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Seattle Family Trip

When did we go….

  • Apr 19-22, 2019


Why did we go…

  • other than myself, my wife and kids had never been to Seattle, so we decided to check out this fun coastal city


How did we get there…

  • flew Alaska Airlines direct for an hour and a half from Calgary for four of us
  • Leah flew Alaska Airlines direct for an hour from Kelowna
  • from the airport, it was about a half hour Uber ride to our Air Bnb which was just east of the main downtown area



Where did we stay…

  • at an Air BnB, in the Squire Park area, which was about 10 minutes east of downtown
  • we had a three bedroom, recently renovated, or perhaps even newly built, bungalow on a quiet street at least traffic wise
  • the location seemed well located for the different areas that we visited and was reasonably priced
  • while the street was quiet, we were on the main airport flight path which added quite a bit of noise along with train tracks that were somewhere nearby



Where did we eat…

  • Sawyer’s in the Ballard area (dinner, good tapas style food, nice location, got a bit noisy at the end when six overzealous young girls arrived at the table behind us)
  • London Plane in the Pioneer Square area (lunch, good food, nice venue)
  • Willmott’s Ghost in the Amazon Spheres (dinner, excellent food, less than average service, funky washrooms, finished dinner just in time as a fire evacuation alarm went off)
  • Lost Lake Cafe (breakfast, old-style diner, good food, eclectic people hanging out there)
  • Six Seven in the Edgewater Hotel (dinner, beautiful harbor views, excellent service in the lounge and restaurant, pre set four choices menu which made for a fairly expensive outing, excellent chow, the best part was spending time with good friends who were in town from Dallas – check out Craig Tadlock’s Middle Aged Miles site (www.middleagemiles.com) for some great travel tips and stories)
  • Portage Bay in the University area (lunch, healthy food)



What did we do…

  • the first evening we strolled the shops in the Ballard area and finished off with cider tasting at Locust Cider (funky shops in this area and lots of cool dogs hanging out)
  • Saturday morning we started in the Belltown area at Olympic Sculpture Park after our Uber driver almost killed us twice by making a left turn from an inside lane and then heading down a one way the wrong way (the park only has a few sculptures, but the location is nice to walk along the waterfront)
  • from there we strolled along the water to the famous Pike Place Market which was fun to see the fish toss, amazing flowers, original Starbucks (huge lineup so we did not go in), Beecher’s cheese (cool huge vat where they made the cheese), gum wall (gross but unique), cool chalk art and murals
  • next, we strolled to the Pioneer Square district (Seattle’s oldest neighborhood) where we checked out the shops, galleries and a neat glass blowing shop which served us well for the following days visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit
  • from there we strolled up Broadway back to Pike Place Market where we stopped in for some beverages at Pike Brewing Company and then on to the Nike store
  • later on, we checked out the Amazon Spheres complex which is a beautiful, modern, plant-filled meeting space for Amazon (every office should have a space like this)
  • we followed this up with our first Amazon Go store experience which was cool to shop without a checkout counter, and it worked very slick
  • Sunday morning we explored the Capitol Hill area (LGBTQ center, Jimi Hendrix statue, Elliot Bay Book Company – great selection in an old style bookstore, Volunteer Park Conservatory – amazing plants & flowers, the gravesite of Bruce and Brandon Lee)
  • stopped in for snacks and flights of cider at Capitol Cider
  • Sunday afternoon we visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit (unbelievable works of glass) and then a trip up the Space Needle for great views of all of Seattle
  • Monday morning I strolled around our neighborhood enjoying the beautiful spring foliage and old historic houses intermingled with some new modern infills



Interesting facts:

  • Seattle is a hilly, lush city surrounded by water that gives it a great energetic feel
  • there were all kinds of people strolling around the downtown area dressed up in costumes on both Saturday and Sunday for the Sakura-Con Festival (the worlds oldest and largest anime event) which was a fun site to see
  • the city seems very prosperous which is likely due to the huge presence of Amazon, Boeing, Google and Microsoft with numerous offices scattered around the city



What did we not do that is on the agenda for next time:

  • harbor tour to get a feel for the general area
  • flagship REI store
  • The University of Washington and surrounding area
  • Museum of Pop Culture
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center
  • Underground Tour
  • Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour
  • Islands that are short ferry rides from downtown Seattle



Final thoughts:

  • we were very fortunate that we only had a sprinkling of rain on the night we arrived (apparently May thru September the weather is beautiful with virtually no rain)
  • Seattle is a great city to poke around in with lots of fun neighborhoods to explore, and it is relatively easy to get around
  • the topography is beautiful with rolling hills, water views everywhere and beautiful foliage