Washington State…not DC

Only 4 more states in the countdown.  Washington state is a yes. I am able to count that because of my new job. No sooner did I get back from Alaska and I was back on a plane winging my way to the home office in Seattle, Washington. Even with work, I was able to get in a little sightseeing but it wet my appetite for more.

Space Needle copy

My impression is that the locals don’t appreciate what they have. When I said I might plan my next vacation there , everyone tried to discourage me. They complained about the weather, the crime, (Seattle seems to have a lot of homeless people on the streets) but I was struck by the beauty that surrounded Seattle and I want to see more.Seattle 048 copy

While in Seattle I made a point to visit Chihuly Garden and Glass. www.chihulygardenandglass.com Chihuly Garden and Glass is a new art experience showcasing the most significant works of internationally acclaimed artist and glass pioneer Dale Chihuly.Seattle 118 copy

But in Tacoma, Dale Chihuly led an effort to bring glass to Puget Sound. Today a $48 million Museum of Glass calls Tacoma home.

Seattle 090 copy

Tillicum Village is a replica Native American Village located on Blake Island in Puget Sound. About 8 miles by boat from the bustle of Seattle, you can reach this destination only by boat. Recommendations are for a tour as even ferries don’t reach the island.

tillicumvillage

Of course while in Seattle I still need to visit Pike Place Market. Although it is the oldest continuously operating farmers market in the U.S. it really burst onto the scene when it was featured in a series of advertisements promoting entrepreneurial spirit. I think someone might even have written a book about it. A circuslike atmosphere includes street entertainers and (this is the famous scene) fishmongers tossing whole salmon  while shouting “low flying fish!” the equivalent of “Fore!” on a golf course.

Pike Place Market-3

Down on the waterfront is another spectacular sight. The Great Wheel. The Seattle Great Wheel was built in less than a year, but its story goes back much further than that. Seattle businessman Hal Griffith had envisioned a Ferris wheel in the city for nearly 30 years, but it wasn’t until he realized he could build one on his own pier that his dream became a reality.Seattle 058 copy

The Seattle Great Wheel opened to the public on June 29, 2012. Since then, it has become an icon of the city and a destination for tourists and locals alike.

olympic-hurricane-ridge-m

Remember highway 101 from my post about Oregon? Well it’s in Washington too and it circles Olympic National Park.  The park carries a rare dual designation of  World heritage Park and International Biosphere Reserve! The Olympic mountain range stretches through the park where Mount Olympus climbs to 7828 ft., the highest peak in the range.

A deer and Mount Olympus (7980 feet / 2432 meters) are seen along Obstruction Point Road, Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Jefferson County, Washington, USA.

An speaking of national parks, I can’t forget Mount Rainer National Park and Mount St Helens or the North Cascades National Park.

Once again I have run out of time. I’ve hit my self imposed limit of 400-500 words. That can only mean I have many Washington Vacations to look forward to.

New Tally: 20/27

Lets Hear it for Seattle…one more time

It was the last day of “Boot Camp” (the company’s term for this week of training.) We covered things like benefits, expense accounts and had our pictures taken for the company web site. We also had our “Graduation Celebration”.

June Boot Camp Graduation

I carried my camera to work this time. I wanted one last chance to document this little corner of Seattle.

CAM00078

I wanted to see the “Great Wheel”, a gigantic Ferris wheel  on the Waterfront and visit the Public Market aka Pike Place Market known for it’s “flying fish” but didn’t get there.

Seattle 058 copy

All this walking had brought on a good case of blisters again and it was a different pair of shoes this time. No idea why I am suddenly plagued with blisters. The best I could manage was a hobble to the drug store for first aid supplies. But the building that housed the drug store was eye catching with decorative trim around the top.

Seattle 018 copy

If I’d had more time here’s some of the things I would have liked to do.

  • Great Wheel
  • Pike’s Place Market
  • Mt. Rainier Gondola
  • Boeing Tour
  • point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
  • Whale Watch
  • Seattle Aquarium
  • Woodland Park Zoo
  • Northwest Trek Wildlife Park

Maybe I need to add Seattle to my list of places to my vacation bucket list.

Seattle 217

A view of the Space Needle from under the mono rail track.

Seattle 016 copy

Seattle from my hotel room window.

Seattle 222 copy

And one final view of the Space Needle

Chihuly Gardens

I’m back at the Space Needle and the first thing I did was purchase my ticket to the Chihuly Gardens. Many of the exhibits were familiar.

Seattle 089 copy

They had been part of the show that visited The MFA but now they appeared to be permanent exhibits. Although some were inside in exhibit halls many of the larger pieces were outside including my favorite one.

Seattle 093 copy

Seattle 090 copy

My favorite is a made up of purple “candles” placed around a fallen log.

Seattle 132 copy

Seattle 149 copy

Next to the log a pod of black glass “things” seem to be swimming out from under the log. It made me think of seals or maybe dolphins. I checked this out from all sides. It is definitely my favorite.

Seattle 104 copy

Seattle 097 copy

The thing about Chihuly is that all of his pieces are beautiful and amazing.

Seattle 110 copy

Seattle 105 copy

I still had plenty of time before sunset but most of the other places were closing for the day so I headed back up the Space Needle. I might as well enjoy the views while I wait for sunset.

Seattle 114 copy

Seattle 113 copy

I saw other photographers with their tripods.

Seattle 118 copy

Seattle 116 copy

I didn’t bring mine this trip but I wish I had.

Seattle 124 copy

Seattle 120 copy

Without a tripod I would have to hand hold and the darker it got the harder that would be.

Seattle 136 copy

Seattle 125

I hope these photos of Chihuly Gardens convey a little of it’s magical quality.

Seattle 144 copy

Seattle 145 copy

What a View from The Space Needle

Time to explore the Space Needle. I skipped the souvenir shop on the ground floor and followed the signs around and up a ramp where I purchased a ticket. It’s a 1 use ticket so once you go up don’t plan to come back down until you’re done. If you do you’ll have to buy another ticket at $21.00 per ticket that can get a little pricey.

The revolving SkyCity restaurant is 500 ft up the Space Needle and was only the 2nd revolving restaurant in the world. The restaurant makes a 360 degree revolution about once every hour. I didn’t eat there. I expect it is expensive and even with reservations people were waiting on the upper deck.

As I waited in line for the elevator I had the opportunity to get a souvenir photo. No one else was going to take my picture so why not?

Seattle

The elevators hold 25 people at a time. Once we were loaded the attendant welcomed everyone to the Space Needle and told us to “look quick” because we had 43 seconds to see the sights before we reached the Observation Deck at 520 Ft.

Seattle 038 copy

The center part of the observation deck is enclosed and they have snack bars and drink bars located around the center core. Tables are placed around the circumference so you can look out over the city as you snack or sip your drinks.

Seattle 064 copy

Step down about 5 steps and go out a door and you are outside with only a railing and some glass panels to separate you from the drop to  the ground.  The outside track doesn’t move. You have to walk around it to see the different areas of the city. I didn’t realize it but the door I chose to use brought me right out to the view of Mount Rainier. Once again my mouth was hanging open.

Seattle 048 copy

Mount Rainier was so “there”, “in your face” , I don’t know how to describe it. After chasing the elusive Mount McKinley all of last week, to step out and see this awesome mountain right in front of me just took my breath away.

Seattle 039a copy

Mount McKinley is taller than Mount Rainier but Mount Rainier is closer so it looks larger and, forgive me for saying this, more impressive. (at least to me). I’m really glad I had a chance to see Mount Rainier so soon after Mount McKinley as my impressions were so fresh in my mind.

Seattle 058 copy

I may not be in Alaska but sunset in Washington State was pretty late too right around 9:30. I didn’t want to stick around that late this time and since I planned to come back to see Chihuly Gardens I decided to head back to the hotel. I needed to be back at the office at 8am and jet lag was definitely confusing my body clock.

Seattle 053 copy