The trip was going to be interesting because Lucy had just hurt her shoulder so she had to be wrapped up every night to make sure she couldn’t hurt it and I was going to stop my low carb diet for the weekend so I was going to punish some desserts.
On Groupon we bought a CityPass, which gave us access to 5 attractions for a single price. This was a great deal and we managed to do all the attractions over three days. You can do it in two if you really try.
Our Seattle | Itinerary
The following is our experience and may not be representative of your experience.
Hopefully you have a better one!
We got to the airport via an Uber a bit late since our flight was delayed and because of that, Southwest was running a couple contests to entertain the passengers. I volunteered for the first game which was to guess how many checked bags and I lost to a little 7 year old because I’m an idiot and saw only 20 people waiting for the plane and guessed 100 checked bags. For the second contest they were giving a voucher to the first person that could bring them a flavored lip balm. Fortunately Lucy had one so I rushed up to the front desk and instead of congratulating me the Southwest employees question why I actually had lip balm. I pointed to Lucy telling them ” it’s not mine it’s hers “and it actually worked in our favor because they realized that she’s injured and gave us priority boarding.
We landed in Seattle on Thursday night around midnight and took the Hampton Hotel shuttle to our nice cozy bed.
We woke up relatively early and headed down for the complimentary breakfast where I ate a pound of bacon, two waffles, several eggs and then asked if I could have a breakfast to go which the hotel reluctantly gave me. The Hampton shuttle took us right to the metro station where we purchased two transit passes ( orca cards). At 5 dollars a card, the orca cards are expensive but are supposed to last a lifetime. You can share one orca card between people but it gets complicated, so to save us the headache we bought one per person and loaded 10 dollars on each. The Metro was nice, clean, and not too many people were on it until we got near downtown. You got to see the nice parts of Seattle, which are very beautiful, and the not-so-nice parts.
We arrived at Westlake station in the heart of downtown Seattle and got our first glimpse at the beautiful Skyline as we made our way to the Hyatt at Olive 8 where we would be staying for the rest of the weekend. The Hyatt room was spacious with a decent view of the Seattle area and more importantly had a decent sized hot tub for Lucy’s shoulder.
We passed through Pike Place several times during the weekend but the first time we just came by to check it out and try some of the World Famous Pike Place Clam Chowder. As expected the lines were long but they move relatively quickly and the alleyway was very cozy and pleasant and a nice way to spend a lunch. The place is very vibrant and as busy as you would expect with so many shops and visitors crowding the area but still a very pleasant experience. On Friday though we were really just passing through on our way down to the aquarium and Pioneer Square.
The aquarium was part of the City pass and was mostly empty on Friday. We’ve been to better aquariums (Long Beach in California as an example) and compared to those this one felt small. To give you an example of the lack of excitement at this place some people almost got into a fight trying to position them to see the feeding of the seals. That aside we did enjoy touching the fish and all the varieties of local fish.
Lucy hates these but I convinced her to get on it, as it was right next to the aquarium. It’s not a heights issue, I honestly think she thinks the wheel is going to fall apart and kill everyone in Seattle. This was our first view of the cityscape and the takeaway was that it looked so vivid in color and architectural complex. Lucy couldn’t appreciate it because she had her eyes closed basically the whole time. The wheel was expensive but a good experience. I didn’t find out until later that you could get the black gondola that has a glass floor and some pictures included at a higher cost though.
We walked down to Pioneer Square on a very pleasant walk along the beach I had not heard of Pioneer Square before arriving at Seattle and from first impressions I had no clue that this was considered the bad part of town. The takeaway from Pioneer Square which used to be Seattle’s old downtown is that the architecture is beautiful and that the whole area is above ground with tunnels running underneath where the old ground floor used to be. We started our walking tour of the area by going down to Occidental Park which is beautifully laid-out with Native American totem poles and community games like bean bag toss, giant chess and basketball. People would just come in and drop by and play with each other (giggity). During my time there I saw a pickup basketball game, an interview, two wedding parties and a mime.
We dropped in on the Klondike Gold Museum, which has free admission. We arrived at the museum 10 minutes before closing and we’re able to do the whole museum in that time. Basically Seattle had a gold rush, here are some stuff from that period, the end.
Spooked in Seattle Ghost Tour
The highlight of the day was the ghost tour of Pioneer Square, which was half history lesson of the area and half ghost story. We had the early show at 6pm and before arriving I was disappointed because I thought it would be better in the darkness of the Seattle night. Since this was April, it doesn’t really get dark in Seattle until 10pm and after being in the area for a bit I realized that this isn’t really an area we would want to walk at night.
We had a great tour guide, I can’t remember his name but he’s hard to miss. He is the one dressed in a full cowboy outfit, hat, spurs and all. He also doubles as a paranormal investigator so throughout the night you get to see some of the more interesting things he has captured.
I’m not going to spoil the tour but I can say that it was well worth the admission, which we got bought on Groupon. You actually don’t end up walking a lot and you get the interesting backstory on how Seattle was founded. You get to hear about the bloody and murderous history of Seattle, which lends itself to ghost stories. The highlight of the tour was the ghost stories as you tour the underground caverns of Seattle. Pitch black, a bit smelly and completely spooky.
After all the walking in the day (~18k steps) we took the bus back to the hotel and jumped into the hot tub. We meant to eat out that night but the hot tub knocked us out.
We started the day by walking to Lola’s for breakfast and had the eggs Benedict and a delicious meat omelet. Especially good were the garlic potatoes. This though was the first time we experienced the mandatory 20% service charge which at first is shocking but if you know going in that those are the rules you can eat and budget accordingly.
After our meat and potatoes breakfast we walked to Pike Place because we wanted to get some mini donuts that we had seen the previous day. On our way there though we witnessed something unpleasant that you wouldn’t expect in Seattle. Racism. On the other side of the street was a group of young Asian people that were approaching a homeless woman. I didn’t catch the initial exchange but I assumed she asked them for money and they said no. What followed was about 5 minutes of her yelling racist slurs at them “Go back to China you F$&-#ing G-$++_ks” as an example of what was said. The group kept walking but the woman kept yelling and yelling. I was pretty bothered by it, especially since they were Filipino and not Chinese (talked to them after). The only funny part about it was about the time we got to Pike Place, when you thought she was long gone, you heard one last racist statement “Go back to China”. The only thought I had at the time was that hopefully in the same way her voice has faded into the distance that too her ideology would also fade into history.
Daily Dozen Donuts at Pike Place
These were some of the best donuts we have ever had. Wish I could eat them every day and keep my slim 270-pound figure. We had a dozen of the sampler and wish we had two dozen. Every type of donut they have is delicious. From here we took the bus up to the Space Needle for a day viewing.
We got there at around 11am on a Saturday and it was pretty empty. The morning and night admission was included in our city pass. The view was as beautiful as expected but we only really stayed there for about 30 minutes.
Chihuly Garden and Glass
One of the highlights of the trip was this museum, more so than the needle was this museum. Also included in the City Pass. I was not expecting such a beautiful display. I had never heard of Chihuly’s work but I became a fan after visiting this museum. The glass gardens were both brilliant in color and pleasing in shape and construction.
We took the historic monorail back to our hotel since it just goes between downtown and the space needle. The monorail was fast and convenient but a bit pricey at 2.50 a trip but you do get to see more of the beautiful cityscape. After a quick trip in the hot tub, a nap, we went back out for the night visit to the needle and dinner via the monorail.
Space Needle – Night
The problem with visiting Seattle in April is that it really doesn’t get dark until 9 p.m. Not realizing this when we arrived I made dinner reservations for Saturday night at 9 p.m. The needle was much more crowded at night but the view was beautiful. We basically got to see the city get turned on. Bow chicka bow-wow.
We took an Uber to dinner at this beautiful and delicious steakhouse. It was our anniversary so they covered the table with roses and provided a complimentary dessert tray of nuts, fruits, cheese and crackers. The restaurant had a classic ambiance of old-world luxury with low lighting providing for a romantic evening. Lucy wasn’t feeling well so I got to pound the complimentary garlic ciabatta. I decided to eat about 4 to 5 baskets worth. Lucy had the crab cake appetizer and I had the clam chowder soup, which with the garlic bread was delicious. Lucy had the aged bone-in rib eye, I had the large filet mignon and we ordered a side of macaroni and cheese. The food was actually blander than expected for this type of restaurant and I wouldn’t reorder the mac and cheese as they were pretty basic but the food was still was very delicious and we enjoyed it. Since Lucy was feeling sick she didn’t actually finish her bone in rib eye and I had to eat it in the hotel the next morning. The hotel actually provided me a microwave to reheat the steak in my room but I forgot to ask them for utensils so I ate the steak off the bone with one hand.
Lucy wasn’t feeling well so after dinner we went over across the street to the liquor store where a man bumped into Lucy and his friend apologize for him and said that he was excited because he had just gotten a phone call. I asked him if it was from a woman and he replied with a big smile on his face “you already know”. I don’t know why but his sheer happiness at making that statement just became extremely memorable. We jumped into an Uber; the driver was listening to the play Hamilton as he sped through the streets of Seattle. So technically dinner and a Broadway show.
With this being the last day in Seattle we tried to fit as much as we could so we jumped into an Uber and headed over to the Seattle Zoo.
We got to the zoo, which is included in the CityPass, right as it opened and I’m glad we did because it was actually one of the best zoos we’ve ever been to. Our favorite exhibits were the gorillas, brown bears, wolves, cheetahs, and bird sanctuary, basically everything. We spent three hours and saw everything. The zoo had a very open and natural layout and at some points you wonder why the animals don’t just leave.
Argosy Harbor Cruise
We missed the bus on the way back and had to wait for the next one. Google told us we would get to the boat with two minutes to spare but the bus arrival time kept getting delayed. We bolted out of the bus at our stop like we stole something. We were running down hill to the seaside and I decided to play a little hype music as we tried to make it to the cruise. I started pumping my arms harder and harder to mimic running harder than I actually was and at red lights I would run in place. This was a bad idea because apparently I am so out of shape that fake exertion actually led me to hurt my elbow. I don’t mean I hit something; it just started hurting as though I pulled something. I’m officially old. At the beginning of the trip Lucy was the one with the separated shoulder but now I would be the one leaving in the sling. We did get to the harbor cruise on time, injuries and all and had a pleasant 1-hour cruise. We sat on the top deck and enjoyed the Seattle cityscape one last time. Seattle really is a beautiful city and this harbor cruise gave a great view. The tour guide provided wonderful insights during the cruise and the seas were pretty calm and pleasant.
We walked back to our hotel passing through Pike Place one last time to pick up an order of fish and chips that we ate along the way back to our hotel. We grabbed our stuff, and headed for the train station. In some other places that we have visited we’ve never actually seen a fare inspector but on our way back to the airport we actually had our fare inspected twice and a couple of people we’re cited on the spot while others just jumped off at the next stop before they could get cited. As we left Seattle we both agreed we would want to return. Mainly to do more of the nature based activities (hiking, kayaks, etc.) that we didn’t get to do on this trip.
~ Happy Travels! ~