Sleepy in Seattle

It wasn’t quite like the movie – “Sleepless in Seattle”

We slept

A lot

Suffering from extreme exhaustion at this point in the trip, we were struggling to put one foot in front of the other by the time we arrived in Seattle

After some dick head decided to call the wrong room at 2am, when we were getting up at 3 for our flight from L.A.

We arrived around 9am and tried to go through Pike Place Market, but severely lacked enthusiasm

Instead, we headed to our hotel, Inn at Queen Anne

Where express deals on Priceline have done us fairly well, this one was a bit of a stinker

Quite literally, it smelt like an old folk’s home

Granted, there was nothing actually wrong with it, so it did the job

We spent most of our first afternoon catching up on sleep so we could attempt to explore, slowly

But we did make a quick breakfast stop at Mecca Café

After being told by the receptionist that they had the best bacon in the Pacific North West

Although I hadn’t tried bacon anywhere else in the region, I believed him!

A fried egg, 2 rashers of bacon, hash browns and toast

I was a very happy girl!

And then a crazy lady came in and started huffing and puffing that her table wasn’t free (where we were sat)

Proceeding to throw herself at the table, hide behind the menu, dramatically put on her sunglasses, glare at the back of Jack’s head, and then eventually leave and sit on the pavement outside

I have never seen “throwing the toys out the pram” being done quite so well by a complete stranger

Shame it never got her anywhere

IMG_3531.JPG

Our greatest find was Radiator Whiskey

A restaurant that, surprise surprise, specialised in whiskey (or, whisky)

Our waitress was great and told us that the large plates really were more than enough for sharing

And thank God she did, because we couldn’t even finish that

So she saved us at least $17 and a heart attack!

Confit turkey leg, mustard gravy and crushed red potatoes

Holy shit, it was so good – proper comfort food on a cold night

But we had so much left

The Space Needle

Shorter than most buildings in Seattle, but far enough away that you can see all the tall buildings

Only two downsides

  1. It’s $22
  2. The bit of the skyline you’d want to see, is under your feet

But, still a nice view

Pike Place Market

A trip to Seattle wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Pike Place

Although we kept walking in circles and not really being sure where to go or what to look at

We enjoyed trying to grab free samples and just generally eat stuff

IMG_3542

Gum Wall

Is more than likely the most vile tourist attraction I have ever seen

The second most unhygienic attraction in the world

Behind the Blarney Stone

Apparently school students have been seen to dare each other to put as much of it in their mouths as possible and chew

For a dollar!

They are that desperate!?

It’s certainly something to be seen, because there is nothing else like it

But, I was nearly sick in my mouth

IMG_3596

Kerry Park

The best place to see the city – at any time of day

We headed up the big hill for sunset

(To discover that the sun sets on the other side of it, so it had no benefit – other than to boost Instagram likes for #sunset)

The view is fantastic, you see the full city skyline, including the Space Needle, and Mt. Rainier

Then looking across you can see the houses on the hills and the Olympic mountains

On our last day, the sky was so clear and blue that you could see that snow-capped peaks of the mountains

IMG_3606.JPG

Free Tours

I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it

On a budget, or not

It is without doubt, the best way to see a city

You are pretty much guaranteed to get a good, informative tour

Why? Because the tour guide has to convince you that what he/she is telling you is worth something, so they can eat that night

Whereas a paid tour, they know they’re getting paid at the end of the day whether you enjoyed the drivel they told you or not

That’s not necessarily to say that paid tours will be bad, but free ones have more to prove

And in my experience they have been a lot better

And smaller

And they tell you things you really want to know

Even if that’s just where to get a cheap pint, in the divest dive bar in that city

Also, a lot of the time, that tour guide has started up the business, or started working for it, because they have used lots of them in the past and really believe in it and are interested in the area

Moving on. This tour was really good. We opted to do two, the first was the Market Experience. Walking through the market, seeing how it is set up; learning about the seniority of the vendors and how that influences where they are positioned; the work that needs to go into securing a permanent store front – like Starbucks who have to give 10% of their daily earnings to keep their shop; aaaand we got free samples!

The second tour, was Seattle 101.

Everything from the creation of Seattle, providing lumber for cities like San Francisco, how that meant only men lived in Seattle – so women had to be convinced to move from the East Coast. Moving on to the city burning down, so they had to start from scratch and re-identify themselves as all the trees had been used. And then later the gold rush, where Seattle made more than the miners, just from selling tools and providing lodging. Moving on to the current day, where it is a tech hub, largely as a result of the Space Needle and the convention that boosted the change.

Thoughts on the city

I enjoyed Seattle, but I think overall, I was too tired to fully appreciate it

As a city with the most happy hour deals of anywhere in the US (for food and drink) I didn’t make it to any

But I don’t really mind, that’s something for another time

The best thing I did was the walking tour, I got to learn so much and get pointed in the right direction

The concerning thing about Seattle, was the extreme number of homeless people, it even felt worse than New York

Our guide noted that he didn’t really know why it was so bad, and it was a fairly new thing for it to be as bad as it currently is

He suggested that people had been getting one way tickets from the city they had been in, just to get them to move on somewhere else, and now Seattle was running out of amenities to help – where they had been very well equipped in the past

It is a shame, but I don’t think this should overshadow the beautiful city, as long as you know where to go, or how to handle it

And we are idiots, we thought that the Starbucks on First Ave was the original, it’s not

We found the right one though, but I got bored of waiting in the heat

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s