as the famous fish tossers threw a dearly departed water breather back and forth, stopping at stalls for samples and stories. I can’t recommend this highly enough.
Before we left the market, we had to stop and get a bagel with lox and it did not disappoint. Maybe it was the fact that I could see the fish stall where the salmon had come from a few feet away, but it tasted like salty, buttery heaven.
If you’ve got an overcast day in Seattle with nothing to do and the heart of a nerd beating soundly in your chest, I suggest hitting up the EMP museum. It satisfies every pop culture junkie’s craving – costumes and artifacts from movies and tv shows (Wizard of Oz, Mork and Mindy, Monty Python, etc. etc. etc.), an exhibit on Nirvana that your boyfriend will spend a solid hour reading plaque after plaque in, a MASSIVE two-story projector on which they show music videos, a replica star trek ship bridge where you can pretend to pilot the enterprise through the galaxy – you get the idea.
But my favorite (faaaaaaavorite) thing we did while in Seattle was visit Chiluly Gardens. This all blown glass museum will leave you mystified at the ability of artists to transform boiling hot metal into insanely gorgeous artifacts, each one filling your little reptilian brain with wonder and mesmerizing at the awesomeness of it all. I could have spent the whole day there. I could have spent my whole life there, the rainbow-on-acid of orbs and squiggles and rods seemed to be the manifestation of all the books you read as a kid somehow come to life. The sheer size and scope of the exhibits baffling to the viewer. So yeah, go see it.
We only had a few days in Seattle, and while we checked everything off of our city bucket list, I could have spent another week there, meandering the streets, taking the monorail just because it’s fun, walking to beer halls for giant pretzels and salted ice cream at 10 pm.
I’m not sure what I thought Seattle might be like before coming here, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. It was the perfect spot to unwind for a few days in May, walking my pregnant ass from one side of the city to the other, taking in everything the place had to offer, exploring when we felt like it, eating when we felt like it, napping when we felt like it. I’ll be back for you, Seattle, when I can drink your beer and explore your night clubs and eat your sushi and stay up past 10. Until, I’ll be dreaming about you.