Seattle on a sunny day is fantastic! From its futuristic Space Needle, the 360° views of the city on the water are spectacular. Nearby, the MoPop museum and the Chihuly Garden and Glass offer great sensory entertainment, while Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center showcases amazing life-enhancing inventions and remarkable individuals. Oh, and the coffee is great!
We headed into the city on a Thursday, in hopes of avoiding heavy traffic. We usually take our furry kids (two dogs) with us but this time we left them at a great local doggie care, Cascade Kennels. I really wanted to be able to go into the Space Needle where, of course, dogs are not allowed. I also wanted to see an old college friend who works for Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in downtown Seattle. She texted me her work address and we found parking nearby. As we emerged from the garage we found ourselves at the gates (pun intended?) of the Foundation and right across from the Space Needle – perfect location!
The Space Needle was our first target, so we proceeded to the main entry. We had purchased tickets in advance, and the admission process went smoothly. From the tower’s glass deck, standing 520 feet above the city, we admired the downtown, Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Cascades and Olympic mountain ranges. We walked on the Loupe, the world’s first and only rotating glass floor. The experience is a bit intimidating but it’s definitely worth it.
The glass benches along the saucer’s glass walls are favorite spots for taking Insta-worthy shots using the self-service cameras installed throughout, and you can even have a video camera record you as you wave from the tower. Check out all that you can experience and be sure to download the app before you visit. I am not a selfie aficionado but when in the Needle…. I didn’t love navigating the crowds while waiting to use the photo station, but we managed to take a few selfies. I found the app a bit glitchy but maybe it was user error. Anyway, that’s why I always take my own photos.
Back down on earth, we strolled through the nearby park, witnessing a young artist proclaiming his poetry on the main stage. I loved the art installations around the tower, and we checked out the nearby Armory Food and Event Hall before catching the monorail to Westlake Station.
A few minutes later, we walked toward another must-see landmark: Pike Place. The Market opened in 1907, and is one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. We took our time admiring all the fresh and colorful fruit, flowers, and veggies. We witnessed the mandatory fish throwing show, and stocked up on fresh goodies – I was excited to find European plums. For lunch, we scarfed down a most AMAZING lox bagel from Seattle Bagel Bakery, while enjoying people-watching from the window counter. We quenched our thirst with freshly squeezed fruit juice from a local cart and later on sampled delicious coffee from a local shop.
Close to 5 o’clock, we headed back to the Space Needle. I wanted to catch my friend for a few minutes at the end of her work day. While we waited, we read through the inspiring messages displayed along the railings surrounding an outdoor area with benches. We noticed a convertible Porsche parked right outside the building and a security guard making sure people in the pick up lane didn’t get too close. I wondered if Bill was in the building….
I didn’t get to see my friend, as her schedule kept her in meetings and we really needed to head out before peak rush hour traffic and get to the kennel before closing. We avoided I-5 and took 520 to 405 instead. Luckily, even with an hour delay, we still made it to the kennel in plenty of time to retrieve our “babies.” Back at our place, we enjoyed a bike ride around the campground, at Lake Pleasant RV Park. Although we didn’t get to see much of the city, we really enjoyed our time in Seattle and put it on the list of places to explore further in the future.