Mukilteo - Seattle - Tacoma
24.11.2008 - 29.11.2008 60 °F
We had a road trip to Seattle for Thanksgiving. It took us about 14 hours to get there since we have to pull over every now and then for food, rest area, restroom, and we were also pulled over by a cop in Oregon for driving 80 mph at a 55 mph construction zone. Good thing he let us go with a warning. Fines are double in construction zone area. I think that if you can drive straigth up to Seattle, stopping only for fuel, you can get there in about 12 hours.
In Mukilteo, we've visited the light house, checked out the Ferry that can take you to Victoria, Canada, checked out the Boeing Tour by the Boeing plant where most of the residents work, and drove to Tulalip Casino and Resort. I really like their indoor, heated swimming pool in Tulalip. It was after Thanksgiving weekend when we went window shopping at the outlet mall next to it.
I was so excited when we visited Tacoma because that's when I finally get to see the Glass Museum and Chihully's Glass Bridge. It's free to cross the glass bridge, which connects the glass museum to the Union Station and downtown Tacoma. This is a definite must-see. Chihully's work were displayed in a number of glass shelves and there is even a glass roof covering a part of the bridge filled with his work.
Seattle was really the main highlight of our Thanksgiving. Early in the morning, we went to see the Space Needle and the Seattle Center, which is a campus around the Needle with museums, food courts, galleries, shops, fountains, and amusement rides. The Space Needle is really pretty at this time of the year, specially at night when it's all lit up with Christmas lights and holiday colors. The Space Needle ornaments that they were selling at the gift shop got me thinking. I can actually make ornaments out of the souvenirs I've collected from traveling and put them up in the tree on Christmas! This will definitely be in my project list.
We were planning to check out the famous Troll in the Fremont area but nobody knows how to get there so, we decided to check out an Underground Tour by the Pioneer Square station instead. You have to be really interested in history, engineering, or archaelogy to appreciate it. A lot of people think that it's like looking at a slum area filled with rusted wires, corroded pipes, water leakage, and walls that are falling apart. Depending on your tour guide, this place can be as interesting as any ruins or forgotten city - filled with history and soul.
There's a really good bakery in Pioneer Square called Cow Chip Cookies where people from everywhere go to buy their famous cow chip cookies. Price is as follows: chiplette .30, calf chip 1.50, cow chip 3.00, bull chip 6.00. Very rich and loaded with chocolate chips! My friends were picking up someone from the airport that day so, I decided to stay and meet up with them later. While in Pioneer Square, I went up Smith Tower's observation deck at the 35th floor to get a good 360 view of Seattle ($7 fee). It has an outside, open-air Observation Deck wrapped completely around all four sides of the historic Smith Tower providing breathtaking panoramic views of Mt. Rainier, and the Olympic, Cascade Mountain ranges, a closest view in town of Safeco Field, the wharf and the Colman Ferry Terminal, and the Pioneer Square. The Space needle is standing right at the end of 1st Avenue. It's such a great, breath-taking scenery from this tower - much better than the view from Space Needle, which I find really expensive ($17/person). Even the restaurant they have up there was too pricey. The crown jewel of the Smith Tower is the legendary 35th floor Chinese Room. The room’s name derives from the extensive carved wood and porcelain ceiling and the elaborately carved blackwood furniture that were gifts to Mr. Smith from the Empress of China. The observatory’s furnishings include the famed Wishing Chair, a product of the skill of a Chinese carver and incorporates a carved dragon and a phoenix, which when combined, portends marriage. Hence the chair came with the sentimental- and sexist- legend that any wishful unmarried woman who sits in it would be married within a year. I sat on the chair, wondering about the myth.
From the Smith Tower, I walked to the wharf and Ferry Station towards the Olympic Park. Then, I climbed up the Harbor Steps to get to the SAM (Seattle Art Museum). I didn't have time to check it out so I went to the gift shop instead. Afterwards, I went to Pike's Market Place to refuel. In the market place, I found this little store where they sell all kinds of spices and tea. I got some orange-spiced cinnamon tea and some BBQ marinate. There was a long line of people in this mini-doughnuts place, which I didn't get a chance to try. Instead, I went to get some ham and cheese piroshky at Piroshky Piroshyky. I've never seen as many different types of piroshkies as they have in this bakery. Next door is the first and original Starbucks and it was packed! Pike's Place is really big. I probably circled about three blocks to get a good feel of the place. There's just so many things to see and check out in each corner. Later that night, I meet up with my friends for the tree-lighting right outside Macy's, which is just a couple of blocks from Pike's Place. There are a lot of great stuff to check out in Seattle, specially if you're into art. I've seen so many really cool ones at the Olympic Sculpture Park and next time, I will definitely try to make it to the Fremont area to see the famous troll.