A Travellerspoint blog

Day 5 - Sunday 3rd May 2015

The Gum Wall, The Great Wheel and Meeting Friends

sunny 20 °C

Our last full day in Seattle, we said our goodbyes to Suzanne and Mike as they headed back to their home to Oregon. As we had run out of time yesterday and there were a couple of things on my "to do" list, Carmen drove us both back into the city in the morning. We headed straight to the Great Wheel, a large Ferris wheel with enclosed cabins on one of Seattle's piers. We had a turn and saw the city and water from the heights of the wheel.

We then headed to the infamous "Gum Wall", I had first seen pics of this in my Facebook group WIFOMN, so naturally I wanted to add a piece of gum to the ever growing mess. I made sure I brought some gum from Australia and also brought a toothpick flag that I planted on the my gum as I stuck it to the wall. I'd be curious to see if any of my friends venture to wall in the future to see of my flag is still there. There were lots of trinkets stuck to gum already there, people seem to respect the items left behind (either that or were too scared to touch the gum for fear of getting germ!).

We had a bite for lunch then picked up some Italian food to take back to Carmen's as she was hosting us and a few of their friends. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and talking, taking in the glorious sunshine and serenity of their surrounds. And I finally got a chance to go into their hot tub.

After I wowed Carmen and Alan with a few of my card tricks, we finished like all previous nights by relaxing next to the fire. But soon it was time to bid our goodbyes as we had a big day of travelling the next day. Carmen was an amazing host and really spoilt us rotten and we are both forever grateful for it.

Posted by Ace from Oz 22:14 Archived in USA Tagged gum wall seattle Comments (0)

Day 4 - Saturday 2nd May 2015

More Seattle Sightseeing and WIFOMN Dinner

sunny 19 °C

Almost a repeat performance from yesterday, we headed over to Carmen's place and the 6 of us took off back to the City again. First stop was the famous Pike Market Place, lots of fresh fruit, seafood, souvenirs and food stores all piled into one long building, and also along the street. It was slightly crowded being a Saturday but we walked around a while just to soak up the atmosphere. We picked up a nice print of Seattle by night that we can hang up somewhere at home. We were on a tight schedule as we had booked a "Duck Tour" so we headed back to the cars and drove off.

We all boarded the amphibious vehicle aka the "duck" and armed with our "duck quackers" (duck noise makers) we group took off on a raucous and fun trip around the city sights. We then drove into Union Lake and the vehicle motored around showing us some of the house boats and other sights. We got to see the house Tom Hanks lived in from the movie "Sleepless In Seattle" and some of the house boats were amazing structures with huge entertaining areas on the roofs. Lifestyles of the rich and famous!

We rushed home (all we seem to be doing lately is rushing) and quickly changed for a planned WIFOMN dinner. WIFOMN stands for "What's In Front Of Me Now" and is a Facebook group I created exactly 12 months ago to the day! Several members of the group live in Seattle hence I had arranged a dinner so we can all meet up and get see each other in person. It was a wonderful night being able to hug and talk to some of the people who help make the group what it is today. With over 1,000 people in the group, and from parts all over the world, it brings all manner of people closer together.

After dinner we again headed back to Carmen's house, more chit chat around the fire pit until the early hours of the morning.

Posted by Ace from Oz 22:49 Archived in USA Tagged seattle Comments (0)

Day 3 - Friday 1st May 2015

Dice Buddies Sightsee Seattle

sunny 20 °C

Our first day to head into Seattle city and start seeing the sights. First we met up with my Dice Buddy Suzanne and her husband Mike who drove up from Oregon for the weekend to meet up with us and Carmen and spend time together. "Dice Buddies" refers to how I met both Carmen and Suzanne, through the game "Dice With Buddies". We then joined a Facebook group and tried to get others to come to Seattle to join in the fun but in the end it was just us.

We drove off to Carmen's house and then she drove us all into the city. We bought tickets to ride to the top of the Space Needle and then wandered through the Chihuly Glass Museum right next door. Amazing giant glass sculptures everywhere. Rooms full of these eye popping and wonderful creations, and also in the manicured garden outside where there were scattered throughout. We had lunch at Collections Cafe in the museum also.

From there we ventured to the Space Needle, a 605 foot tall tower built for the 1962 Expo. The elevator ride up to the top was an experience as it was outside the tower and had glass windows so you can see the city as you rose to the top. Once there we walked to the observation deck outside and wandered about taking photos and seeing the scenery of the city and beyond. Certainly quite different to Sydney in that there were lots of empty spaces, usually being used for car parking. In Sydney those blocks would all have buildings plonked on them.

Our plan from there was to visit Pike Market Place but we were running late and wouldn't have had the time to look around. So we decided to head to downtown and took the Underground Tour. In the late 1900s the downtown area of Seattle burnt to the ground. As the area was against the shoreline and was often being flooded by tides, they decided to rebuild that part of the city one level higher, by building the streets on top of the original layer. The Underground Tour takes you beneath the street and along the tunnels that exist and you see the old cobbled streets and entrances to the covered over buildings. You also get to hear a little about the history of that area of the city. Very interesting tour and recommended for any traveller.

We left the city close to 8pm and still hadn't had dinner. I was craving seafood chowder, something you don't generally get in Australia but here can be found everywhere. Carmen said the best one was at the Big Fish restaurant near her home so we headed there. And yes the chowder was very nice indeed, and I had my first ever taste of fish tacos which is always popular here too.

After dinner we headed back to Carmen and Alan's place to sit around the fire pit and and relax and talk more, again another late night to bed.

Posted by Ace from Oz 10:25 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 2 - Thursday 30th April 2015

Seattle and Shopping Day

overcast 18 °C

Our first full day on land and we slept like babies last night from pure exhaustion. We only slept six hours but neither of us budged once. We got ready and headed over to Carmen's place to collect her. First stop was at their UPS store to mail away a couple of items to friends and also got to meet her husband Alan. From there we doubled back to right by our motel where we had founds the Brooks Outlet Store. It's the only brand of sneakers Vicky wears so it made perfect sense to start our shopping here. The sales lady told us it was the only Brooks outlet store in the entire country and just coincidentally we happened to chose our motel right across the road. We purchased two pairs of sneakers each, at prices well below what we would find back in Australia.

We then headed north about half an hour for the outlet shops in Tulalip. We stopped by the Tulalip Casino for lunch first, then wandered around the shops for several hours. It never ceases to amaze me the bargains we get at outlet stores in USA. I bought a North Face wind and rainproof jacket for $99 USD, something that would cost $300 back home. After several other purchases we headed back to drop Carmen off at her home and then freshen up for dinner.

Our first dinner was a nice Thai meal just with us and Carmen and Alan. Once we got talking we didn't stop - then noticed we were the last patrons left in the restaurant and it had closed. We then headed back to their house where we sat outside around their fire pit, shooting the breeze and talking for several hours. It would turn out to be the first of several consecutive late nights, getting back to our room around midnight.

Posted by Ace from Oz 23:57 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Day 1 - Wednesday 29th April 2015

My 41 Hour Wednesday

sunny 18 °C

After many years of dreaming, and about 12 months of planning - the day finally arrives that we set off for our 5 week adventure.

Our flight didn't leave Sydney until around 9:30pm so had a full day to finish packing and get ready for the back to back flights. We flew Hawaiian Airlines and I was surprised the plane was only half full. So after take off I jumped to the empty window seats in front so Vicky and I both had more space to try and sleep. Despite the extra room, sleeping was almost impossible. It felt that every time I dozed off, the young child sitting right across the aisle would start crying and screaming so by the time we landed in Honolulu it felt like I hardly slept at all.

Once we disembarked we had two hours until our connecting flight to Seattle. I thought that was plenty of time but in the end we were rushing, From our landing gate it was a 10 minute walk to baggage claim, from there we had to clear customs, then drop off our bags outside, then another walk to the domestic terminal where we had to line up and do all the security screening again. Then we had to walk to our next gate and of course it was one of the furthest. I reckon we walked at least two kilometres from landing to departure and didn't even have time to eat so had to settle for a Starbucks frappacino to cool off with.

No real sleep on the 5.5 hour flight to Seattle. We landed about 9:30pm and we were met by our friend Carmen. After collecting our bags she drove us to the car rental place where we collected our car and soon we were on our way to our motel about half an hour north.

By the time we dumped our bags in our room we were starving as the domestic flight had no meals so we went to Denny's across the road for a midnight eat. By the time we got to bed at 1:30am we were exhausted to say the least

Posted by Ace from Oz 00:15 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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